Smoked Fish - Patrick Explains a Method for Smoking Trout/Salmon

Many of you out there go fishing for various species of fish. If you are like me, you probably catch a fair number of trout. I have to admit, trout are NOT my favorite fish to eat. But before you go and call me a heretic, I must at least provide some reasoning behind that statement. Often, trout have a stronger "fish taste" than say a walleye. So, obviously I prefer to catch and eat walleye. But, when trout are prepared and cooked properly, they can taste amazing. I've fed my smoked trout and salmon to my friends and family at various gatherings and they all seem to enjoy it very much. Salmon is definitely better than trout but there are times where trout can come really close. My personal favorites are brook trout, lake trout, splake and tiger trout. I figured that since I am now this podcast co-host, I'd share what I feel is the best way to eat a trout and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

First, if you want to make this process easy on yourself, I recommend that buy the High Mountain Fish brine kit. That is what I did for the first few years I smoked fish because it is super simple and the fish taste amazing.  If you buy this kit on their website you will receive 10% off by using the promo code "HMS10" at check out. They are a sponsor of the show and I want to make sure to give them their due.

If you want to make everything from scratch and do this the way I typically do it now, you can follow my brine recipe below.
  • 1 Gallon of Cold Water
  • 1 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Red Wine (Cabernet)
  • 1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 TSP of Garlic Powder
You'll need a smoker and a large plastic bowl to do what you need for this recipe. Make sure you have the proper tools prior to attempting this recipe.
You will need a large PLASTIC bowl to put the ingredients into. Do NOT use a metal bowl. If you have ever made this mistake, I promise you that you will never do it again. A metal bowl reacts with the salt and makes your fish taste like metal. So, make sure you use the proper plastic bowl. Then follow this simple process.
  1. Mix ingredients into a large plastic bowl until salt and sugar are dissolved. 
  2. Place cleaned fillets into the large bowl.
  3. Cover with a plastic lid and refrigerate 24 hours. 
  4. Take the fillets out of the brine and rinse under lukewarm water. 
  5. Pat the fillets down with paper towels until dry. Let them sit at room temperature for about an hour before smoking.
  6. Place fillets on smoking racks. 
  7. Then smoke the fish until 145 degrees Fahrenheit or until you are satisfied. 
  8. Then take the fillets out of the smoker and let cool. 
At this point you will have fillets that are ready to eat! If you want to make them just a little bit better, you can also lay some bacon on the fillets while they are cooking to add some yummy bacon flavor! My mouth is watering just thinking about this...

Sometimes I will also add pepper and garlic powder to the fillets before I place them in the smoker to give them a little more flavor. The great thing is that you get to customize this however you want. Make sure you look up the proper cooking internal temperature of the fish you are cooking and also make sure you follow food safety guidelines. I hope you enjoy this recipe and I hope you get to serve wonderful smoked fish to your family. 

If you have any comments, please email me at Feel free to share with friends and family. For more recipes, please subscribe to the RAD Cast Outdoors Podcast. You can find it on Spotify, Apple and other podcast streaming services. Also, please follow us on Facebook @radcastoutdoors and also on Instagram #radcastoudoors.

Please ensure you follow all food safety guidelines.
Author: Patrick Edwards

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