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Master the art of smoking Black Drum: A step by step recipe for a delicious and authentic Texas delicacy

Black drum, also known as drum fish or just "drum," is a staple species in Texas coastal waters, and a popular catch among anglers. With its firm, white meat and delicate flavor, it's no wonder that black drum is considered a delicacy. And while it can be enjoyed grilled, fried, or blackened, one of the most delicious ways to prepare black drum is to smoke it.

Smoking black drum is a simple process that infuses the fish with a delicious smoky flavor while keeping the meat moist and tender. Here's a step-by-step recipe for smoking black drum in Texas that will have your taste buds singing.


  • 1 whole black drum, cleaned and scaled
  • 2 cups of your favorite fish rub
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups of your favorite wood chips (such as hickory, pecan, or mesquite)


  1. Start by cleaning and scaling your black drum. This can be done by using a sharp knife to remove the scales and then gutting the fish. Rinse the fish thoroughly with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Next, make a brine by mixing the apple cider vinegar and water together in a large bowl or container. Add the fish rub to the brine and stir until well combined.

  3. Place the black drum in the brine and make sure it is fully submerged. Cover the container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight. The longer the fish soaks in the brine, the more flavorful it will be.

  4. While the fish is brining, prepare your smoker. Fill the water pan with water and add the wood chips to the chip tray. Heat the smoker to 225°F.

  5. Once the smoker is heated, remove the black drum from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Place the fish on the smoker rack and smoke for 2-3 hours or until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 145°F.

  6. Once the fish is fully cooked, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute and make for a more flavorful and moist fish.

  7. After the fish has rested, it's ready to be served. The meat should be flaky and moist, with a delicious smoky flavor. Serve with your favorite sides, such as coleslaw, hushpuppies, or grilled vegetables.

Smoking black drum is a great way to add flavor and moisture to the fish while keeping it tender. The brine gives the fish a nice flavor boost, and the wood chips give it a unique smoky flavor. This recipe is a great starting point, but feel free to experiment with different fish rubs, wood chips, and smoking times to find the perfect combination for your taste.

When it comes to catching your own black drum, they can be caught year-round in Texas coastal waters, but the best time to target them is typically in the winter and early spring. They can be caught using various methods, including casting lures or bait, drifting or still-fishing with cut bait or live bait, or even fly fishing. They are also quite hardy fish, and can be caught with a wide variety of gear.

Black drum is a delicious and versatile fish that is perfect for smoking. The recipe provided is a great starting point, but feel free to experiment with different flavors and seasonings to create your own unique spin on this classic Texas delicacy. Happy fishing and smoking!