Smoked Trout Recipe

Looking to smoke your own trout at home? One of the easiest ways to cook up a trout is by smoking it — it’s also the tastiest.

It’s a great quality fish, high in nutrients and when smoked right, is a real crowd-pleaser for family and friends.

Smoking trout is something different from your average brisket, and it’s especially delicious when you’ve caught it yourself. But we’re not all fishermen (or women) and it’s totally fine to smoke fillets from the supermarket.

You don’t want to overcook the trout otherwise it can turn out tough, so be sure to follow along with my recipe so your trout turns tender and easy to pull apart. 

Why You’ll Love This Smoked Trout Recipe

You’ll love this smoked trout recipe, because it’s the easiest thing to do, even while you’re out camping or fishing making it one of my favorite fish to smoke to home.

You can do this recipe in a portable smoke box but if you’ve got a full-kit smoker this is the recipe for you. Plus, I’ve kept the ingredients really simple, but you can change up the rub to your liking. 

smoking-trout-at-home

What You’ll Need to for Smoked Trout

Trout Fillet
Brown Sugar
Salt
Fresh Dill
Black Pepper
Onion Powder
Sour Cream
Fresh Dill
Pickles and Juniper Berries
Sliced Red Onion
Grilled Bread

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How to Smoke Your Trout at Home

Step 1: Preheat the Smoker

Preheat smoker to 180°F. Place your chosen wood chips in the smoker. You want the wood chips to cover the areas where most of the heat will be emitting from.

Step 2: Preparing the Trout

Place trout fillets, skin side down, in a large baking dish.

smoked-trout

Step 3: Preparing the Rub

Combine brown sugar, salt, dill, pepper and onion powder in a medium-size bowl. Mix with your fingers to break up any lumps.

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Step 4: Marinading the Trout

Spread the cure mixture over the trout fillets to completely cover them. Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

brown-sugar-on-trout

Step 5: Removing the Trout From the Fridge

Remove fillets from the refrigerator and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Let the fillets dry at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Step 6: Smoking Your Trout

Place trout fillets in the smoker. Cook for 2 to 3 hours. Careful not to over-cook the fish, because it can end up too bitter.

trout-filets-on-smoker

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Remove trout from the smoker. Top with dill, pickles and sliced red onion. Serve on grilled bread with sour cream on the side.

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What Trout Is Best to Use?

The best trout to use for smoking is steelhead trout, but you can smoke just about any trout that you catch from a lake.

Any wild-caught fish will be richer in flavor than farm-bred fish, but whatever you can get your hands on is fine for this recipe. 

Rainbow trout, brook trout and brown trout are good to use as well. 

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What’s the Best Marinade to Use for Smoked Trout

I use a brown sugar and fresh dill rub, but you can mix this up depending on what you like. Different herbs like parsley or oregano work well, but I find that dill works really well with trout!

You can also just use salt and brown sugar!

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What’s the Best Way to Marinade Smoked Trout

A nice way to marinade smoked trout is to, with the skin on, rub the brown sugar on the other side of the fish.

Put the fillets in a container stacked on top of one another and let it sit for a few hours to marinade.

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The container will end up full of fish juices — this is normal — this is just the fish doing its thing. 

What you need to do as well is flip the container upside down every hour.

smoked-trout-brine

Do I Need to Brine My Trout

You only need to brine your trout if you’ve caught it straight from the river. That will take out that overly fishy smell and settle the PH levels, but if you’ve bought it directly from the shop you won’t need to do this. 

How to Fillet a Trout

Filleting a trout is super easy, just make sure your knife is sharp. It’s not complicated to do.

Just slice it from one end of the fish and slice it through to the other. You can also buy trout already filleted. 

When you’re smoking a fish you don’t necessarily need to fillet it. 

There will be a set of pin bones that you’ll see running through the middle of the trout (on its inside). You can take them out while you’re filleting them, or you can take it out after it’s cooked. 

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What Temperature to Smoke Smoked Trout At

 The trout should be smoked at 180°F.

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What Internal Temperature You Need to Reach for Smoked Trout

The internal temperature the trout needs to be when cooked is 145°F. 

How Long to Smoke Smoked Trout

For this recipe, you should smoke your trout for 2 to 3 hours, checking intermittently. You’ll know the trout is done when it’s light brown and a little bit crispy.

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What to Serve With Smoked Trout

There are plenty of delicious things you can serve with smoked trout. You can even use trout to put on bagels (as you would salmon) or make the trout into a dip.

It’s a really versatile fish. Here are just some things below you can serve with smoked trout:

Roasted Lemon and Oregano Potatoes

Fries with Paprika

Walnut Cous Cous Salad

Zesty Watercress Salad with Chili 

Potato Salad with Capers and Mayonnaise

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How to Store Leftover Smoked Trout

You can freeze the trout in plastic wrap unsealed for up to two months.

You can also put it in the fridge in a sealed container, which should last for about a week.

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My Favorite Wood Chips for Smoked Trout

The best wood chips to use for smoked trout is something light and fruity. I prefer hickory, but you can use a gaggle of different wood chips, those being: maple, pecan, apple or cherry.

Mesquite can also work well. But this just comes down to what you prefer using!

Smoked Trout

Want a recipe for smoked trout? This is a real crowd-pleaser for family and friends. Smoking trout is something different from your average brisket, and it's especially delicious when you've caught it yourself.
Prep Time4 hours
Cook Time4 hours
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 302kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 22

Equipment

  • 1 Pellet smoker

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs trout fillet
  • cups brown sugar
  • ¾ cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • sour cream
  • fresh dill
  • pickles and juniper berries
  • sliced red onion
  • grilled bread

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat the Smoker

  • Preheat smoker to 180°F. Place your chosen wood chips in the smoker. You want the wood chips to cover the areas where most of the heat will be emitting from.

Step 2: Preparing the Trout

  • Place trout fillets, skin side down, in a large baking dish.

Step 3: Preparing the Rub

  • Combine brown sugar, salt, dill, pepper and onion powder in a medium-size bowl. Mix with your fingers to break up any lumps.

Step 4: Marinading the Trout

  • Spread the cure mixture over the trout fillets to completely cover them. Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Step 5: Removing the Trout From the Fridge

  • Remove fillets from the refrigerator and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Let the fillets dry at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Step 6: Smoking Your Trout

  • Place trout fillets in the smoker. Cook for 2 to 3 hours. Careful not to over-cook the fish, because it can end up too bitter.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

  • Remove trout from the smoker. Top with dill, pickles and sliced red onion. Serve on grilled bread with sour cream on the side.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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