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smoked catfish made over the hot charcoal grill.

Grilled Catfish

African Grilled Catfish – The process of smoking or drying fish eliminates moisture from the fish, adds flavor and helps in the preserving process. The dried fish turns out really tasty, it imparts a smoky flavor into anything you are cooking. So good!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine African, American, Global
Keyword grilled catfish, grilled fish, homemade
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings 5 Pieces
Calories 1kcal
Author Lola Osinkolu


  • Grill
  • Skewers


  • 4 Pcs Catfish Fresh
  • Skewers
  • Palm Oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Get your grill started and let it stay at about 250F. A little charcoal at a time is advisable. (add more as needed)
  • Meanwhile, Prepare your fresh catfish by removing the gut and cleaning it thoroughly.
  • Rub a generous amount of salt inside and outside the fish.
  • Fold the fish into a circle and pass a skewer through the fish to secure the shape. (optional)
  • Set the fish on the grill, brush with a light coating of palm oil and leave to dry for 6 to 8 hours (checking every 2 hours) until well dried.



  1. The whole process should start with Begin with fresh Catfish that are just out of the water. When you start with a stale fish, it will affect the final taste of your dry fish.
  2. Since this whole process is homemade, I like to pick out the smaller catfish because it cooks faster. The bigger ones take a longer time to cook and often time, it bursts open during the grilling process.
  3. The folding I was talking about, brings out the beauty of the fish and gives room for even smoking. Some also believe it makes all the water content in the fish come out during the smoking process. The goal here basically, is to dry the fish and store until when a recipe calls for it: Some even stalk more than a fish on a very long skewer. This is mostly done for commercial purposes, this also makes the flipping process easy.
  4. The process of making smoked fish requires very little heat about 250°F. More of the smoke is required than the fire. Therefore, it’s very important to keep the fire small, so the fish doesn’t get burnt.


Calories: 1kcal | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 465mg | Potassium: 3mg | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg