Smoked Mahi Mahi: Mild and Meaty with Sweet Heat Flavors!


Mahi Mahi is a great fish to cook on a smoker for several reasons.

  • The fish has a mild flavor that acts as a blank canvas for the rub, smoke and sauce. 
  • This meat on this fish is very dense so it doesn’t want to fall apart on the cooker.
  • The fish is not oily so it wont leave a lingering smell in your smoker.

Let’s take a look at one way of smoking Mahi Mahi that I really enjoy.  

Mahi Mahi Filet

Prepare the Mahi Mahi for the Smoker

I start with previously frozen mahi mahi filets that are about 8 ounces.  Some folks say fresh fish is better but fish are sometimes infected with parasites and a long hard freeze takes care of that problem for me.

I let the fish thaw overnight in the refrigerator although you could do a rapid thaw by running cold water over the filets for about 30 minutes.  Once the filets are thawed pat them dry with paper towels.

Some folks like to marinade this fish before smoking but for this cook I skipped that step and went with a great dry rub.

Season the Mahi Mahi

I like a “sweet heat” flavor profile with this meaty fish and I started building hat flavor with the dry rub.

Dry Rub for Smoked Mahi Mahi

  • 2 tbls turbinado sugar
  • 1 tbls seasoned salt (Lawry’s or Morton’s)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chipotle power
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Season both sides of the filet with the dry rub.  You do not need to use a binder as the moisture in the fish will help the sugar and salt dissolve into the meat.  If you want to use a binder to help the rub adhere then I would suggest a little olive oil.

Let the rub work into the fish for about 15-20 minutes while your smoker is coming up to temperature.

Seasoned Mahi Mahi on the Smoker

Smoke the Mahi Mahi at 225F

Set your smoker to 225F. 

I was cooking on my Z Grills pellet grill but you can do this is a Traeger, Pit Boss or even a Masterbuilt electric smoker.

I was burning hickory pellets for smoke.  Hickory has a strong smoke flavor but this was a quick cook and, since I wasn’t using Smoke Mode or an extra smoke tube, I wasn’t worried about the hickory flavor dominating the fish.

Other great wood choices for this would be apple or one of the competition blends with a hickory/fruit wood mix. 

Mahi Mahi Smoked for 30 minutes

Target an Internal Temperature of 140F

The mahi mahi is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 140F and, at 225F, this will take about 45 minutes.

After the fish had cooked for 30 minutes, and had a few minutes to go, it was brushed with a flavorful Sweet Heat glaze to add the final layer of flavor.

Sweet Heat Glaze for Smoked Mahi Mahi

  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbls brown sugar
  • 1 tbls honey
  • 1 tbls Siracha chili garlic sauce

After the glaze is applied let the fish cook a few more minutes until it reaches 140F. 

Make sure you are using a digital thermometer and measuring he internal temperature in the thickest part of the fish to determine doneness.

Smoked Mahi Mahi

The flavor of the fish itself is mild like a smoked cod bit the meat is much denser and doesn’t want to flake and fall apart.  The filets would be great served in a variety of manners including:

  • With a few healthy sides (broccoli, green beans, etc)
  • Broken apart and served as fish tacos
  • Dressed and served on a toasted bun for an awesome fish sandwich.
Smoked Mahi Mahi

Smoked Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi filets are seasoned with a Sweet Heat dry rub and smoked at 225F to an internal temperature of 140F.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Smoked Mahi Mahi
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Calories 225kcal


  • 8 ounce mahi mahi filets One filet per person
  • Sweet Heat Dry Rub Ingredients Enough for Two Filets
  • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 1 tbsp Seasoned salt Lawry's or Morton's
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Sweet Heat Glaze Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Siracha Chili Garlic Sauce


  • Thaw the mahi mahi filets overnight in the refrigerator, rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Combine the dry rub ingredients and mix well.
  • Season both sides of the filets with the dry rub and let sit for 15-20 minutes,
  • Set your smoker to 225F.
  • Smoke the fish for 30 minutes and then brush with the Sweet Heat glaze.
  • Let the fish cook a few more minutes until an internal temperature of 140F is reached as measured with a digital thermometer in the thickest part of the filet.


Mahi Mahi is a dense, meaty fish with a mild flavor.  
You can serve the filets with some broccoli and seasoned riced cauliflower for an incredibly filling and healthy meal.  You could also break up the smoked fish and use them for some tasty fish tacos.

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