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Friday, November 6, 2009

How To Smoke Trout

Fall is my favorite time of year as fishing for trout in lakes is red hot! I’m a catch and release guy most of the time, but now is the time to keep a few fish from stocked lakes and fire up the smoker. I just finished up a smoke out yesterday and thought it would be nice to share my thoughts on just how to smoke trout.

Right after you land your fish, gut the gills and bleed them out, keep em cool in an ice chest until you get home. Now gut the fish, clean, and rinse in cold water. There are many ways to smoke the fish, whole, chunks, or fillets – I prefer fillets. Once your fish is prepped it’s time to soak them in the brine. My recipe for brine:

-64 ounces of water.
-Half cup salt.
-Half cup brown sugar.
-3 tablespoons of red raspberry jam.
-3 tablespoons of crushed garlic.
-3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.

Mix ingredients well in a glass, stainless, or crockery container (not aluminum!). Immerse fish. Chunks and fillets let soak for 4-7 hours, whole fish 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. After soaking rinse the fish with cold water, for more flavor do not rinse. Pat dry and let sit for 1 hour. You will notice a tacky glaze on the surface of the fish, this is called the “pellicle”. Your fish is now ready for the smoker. Smokers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. I own a “Big Chief” smoker and it has never let me down. Pre heat you smoker and add your smoking chips. I use three pans of chips on the hour, alternating alder and apple. Check the meat periodically for the degree of doneness you desire. Your fish should be nicely colored, and flaky to the touch. Now, enjoy the reward! You will want to smoke a number of fish at the same time as they are so delicious, and they don’t last long!

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