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"Relax, Don't Do It" Smoked Mussels Recipe with White Wine Sauce

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Looking for an easy and delicious seafood dish to add to your repertoire? Look no further than smoked mussels! This recipe is simple to follow and results in mouthwatering mussels that are perfect for a casual dinner party or a cozy night in. So what are you waiting for? Get started on these smoky delights today!

Smoked mussels make for the best appetizer! Their super easy to make, but make quite the impression and will be a conversation starter for guests at your next party.

The smoke flavor is delicate and subtle, but present and flavor enhancing.

This recipe has been about 5 years in the making going back to a trip to Barcelona. I had a mussels dish seasoned with a really good sweet smoked paprika. 

If you follow the blog, it's probably obvious that I was voted most likely to smoke anything foodwise. The idea of this recipe was almost too much, but I had to relax and contain myself.

I loved the flavor but was intrigued by the idea of other ways of adding wood smoke, but as you can imagine, I was a little stumped out to how to make this happen. There are a lot of recipes online, but none of them really capture that smokiness.

mussels in a bowl with a side of toast

Beats and Eats (Music to pair with smoked mussels)

Adding smoke to mussels is kind of going for the unexpected. It's like throwin Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax" on at a house music party.

I loved the flavor but was intrigued by the idea of other ways of adding wood smoke, but as you can imagine, I was a little stumped out to how to make this happen. There are a lot of recipes online, but none of them really capture that smokiness.

Fennel is kinda the sneaky low key ingredient that makes this dish work. I cook with fennel quite a bit. See examples like Roasted fennel and citrus, Fennel apple salad, and grilled fennel.

Mussels Recipe Ingredients

  • Mussels
  • Fennel
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Butter
  • White Wine
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Lemon Juice and Zest
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes

How to Smoke Mussels (step by step)

Step 1: Saute vegetables

Heat pan on medium-high heat then melt butter and add fennel. Saute 4-5 minutes then add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring as needed. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest.

fennel sauteing in a pan

Step 2: Add liquids for sauce

Add the white wine to the sauce pan and reduce slightly. Add red pepper flakes then tomatoes and mix well. Cook 2-3 minutes then set aside.

tomatoes and fennel in saucepan

Step 3: Smoke the mussels

Prepare your smoker for indirect heat. Place wood chips or chunks on top of burning coals. Allow smoker to reach temperature. Place mussels in a bundt cake pan then cover with a lid or aluminum foil.

Add to the smoker and cook until the shells open up. This can take somewhere between 15-25 minutes depending on cooking temperatures and heat retention of pan.

mussels in a bundt pan
pan sitting inside grill covered

Step 4: Assemble the dish

Remove the cooked mussels from bundt pan and then pour the released juices into the pan with the sauce. Mix well and then serve over the mussels. Garnish with fresh parsley

mussels milk in a bundt pan
mussels in a white bowl

Cooking Tips for Smoking Mussels

Smoked mussels are a delicacy that can be enjoyed in many ways. Here are some tips on how to smoke mussels to perfection:

  • Scrub and clean the mussels well before cooking, Soak your mussels in salt water for at least 20 minutes before cooking, to remove any dirt or sand. Rinse the mussels well after soaking.
  • If using smaller wood chunks or chips soak them in water before smoking.
  • Throw away any mussels that are open before cooking and only eat opened mussels vs closed ones post cooking.
  • Use a bundt pan that can withstand the heat.
  • Mussels should be fresh - check for any signs of decay before cooking. Discard any mussels that fail to open
  • If you have a preferred broth recipe use it and just add the smoked juices to it
  • Mussels ain't complete without grilled bread. Serve smoked mussels with crusty bread. The smoky flavor and rich sauce makes for great sopping material.
  • Add some paprika and fresh herbs as well as some lemon juice. This makes for a great appetizer to a main dish like grilled fish or smoked pork chops.
  • Serve with other appetizers like guava glazed air fryer pork belly bites.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there options other than a bundt pan?

A bundt pan is optimal because it doesn’t require any alterations. The key attributes for your vessel you need include: 

  • 1. Can hold and contain both the mussels and their juices
  • 2. Can adequately allow smoke to penetrate
  • 3. Can be covered with a lid

How many mussels can I smoked at one time?

It depends on the size of your smoker, but you can usually smoke around 1 pound of mussels per batch.

What type of wood should I use for smoking mussels?

Any type of hardwood will work well, such as oak, pecan, or hickory. Avoid using softwoods, like pine, as they will impart a harsh flavor to the mussels. I also like fruit woods like apple or pear for these.

Can I smoke frozen mussels?

Yes, you can smoked frozen mussels, but they will not be as good as fresh mussels. Smoking frozen mussels will also take longer - about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

How long should I smoke the mussels?

It will take between 15-25 minutes for the mussels to open up. Once they open it’s time to remove them.

Are these really smoky?

The smoke flavor is actually more subtle than in your face. You will definitely notice it, but it won’t dominate the overall flavor profile. The cooking time is too short to get brisket level smokiness.

However, if you want to increase smokiness flavor, you can place the bundt pan and the juices (minus the mussels) back on the grill and cook a bit longer at lower temperatures to avoid the juices evaporating.

For similar seafood recipes you might like try these:

Smoked Scallops

Grilled Piri Piri Shrimp

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon w/ Hibiscus Tea Rub

Smoked Trout

Mexican Seafood Stew

Colombian Seafood Stew

Mussels are a delicious, healthy seafood option that can be prepared in many different ways. In this recipe, we’ve smoked them and paired them with a flavorful sauce.

The end result is a dish that is both tasty and easy to make. If you’re looking for something new to add to your menu, give this smoked mussels recipe a try!

If you make this smoked mussels recipe please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.

mussels in a bowl with a side of toast

Smoked Mussels

Mussels wood smoked on the grill.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Belgium
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 159kcal
Author: Marwin Brown


  • Smoker
  • Cake Bundt Pan


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 12 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb mussels scrubbed and washed


Prepare the Sauce

  • Heat pan on medium heat. Melt butter, then saute fennel 4-5 minutes then add garlic for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Season fennel with salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
  • Add white wine and reduce cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and mix well.
  • Add tomatoes and a bit more seasoning. Cook 2 minutes then set aside.

Cook the mussels

  • Pre-heat your smoker.
  • Place mussels in bundt pan then place with a lid on into the smoker.
  • Smoke the mussels with smoker lid closed until the mussels open up. This should take anywhere between 15-25 minutes depending on temperatures maintained.
  • Once mussels are ready move from bundt pan to a bowl.
  • Take the juices that released into the bundt pan and add to the sauce. Mix well then pour over the bowl of mussels



  • Scrub and clean the mussels well before cooking
  • Use a bundt pan that can withstand the heat.
  • Discard any mussels that fail to open
  • If you have a preferred broth recipe use it and just add the smoked juices  to it


Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 346mg | Potassium: 630mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 359IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 4mg
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Recipe Rating


Monday 22nd of May 2023

I am so picky about how my mussels are prepared and this recipe turned out perfectly. So delish!


Monday 22nd of May 2023

I'd never tried smoking mussels at home until I tried this recipe, and I'm in love! I love the result and how easy it is to prep.

Katie Crenshaw

Sunday 21st of May 2023

This was the first time I tried smoking mussels and they turned out fantastic! I will be making these again.


Sunday 21st of May 2023

I love mussels but I am always scared to cook them . You really give some great tips and explain this recipe so well. I feel like I can tackle making this delcious dish.

amy liu dong

Sunday 21st of May 2023

I made this recipe, and I love how easy to make and how delicious the taste of this dish is. My husband loves it so much!