What Does King Mackerel Taste Like?

King Mackerel is a dark fleshed, oily fish bursting with a stout & savory flavor.

The king mackerel and mackerel have many similarities. For this reason many people discuss how they’re different. Let’s address the question: What distinguishes mackerel from king mackerel (kingfish)?

King mackerel and Atlantic mackerel are different species. King mackerel is the S. cavalla species, Atlantic mackerel is the S. scombrus species. Compared to Atlantic mackerel, king mackerel can be found farther south, including along the coasts of India. While Atlantic mackerel only weigh 2 pounds, king mackerel are longer and can weigh 40 pounds.

This article will contrast their flavors, textures, preparation techniques, prices, levels of mercury, and whether one can replace the other in recipes. I’ll also compare their nutritional needs, habitats, and appearance side by side.

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What Does Mackerel Taste Like? Does Mackerel Taste Good?

What Does King Mackerel Taste Like?

If you’re curious about the flavor of mackerel, it tastes similar to tuna.

Salmon and mackerel have somewhat similar flavors, especially when they are fresh.

Compared to other fishes, mackerel also has a sweet taste. This fish is not overly salty and has a good number of bones.

This is why the flavor of fresh mackerel brings to mind the true flavor of the ocean.

Mackerel flesh is also rich in oils. Consequently, freshly prepared mackerel has a chewy, firm, but tender texture.

Additionally, you cannot ignore the fact that mackerel is quite oily, especially if it is cooked and caught recently. Additionally, it has a strong flavor that takes some getting used to.

Because of this, some people refer to mackerel as the fishy bass. A lot of people avoid eating fresh mackerel because of the fats and the dark-colored flesh.

However, fresh mackerel has a distinctive flavor that is distinct from canned mackerel.

Compared to other canned seafood, like tuna, canned mackerel is milder.

Of course, the solution or brine in the can determines the final flavor. However, it is still chewy and has a firm texture.

King Mackerel and Atlantic Mackerel Habitats

King mackerel habitats

  • King mackerel are found off the Atlantic Ocean coast of the United States, the Gulf of Mexico and South America. They are as far north as Maine and south past Florida down to Brazil. They are also found in the Indian Ocean and the coast of India.
  • King mackerel can be found in deeper waters from 40 to 590 feet deep.
  • Atlantic mackerel habitats

  • Atlantic mackerel are found in the western Atlantic Ocean from Canada down to the eastern coast of the United States to North Carolina. In the eastern Atlantic Ocean, they are found from Iceland and Norway and south to Mauritania.
    • Additionally, the Baltic, Mediterranean, and Black Seas contain Atlantic mackerel.
  • Atlantic mackerel can be found in deeper waters from the surface dow to 660 feet deep. They prefer water above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Along the eastern coast of the United States, both king and Atlantic mackerel can be found. S. but king mackerel are found more south. Locations where Atlantic mackerel cannot be found but king mackerel can be found:

  • The Gulf of Mexico
  • South America
  • Near the coast of India
  • What Does King Mackerel Taste Like?

    King Mackerel and Atlantic Mackerel Scientific Classifications, Families, Species

    King mackerel are from:

  • Family: Scombridae
  • Genus: Scomberomorus
  • Species: S. cavalla
  • Common nicknames: Sierra, cavalla, kingfish.
  • Atlantic mackerel are from:

  • Family: Scombridae
  • Genus: Scomber
  • Species: S. scombrus
  • Common nicknames: Mackerel, Boston mackerel, common mackerel, Norwegian mackerel.
  • Although they belong to the same fish family, the king mackerel and the Atlantic mackerel are different genera and species. Frequently, when people use the word “mackerel,” they mean an Atlantic mackerel.


    Does king mackerel taste fishy?

    If properly prepared, king mackerel has a rich and flavorful taste. A fish with an oily flesh and a stronger flavor than most is the mackerel. Different marinades, the most popular of which is Italian salad dressing, enhance the flavor.

    Is kingfish a strong tasting fish?

    The firm, white, slightly oily flesh and moderately strong flavor of YELLOWTAIL KINGFISH are what make them so popular. Although they are highly prized as sashimi fish, they are also great when grilled or barbecued. They are best when seared and cooked only to Medium Rare, as further cooking will produce a dry product, like other “meaty” fish.

    What is the difference between mackerel and king mackerel?

    Both fish are long and slender, with a forked tail and bronze spots all over their bodies. But unlike the king mackerel, the Spanish mackerel has a black spot on its first dorsal fin. Additionally, the lateral line beneath the second dorsal fin of the king mackerel has a noticeable dip.

    Which is the tastiest mackerel?

    Spanish mackerels are among the best-tasting members of the mackerel family, with darker meat. One of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids is Spanish mackerels.

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