If you have not tried smoked steelhead trout then have been missing out on one of the most buttery and delicious tasting fish available. It looks a lot like salmon but it seems to have a little more fat between the layers of meat and, for this reason, it is perfect for smoking low and slow.
Unlike every other recipe on the internet and elsewhere for smoking steelhead trout, there is no real need to brine it or any other lengthy process to make it taste good.
A little of my Texas style rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) on the surface which can be applied the night before if you like and onto the smoker grate for a couple of hours renders a fish that will wow you with flavor, moisture and tenderness.
Abi makes a great watermelon salad that goes really well with the fish. I have included the recipe below for your enjoyment.
Remove the fish from it's container or wrapper and rinse it well under cold water.
Lay it on the cutting board skin side down.
As a safety precaution you will want to make sure all bones are removed– if you run your fingers lightly along the top of the fish you can feel them sticking out just above the surface. If you find one, pull it out with clean needle nose pliers.
It is also a great idea to let everyone know to be watchful for any bones you might have missed.
Brush olive oil all over the top and sides of the fish.
The fish is done when it reaches 140°F and that is the perfect time to get it out of the heat and stop the cooking process.
Brush a little melted butter onto the top of the fish if you like, cut it into pieces and serve immediately.
How to Make Abi's Watermelon Salad
¼ seedless watermelon, thinly sliced
½ red onion, very thinly sliced and separated
1 large navel orange, segmented
¼ c of feta cheese, crumbled
½ c fresh cilantro, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse black pepper
Layer watermelon, orange segments, and red onion on a plate. Add the crumbled feta. Cover and chill if not serving immediately. Just prior to serving, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with chopped cilantro.
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Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.
It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.