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Traeger Smoked Sea Bass

Delicious, smoky and flaky-tender, this Traeger smoked sea bass recipe is a winner. A light and refreshing lemon sauce adds a vibrant, freshness that doesn’t overpower the smoky flavor of the sea bass. And for extra zing, you can add the peel of a Meyer lemon to the sauce.

Smoked sea bass on a serving platter with lemon shallot sauce.

The Traeger adds a yummy, wood-fired flavor to the sea bass that is unlike any other kind of grill. We use a Traeger for this smoked sea bass recipe, but you can use any other pellet grill that’s similar.

To get a really good dose of that smoky flavor infused into the fish, make sure to choose a thick fillet that will take a bit longer to cook and keep the heat turned down low on the pellet grill.

Sea bass will cook fairly quickly, so these two tips will help ensure the fish cooks perfectly with the maximum amount of wood-fired, smoke flavor!

Why this Smoked Sea Bass Recipe Works

Sea bass is a tender yet firm, flaky fish that you can prepare several different ways. Since it’s not a “fishy” tasting fish, it pairs well with a variety of flavor agents. Baked sea bass on a sheet pan and Miso glazed sea bass are just a couple of delicious recipes we love.

But our smoked sea bass recipe opens up a whole new world of flavor when it comes to preparing this delicate fish!

Smoked sea bass is:

  • Cooking the fish over a low heat gives extra time for a smoky flavor to infuse into the delicate white meat.
  • Using the lemon peel and pith gives the sauce a vibrant, bold flavor that goes well with the smoke-infused bass.
  • Healthy, delicious, and easy to prepare.
  • A gluten-free recipe that all eaters can enjoy.
Lemon shallot sauce on top of smoked sea bass.

Ingredients for Smoked Sea Bass

This Traeger smoked sea bass is so simple to make! It’s served with a tasty, Meyer lemon shallot sauce which compliments the smoky flavor of the fish.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Meyer lemon
  • olive oil
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • shallot, sliced thin
  • dill, chopped
  • honey
  • toasted sesame oil
  • sea bass fillet
  • salt and pepper
  • Spiceology seafood seasoning, optional

Our Traeger Smoked Sea Bass Recipe

The preparation time is quick and the grill does most of the work for you, which means you can sit back and relax while dinner is in the works!

Here’s a brief summary of the process but be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to view the printable recipe card with all of the details.

  1. Make the Meyer lemon shallot sauce: Slice the skin off the Meyer lemon, leaving about 1/4-inch of the fruit attached to the skin. Dice the skin super fine and place the chopped lemon peel in a small dish.

    Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon and add it to the dish along with olive oil, garlic, shallot, oregano, thyme, honey and sesame oil. Whisk to mix and set it aside.
  2. Prepare the sea bass: Brush both sides of the sea bass fillet with olive oil and coat the grill grates with a non-stick cooking oil. Season the sea bass with salt, pepper and seafood seasoning if using.
  3. Cook the sea bass: Place the whole sea bass fillet on the preheated pellet grill, skin side down, and close the lid. Let it cook until the internal temperature reaches 135°F to 140°F at the thickest part of the fillet.
  4. Serve and enjoy: Remove the fillet from the grill and transfer it to a serving platter. Spoon the sauce on top and enjoy.

Slicing the peel away from a lemon.

Slice the skin and some of the fruit off of the lemon.

Lemon peel being chopped.

Cut the peel into strips then dice it finely.

Squeezing lemon juice over a hand to catch the seeds.

Add the chopped peel to a bowl. Squeeze the juice from the rest of the lemon into the bowl.

Whisking ingredients for a lemon shallot sauce.

Add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce and whisk well.

Using the lemon peel and the pith in the sauce will create a slightly bitter flavor to the sauce unless you use a Meyer lemon. If you use a regular lemon, we don’t recommend using the white pith.

Some alternatives to the lemon shallot sauce are our lemon garlic butter sauce, tarragon sauce, or our chimichurri sauce.

A sea bass fillet on a Traeger grill.

Recipe Tips

  • Meyer lemons have a thin skin without too much pith. Adding the chopped skin and pith gives the sauce a punchy, vibrant flavor. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, use a regular lemon but only add the yellow lemon zest since too much pith can make the sauce taste bitter.
  • For this smoked sea bass recipe, we like to use apple or pecan pellets.
  • Make sure to coat the fish and the grill grates with a generous amount of oil to prevent the fish from sticking to the grill grates.
  • If you don’t have seafood seasoning, use a liberal amount of salt and black pepper sprinkled on top of the fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you smoke sea bass?

The length of time it takes will depend on the thickness of your fish. The sea bass pictured is 1-inch thick and took about 25 minutes to cook. If you have a thicker or thinner fillet, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time.

If you turn the heat down on the smoker, it will take longer to finish cooking, however, the fish may end up having too much smoke flavor that can overwhelm the delicate meat.

What should the internal temperature be for sea bass?

The USDA recommends cooking sea bass to an internal temperature of 145°F. We like to remove the fish from the grill before it reaches this temperature. Keep in mind, it will continue to cook a few more degrees from residual heat. Since sea bass is a fatty fish, you can get away with cooking it over 145°F without drying it out. 

A serving of sea bass on a plate.

This Traeger smoked sea bass recipe makes a fantastic main course, whether you’re cooking for the family or for guests. Pair it with roasted asparagus and a side of wild rice to complete a stunner of a meal!

We got inspiration from Bon Appetit for the whole lemon sauce.

Helpful Tools

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A fork flaking off some meat from a fish fillet.

Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Smoked Salmon Crostini: This elegant and effortless party starter is a delectable combination of goat cheese/cream cheese spread, toasted sourdough bites and thin slices of smoked salmon. It’s so easy to prepare and the tasty crostinis are sure to be a party hit!

Crispy Skin Grilled Chilean Sea Bass: This grilled Chilean sea bass is extra tender and flaky, with beautiful grill marks and a crispy skin! It’s easy to prepare and results in Chilean sea bass cooked to perfection.

Cedar Planked Salmon with Thai Sweet Sauce: A cedar plank gives this salmon a delicious, smoky flavor and it’s extra good served with a Thai sweet chili sauce. Use the grill or bake it in the oven for a healthy and flavorful salmon dinner any night of the week.

Traeger smoked chicken: We smothered this chicken in garlic butter and then slow-cooked it on the smoky pellet grill. The drippings make a fantastic gravy.

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A smoked sea bass fillet on a serving dish.

Traeger Smoked Sea Bass

Yield: 3 to 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

To get plenty of smoky flavor into the fish, choose a thick fillet and keep a low heat on the pellet grill. Since sea bass cooks fairly quickly, this recipe works best for thicker fillets that take a bit longer to cook.

We added a light, refreshing lemon sauce that does not overpower the smoke-infused sea bass. For an extra vibrant flavor, we chopped the peel of a Meyer lemon. If you can't find a Meyer lemon, omit the chopped peel from the sauce and add lemon zest.

Ingredients

Meyer Lemon Shallot Sauce

  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

For the Smoked Sea Bass

Instructions

  1. Preheat the Traeger to 275°F for about 15 minutes.

For the Meyer Lemon Shallot Sauce

  1. While the Traeger heats up, make the sauce.
  2. Slice the skin off the lemon, leaving about 1/4 inch of the fruit attached to the skin. You should have the center of the lemon without any peel attached. (see photos for reference). 
  3. Dice the skin very finely (flesh, skin, and pith will get chopped and added to the sauce). Place the chopped lemon peel in a dish. 
  4. Squeeze the juice out of the remaining portion of the lemon and add to the dish with the chopped lemon peel. 
  5. Add the olive oil, garlic shallot, oregano, thyme, honey, and sesame oil to the bowl. Whisk to combine then set aside. 

For the Sea Bass

  1. Brush both sides of the sea bass with olive oil and coat the grill grates with cooking oil. 
  2. Season the sea bass with salt, pepper, and seafood seasoning if using.
  3. Place on the preheated pellet grill, skin side down, and close the lid.
  4. Cook for 18 to 30 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 135°F to 140°F at the thickest part of the fillet (see notes). 

Notes

  • The skin on Meyer lemons is thin and does not have much pith. Adding the chopped skin and pith gives the sauce a punchy, vibrant flavor. If you don't have Meyer lemons, use a regular lemon and only add the yellow zest.
  • Apple or pecan pellets are our personal choice for sea bass.
  • Coating the fish and the grill grates is key to preventing the fish from sticking to the grill. 
  • If you don’t have seafood seasoning, a liberal sprinkle of salt and pepper works just fine. The Traeger grill adds a light smoky seasoning to the fish. 
  • The sea bass in the photos is 1 inch thick and took about 25 minutes to finish cooking. You will need to adjust the cooking time if you have a thinner (or thicker) fish. Use an instant-read thermometer to determine the final cook time.
  • We like sea bass cooked to an internal temperature of 140°F. The USDA recommends cooking sea bass to an internal temperature of 145°F. Keep in mind that the fish will continue to cook a few more degrees from residual heat after you remove it from the grill. Since this recipe cooks the fish at a low heat, we only noticed a 5°F increase in temperature. 
  • Since sea bass is a fatty fish, you can get away with cooking it over 145°F without drying it out. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 108mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Catherine

Monday 13th of June 2022

Absolutely amazing and beautiful dish! We don't have a smoker and can't get things like bass or Meyer lemons these days, but will definitely save the recipe for hopefully someday when these kinda things are available! My hubby said the pictures really got his tummy growling, me too, yum.

Dahn Boquist

Tuesday 14th of June 2022

If you do get your hands on some bass, you can cook this on a charcoal grill. It won't have the smokiness of a pellet grill but the charcoal will give it a lovely flavor. Thanks for the comment.

angiesrecipes

Monday 13th of June 2022

The fish looks terrific! We don't have a smoker...so I can just drool over yours :-)

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