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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.
Course Entree
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4 -6
Author Jeff Phillips


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


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.