Smoked Trout Recipe

This recipe is for thick trout fillets that weigh approximately 2 pounds each, and are about an inch thick. If you are brining thinner fillets, reduce the brining time.

This smoked trout makes a great Smoked Trout Spread.


Besides 5 pounds of trout fillets, you’ll need 40 ounces cold water; (1 quart + 1 cup), 1 cup each coarse salt (8 ounces or 227 grams by weight) and brown sugar or maple syrup, 4 ounces of cognac (Not an expensive brand but a good quality cognac). Then add 4 ounces honey, 1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh, 1 onion; coarsely chopped and 2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped.


  1. Combine all ingredients,  except fish, in a large non-reactive container. Mix well until all the salt and sugar have dissolved.
  2. Place fillets in the brine, making sure that all parts of the fish are submerged. Refrigerate and brine for 18 hours for thick, large fillets; or for thinner fillets 1/2 inch thick or less brine for 5 to 7 hours. Occasionally stir the fish around.
  3. Remove fish from brine, and quickly rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and allow to air dry for two hours, or until the pellicle is formed.


Technique A

  1. Place fillets in a 135°F (57°C) preheated smoker.
  2. Apply two hours of smoke (preferably apple or cherry) and continue to cook until fillets reach the texture you like. Total smoke/cook time should be 6 to 7 hours.

Technique B

  1. Starting at 110°F (43°C), for the first hour
  2. Increase temperature to 140°F (60°C) for 1 hour
  3. Finish at 175°F (80°C) until the trout reaches an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C).

After Smoking

  1. For best results, allow fish to “age” in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. This will allow for the smoke and other flavours to fully blend together.
  2. Fillets will keep refrigerated for two weeks, and at least six months frozen.