Fish Recipes

Rainbow Trout

Trout, rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss), wild, Protein-20.48%, Fat-3.46%, Water-71.87%
Trout, rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss), farmed, Protein-19.94%, Fat-6.18%, Water-73.80%

Farm raised rainbow trout.

Farm raised rainbow trout.

Brad Benter holds wild rainbow trout in Alaska.<em> U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.</em>

Brad Benter holds wild rainbow trout in Alaska. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

There is rainbow, brook and brown trout. Rainbow trout can be found everywhere where there is cold and clean running water, however, it owns its popularity to the fact that it gains weight more quickly than other species of trout, so it is more suitable for fish farming. They reach the market size (25-30 cm) and weight (150-300 g) in less than two years. The average farm raised rainbow trout weighs less than a pound which makes it an ideal fish to be smoked whole. Trout which lives in the wild can reach large size with age.


The fish is washed, gutted, the head is left on. The brined fish are threaded on speats, through either the eyes or tail, and are hung to allow surplus brine to drain from the fish.

Time in 80º brine:
Small trout 140-200 g, 45 minutes
Medium size trout 200-300 g, 60 minutes
Large trout, over 300 g, 120 minutes

(Add 2.2 lbs of salt to 1 gallon of water. This makes 80 degrees brine).


The following times apply to factory made smokers with reliable temperature controls. If smoking in a traditional wood fired smoker, double up the times.
Drying, 86° F (30° C), 30 minutes.
Smoking, 122° F (50° C), 30 min.
Smoking/Cooking, 176° F (80° C), 45-60 min.

Drying - to allow the skin to dry and to toughen the fish to sufficiently support the weight of the fish during the later stages of smoking. All dampers fully open.

Smoking - inlet and outlet dampers open 1/4 to raise the temperature and humidity so that the fish is not dried too much.

Smoking/Cooking - cooking stage with smoke present. Dampers set as above.

The refrigerated fish will keep in good condition for 1 week.

Dry salt curing

Weigh the fish and take 5% salt in relation to the weight. For 1/2 pound (222 g) fish take 12 g (5%) (2 tsp) salt and rub it all around the fish, including the belly.

Cure fish:
1/2 lb (222 g) - 2 hours
3/4 lb (340 g) - 2.5 hours
1 lb (453 g) - 3 hours

Strong brine cures the fish fast, however weaker brines can also be used.

Wet curing times:
4º brine - 10 hours.
20º brine - 2.5 hours.
80º brine - 1 hour.
Use 1 quart of brine per pound of fish.
Rinse the fish, drain and let dry in air for 30 minutes.
Dry in smokehouse at 100° F (38° C) for 30 minutes.
Hot smoke at 176° F (80° C) for 1 hour.
Cook at 176° F (80° C) for 1 hour.
The trout is cooked during hot smoking process which makes it ready for eating without further preparation. Cool in air.

Marinated and Fast Smoked Trout

Make weak (4º) bine, Add dried dill, crushed pepper and crushed juniper berries. Use one teaspoon of spices per one quart of marinade. Marinate for 24 hours.
Rinse the fish briefly and hang to drain and dry for 30 minutes.
Hot smoke at 302° F (150° C) for 30 minutes.

Trout (Adapted from: Fish Smoking, A Torry Kiln Operator’s Handbook, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office):

Small rainbow trout are gutted and the gut cavity cleaned out, caree being taken to remove all black skin and blood along the backbone. The fish are brined in an 80º brine for one hour. The brined fish are then pierced through the eyes with metal speats. Small strips of wood like matchsticks are placed between the lug flap to keep the gut cavity open to allow drying and smoke penetration. Trolleys of brined fish are put into the kiln whilst they are still wet with brine. All the fires are lighted and the temperature of the kiln is allowed to rise to about 90° F (32° C). After 30 - 45 minutes when the skins have dried off, the temperature is raised to 180° F (82° C) and the trout are cooked. This takes about two hours. The trout have a lower fat content than herring, and in consequence they should be dried less than buckling or they will tend to be somewhat dry and hard and will lose their soft texture.

Smoked Trout

Gut and clean fish (1 lb. in weight) and place in 80 degrees brine for 2 hours. You may leave fish overnight in 30 degrees brine. Soak for 10 minutes in cold water. Rinse and dry for 2 hours. Start applying smoke and hold at 90° F (32° C) for 15 minutes. Continue smoking increasing temperature until internal temperature of 150° F (66° C) is obtained. Maintain this temperature for 30 minutes. Bigger fish will require longer smoking time.

Note you can smoke/bake trout at 300–350° F (150–180° C) which will take only 20 minutes, however, little smoky flavor will be obtained.

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