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Please help with smoking 1st trout

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi.  We have 15 small (9-10 in without heads) trout in the freezer and want to smoke them.  I've read the forums related to trout (very helpful) but have a few questions.  This is pretty new as the only thing we have smoked was a pork butt and it was great thanks to all of you!  We have a masterbuilt 30 with a temp probe.  We will be using a dry brine.  After the trout is brined and rinsed, about how long does it take to form the pellicle if left on the counter with a fan on it?  Also, should the trout be seasoned before going into the smoker and what seasonings would you recommend?  Any and all help/tips are appreciated.  Thanks, Karon

post #2 of 17

Hi Karon,

I don't know if this will help much, but here's a Smoke I did on some small Trout & some Tilapia Fillets.

 

These were smoked pretty hard for picking & snacking on:

 

 

 

Bear

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks Bear.  Great pictures....making me hungry.  Seems like you did not season again before smoking.  We can do that.  How does one freeze smoked fish?  Do you just skin, de-bone, wrap and freeze?

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karon View Post
 

Thanks Bear.  Great pictures....making me hungry.  Seems like you did not season again before smoking.  We can do that.  How does one freeze smoked fish?  Do you just skin, de-bone, wrap and freeze?


There's enough seasoning in the fish from soaking in the Brine.

 

I just seal it up like it came off the smoker, and freeze what isn't going to be eaten in 4 or 5 days.

 

 

Bear

post #5 of 17

Karon,

How long do you plan to brine?   I would think maybe 4-6 hours?   Dry them for a couple hours and smoke away.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks Bear!

 

Craig, I was thinking 4-6 hours for a dry rub should do it.  Then rinse, put on rack in front of fan for another hour (right?) until tacky.  Smoke about 150 for 30 min and increase to 225 till done.

I don't understand when to use "cure#1".  Speak right up please!

post #7 of 17

Karon,

Smoking fish at 225 seems pretty hot to me.  Though I've not done Trout, I don't think I'd treat it differently than Salmon which I start out at 125 then bump to 145 then bump to 160 until I reach an IT of 145.   I don't use cure.  My bad!

post #8 of 17
I agree with Craig on all points. I will go to 170 for a high pit temp though. I too do not use cure when smoking fish, just the way I've always done it.

I prefer to use a dry brine over a wet brine. 4:1 brown sugar to salt. With whole trout you pack the belly cavity with the rub. Put a layer of rub in a non reactive container. Place fish on that, cover with rub. Repeat with additional fish. This can be done with fillets too.

4-6 hours. Then rinse. Use tooth picks to prop open bellies. Season if you like. I use garlic and dill. Allow pellicle to form, smoke.
post #9 of 17

I would use a higher temp (like 225°) for less time for making Trout for Dinner, and less salt in the brine, or no brine at all. That would be for eating it with a fork.

 

However most of my Trout smoking is for snacking (like my Salmon), so i use my brine, and lower temp for longer times, because I want it to be more solid for picking up with my fingers to snack on it. This is the type I have in my Step by Steps.

 

 

Bear

post #10 of 17

I have used Bear's step by step for smoking tilapia several times...turns out great, and I always get rave reviews from family and friends.

Thanks for the step by step Bear!!:yahoo:

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the tips!  We will drop that high temp and just smoke a little longer.  From Bear's comments it seems like a longer smoke time and lower temp results in a firmer fish???  We'll be eating trout for snacking too (and if it turns out good the snacking may turn into a meal!).  Dirtsailor, your details were very helpful.  Us rookies need details.  I've read in the forums that it is best to smoke fresh fish but that won't happen so we'll see how frozen smoked trout turns out.  We have friends coming next week from WI and plan to have the trout done in time for their visit.  But only if it turns out ok. 

Do you leave the top vent wide open for fish?  And is it best to keep it smoking the entire cooking time?  I know with the pork butt we smoked about 6 hours then stopped the smoke and just continued to cook it.  Some day we'll know how to do all this....sigh. 

 

Karon

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karon View Post
 

Thanks everyone for the tips!  We will drop that high temp and just smoke a little longer.  From Bear's comments it seems like a longer smoke time and lower temp results in a firmer fish???  We'll be eating trout for snacking too (and if it turns out good the snacking may turn into a meal!).  Dirtsailor, your details were very helpful.  Us rookies need details.  I've read in the forums that it is best to smoke fresh fish but that won't happen so we'll see how frozen smoked trout turns out.  We have friends coming next week from WI and plan to have the trout done in time for their visit.  But only if it turns out ok. 

Do you leave the top vent wide open for fish?  And is it best to keep it smoking the entire cooking time?  I know with the pork butt we smoked about 6 hours then stopped the smoke and just continued to cook it.  Some day we'll know how to do all this....sigh. 

 

Karon

Karon,

I always leave my Top vent of my MES 30 and MES 40 wide open while smoking, unless it's Windy out. Then I close it half-way to keep the wind from sucking the heat out the vent.

 

These two links below are everything I have on Smoking "Salmon" and  "Trout & Tilapia".

They are Step by Steps, and should answer all of you questions. Just click on them (Below).

 

 
 
 
And Thank You NDWildBill,
 
Bear
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks Bear.  I had checked out the Trout and Tilapia link but I just looked at the Salmon link.  Vent wide open and keep smoke going for the entire time in smoker.  I can't wait to try this.  Sure hope they turn out ok.  I would just hate to waste 15 trout!

 

Karon

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karon View Post
 

Thanks Bear.  I had checked out the Trout and Tilapia link but I just looked at the Salmon link.  Vent wide open and keep smoke going for the entire time in smoker.  I can't wait to try this.  Sure hope they turn out ok.  I would just hate to waste 15 trout!

 

Karon


They're hard to mess up.

The easiest way to mess up smoking Trout would be to have your smoke too Heavy.

I long time with light smoke is Great, but even a short time with Heavy Smoke can be bad.

 

That's why so many of us use an AMNPS. They make it so easy & the smoke is perfect.

 

Bear

post #15 of 17

Karon,

What are you going to use to make smoke?  The stock tray with chips method?  or do you have an AMNPS or what?  If you don't have an AMNPS, get one!

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Craig, we will use the stock tray with wood chips.  With the pork butt we filled it about every 35-40 min.  I've seen"AMNPS" in the forums but I don't know much about them or where you get them.  The trout are just about thawed in the frig and tomorrow we brine and smoke.  This will be interesting!!!  We appreciate the tips and input from everyone.  Thanks!:icon_biggrin:

post #17 of 17

Be sure to take pics,  otherwise "it never happened" :yahoo:

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