3 Jack Crevalle Recipes To Turn Trash Into Treasure

Although they are a blast to catch, Jack Crevalle get a bad rap for their pungent fishy flavor and dark red meat. More often than not, jacks end up back in the water, not on a dinner plate.

Over at SaltwaterMecca, we believe that fish are only as good as you cook them.

Here are 3 Jack Crevalle Recipes that may really surprise you!

Table of Contents

Sautéed Jack Crevalle

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 jack crevalle filet (or more as desired)
  • 1 TBS of salt
  • 1 TBS of coconut oil
  • 1 TSP of garlic powder
  • ½ TBS of chili powder
  • 2 limes


In a bowl, squeeze the juice of the two limes and add in the salt, garlic powder, and chili powder.

Cut the fillets into small pieces and place them into the bowl with the remaining ingredients. Let soak for 15 to 20 minutes in the refrigerator. 

While the jack crevalle is soaking, heat a pan, with the coconut oil, over medium heat. Add in the pieces of fish with plenty of the juices to the pan.

Let the pieces of jack crevalle cook for about 6- 8 minutes or until the fish is cooked all the way through. Make sure to occasionally flip and stir the pieces around in the oil and juices. 

3 Jack Crevalle Recipes To Turn Trash Into Treasure

(You can also use this same recipe on the grill!)

Once done, remove the jack crevalle pieces from the pan and let cool.

Serve with beans, rice, or whatever you would like! It also tastes great sprinkled with a little more lime juice right before eating. 

Smoked Jack Crevalle

You may have heard people say that Jack Crevalle are not good to eat…but I am here to tell you that it’s much more complicated than that.

Many countries, especially those in South America and the Caribbean cook and eat jack crevalle quite often.

That is why many of the jack crevalle recipes call for tropical ingredients like limes, coconut powder, and cilantro!

Ingredients Needed

  • 2 to 4 jack crevalle filets of any size
  • 2 quarts of freshwater
  • ½ salt
  • ½ white sugar
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • 2 limes
  • Soy sauce


Take one quart of the water and put it into a large bowl. Add in the salt, sugar, juice of the two limes, a sprinkle of garlic powder and paprika, and a splash of soy sauce.

Stir and let sit until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved into the mixture. Once ready, pour it into gallon ziplock bags.

Place the jack crevalle filets into the bags with the marinade and place them in the refrigerator. Let them sit for at least 3 hours, although they can be left overnight for better results.

Once ready, take them out of the marinade and rinse the filets under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. 

While you are rinsing the fillets, preheat your smoker to 200 degrees. Once it reaches the appropriate temperature, place the filets on the grill.

Smoke the fish for 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Once the fish is ready, let cool and serve with your sides of choice. You can also take some more limes and sprinkle the juice on top before eating. 

Another option is to make a fish dip from smoked jack crevalle- simply mix your smoked fillets with 1 pack of cream cheese and 1 handful of chopped chives.

Add salt and pepper or tabasco to your liking and serve with crackers!

Jack Crevalle Ceviche

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 filet of jack crevalle
  • A few limes
  • Garlic cloves
  • A batch of fresh cilantro
  • Salt
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 white onion


Dice up the filet of jack crevalle and place it in a large bowl. Add in the juice from 4 to 6 limes as well as some diced-up garlic and cilantro.

Place this bowl in the refrigerator and let sit for 2 to 3 hours. Stir every ½ hour or so to ensure all of the meat is marinated.

While the fish is marinating, slice up the onion, bell pepper, and 3 tomatoes. Place inside another bowl, and add the juice of around 4 to 8 limes in order to properly cover them.

Sprinkle on a teaspoon of salt and mix thoroughly. Let sit for around half an hour, continuing to mix the juice and salt around. After 30 minutes, drain the liquid from the bowl and place the bowel in the refrigerator. 

Once the fish is finished it will be white/pink around the edges and firm. Remove the garlic cloves from the mixture. Add the fish in with the bowl of onions, tomatoes, and pepper.

Mix everything completely, adding in any extra lime juice as needed to ensure everything is covered.

It is now ready to serve, which can be done as is or with some salsa or hot sauce as desired. 

Jack Crevalle Cooking Tips

  • Jack Crevalle’s dark oily meat is a result of increased blood flow throughout their bodies making the meat darker, tough, and stronger in flavor. Cutting the bloodline out before cooking will make a world of difference!
  • Soaking Jack Crevalle filets in buttermilk, vinegar, or an acidic juice (like lime or lemon juice) will significantly reduce any fishy flavoring from the meat.
  • Jacks can also be broiled, grilled, or baked all with good results.
  • A little citrus and a blend of garlic and spices can take this fish from trash to treasure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you eat jack crevalle raw?

Jack crevalle can be eaten raw, but most people advise against it because jacks can have worms. Once cooked, these worms pose no health threats, but if consumed raw you run the risk of food-borne illness.

Always consult with your doctor before eating any raw fish!

How do you filet a jack crevalle?

The best filet of jack crevalle comes after properly bleeding the fish. Taking your knife, make a cut across the fish at an angle behind the gills and pectoral fin down to the belly.

Make another cut from behind the head that runs along the top of the fin to the tail. Turn your knife at a 45-degree angle and skim your blade over the bones connecting the two cuts down to the tail. This should release a large filet from the fish. 

How do you bleed a jack crevalle?

To bleed a jack crevalle, take your knife and cut the artery that runs along the bottom of the fish in between the gills. You will know if you cut the artery if you get a lot of blood draining from the fish and blood on your knife. 

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Growing up in Florida, I’ve been surrounded by saltwater my entire life…and I love sharing my passion with others.

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