It’s time to take that trout out of the freezer and try a smoked trout recipe you and the family will love.
All you need to get you going are some trout fillets, preferably an inch thick, an electric smoker and a little bit of time.
The prices of smoked trout and salmon are high at the market, so here’s a way to enjoy a delicacy at a very low cost. Additionally, these smoked trout fillets will preserve really well and can be heated up and gobbled up at any moments notice if you decide to freeze them afterwards. Trout fillets will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks, and 6 months in the freezer!
This method works especially well for larger trout capable of producing 2lb fillets. If the meat measures about an inch thick, then you have yourself an ideal fillet to work with.
If you are smoking a 12-16″ brookie, cutthroat or rainbow then you may opt to butterfly the fish. To do this, clean it like you normally would removing the entrails, head and tail. Then lay the fish on its back with the open cavity facing upwards and make a cut straight down the spine from the neck to the tail end, separating the two halves. This way, you end up with two fillets full of meat.
The Brine Mixture
As with any good smoking recipe, a little preparation ahead of time will go a long ways. You can get the brine mixture ready ahead of time so that as soon as your fish is cleaned up and ready, you can start marinating right away. The fish fillets need to marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Check out one of Bradley’s own favorite brine mixtures for trout or you can use your own favorite brine recipe.
Note: for smaller fillets, you only need to marinate for 5-7 hours.
Now comes the fun part. Remove your smoker trays from the electric smoker and spray them with a little Pam. Get your flavored bisquettes ready to go (we recommend apple or cherry) and fire up your electric smoker. Set the temperature to 135°F.
When your smoker is preheated, put the tray(s) of trout inside and close it up. Apply about 2 hours of smoke and continue to cook until the meat reaches a desired texture. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of trout, but it generally takes around 6 hours.
That may seem like a long time to wait for dinner, but one of the beauties of food smoking is that the smoker does all the work for you! It’s a slow process, but as soon as that smoked trout comes out of the smoker, you will know that every minute your put into its creation was well worth it. In fact, the food may never make it to the kitchen table.
Note: allow the smoked trout to age in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. This will cause the smoke and other flavors to blend well before freezing.
If you have your own special brine that works particularly well for you, please leave a comment! As always, we look forward to hearing from you.