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Smoked Tuna Belly

If you have any questions about this recipe, just leave them on the YouTube video and I'll get back with you ASAP!

My email box has been filled lately with smoking tuna questions. For example, how do I deal with a 4-inch thick tuna belly? What's the difference between dry brine from wet? How do I smoke skipjack? Those questions have inspired me to make this video going through the basics of smoking tuna while making a smoked tuna belly!

You'll learn tips and tricks for keeping an eye on the most important perimeters throughout the entire process. Learn the difference between a wet and dry brine. And then, how important developing of the pellicle skin really is. All you need is some fresh tuna belly and a good reliable smoker.

And, if you need a smoke yellowtail recipe check out

Smoked Yellowtail.

Smoked Tuna Belly

2 tuna belly fillets about 1.5 pounds each, frozen

2 cups soy sauce

1 cup white granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup hot sauce

1 gallon of water

smoked tuna belly

Brining For The Smoked Tuna Belly

1. Start by adding the soy sauce, white and brown sugar, and

finally the hot sauce into a gallon of water. Mix throughly.

2. Immerse the fillets into the brine. Please note, if your fillets

are thawed, you must add 4 cups of ice cubes into the brine.

Place a small plate on top of the immersed fillets to keep them under the brine during the brining. Brine for 8-10 hours, or overnight.

Developing A Pellicle Skin For The Smoked Tuna Belly

3. Rinse the fillets and then pat them dry. Place on a rack with a small fan positioned one foot away. Allow the fan to dry the fillets for at least 2 hours. This allows the formation of a dry skin to form around the fillets. The skin is referred to as the pellicle skin. This skin absorbs the smoke flavors generated by your smoker. Don't skip this step!

Smoking Your Tuna Belly

4. Set your smoker between 220-230F. You need to achieve an internal temperature of 130-150F in the thickest part of your fillet. And, depending on the size and thickness of your fillets, this can take anywhere from 1-3 hours. Start checking the internal temperature after one hour of smoking to get a feel of how much time still is required. Good luck!

Need Some Kitchen Stuff? 🙂

Here's a great way to support Fisherman's Belly. Use our amazon links to purchase items you may need. You don't pay extra but, Amazon sends us a small commission on your purchase. Just click on the links below to take a look and shop around. Thanks, Yanni

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Meet The



I'm a fisherman and a cook, and I love to do both. My name is Yanni and welcome to my website, Fisherman's Belly. Here, using your fresh fish and everyday ingredients, you can learn to cook hand-crafted easy fish recipes. 

See you on the water and in the kitchen. Yanni

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Thanks for submitting your question. I'll get back with you as soon as possible. Yanni

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