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Smoked Trout recipe
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5 from 3 votes

Smoked Trout Recipe

Meat is far too often the star of a barbecue. While there's nothing all that wrong with that (and quite a few things right with it), it's a bit unfortunate that this often means overlooking a whole animal kingdom's worth of other delicious smoked foods.

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoked Trout
Servings: 1
Calories: 117kcal


  • Large plastic bucket or container with lid.
  • Paper towels
  • Large metal baking tray
  • Metal baking rack
  • Charcoal smoker and natural chunk charcoal
  • Oak wood chunks or chips.
  • Grill hooks (optional)
  • meat thermometer


  • 4

    Whole trout, gutted and de-boned

  • 1

    Gallon cold water

  • 1/2


    Kosher salt

  • 1/2

    Cup Dark brown sugar

  • 2


    Black pepper


  • In a large bucket or other solid container, add a half cup each of salt and dark brown sugar to a gallon of fresh water, stirring to combine until it's completely dissolved.

  • Add two tablespoons of un cracked black peppercorns or black pepper to the water.

  • When your trout brine has mixed, place in your fish, adding additional water if needed to cover them.

  • Find a cool place in your fridge or another area to store the container with fish brine overnight or up to a full day.

  • After brining your ​trout fillets for as long as desired, remove them from the liquid and pat them dry with paper towels both inside and out.

  • Discard the remaining brine.

  • Place metal cooking racks into a large pan, then place the fish on top of the racks.

  • Place them in the fridge to dry out for around half a day.

  • This helps to ensure a more even cook during smoking and a crispier exterior to your fish without compromising the soft interior by overcooking it.

  • About an hour before smoking, remove your fish from the refrigerator to let them warm up to room temperature.

  • This ensures a more even cook later on. Soak your wood chips in hot water, too, if you're using those instead of wood chunks.

  • Fill your smoker halfway with charcoal, choose the wood depending on the smoke flavor you want to get, and light it, closing the lid and turning the air vents to as open as they can be to burn the coals down.

  • Given that fish is prone to overcooking when smoked, you'll want an exceptionally low cooking temperature as you cook them.

  • Once your charcoal has had a chance to burn thoroughly, top it off with more plus your wood and place on the grate.

  • Fill the water tank and close the lid to give everything a chance to warm up again.

  • As before, you'll still want to try and maintain your lower temperature as you do this, so try to restrict the air flow on the smoker when necessary.

  • You can also try placing a tray full of ice in with the fish, refilling as needed.

  • When you've achieved a consistent temperature with your smoker, you're ready to cook.

  • Place your fish onto the grates or, if you have any and your grill's size permits, hang them from grill hooks.

  • It can take anywhere from four to eight hours for your trout to full smoke, though the exact time can vary based on the size of the fish and the temperature outside, plus how well you manage to keep the smoker's temperature consistent.

  • During that time the trout will absorb all the delicious smoky flavor turning into the perfect fish.

  • Keep a close eye on the temperature as well as the levels of wood, charcoal, and water left in the smoker, refilling as needed and adjusting the air vents when necessary.

  • Check the fish's temperature around the three hour mark.

  • When fully cooked, it should register around 145 degrees Fahrenheit. As you won't be resting the fish, you won't want to remove them more than a degree or two before you hit that temperature.

  • As mentioned before, fish is one of the only things that come off a grill that you don't have to rest.

  • That means you and your guests won't be left waiting around at your peak hunger.

  • Simply pull the trout once it hits the correct temperature and dig in with some tasty sides and a wedge of lemon.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 117kcal