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BBQ Fish--Does it exist?

Has anyone ever heard of BBQ fish? Doesn't matter if it's dry-rubbed, wet, sweet or whatever. We're driving from Baltimore to Atlantic Beach and are wondering:
a. Does BBQ fish exist?
b. If so, is there anywhere in eastern VA or NC that makes it?
(Thanks in advance)

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  1. About as close as you can get in sc or ga is smoked mullett which you can find in Gullah areas, I know it is available at the sea islands festival on St Simons Is. Ga. I do not know about its availabilty in the area ypu were interested in.

    1. The Virginia piedmont and eastern NC is fried seafood country. I've never eaten/heard of anything that could be described as barbecued fish due to the cooking method or being served with barbecue sauce.

      1. I live in Memphis and have seen many different versions of BBQ...BBQ pizza, BBQ spaghetti, BBQ balogna (aka Tennesee round steak), BBQ nachos, etc.

        There is also New Orleans style BBQ shrimp that is cooked in the oven, but called BBQ shrimp for no apparent reason.

        Everyone has seen BBQ pork, beef and chiken.

        Kentucky is known for BBQ mutton and a place here in Memhpis serves BBQ cornish game hens.

        However, I have never seen BBQ fish.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Ross B

          Actually close to home in Savannah, TN is a great little catfish shack that makes cold-smoked catfish. Pickwick Catfish Farm uses hickory wood and a lot of pepper to make something that's delicious and unique. And they ship. :)

          1. re: mamasquirrel

            Thanks, MamaSq! I'll have to look them up and get them to ship me some!

        2. The BBQ Joint in Chapel Hill (630 Weaver Dairy Road Chapel Hill, NC 27514: (919) 932-7504) often has "slow-smoked barbecued catfish, peppered trout, and salads with barbecued salmon". Rachael Ray, who is clueless about NC cue, praised the place. They are moving a couple of miles away sometime, farther from the great wood-burning Allen and Sons on Airport Road.

          1. Oddly, there is a place in Chicago called Calumet Fisheries that exists to do what you're looking for.

            In NC, other than the BBQ Joint which is way out of the way for you, you may want to call the Weeping Radish. We've been enjoying their other cured and smoked products (sold in the Triangle w/ Cane Creek Farms) and their website says they're smoking fish (which is pretty much the same thing, if you think about it).

            2 Replies
            1. re: brokegradstudent

              Thanks, Broke-grad! Doesn't look like they ship and it looks like it's a bit out of the way. I've had their beer before, though. Perhaps next year we'll go down the coast on the way to Atlantic Beach...

              1. re: drT_wholechiro

                Sunburst Trout Company in Western North Carolina has a number of smoked trout products and they do ship.


            2. If by "BBQ" you mean smoked, this won't qualify. It's spicy, though -- esp with the hot sauce -- and is more kin to Nashville's "hot chicken" tradition than to barbecue. Still might be worth looking at:

              1. Smoked fish probably doesn't qualify as "bbq" fish.

                Once you get to AB, ask around to some of the locals if they know anywhere you can get some "charcoal mullet". It's made from jumping mullet (which most folks consider bait). The "downeast" portion of Carteret County eat a large amount of jumping mullet...and they are deeevine.

                Charcoal mullet...if you're lucky enough to find some...is a treat for real.

                To get some you might just have to be invited over to someone's house as I've never seen it in any restaurant (not even in mine when I lived in the downeast community of Harkers Island).

                Best of luck!

                1. I had bbq tuna (they call it tuna-que) at Pigman's on the Outer Banks. It may have just been tuna chunks tossed with bbq sauce, but I kind of liked it. Caveat: my wife and father-in-law did not.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: swetsb

                    I enjoyed the honesty with the caveat. bbq fish just doesn't sound right. Kind of like poached pork.

                  2. If you're in NC, definitely not. BBQ is a noun, not a verb, and it refers to pork cooked low and slow over wood (sometimes charcoal or gas) and seasoned with a sauce that varies between regions. You will find BBQ shrimp in New Orleans which are large heads-on shrimp cooked in a spicy butter sauce. But low and slow is not how you want to cook fish. Some BBQ joints do serve fried fish and other seafood, though.

                    1. I forgot to mention they serve BBQ oysters in CA. Basically grilled oysters with bbq sauce. Delicious but I've never seen them on the East Coast.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: PeterB

                        the local native americans in the Pacific Northwest would of course smoke Salmon on cedar spits (quite an elaborate contraption which held the fish open and fanned out) over coals. That would have to qualify as BBQ, they cook it long and slow - tastes great!