Smoked Trout: Recipe & Instructions

Celebrate Your Lake Catches With This Yummy Recipe

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: Stephanie Thurow

Smoked trout is a delicious way to celebrate your lake catches from a fun day of fishing or fish farming yields. Here’s how…

Ingredients & Supplies

  • 2 lake trout fillets
  • 2 cups kosher salt, more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 9-by-13 glass tray
  • plastic wrap
  • plate to fit fillets

Smoked Trout Preparation

Freeze trout for a minimum of seven days to kill off parasites.

Thaw the fish fillets. Rinse them off, and pat them dry.

Layer a large glass container with salt. Lay the fillets skin down. Season the fillets with garlic powder and other seasonings if you desire. (I only seasoned them with garlic powder because I don’t like to overpower the flavor.) Liberally cover the fish with the remaining salt until completely covered. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for six hours.

After six hours, remove the fillets from the salt and rinse thoroughly. Pat the fillets dry and place them on a glass plate, uncovered, overnight. This process creates a dry layer over the surface of the fish’s flesh. It’s a protective barrier for the meat and enhances the flavor and color of the smoked trout.

Ideally, you want to smoke the fish at the lowest temperature for your smoker — about 140°F or so. (Unfortunately, my aunt’s smoker wouldn’t get below 160 degrees. The good news is that it doesn’t really need to. It will cook a little quicker, but it’ll still smoke up a nice fish.)

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Stephanie Thurow

Smoke for two hours at the closest temperature you can get to 140 degrees and increase the heat by about 20 degrees every hour. We ended up around 200 degrees for the last two hours, because the smoker was running a bit hot.

It took me a total of six hours to get the fish to an internal temperature of 160°F and this temperature needs to be held for at least 30 minutes to be considered safe for consumption.

You can enjoy the fish warm off the smoker or you can refrigerate it and serve it cold. The choice is yours. Eat within five days or freeze for up to six months.

For more information on how to properly smoke fish at home, please check out Smoking Fish at Home – Safely by the Pacific Northwest Extension Publication.

This smoked trout recipe was written for Hobby Farms magazine online. Click here to subscribe.

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