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How to Smoke Trout
March 8th, 2009 by Foodie

Smoke Your Own Trout for Delicious Meals and/or Preservation

If you have trout in the freezer left over from this summer, now is the time to smoke them for a future feast – don’t let them go bad.

All you need is a Little Chief or similar electric smoker and a little know-how, and you can turn fish and meats into tantalizing gourmet fare.

This is how to do it:

Little Chief: The Little Chief, an electric smoker with three trays, measures 2 feet high, 12 inches wide and 11 inches deep. At cabelas.com, a Little Chief costs $75. A Big Chief costs $95.

Preparing trout: If the trout are fresh caught, gut them and remove gills, entrails and blood line along the backbone. If frozen, thaw the fish slowly in a refrigerator. When thawed, cut off the trout’s head (and if quite large, the tail as well). Then, with a cutting board, hold the fish on its back so its open cavity is facing you. With a sharp knife, starting at the neck, make a clean cut through the ribs and along the backbone to the skin, and continue the cut all the way down to the tail. Then open the fish so it lies flat, skin down. This is called “butterflying” a trout.

Seasoning: Sprinkle Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or my personal favorite, Lawry’s Black Pepper Seasoned Salt, heavily across the open skin of the butterflied trout. Some people soak the fish in a salt brine, and I’ve tried many concoctions (brown sugar, sea salt, honey, ground pepper, etc.), but I think trout and salmon are far better smoked with no brine to avoid the salty taste and enhance the smoky flavor.

Preparing smoker: Remove the three trays from the smoker and spray them with Pam. Place hickory chips in a metal pan at the bottom of the smoker, which sits over the heating element. Plug the cord into a grounded outlet.

Getting started: Place each tray into the smoker and then place the door over the front of the smoker, sealing the smoker.

The process: After 60 to 90 minutes, open the smoker and switch the top tray with the bottom tray. The bottom tray cooks hotter so this evens out the cooking process.

The result: After about 3 to 4 hours, the length of a football game, the trout will be done. So even if the quarterback is a dud, you still have something to look forward to. Eat immediately or freeze for a fall or winter feast.

Tom Stienstra

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5 Responses  
  • MARY GARRETT writes:
    October 21st, 20109:08 amat

    Just tried this recipe on salmon, Did not know anything about salmon, living in FL. we caught the salmon from the Black River in NY. and brought some home, tried to cook it, on a grill with foil, didn’t come out so well,it had a mud taste, so we tried this recipe and we loved it… the best seasoning and cooked perfectly with the hickory chips.. thanks for the great recipe..

  • khurram mukhtar writes:
    October 7th, 20113:19 amat

    beautiful!

  • Maria writes:
    February 26th, 20121:16 amat

    Lovely and yummy,thanks Gordon

  • david writes:
    March 2nd, 20127:33 amat

    I love trout I only eat what I catch but it seems most people dont realize is the cheeks of the trout.. its not much meat but I think personal the best meat on the trout its not a lot of meet so if you have 7 or 8 trout stored in the freeze dont just cut the head off and throw them away. cut the cheeks out with a vry sharp small knife add a little ovial oil freash parsley garlic 1 glove diced roll the cheeks in flour 00 littlely dont over flour them add all ingredants to to the frying pan for roughly 5 minutes then add a little chardonay white wine i live a smoked favored chardoney add about 2 table spoon give or take .cook for another 2 minutes or so.. sprinky a little freash lemon a little and enjoy. Gordon I tried your recipe here for the smoke trout excelent is all I can say

  • Robert writes:
    March 5th, 201210:27 amat

    Hi my name is Robert Olson i would really want some free yummy recipes to smoke trout… Do u have any other information on preserveing smoked trout for a longer period of time.
    Thank you:)


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