Caught some brown trout this past June. They were between 12 and 14 inches. I did get one that was 20 inches but I will do that one with a lake trout I caught later. I always use the same brine, but this time I thought I would add some cure#1 to it. Just enough to give the fish some color and enhance the flavor a bit. Since these were smoked whole I left them in the brine for 24 hours. Tooth picks in the cavity of the fish to keep the cavity open for the smoke to flow to all parts. I hardly ever smoke all the fish the same temps or same time. Whole take longer in the brine and smoker and fillets the opposite.
I used my AMPS tube smoker instead of the tray for chips in my smoker for this. I knew this was going to be a longer smoke so I didn't want to be loading the tray here and there. That's what's nice about the AMPS. Loaded it up with Cherry pellets and lit her up. Set the smoker at 130 and left it that way for a couple of hours. then went up to 140 for two hours and then up to 200 until a internal of 155 was reached. Let them cool on the counter and then put them in the fridge for a overnight stay. Next day I ate a couple and vac packed the rest for the freezer. The cure gave the flesh of the trout a nice pink color as you can see in the last pic. Great results and I will use the cure in my brine in the future.
Up North Brine
1 gal. of water
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pickling salt
1/8 th cup black pepper
2 T garlic [i used the stuff in the jars that's diced]
7 bay leaves
2 T onion powder
1 tsp cure#1 [optional]
6 brown trout in the brine.
Laid out the trout with toothpicks in the cavity to form a pellical.
Good color is starting to form.
Well, the internal say 155 deg, so they are ready to be pulled.
Put the trout on the counter to cool off.
After a night in the fridge, I ate a couple of the trout. I thought it was going to be one but one wasn't enough.
As you can see the trout's flesh has that nice pink color from the cure and the flavor was great. Reinhard