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Smoked Trout with Lemon and Herbs

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Smoked trout is such a delicacy and when you stuff it with lemon slices and fresh herbs, it becomes something satisfying beyond words. I especially love these fresh golden trout that I smoked up here for this recipe.

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Brine Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 145°F
  • Recommended Wood: Alder or Apple

What You’ll Need

Step 1: Brine the Trout

Make enough brine to cover the number of fish you are smoking. Brine is easy and cheap to make so I usually just make a gallon unless I know for sure that I don’t need that much.

Basic Brine Recipe

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 cup of coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup of brown sugar (Dark is best, light will work)
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice (2 lemons squeezed, approx.)

Add the coarse kosher salt and lemon juice to the gallon of water in a large pitcher and mix until the salt is dissolved. Add the brown sugar and mix thoroughly.

Place the trout into a lidded bowl or a zip top bag

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Pour enough brine over the fish to cover completely.

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Seal the bowl or bag and place it in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Once the fish are done brining, rinse them under cold water to remove any residual salt.

Step 2: Season and Stuff the Trout

Brush olive oil onto the entire inside flesh of the fish. This makes the Texas rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) stick to the fish really well and helps to keep the fish moist while it cooks.

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Hold the trout open and sprinkle a good hefty portion of my Texas style rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) into the inside of the fish.

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Stuff the inside of the fish with equal portions of the oregano and chives.

I used about 2 teaspoons of each one per fish.

Don’t be stingy with it!

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Place about 3 slices of lemon into each fish

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The fish are now ready to smoke.

Step 3: Smoke the Trout

Set up your smoker or grill with indirect heat maintaining 225°F and a light flavored wood such as alder or apple.

Once the smoker is ready, place the fish directly on the oiled grate.

Note: To make sure the trout do not stick to the rack or grate, you can place each fish on a piece of parchment paper cut to the basic footprint of the fish. Usually about 3 inches wide and 10-12 inches in length will work great for “good eating size” fish.

I often use a pan/rack to make it easy to transport the fish to and from the smoker. This time I simply used a bradley rack over a foil pan as a makeshift setup and it also works just fine.

A pan also catches the fish juices to keep my smoker clean (highly recommended).

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The USDA recommends cooking the fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. I usually shoot for about 140°F or a little less at my house to end up with a much better product and since I know the fish will keep cooking for a few minutes after it’s removed.

At this point the meat of the fish will flake easily and it will be perfectly done.

This will usually take about an hour.. mine took 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Use a high quality, quick instant read thermometer such as a Thermapen for things like this. Well worth the investment!

My Thermapen reads in a mere 2-3 seconds so I can take quick accurate readings without holding the door open very long and this is super important.

Thermapen Mk4 Orange
Thermapen Mk4 by ThermoWorks
Step 4: Finishing Up

Once the trout is smoked and ready, remove it from the smoker right away.

Serve the trout immediately for best results.

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Printable Recipe

Print

Smoked Trout with Lemon and Herbs

Smoked trout is such a delicacy and when you stuff it with lemon slices and fresh herbs, it becomes something satisfying beyond words. I especially love these fresh golden trout that I smoked up for this weeks newsletter.

  • Author: Jeff Phillips
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Hot Smoking

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 trout per person ((cleaned and sliced open from head to tail))
  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • Jeff’s Texas style rub
  • Oregano ((chopped))
  • Chives ((chopped))
  • Lemons

Instructions

Step 1: Brine the Trout

  1. Make enough brine to cover the number of fish you are smoking. Brine is easy and cheap to make so I usually just make a gallon unless I know for sure that I don’t need that much.
  2. Make my basic brine recipe using 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of coarse kosher salt, 1 cup of brown sugar (Dark is best, light will work), ¼ cup of lemon juice (2 lemons squeezed, approx.)
  3. Add the coarse kosher salt and lemon juice to the gallon of water in a large pitcher and mix until the salt is dissolved then add the brown sugar and mix thoroughly.
  4. Place the trout into a lidded bowl or a zip top bag
  5. Pour enough brine over the fish to cover completely.
  6. Seal the bowl or bag and place it in the fridge for about 2 hours.
  7. Once the fish are done brining, rinse them under cold water to remove any residual salt.

Step 2: Season and Stuff the Trout

  1. Brush olive oil onto the entire inside flesh of the fish. This makes the rub stick to the fish really well and helps to keep the fish moist while it cooks.
  2. Hold the trout open and sprinkle a good hefty portion of my Texas style rub into the inside of the fish.
  3. Stuff the inside of the fish with equal portions of the oregano and chives.
  4. Place about 3 slices of lemon into each fish
  5. The fish are now ready to smoke.

Step 3: Smoke the Trout

  1. Set up your smoker or grill with indirect heat maintaining 225°F and a light flavored wood such as alder or apple.
  2. Once the smoker is ready, place the fish directly on the oiled grate. Note: To make sure the trout do not stick to the rack or grate, you can place each fish on a piece of parchment paper cut to the basic footprint of the fish. Usually about 3 inches wide and 10-12 inches in length will work great for “good eating size” fish.
  3. Cook the fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. At this point the meat of the fish will flake easily and it will be perfectly done. This will usually take about an hour.

Step 4: Finishing Up

  1. Once the trout is smoked and ready, remove it from the smoker right away.
  2. Serve the trout immediately for best results.

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5 Comments

    1. I don’t recommend it since fish are more delicate and it can make the fish saltier that it should be and it can also change the texture of the fish. I recommend brining them as recommended then if you are not going to use them right away, go ahead and give them a rinse and put them right back in the fridge.

  1. Great, thanks for this recipe. My husband is leaving it up to me to find the good recipes, lol! We got some smoking wood pellets and chunks from http://cookingfirewood.com and we are looking for the best way to make some great wood. Thanks for the recipe and I will be back!

    Theresa Filman
    the gardening lady

  2. Thanks Jeff for a great recipe, my family loves trout cooked any way, this way should be awesome! again thank you and Happy Smoking!