Grilled Spoonbill Recipe


Saturday, April 20th was a tasty cook at Hot Spot Pools & Spas in Liberty,MO… The Home of Kansas City BBQ Source. Hot Spot’s very own resident fisherman, Dan Bolek brought in some fresh, meaty spoonbill catfish filets from a 50 lb. beast that was swimming the Osage River in the Missouri Ozarks just last weekend. Since we had never smoked fish on our newly burned Traeger Lil’ Tex Elite, this seemed like a great time to try it out. After doing some quick online research I came up with a nice simple brine and soaked the filets overnight for the Saturday cook. Here is the easy brine recipe.

KCBBQSource Catfish Brine:

1 gallon water

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup salt

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp cayenne pepper

¼ cup minced garlic

In a sauce pan bring the brine ingredients to a boil and remove from heat. Add ice to the hot brine until it is cold and then pour the brine over the catfish filets in a doubled up freezer bag. Brine the catfish overnight in the refrigerator.

We used apple pellets with the idea of keeping it a smooth and sweet smoke. Once we got the Traeger buzzing along at 225, I put the filets on and dusted them lightly with Dizzy Pig Ragin’ River spice rub. After one hour I turned them, sprayed lightly with spray butter, and dusted the other side. One hour later and this is what we had!



Since we just put a new sauce line on the shelf from rQ Barbecue in Chicago, it seemed only natural to use the rQ Ivory white BBQ sauce as a dipping sauce. All in all, it was one of the most delicious fish cooks we’ve done. Sweet, firm, tangy a nice little kiss of smoke. The filets went great with our spoonbill tacos and spoonbill ceviche!


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