Recipe for Campfire Fish Recipe | Almanac.com

Campfire Fish Recipe

Photo Credit
Alexandra Osina/Shutterstock
Serves 6
Preparation Method
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This is an easy, delicious way to cook smelt or other small fish. Just wrap fish in foil and grill—or, cook over an open fire. The fish will be cooked in an herbal steam and emerge fragrant and perfectly moist!

One simple method is to place your fillets in a foil pouch. Or, if you wish to avoid foil, wrap your fish in leaves before cooking. Leaves from sycamore, walnut, oak, chestnut, maple, or even cherry trees will work. (Or, you could buy banana leaves.) You will also need fiber string or cotton kitchen twine string for tying up the leaf packets.


Note: With smelt, the backbone is generally kept intact; the bones become crisp and brittle and are eaten.  You can cook other fish as well. Because you are cooking in foil, most fish will work fine, from heartier fillets like salmon to light fish like tilapia.

Check out our Camp-Fire Dutch Oven Cooking Recipes.

3 lbs. dressed smelt or other small fish
Butter or olive oil to grease foil and fish
1/3 cup chopped parsley (or other herbs)
2 teaspoons salt and pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 bacon strips, cut in half
Optional ideas: Garlic wedges, lemon slices
  1. Clean, wash, and dry fish.
  2. Cut 6 pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil, 12 x 12 inches each. Grease lightly with cooking spray or butter.
  3. Divide fish into 6 portions. Place fish on foil (or leaves). It helps to spread the fish with butter or olive oil.
  4. Season with salt and butter. 
  5. Optional: Season with optional herbs such as rosemary and lemon slices.
  6. Optional: Place onion and parsley on fish. Top with bacon.
  7. Bring foil over the fish and seal the edges with double folds. If you’re using leaves, make sure they overlap to cover the fish completely. Secure the leaves to keep them closed.
  8. Place packages on hot coals or on a grill about 4 inches from hot coals. Turn after five minutes.
  9. It takes about 10 minutes to cook fish thoroughly, sometimes up to 15 minutes. The fish is cooked completely when it easily flakes apart with a fork and is no longer translucent.
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