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Smoked Rainbow Trout Techniques?

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  • hogdog6
    Charter Member
    • Dec 2014
    • 535
    • Liberty, Utah

    Smoked Rainbow Trout Techniques?

    Ice finally off some of our lower lakes so planning on a fishing trip this week. Rainbow trout will be the catch of the day. I'm normally a catch and release fisherman but decided I need to try smoking a few. Anything I keep will be 2lbs or up. I have no experience with fish but have friends who have smoked some and to me they are always a little mushy. Obviously firm and flaky is the goal. Looking for any good recipes / techniques / brines / temps etc?
    For now I cook on a BGE or PBC. (I say for now due to severe MCS for a KBQ).
    Last edited by hogdog6; March 26th, 2017, 11:43 PM.
  • Strat50
    Former Member
    • Nov 2014
    • 513
    • Houston, Alaska

    #2
    Having smoked hundreds of pounds of trout, salmon, and char(among many, many others), use a rig that can maintain a steady 180-200 degree range. I have a kamado, but never use it for fish, because the cook time is way too short. I highly recommend one of the Luhr Jensen line of electric smokers for this type stuff, such as the Little Chief, or Big Chief. They are inexpensive and are designed to do smoked fish really well. I've used them for 45 years without any issues whatsoever.
    When I was a teenager living in Anchor Point Alaska, I used to harvest and smoke a couple hundred pounds of Rainbows(both indigenous, and Steelhead), Dolly Varden char, Halibut, etc. To this day, nothing I have used for this specific purpose has worked as well.

    Having bloviated all that( LOL ), Your PBC will work well too, as long as you keep the temps low. You'll need to split the fish , and fillet the bones while leaving the fillets attached to the tail. Then, you hang the fillets from the rebar rods in the PBC. This is a similar method used since time immemorial to smoke fish, here in Alaska and all over the Pacific Northwest.

    There are hundreds of good recipes floating about these interwebs to get you what you need. Just ask yourself if you want the flavor sweet, or salty. Sweet recipes typically have twice the sugar as salt by volume(soy sauce is considered salt for this exercise). So, consequently, the reverse is true for salty recipes.

    Okay, I'll give you Uncle Tom's basic fish rub for trout and salmon. It's simple: 2 cups brown sugar, 1 cup kosher salt, 2 Tbsp. black pepper. This is a dry rub that is applied thickly to the fillets, then allowed to sit for 24 hours. Drain, dry, then smoke. This is a base recipe. One can add herbs and spices to suit their fancy. If you prefer saltier, invert the salt-sugar ratio. If you like it sweeter(like my wife), add another cup sugar. If you want to be a bada$$, layer the thickly coated fillets with a ton of dry brine, then place a heavy weight on the top to press the fish, like one would for Gravlax. If you use this method, you must rinse the fillets with water, then dry with paper towels before you smoke.You can re-rub with the same dry brine to dry it before smoking too.

    I hope this can help you on your quest. Good tidings from us in Houston, Alaska .
    Last edited by Strat50; March 27th, 2017, 01:06 AM. Reason: Poor proof reading!

    Comment


    • HorseDoctor
      HorseDoctor commented
      Editing a comment
      Strat50 Wife & I bring home 200-250 lbs of salmon & halibut a year fro SE AK. Smoke a fair amount of the salmon but have not smoked halibut. Lots of halibut recipes, including grilled, but never actually brined and smoked any. What am I missing?

    • Strat50
      Strat50 commented
      Editing a comment
      When smoked well, Halibut is the bomb. We smoke Halibut at work to prepare smoked Halibut fettuccine. Mushrooms, bacon, roasted red bell peppers, and cream sauce. Halibut will smoke drier than other more fatty fishes, but that can be an advantage to a creative cook.
      Last edited by Strat50; March 27th, 2017, 11:47 PM. Reason: sp

    • hogdog6
      hogdog6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Looking forward to trying your technique. I can't imagine going wrong following the advice from someone in Alaska. Thanks
  • EdF
    EdF
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 3157
    • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
    • Uuni Pro (new kid in town)
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    #3
    I'm sure lschweig can give you some tips, as pro. Here's something for home smokers with time to kill: https://docs.google.com/viewer?docex...%20Process.pdf

    Comment


    • hogdog6
      hogdog6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Like the techniques.
  • TheCountofQ
    Former Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 503
    • Tulsa, Oklahoma

    #4
    No recipe really, but I smoked Brookies, when I was in Hew Hampshire. Mixed basil and oregano in melted butter (salted I believe), with a pinch of cayenne. Thoroughly covered the trout and smoked over a low heat till I could pull out the bones whole (looked like a fish skeleton on and old Tom & Jerry cartoon). Proceeded to eat them like candy bars, everything but the tail (heads removed at initial cleaning). Pure heaven!!

    Comment

    • HorseDoctor
      Charter Member
      • Sep 2014
      • 1149
      • Central Iowa

      #5
      For "hot smoking" salmon or trout I use a brine of 1 cup salt & 2 cups brown sugar per gallon of water. Adjust volume for amount of fish. I use skin on fillets (butterflied works well for smaller fish). A few hours for smaller trout to overnight for salmon sides. Drain, blot dry and smoke at a low temp until fish just starts to flake. You can top with a little extra brown sugar (or paint with maple syrup) during smoke if you want a little extra sweet. Enjoy!

      Comment

      • lschweig
        Former Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 983
        • Oswego, Il

        #6
        HorseDoctor smoke fish is best with a fatty fish like salmon, trout. mackerel, herring, chubs and etc. Halibut just isn't fatty enough to use for smoked fish and is better for grilling or baking.

        In my commercial smoke fish business we just used salt for hot smoke wet brining, but can certainly understand that brown sugar would be a nice additive.

        You are spot on using low temps and pulling when the product just starts to flake.

        Comment


        • HorseDoctor
          HorseDoctor commented
          Editing a comment
          That's why I've not used halibut to smoke. Too many really great ways to use it to waste it. Still, I occasionally hear of someone smoking it and wonder if I'm missing something. Thanks for the feedback.
      • hogdog6
        Charter Member
        • Dec 2014
        • 535
        • Liberty, Utah

        #7
        Great info, I appreciate it! I've never ran my BGE that low but sure it will do it, if not MCS again for a Bradley electric (after the KBQ of course . PBC will definitely run too hot.

        Comment

        • tbob4
          Charter Member
          • Nov 2014
          • 2249
          • Chico, CA
          • BBQ's
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            Santa Maria Grill
            Vision Grill

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            _______________________
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            Apple

          #8
          lschweig , HorseDoctor , Strat50 : Question for the experts to help hogdog6 - I have not cold smoked fish. I cook fish almost exclusively on my Santa Maria but have also hot smoked in my old offsets, Webers and my cabinets. I have been scared to smoke fish in my Vision grill because I had heard that it is difficult to get fish odor out of the unit afterwards. Whether or not this is true, my belief that it could be was reinforced after using bad lump charcoal in it. It took a really long time and work to get the bad lump odor out.

          Comment


          • hogdog6
            hogdog6 commented
            Editing a comment
            No cold smoke here. But great tips!
        • HorseDoctor
          Charter Member
          • Sep 2014
          • 1149
          • Central Iowa

          #9
          tbob4 I smoke (hot & cold) &/or grill fish quite routinely using my BGE, Weber Kettle &/or "modified" COS units with no special cleaning between that and whatever is next on the menu. A little heat from a Red Dragon next time I start a fire and a swipe with a wire brush is all. Smells smoky, not "fishy" at all. Suspect some either have a way better nose than I or have their "imaginator" cranked up too high.

          Comment


          • EdF
            EdF commented
            Editing a comment
            "Imaginator" - I like that, now part of my vocabulary!
        • lschweig
          Former Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 983
          • Oswego, Il

          #10
          tbob4 I am not familiar with the vision grill so could not specifically recommend, but if it behaves like a standard charcoal or wood fired grill/smoker and you can keep the temp down you should not have a issue with sever fish odors.

          Comment

          • CandySueQ
            KCBS President, and Moderator
            • Jul 2014
            • 1536
            • Pellet Fired Jambo, T1000 Woodmaster, FEC100, MAK 2 star, Yoder 640, Backwoods Pellet Chef, 14" & 22" WSM, 22" Weber Kettle, Stoven, Hot Box Grill, Hasty Bake Portable

            #11
            I cook trout filets in the Big Green Egg with citrus wood for smoke and Cajun seasoning for flavor. Dollop some butter on the top and cook skin down on a piece of foil. Hot n Fast and super tasty!

            Comment


            • hogdog6
              hogdog6 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks CandySueQ hot and fast is good and your right on with the seasoning.
          • tbob4
            Charter Member
            • Nov 2014
            • 2249
            • Chico, CA
            • BBQ's
              _____________________
              California Custom Smokers Intensive Cooking Unit
              California Custom Smokers Meat Locker
              Santa Maria Grill
              Vision Grill

              Beer
              _______________________
              Sierra Nevada IPA

              Wood
              _______________________
              Almond
              Oak
              Madrone
              Cherry
              Peach
              Apple

            #12
            HorseDoctor , lschweig and CandySueQ - thanks! I would love to smoke fish on my Vision grill. I don't have any idea where I heard the "don't cook fish on a Kamado because afterward your meat will smell fishy " line but I honestly bought it (pun intended) hook, line and sinker.

            Comment


            • tbob4
              tbob4 commented
              Editing a comment
              CandySueQ - It's always been nice to be able to get the bad stuff out of my regular Q's by using the burn it out method. I had heard that it didn't work well with kamados and my one experience with what I believe was "treated" lump charcoal reinforced the theory.

            • EdF
              EdF commented
              Editing a comment
              I've smoked a fair amount of fish in the BGE, and never had it carry over to another cook. If it did, it would just be a matter of the high-temp fire purge to straighten it out. And I do have a sensitive nose.

            • tbob4
              tbob4 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks EdF

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