How to Smoke Trout in 9 Simple Steps?
Food enthusiasts can never get enough of smoked trout. Initially, trout and other types of fish used to be smoked for the purpose of preserving them. However, after the invention of freezer systems and refrigeration, trout is now smoked to get delicious flavor from the fish which can be used in soups, salads, chowders, appetizers or complete meals. While smoked trout is available in the market, it is expensive and may not have the flavor you are looking for. An excellent alternative is buying the fish and smoking it yourself the way you want. If you want to know how to smoke trout, we’ve created this short and simple 9-step guide to help you out.
Step 1: Preparation
The first thing you need to do is prepare the trout for smoking. For doing so, first cut the fish entirely along the backbone and place it flat with its skin facing the surface. If you have purchased a fresh trout, gut it with the help of a gutting or cutting knife. Remove the entrails and gills along with the blood line. If you have a frozen trout, let it defrost in refrigerator. When it is thawed, cut its tail and head with the help of a gutting knife. When done, wash the trout to eliminate all the residues that can affect its flavor.
Step 2: Brine or Season
After the first step, brine or season the trout with homemade or ready-made seasoning salt. Make sure you have adequately sprinkled the salt throughout the open skin. If you are looking to make your own brine, you can do so by combining brown sugar, salt, water and other seasoning ingredients of your choice. Let the trout soak in this brine for about an hour before removing and drying it out with the help of paper towels.
Step 3: Prepare the Smoking Unit
The next step in this guide is to prepare the smoking unit or smokehouse. For doing so, pour the wood chips into the pan of smoking unit. You can use different types of woods, like alder, pecan, apple, or oak. Remember that the type of wood you choose will have an effect on the flavor of the trout. The aforementioned woods are excellent for a mild smoky flavor. However, if you want stronger flavor, you can go for mesquite or hickory. But if it’s the first time you are smoking trout, it is recommended you should go with the milder woods.
Step 4: Start the Smoking Unit
Light the wood chips and let the temperature of the smoking unit reach around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember that other types of meat need higher temperatures for smoking. However, trout doesn’t need that high temperature. If you let the temperature of the smoking unit rise up to 220 degrees Fahrenheit from the very beginning, it will turn too hot and will burn the trout.
Step 5: Add the Trout
When the temperature is around 150 degrees Fahrenheit, place the trout on the smoker unit’s grate. If you are smoking more than one trout, there should be adequate space between them on the grate. This will ensure that each side of the trout gets cooked evenly. If there is no adequate space between the trouts, it will result in uneven cooking. Some parts of the trouts will be cooked while others will be slightly raw.
Step 6: Smoke
Once the trout is placed on the grate, let it stay inside for about 30 minutes. If your smoking unit has a lid, it is recommended you should not lift the lid while smoking, as heat will escape and the temperature of the unit will drop.
Step 7: Increase the Temperature
After 30 minutes at around 150 degrees Fahrenheit, add more wood chips and coal to the unit in order to allow the temperature to rise up to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue smoking for another 25-30 minutes. Make sure you add the coal and wood chips safely and do it as quickly as possible. Do not let the smoking unit stay open for a long duration.
Step 8: Remove
After 30 minutes, your trout will be smoked and ready to be removed from the smoking unit. Make sure you remove the trout safely and place it on a plate.
Step 9: Eat
Your smoked trout is now ready to be eaten. Enjoy it with your family or throw a party and let your friends and family members enjoy your delicious smoked trout. If you have leftovers, you can easily store in the refrigerator as well.
Hope you have found this How to smoke trout guide helpful and you will use this method as soon as possible. Like other types of smoking, smoking trout also needs a bit of experience. Over time, you’ll surely turn into a master trout smoker. If you have any further queries or if you want to share your experience regarding how the trout turned out, please do so in the comments section below.
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