Grilled Hog Snapper Recipe

Light and Flaky Hogfish paired with Old Bay Butter is the perfect combination.
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Hogfish Snapper are a true delicacy of South Florida. The fish was named because it has a long snout for rooting around in the sand looking for food – hence: a “Hog” fish. They are not really a snapper but a reef fish member of the Wrasse family and abundant in the Florida Keys. These wiley fish are not easily hooked and are a favorite target of both commercial and sport spear fisherman. I had Hogfish for the first time at my wedding at Pierre’s in Islamorada and I’ve been hooked (no pun intended!) ever since. It is the best whitefish I’ve ever had, period.

Since my introduction I prepare it as often as I come across it and it cooks on the grill in a snap! A little butter, wrapped in foil and a perfect meal!  I’m big on compound butters because they’re easy and can be used to add flavor to meat, bread, veggies and just about anything you can think of. Lately I’ve been making a very simple recipe of Old Bay seasoning + lemon juice mixed into a stick of butter and it’s the perfect compliment to delicate, flaky white Hogfish.

Grilled Hogfish Snapper with Old Bay Compound Butter

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 6 ounces

Calories per serving: ~

Fat per serving: ~

Hogfish Snapper are a true delicacy of South Florida. Since my introduction I prepare it as often as I come across it and it cooks on the grill in a snap!


  • 4 Hogfish filets
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 3 lemons: juice of 2 lemons including zest for the butter, the remaining lemon should be sliced and placed on the fish before grilling
  • 2 Tbsp Old Bay


  1. Preheat a grill to medium high heat (350-400 degrees). While the grill heats up, make your compound butter by combining the butter with the lemon juice, zest and Old Bay with a stick blender. Spray the foil tray with nonstick spray, then add the filets. Add a generous amount of the butter to each filet, about 1 Tbsp each.
  2. Grill the fish on direct heat for 7-8 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 145°F degrees (the fish will flake easily with a fork). Serve with my Charleston Coleslaw and you have a winning meal!


Hogfish cooks in a snap: place the fish on a double layer of heavy duty foil that is folded "up" on the edges so the butter doesn’t run off. Spray the foil with non-stick spray beforehand to ensure the fish does not stick.
Fresh Speared Hogfish

12 thoughts on “Grilled Hog Snapper Recipe

  1. I truely know the tastefull Hogfish. However as you point out they are usually personally caught/speared and not usually available to purchase from a seafood store. Now that I am no longer living in Florida or traveling freely to the Bahamas where they are also very abuntant, where might one obtain this tasty fish on the retail commercial market?

    1. Mike: purchased some hogfish at ‘whole foods’ today-it was presented as a whole fish for 9$ a pound or as filets for $20 a pound. You can guess I went with the whole fish and am happy with price, too.
      But talk with a fish monger in your neighborhood-they have connections!

    2. I visited a local seafood store in Tallahassee, FL close to where I live. This visit was very recent, July 2016. This place has lots of fresh fish available and they told me they ‘sometimes’ get hog snapper. Well on this recent Saturday visit they had fresh hog fish! They fileted for us and we will be having them for dinner this evening. So I recommend visiting or calling local seafood markers to inquire.

  2. Be advised: the hogfish ( Lachnolaimus maximus) is NOT a snapper, but a member of the wrasse family. Hogfish have entirely different diets than any member of the snapper family, and thus have a different taste and texture. It is commonly misrepresented as a snapper but is of an entirely different species.

    1. Elmo – I believe Grill Grrrl notes that factoid in her post, however you have added more information that is very helpful too!

      ~ Welcome to the Cookout! Barry ‘CB’ Martin

  3. Live in SC and purchased hog fish from Seven Seas Seafood. Dinner tonight is hog fish on the grill.

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