May 30, 2024
Learn how to smoke trout step-by-step with this informative article. Discover unique recipes, techniques for adding flavor, and the health benefits of smoking trout. Also, find equipment recommendations for beginners and pros alike.


Smoking trout is a long-standing tradition that has now become a popular hobby among food enthusiasts. It is an effective way to preserve fish as well as enhance its flavor, making it an ideal choice for those who love to experiment with delicious recipes. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about how to smoke trout to achieve the best results. We will touch on preparing the fish, techniques for adding flavor, and the different recipes you can make.

Step-by-Step Guide

If you happen to be a beginner in the preparation of trout and smoking it, here is a step by step guide on how to smoke trout:

Preparing the Trout

To prepare trout for smoking, begin by cleaning the fish. Rinse it thoroughly, then remove the head, tail, and fins using a sharp knife. Remove the gills and the guts but leave the skin as it contributes to the texture of the smoked trout. If necessary, sprinkle the fish with a little bit of salt or your preferred seasoning for taste. Allow the trout to rest and dry for a while before placing it in the smoker.

Types of Wood Chips to Use

The type of wood you choose for smoking affects the flavor of the trout. Some of the common wood types that can be used for smoking trout include alder, apple, cherry, hickory, maple, mesquite, oak, and pecan. Alderwood is the most commonly used type for smoking fish. It has a delicate flavor that pairs extremely well with trout, though other woods can be experimented with too.

Smoking the Trout

Once the trout is prepared and the wood chips are chosen, the next step is to start preparing the smoker. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to set it up correctly. Light the smoker and wait for the temperature to reach 200 – 225°F. Place the fish horizontally on the grill racks, making sure that the pieces are not overlapping to ensure even cooking. Then, allow the trout to cook for 2-3 hours. To add more flavor, add a few more wood chips every hour if necessary.

Variations on Smoked Trout Recipes

Smoking trout can be done in various recipes and still achieve that unique and delicious outcome. Here are some of the variations of smoked trout recipes that you can try out:

Classic Smoked Trout Recipe

– 2 trout fillets
– 2 tbsp of salt
– 2 tbsp of brown sugar

– Begin by mixing the sugar and salt in a bowl
– Sprinkle the mixture on both sides of the trout fillets, cover, and let it rest overnight in the fridge
– Prepare the smoker and wait for the temperature to rise
– Put the fish in the smoker for 2-3 hours
– Once the trout is done, remove it from the smoker and let it cool down to the room temperature before serving.

Smoked Trout with Rosemary and Lemon

– 2 trout fillets
– 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
– 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
– Salt and pepper to taste

– Mix the vegetable oil, lemon juice, and rosemary, and set it aside
– Season your trout fillets with salt and pepper and place them in the smoker
– After 1 hour and 30 minutes, brush the trout fillets with the rosemary-lemon mixture
– Smoke for another hour
– Once the trout is done, remove it from the smoker and let it cool down to the room temperature before serving.

Techniques for Adding Flavor

If you have already mastered the smoking technique, here are some tips on how you can enhance the flavor of your trout:

Brine Your Trout

Before smoking your trout, soak the fish in a brine solution consisting of water, salt, and your preferred spices. Brine adds moisture and more flavor to the trout, making it juicier and more delicious.

Marinate Your Trout

Adding a flavorful marinade can add more complexity to the trout’s taste. Marinate the trout overnight with the marinade of your choice before smoking.

Highlight the Health Benefits of Smoked Trout

Apart from being delicious, smoked trout comes with many health benefits, including:

High Nutritional Value

Trout is an excellent source of high-quality protein and contains essential nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids that support overall health and wellbeing.

Healthy Cooking Method

Smoking trout is a healthy cooking method that allows the fish to retain most of its natural nutrients while reducing fat content.

Discussion of Equipment

If you are a beginner, you will need some hardware to smoke trout correctly. Here are some smoking equipment recommendations:

Electric Smoker

Electric smokers are convenient to use and come with digital controls, making it easy for beginners to get the temperature right.

Charcoal Smoker

Charcoal smokers offer a smoky flavor that is unmatched by other types of smokers. Although it requires patience and a bit of skill to maintain the temperature.


To ensure that the trout is safe to eat, it is important to cook it to an internal temperature of 145°F. A thermometer comes in handy to keep the fish in-check.


If you have been wondering how to smoke trout or how to create new exciting recipes, we hope that this article has given you a starting point. Remember to be creative with your recipes, flavor combinations, and trust the process.

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