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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been filling the freezer with Brown trout in hopes of smoking some fish in the next couple of weeks... Was thinking I could smoke them like I do salmon or steelhead but figured I'd check in with those who have perhaps been smoking trout for years.

So what you got?

I'll share a trout recipe/idea to start...(Not a smoker recipe)

Trout Tacos! Very simple....Season the trout to your liking then Bake the trout for 20min, remove skin and bones, throw the boned trout on preheated griddle or pan with melted butter and brown and shred into flaky chunks...Build your taco and enjoy! My family loves these, even my 9yr old who is very finicky! For the best tacos use fresh and quality fish... brown trout are my favorite.

I'll take any good canning ideas you might have as well.

James.
 

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I like where this thread could be headed. I'm fairly new to smoking so I don't have any salmon or trout advice for you but I'm hoping some folks will chime in here so I can learn something too. Smoked two 12 lb birds Thursday using fruitwood pellets and everyone raved about them. Legs and thighs were especially good. Think I'll do a turkey and ham for Christmas.

Anyway, in for replies because I'd love to do some salmon.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Turkeys are great smoked. Did you brine your turkey first?

Couple things I've learned about salmon and steelhead....1) You need fresh fish, don't bring a boot or a fire truck home with the idea a smoker will make it taste good. 2)Simple salt and sugar cure recipes are the best...soy sauce and other such garbage is just a ploy to make fish taste like something other than fish.

James
 

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Turkeys are great smoked. Did you brine your turkey first?

James
I did a dry brine. Rub the bird, inside the cavity and outside, with sea salt (about 5 tbsp) and place in double oven bags to prevent leaks. You do this about three days before you cook and flip the bird each day. The salt draws out a lot of moisture then it's reabsorbed, redistributing the salt throughout. Give the bird a good rinse then into the oven or smoker. Works beautifully.

Mike
 

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For every cup of liquid I use 1/2c brown sugar, 1/2c salt. Then I add garlic and onion powder to taste, and a tiny bit of cayenne or srirachi. I always toss in 1-2 bay leaves for each gallon of liquid.

The liquid part is where the fun comes in. Apple juice, white wine, water, etc can all be used. Each gives a slightly different bouquet and taste. I use apple juice most of the time.

If you're going to smoke with a bit of sage, nothing beats the white wine. I recommend Gewürztraminer, reisling, or Chardonnay.

Brine for About 2 hours for sockeye sized fillets. Rinse them, and pat dry.

I sprinkle them with fresh cracked black pepper when they are waiting for the pellicle to form.

Smoke them suckers!
 

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I have no clue what brine my old neighbor in Montana used, but he always smoked with apple wood. His Son/my best childhood friend & I eagerly volunteered to gather & cut wood knowing we would be repaid with smoky goodness.
 

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I just did one that was for sable fish collars, just a modification to my standard salmon brine.
Dry brine 4cs dark brown sugar to 1 cup kosher salt. Once fish has rendered liquid, (a few hours in fridge) add 1/2 bottle teryaki sauce and small can pineapple juice. Total brine time will depend on type and thickness of fish. Smoke over alder or apple
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just did one that was for sable fish collars, just a modification to my standard salmon brine.
Dry brine 4cs dark brown sugar to 1 cup kosher salt. Once fish has rendered liquid, (a few hours in fridge) add 1/2 bottle teryaki sauce and small can pineapple juice. Total brine time will depend on type and thickness of fish. Smoke over alder or apple
Really liked were your salmon recipe was going until the Teri"yuki" but that of course is my personal opinion. The pineapple juice sounds interesting. I used pineapple juice for some pulled pork, it was quite good.

Like you, I find the dry brine method yields better results with salmon...I do allow the brine to work longer though about 8 to 12 hours...then I rinse very well and allow the salmon to stand in cold water for 1 to 2 hours, changing the water a couple time in between; this draws the salts out yet leaves the nice sweet flavor and yields a firm flesh. Of course like you mentioned the above times would have to be adjusted to the smaller trout.

Would you fillet the trout or leave whole?

Thanks all for your input...slowly working up some great ideas/game plan.
 

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With the trout I would filet and leave skin on for better smoke penetration vs whole fish.
I liked the soy pineapple combo, think Asian style, powder ginger would of been a nice compliment. I also have done salmon in a similiar way using Yoshies marinate from Costco on salmon and smoking long to almost jerky finish.
Salmon usually brine over night 8-10 hrs like you and use either OJ or apple juice as my liquid added.
 

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I wet brine fish. Same recipe no matter what. 5 cups water, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup non-iodized salt. Back when I was a beer drinker I used 1/2 cup of salt. For trout and whitefish I cut heads and tails off, remove all fins and then I cut the fish in half. I then slice the back of the fish open to the back bone, head to tail, so that the brine and smoke can penetrate the meat better. I put it in the brine over night, 10pm -6am. Rinse well in the morning and air dry for about an hour. Wooden toothpicks can be used to hold the sliced fish open. Load in my Little Chief smoker until done. Alder or maple I find on the river.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I wet brine fish. Same recipe no matter what. 5 cups water, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup non-iodized salt. Back when I was a beer drinker I used 1/2 cup of salt. For trout and whitefish I cut heads and tails off, remove all fins and then I cut the fish in half. I then slice the back of the fish open to the back bone, head to tail, so that the brine and smoke can penetrate the meat better. I put it in the brine over night, 10pm -6am. Rinse well in the morning and air dry for about an hour. Wooden toothpicks can be used to hold the sliced fish open. Load in my Little Chief smoker until done. Alder or maple I find on the river.
I like it...simple! The way you explained the fish prep, I'll definitely try on the next batch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One thing no one has mentioned is how dry to smoke it.

My Grandpa used to smoke fish down to zero moisture and it was preserved so well, he kept a "Top" tobacco tin full off cat fish and trout in the back of the truck for those long days fishing or hunting. AS I recall the cat fish was actually pretty tasty.

I typically smoke mine to a nice moist content that definitely needs to be refrigerated or frozen for long storage.

Maybe I will try grandpa's way as memorial to him...minus the tobacco tin.
 

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Put me in the simple dry brine camp, though I've never done trout.

I also prefer to freeze before smoking. Read long ago that this helps the fish take on the brine, and while it could be a placebo I swear it makes a difference. Plus it should kill off any of the nasties that could get ya sick.

I like to finish my salmon in the oven with a glaze... honey is my favorite but I've used all kinds of stuff with good results.
 

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For every cup of liquid I use 1/2c brown sugar, 1/2c salt. Then I add garlic and onion powder to taste, and a tiny bit of cayenne or srirachi. I always toss in 1-2 bay leaves for each gallon of liquid.
I just want to make sure I'm understanding this--for a gallon of liquid, you're using 2 quarts of salt?
 

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Interesting thread. I would have normally defaulted to the recipe I've used over the last 3 decades for steelhead and salmon. Some of those offered are very similar... others not so much and perhaps worth a try. Anyone tried smoked Brook Trout? Short of a release that does not go as planned, I simply don't see myself bonking a CT, Brown, or Rainbow from my regions waters.
 
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