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.
Sprinkle Jeff's Texas style rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) all over the fish.
If you like, you can place the seasoned fish into a large lidded container or ziptop bag and place it in the fridge overnight or until you are ready to put it on the pit.
Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225°F using indirect heat.
If your smoker has a water pan, fill it up with water.
When the smoker is preheated to 225°F and ready to go, place the fish on a piece of parchment paper cut or torn just a little larger than the fish and the same basic shape, on the smoker grate.
The parchment paper will help in the removal of the fish from the grates and make sure it doesn't stick.
Note: Do not use wax paper.
Keep a light smoke going for at least an hour or longer and monitor the temperature of the fish in the thickest part using an instant read digital thermometer such as the Thermapen.
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.
- 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
- Coarse salt
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.