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I’m a firm believer that smoking meat only makes it better. Fish is no exception. This Smoked Rainbow Trout recipe is flavorful and smoky, whether you use freshly caught fish or buy filets from the store.
I love a simple, yet powerful recipe. The brine for smoking trout only takes three ingredients besides water. Not to mention, they are ingredients I always have in the kitchen anyway. This Smoked Rainbow Trout recipe also won’t take all day, which is also useful when you forget to get dinner going in the smoker first thing in the morning. From start to finish, your trout should be done and ready to serve in under three hours.
Smoked Rainbow Trout Ingredients
Check the recipe card for full instructions, this is just a preview.
Brine for Smoked Trout
- Water – A wet brine needs a liquid. This recipe calls for water.
- Coarse Sea Salt – Probably the most important ingredient in a brine. Not only does salt add amazing flavor, it also makes the texture perfect and keeps the fish moist.
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar won’t be used in every smoked fish recipe, but it really helps make the Rainbow Trout flavor incredible.
- Worcestershire sauce – Instead of adding tons of different spices, Worcestershire sauce covers all the extra flavors you need.
Extra Seasoning for Smoked Trout Recipe
- Sea Salt – Once the brine is removed, you’ll need to add some more salt to keep the flavor profile up to snuff.
- Black Pepper – You can never go wrong adding pepper. It will give the fish that extra kick that blends so perfectly with the sweetness of the brown sugar.
Options for Serving
- Fresh Dill – Dill goes with almost anything. The flavor is always exactly what was missing and never too overpowering.
- Lemons – A common addition to a fish dish. The tartness will offset the salty and sweet of the brine and seasonings.
- Butter – You can never have too much butter.
Don’t forget the Rainbow Trout. If you love fishing and have fresh filets, that’s great. For those of you who don’t love the great outdoors, store bought filets work just as well.
How to Smoke Rainbow Trout
Start by making the brine. Grab a large bowl and add the water, salt, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until completely dissolved. Toss the filets in, cover it all and put it in the refrigerator.
Once the brining is done, drain off the excess liquid and pat the filets dry with a paper towel. Season each filet with salt and pepper then set your smoker to 180°F.
The filets can be placed directly on the grates and smoked for at least an hour or until it’s flaky and 145°F inside. After the Trout reaches temperature, it’s ready to serve.
How Long to Smoke Trout
The length of smoking time depends mostly on the thickness of the Rainbow Trout filets. It should take at least one hour, if not 1 ½ to 2 hours to smoke them to perfection. You’ll know they are done when the meat is opaque and easily flakes or when the internal temperature is 145°F. If you don’t have a good meat thermometer, trust me it’s a good investment. Cooking to a temperature is always more accurate than cooking for a certain length of time.
What to Serve with this Smoked Trout
- 8 4 oz Rainbow Trout filets
- 6 cups water
- 1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- fresh dill
- Combine the water, salt, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl until completely dissolved. Add filets to the bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator and drain off any liquid, and pat filets dry with a paper towel.
- Season generously with coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper.
- Set up your smoker to 180°F.
- Place your trout filets directly on the grates skin side down and smoke for 1-1 ½ hours until the flesh is flaky with an internal temperature of 145°F.
- Serve with fresh dill, lemon halves, and melted butter.