Newbie smokin' trout, got questions....

Discussion in 'Fish' started by hambone58, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. I have a bunch of 17-18" Rainbows and am not very good a filleting yet.  I want to try to smoke them whole, my question is should I go ahead and leave the head on, the temp to smoke at, the cook time or should I just go by the temp of the meat, and which wood would work best?  Any help would be appreciated folks.  Thanks!
  2. I also forgot to ask, should I marinate, or can I just thaw them and put them in the smoker  with my homemade seasonings.
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I like to do a dry brine. If whole, gutted pack the dry brine inside and out. I use a 4:1 sugar (brown) to salt (kosher) pack the inside. Place a layer of rub in a non-reactive dish, place the fish on the rub. Cover the fish with rub. Repeat for all fish. Allow to brine for 6-8 hours. Rinse all rub off. Season if you want then air dry to form pellicle. Smoke. Use a mild wood like alder Apple or peach.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Forgot, I like to take the heads off. Run the smoker at 170-180 and smoke the fish to an IT of 145.
  5. OMG!!!  I'm a trout lover, but I can't believe how fantastic these tasted!  I'm blown away, this made getting a smoker worth every penny.  I just wish now I'd got one a long time ago.  I made a brine out of Kosher salt, brown sugar and lemon juice and brined for 3 hrs, then smoked at 220 for about an 1-1/4 hrs. until I got an IT of 152 degrees.

    Now the big question, how the heck do you post pics on here????
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  6. Here are some pics.

    In the smoker.....

    Finished product...

    As you can see, I also tried smoking some sweet corn that I had gotten last fall and cleaned and froze.  Wasn't sure if it would work or not, but they turned out pretty good too.
  7. Sounds and looks great!

    I just so happen have about 8 trout recently caught that I'm planning on smoking soon so this post came at the perfect time!  I'll be going out next week a couple of times to try for a few more.  And I'm with you, I've never filleted trout.  Just seems somehow wrong to me as I grew up eating gutted and scaled, sometimes with the head on and sometimes without.  For my wife's sake I believe I'll have to take the heads off.
  8. thegreatmc

    thegreatmc Meat Mopper

    I'm new and just saw this so I'm a bit late. Salmon and trout are very similar so I do them the same way. I brine mine in Mr. Yoshida sauce which is very similar to a teriyaki sauce. The brine is your call and can be sweet or savory, dry or wet just remember to let it hang for 2 hours before smoking to build pellicle. The smoking, however, is where the real skill comes. It's easy to make good smoked fish but there is some steps that can make them great. Start low, like 100* and slowly bump it up until after32 hours you're finally at 170*. Then just monitor the IT until you hit 145*. It bumps up the amount of smoke and also helps the texture. If you smoke fish to fast, you get what's called albumin. That's the white stuff that forms on the outside. It doesn't ruin the meat but it's better without.
  9. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    If you are going to do this method, which I do often. Use cure. It is much safer. An ounce of protection.... you get it.
  10. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I have cut my trout into steaks and smoked them too. It is easy and you get a bit more smoke and they go a bit faster. You really should get a good razor sharp filet knife and do some for practice. It takes a few but you will get the hang of it. That is the perfect size for nice filets. All that said your fish look fantastic!
  11. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Is that a typo? Cooked for 32h?
  12. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I did my last batch of steelhead for 36 hours. I use a little cheif for fish and it doesn't get very hot so you kind of have to use a little cure and smoke the crap out of it.
  13. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Doesn't dry off that long at cooking temps?
  14. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    my chief only gets to 135-140 on a good day. It takes quite a while. The element probably needs replacing. Eventually I'm going to replace it with an adjustable 1000 watt hotplate burner.
  15. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Best thing you can do to a chief.
  16. Just dropped by to check out some tips on smoking trout. So here's my contribution in return. For the guys shy about filleting, these guys do a great job walking you through it. I catch much smaller trout than 18" inches... man filleting something that big would be a dream!

    Anyway.... here's the video:

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