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
Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats-- you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

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

Pour enough brine over the fish to cover completely.

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.

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.

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!

Place about 3 slices of lemon into each fish

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).

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 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.

Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats-- you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

Purchase the Formulas for Jeff's Rub and Sauce
**Instant Download!**
Jeff's Original Rub Recipe
Jeff's Barbecue Sauce

***Note: you get the Texas style rub recipe free with your order!

If I could give these recipes away, I would do that. I really want you to have them! But, then, this is how I support the newsletter, the website and all of the other stuff that we do here to promote the art of smoking meat.

Read these recent testimonies:

I recently purchased both recipes. The files did not come thru right but Jeff was prompt to get it fixed. I tried them both last weekend and they were a huge hit. I followed his burnt ends recipe to the letter and my neighbors thought I was some master chef! Thanks Jeff!  -Susan T.
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Thank you for the great advice. Followed your rib recipe and everyone loved them. Used your rub and sauce. On point!  -Charles W.
Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well!  -Peter S.
Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future!  -Michelle M.
I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while.  -Darwyn B.

You see the raving testimonies and you wonder, “Can the recipes really be that good?”

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Printable Recipe

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

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.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Servings: 4 -6
Author: Jeff Phillips

Ingredients

  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • Place the trout into a lidded bowl or a zip top bag
  • Pour enough brine over the fish to cover completely.
  • 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 rub stick to the fish really well and helps to keep the fish moist while it cooks.
  • Hold the trout open and sprinkle a good hefty portion of my Texas style rub into the inside of the fish.
  • Stuff the inside of the fish with equal portions of the oregano and chives.
  • Place about 3 slices of lemon into each fish
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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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