How to Make Ted Peters Famous Smoked Mullet (Authentic Family Recipe)

Have you ever heard of Ted Peters Smoked Mullet Recipe? It’s a Florida classic that has been delighting seafood lovers for decades! If you love savory, smoky flavors, then this is the perfect dish for you. It’s easy to prepare, and with just a few simple ingredients you can have a delicious dinner on the table in no time. So if you’re looking to impress your guests or just enjoy a delightful meal at home, read on to learn how to make Ted Peters’ smoked mullet recipe.

Originating from one of the oldest restaurants in St. Petersburg, Florida, Ted Peters’ Smoked Mullet recipe has been enjoyed by locals and visitors alike for more than 50 years. This simple but flavorful dish has become an iconic staple of the region due to its unique smoky flavor and hearty ingredients. The combination of smoked mullet, tartar sauce, and fresh lemon juice makes this dish a real crowd pleaser.

So if you’re ready to experience an authentic taste of Florida cuisine, try Ted Peters’ Smoked Mullet Recipe today! With just a few simple steps you can recreate this classic dish in your own kitchen and enjoy a wonderful seafood feast with family and friends. Read on to find out how it’s done!

History Of The Dish

Ted Peters Smoked Mullet - A famous family recipe
Ted Peters Smoked Mullet – A famous family recipe

The humble smoked mullet, a favorite fish dip of Floridians, has a long and storied history. From its abundance in the coastal waters of the Sunshine State to its emergence as a classic family recipe, smoked mullet has been enjoyed by generations.

Mullet populations have been abundant in Florida for centuries, providing an essential source of protein to early settlers. This is why many traditional family recipes include smoked mullet as an ingredient. The most popular version is Ted Peters’ famous smoked fish spread, which features fresh dill and other seasonings that compliment the smoky flavor of the fish.

Today, Ted Peters’ smoked mullet is still one of the most sought-after dishes in Florida. It is served alongside other local seafood favorites like conch fritters and cracked conch at restaurants throughout the state. While there are many variations on this classic recipe, all versions remain true to the original: full of flavor and unmistakably Floridian.

Types Of Mullet

Striped Mullet - The most important ingredient for the recipe
Striped Mullet – The most important ingredient for the recipe

Mullet is a versatile and abundant fish found in Florida’s coastal waters. As such, it’s a popular choice for creating the classic smoked mullet dip that has become so beloved by locals. There are several types of mullet available, each with its own flavor and texture.

The most commonly used type of mullet for smoked dip is the striped mullet, also known as red-eye or jumping mullet. These fish have a firm white meat that is perfect for smoking and blending into a creamy dip. Other varieties such as white mullet, yellowfin mullet, and silver hake can also be used to create this traditional dish.

When preparing smoked mullet dip, many cooks opt to use citrus wood such as orange or grapefruit to impart an extra layer of smokiness to the finished product. This gives the dish a unique flavor profile that is distinctly Floridian. Commercial landings of all types of mullet remain high in the state, ensuring that this beloved tradition will remain alive for generations to come.

Where To Purchase Fresh Mullet

For those looking to make a delicious smoked mullet dip, the first step is finding fresh fish. Fortunately, there are plenty of places in Florida where local fishermen can be found selling their catch. South Pasadena, for example, is known for having some of the best bait fish in the area, as well as an abundance of striped mullet. Mike Lathrop’s Fish Market has been a staple of the community for decades and offers customers a wide selection of fresh fish perfect for smoking and blending into creamy dip.

Making smoked mullet dip requires few ingredients beyond the fresh fish itself, though most cooks will add sour cream and freshly ground black pepper to bring out its flavor. Once all ingredients have been combined, it’s time to start smoking! This is done by heating coal briquettes or wood chips over low heat and using an aluminum pan to hold the fish while smoking. After a few hours of low-temperature cooking, you’ll have a unique and delicious dish ready to serve – perfect for any occasion!

Smoked mullet dip is one of Florida’s classic dishes that continues to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Those seeking an authentic taste should look no further than local markets like Mike Lathrop’s Fish Market for the freshest ingredients needed to create this traditional favorite. With just a few simple steps and ingredients, you can enjoy this classic dish in your own home with friends and family today!

Preparing The Mullet For Smoking

With the freshest fish in hand, it’s time to prepare the mullet for smoking. To start, you’ll want to fillet the fish and remove any scales or skin. Ted Peters of South Pasadena Avenue recommends using a sharp knife and cutting away from yourself to ensure safety. Once all of the filets have been removed, take a lemon wedge and rub it over each piece as this will help create a nice flavor when smoked.

Once the filets are prepped and ready, it’s time to get creative. Many people like to mix cream cheese and spices into their smoked mullet dip for an extra layer of flavor; however, Ted Peters suggests adding diced onions, fresh herbs, and finely chopped garlic for an even more complex taste. No matter what ingredients you choose to add, remember that moderation is key – too much seasoning can overpower the smoky flavor of your dip!

The final step before smoking is ensuring all ingredients are mixed together evenly. This means stirring everything together in a large bowl until all flavors have blended together into a creamy consistency. Now that everything is prepared properly, it’s time to start smoking! Follow Ted Peters’ recommendations for low-temperature cooking and enjoy your own homemade smoked mullet dip in no time at all.

Different Smoking Techniques

When it comes to smoking mullet, there are a variety of techniques that can be used. Smoking at home is the most common method, but many people also smoke their fish in smokehouses or use a fish smoker for larger quantities. Here we will look at some of the different smoking processes that can be used to create Ted Peters’ delicious smoked mullet dip.

The first method is hot smoking, which involves cooking the fish over an open flame or charcoal with a temperature between 80 and 100°C (176-212°F). This method utilizes wood chips, such as hickory or applewood, and lemon wedges to impart flavor into the fish. Hot smoking typically takes between two and four hours and results in a smoky flavor with a crispy texture.

Cold smoking has recently become popular due to its low temperature range (20-30°C/68-86°F) and natural flavor profile. Typically done in smokehouses, cold smoking involves burning woodchips such as cedar or maple and adding herbs like dill leaves for extra flavor. This process usually takes around 24 hours, resulting in an intense smoky flavor with a softer texture than hot smoked fish.

No matter which technique you choose to use, always ensure that your smoker is properly prepped before beginning the process. This includes checking for any obstructions or leaks that could lead to an uneven smoke distribution across your food – something you don’t want when trying to achieve perfect smoked mullet!

Wood Chips For Flavoring

Find the right Wood Chips for Smoking
Find the right Wood Chips for Smoking

Adding wood chips to your smoking process is a great way to impart flavor and aroma into your smoked mullet. Depending on the type of wood you choose, you can achieve a variety of flavors that will complement the fish dip recipes you’re about to create.

When it comes to smoking mullet, hickory, applewood, and mesquite are all popular choices due to their strong smoky flavors. However, if you’re looking for something more subtle, try using cedar or maple – both are milder woods that add a delicate sweetness to the fish.

For those in Madeira Beach looking for a unique flavor profile, why not try smoking with black mullet? This particular species of white fish is native to the area and has an intense smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with seafood dishes. If you’re unsure where to find this local specialty, head down to your nearest seafood market – they will be able to point you in the right direction!

As long as you use the right wood chips for flavoring and follow the proper smoking techniques, you’ll be well on your way to creating an unforgettable smoked mullet dip!

Determining When The Fish Is Done Cooking

Now that you’ve chosen the right wood chips and have your smoked mullet ready, it’s time to determine when the fish is done cooking. The key is to make sure the fish is cooked through without being dry or overcooked.

To do this, you should check the internal temperature of the fish with a thermometer. You know the fish is done cooking when its internal temperature reaches 145°F. Keep in mind that if you are smoking a large fillet, it may take longer for it to reach this temperature.

Another way to tell whether your smoked mullet is done cooking is by looking at how it looks and smells. If it has a golden-brown hue and gives off a pleasant smoky aroma, then you’re good to go! Also, if the flesh easily pulls away from the bone and stays intact, then that means your fish has been cooked through properly.

If you want some help determining when your smoked mullet is done cooking, head down to one of Madeira Beach’s many fish markets or smokehouses – they will be able to give you advice on how long to cook your fish for optimal results!

How To Serve Smoked Mullet

Smoked Mullet - A Taste of Old Florida
Smoked Mullet – A Taste of Old Florida

Now that you know how to tell when your smoked mullet is cooked just right, it’s time to figure out how to serve it. If you’re looking for a classic Florida-style fish meal, then head down to one of Ted Peter’s famous restaurant locations in Madeira Beach. Here, you can find some of the best smoked Spanish mackerel and king mackerel in the area.

For a more creative approach, why not whip up an appetizer plate with your smoked mullet? All you need is a few slices of cream cheese, some fresh dill and lemon wedges on the side. You could also improvise and make other variations like adding capers or diced tomatoes for extra flavor.

No matter how you choose to enjoy your smoked mullet, the combination of smoky flavors from the wood chips and creamy texture from the fish will surely be a hit at any dinner table! So don’t wait – try this unique and delicious seafood dish today!

Accompaniments For A Complete Meal

To complete a full meal with smoked mullet, Chef Lee recommends adding accompaniments that will bring out the bold flavor of the fish. Drawing from his French training, he suggests creating a creamy cheese mixture with cream cheese, diced dill pickles, and fresh dill to top off the cooked fillets. The combination of smoky flavors from the wood chips and zesty taste of the pickles create a unique flavor experience.

A commitment to family is also an important part of any meal. When serving this dish, Chef Lee recommends including sides like boiled potatoes or coleslaw for a more balanced meal that everyone can enjoy. A light salad can also be served alongside the fish for added nutrition.

Finally, no seafood meal is complete without some type of beverage. To complement the rich flavors of the smoked mullet, try pairing it with a crisp white wine or cold beer. This will help to cut through the smokiness and provide a refreshing contrast to this delectable seafood option.

Variations In The Recipe

For those looking to add more flavor and texture to their smoked mullet, Chef Lee has a few variations of his recipe. Firstly, he recommends adding cream cheese to the mixture that tops the cooked fillets. This creates a creamy texture that pairs perfectly with the smoky fish. Additionally, diced cherry peppers can be added for a little kick of heat, or cayenne pepper for an even spicier addition.

Another great way to elevate the flavors of this dish is by combining lemon juice with olive oil and herbs as a marinade for the fish before cooking. This combination of acidic and herbal notes will help to bring out the natural flavors of the smoked mullet. For this step, it’s best to ask your local fish monger or visit your local fish market for advice on which type of lemon juice is best suited for this dish.

At Walt’s Seafood, we specialize in creating delicious seafood dishes like smoked mullet that are bursting with flavor. We’re committed to finding fresh ingredients from our trusted suppliers so you can enjoy meals made with only the highest quality ingredients. Our team also loves experimenting with different variations like adding cream cheese and cherry peppers when preparing this dish! Stop by today to try one of our special recipes – you won’t be disappointed!

Health Benefits Of Eating Smoked Mullet

Not only is smoked mullet a delicious dish, it also has many health benefits associated with its consumption. Elry Lathrop, the owner of Walt’s Seafood located off Blind Pass Road in St. Petersburg, Florida where Ted Peters’ original recipe originated, speaks highly of the oil content of smoked mullet. The oil content is especially beneficial for those with high cholesterol levels and heart disease as it helps to reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health.

In addition to its amazing health benefits, Chef Lee’s smoked mullet recipe also offers great convenience. His step-by-step chef recipe videos make it easy for cooks to follow along and replicate his delicious dish from the comfort of their own home – no more waiting for hours at a restaurant! Plus, Chef Lee’s hour smoking process ensures that each fillet is cooked perfectly and retains all of its juicy flavor.

Smoked mullet has become a popular dish amongst seafood fans due to its delectable taste, convenient preparation method and nutritional value. With this amazing recipe, you can now enjoy all the flavors of this classic dish without having to leave your kitchen! So go ahead and give this smoky treat a try – your taste buds will thank you!

Safety Precautions When Handling And Eating Fish

When it comes to handling and eating fish, there are certain safety precautions that should be taken. Oily fish like smoked mullet contain higher amounts of polyunsaturated fats, which makes them more vulnerable to spoilage than other types of seafood. Therefore, it is important to cook them properly and store them in a cool place. It is also advisable to never mix chunks of fish with other ingredients until they have been cooked thoroughly.

In order to ensure the freshest taste and maximum health benefits, Chef Lee recommends that his smoked mullet recipe be prepared with the freshest ingredients possible. He also suggests adding your favorite fish spread or sauce to add an extra kick of flavor. Lastly, he advises against buying frozen fillets as these can often contain traces of parasites and other contaminants.

Due to its delicious flavor and numerous health benefits, the demand for smoked mullet has been steadily increasing ever since Chef Lee’s recipe was first introduced. With its convenient preparation method, this smoky treat is sure to satisfy seafood fans regardless of their skill level in the kitchen! So why not give this tasty dish a try – you won’t regret it!

Storage Tips For Leftover Smoked Mullet

After enjoying the delicious smoked mullet prepared according to Chef Lee’s recipe, it may be tempting to save any leftovers for later. However, proper storage is essential to ensure that the fish retains its flavor and quality. To avoid spoilage or contamination, it is important to store leftover smoked mullet in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

Fish business owners from the Florida Panhandle have been serving up this delectable dish for generations. Fish houses have become a common occurrence in the area due to their popularity and freshness. It is said that even the fish skeleton can be used as part of the smoking process, giving it a unique flavor that can’t be found anywhere else! This traditional family business has been passed down through generations and continues to remain popular today.

The sound of common sounding mullet drifting over the waters of Apalachicola Bay will forever remind us of this classic method of preparing seafood. Smoked mullet not only carries with it a distinct flavor but also offers numerous health benefits – which makes it an excellent choice for those looking for something different from traditional seafood dishes. With its rich flavors and convenient preparation method, smoked mullet is sure to become a staple in your kitchen in no time!

Creative Ways To Reuse Leftovers

Smoked mullet is a delicious and versatile dish, which offers many creative possibilities for leftovers. Whether you have a few pounds of fish leftover from smoke houses or unfinished fish from Chef Luke Decker’s recipe, there are plenty of ways to make use of the extra fish. Not only can smoked mullet be incorporated into numerous dishes, it can also add a unique char flavor that enhances any meal.

For those looking for healthy options for their leftovers, smoked mullet can be cooked in various ways such as baking, frying, or grilling. It can also be added to soups or stews to create a flavorful broth or even used as a topping on salads and pizzas. Smoked mullet can even be made into patties or tacos – the possibilities are endless! Additionally, smoked mullet can be frozen and stored for up to three months when properly sealed in airtight containers.

Using leftovers doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor or nutrition; smoked mullet offers an array of culinary options that will leave your taste buds satisfied and your body nourished. Whether you’re looking for something quick and easy or something more complex, this trash fish is sure to bring life back into your kitchen. So don’t let those leftovers go to waste – get creative and make something delicious!

Serving Suggestions For Special Occasions

When looking for a special dish to impress your guests, smoked mullet is an excellent option. Its unique flavor and aroma of seafood can elevate any meal and make it stand out from the rest. To create an unforgettable experience, start by slicing a baguette into pieces that can be used as an appetizer. Then, divide the fish into smaller pieces and prepare them according to your favorite recipe. Chef Luke Decker’s smoked mullet with eight ounces of cream cheese is an excellent choice for those who want a flavorful yet simple dish.

For a more complex meal, consider adding smoked mullet to pasta dishes or salads – the possibilities are endless! The cream cheese has an amazing ability to bring out the flavor of the fish while adding a creamy texture that complements the smokiness of the fish. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own version of smoked mullet tacos or patties for something truly unique.

Smoked mullet is sure to please even the pickiest eaters with its delicious flavors and aromas. When served in combination with other ingredients such as fresh vegetables or herbs, this fish will take your meal to another level. With its versatility and nutritional benefits, smoked mullet is an ideal choice for special occasions or just everyday meals.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Ted Peters smoked mullet is a great dish to make for special occasions or as an appetizer. It’s easy to prepare, and it has a unique flavor that can’t be replicated with any other type of fish. With the right techniques and safety precautions, you can enjoy this delicious dish.

Aside from special occasions, smoked mullet can also be incorporated into everyday meals. Creative ways to reuse leftovers include adding them to salads, soups and casseroles. Leftovers should always be stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator; this will help keep it fresh for up to five days.

No matter how you choose to serve Ted Peters Smoked Mullet, one thing is certain: it’s sure to bring lots of flavor and excitement to your meal! Whether as an appetizer or a main course, Ted Peters Smoked Mullet is sure to please everyone at the table.

Smoked Mullet - A Taste of Old Florida

Ted Peters Smoked Mullet Recipe

This recipe is for a delicious smoked fish dip made with black mullet, a local fish found in abundance in the Boca Ciega Bay area near South Pasadena, Florida. It’s a family recipe that has been perfected over many years and is now a signature dish at Ted Peters’ Fish Restaurant.
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Seafood, Southern
Servings 8
Calories 265 kcal


  • Fish smoker
  • Smoker wood chips (preferably citrus wood)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Large pot for boiling fish
  • Serving dish


  • 2 pounds of fresh mullet filets skin-on and intact
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cherry peppers chopped
  • 2 dill pickles chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill leaves chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  • Baguette slices for serving


  • In a large pot, boil the mullet filets in salted water for about 10 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and can be easily flaked with a fork.
  • Let the fish cool, then remove the skin and any bones.
  • Break the fish into small chunks with your hands or a fork.
  • In a mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the cream cheese, sour cream, cayenne pepper, cherry peppers, dill pickles, dill leaves, lemon juice, and black pepper until smooth.
  • Add the chunks of fish to the cream cheese mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Smoke the fish in a fish smoker with citrus wood chips for 6-8 hours, until it develops a bold, char flavor.
  • Serve the finished fish dip with lemon wedges and baguette slices.


  • Black mullet is an oily fish with a high oil content, making it perfect for smoking and creating a delicious smoked fish spread.
  • The choice of mullet is essential to the recipe. Look for common-sounding mullet, and the fish monger can help you make a good choice.
  • The recipe makes a large batch, so feel free to adjust the quantities to your preference.
  • This recipe can be made with other white fish, such as Spanish or king mackerel.
  • This recipe is an ode to family commitment and love for the fish business. Ted Peters is a family-owned and operated seafood market and restaurant with Elry Lathrop Jr. as Chef Fisherman.
  • This recipe has been adapted from Chef Luke Decker’s video recipe for Chef Recipe Videos.



Calories: 265kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 24gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 363mgPotassium: 483mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 670IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Black mullet, Family recipes, Fish dips, Smoked fish spread
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