Traeger Smoked Trout: Essential Tips and Delicious Recipes

June 13, 2024 2 min read

Traeger Smoked Trout: Essential Tips and Delicious Recipes

The article from Traeger Grills provides a comprehensive guide on smoking trout, including preparation methods, brining recipes, and cooking instructions. Smoking trout imparts a distinctive flavor and texture, often preferred by those who do not typically enjoy fish. The process involves curing the fish with a brine or dry brine, and smoking it at low temperatures (165-225°F) for an extended period to enhance the smoky flavor.

Key Points

  1. Trout Characteristics and Comparison with Salmon:

    • Trout is a freshwater fish, similar to salmon but does not migrate to the ocean.
    • Smoking trout results in a unique texture and flavor, often more appealing than grilled trout.
  2. Preparation Methods:

    • Gut and clean the trout before smoking. Butterflying the fish can expedite the smoking process.
    • Frozen trout can be smoked after being fully thawed.
  3. Brining and Curing:

    • Brine recipes include water, salt, sugar, and various spices and seasonings.
    • A dry brine can also be used, which excludes water.
    • Brining can be done for as little as 20 minutes or up to overnight.
  4. Smoking Process:

    • Ideal smoking temperature is around 180°F.
    • Smoking time is approximately one hour per half-pound of fish.
    • The fish is ready when the flesh is opaque, starts to flake, and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
  5. Recipe Example:

    • A basic recipe includes brining the trout fillets for one hour and then smoking them for 1.5 to 2 hours.
    • Ingredients for the brine: water, kosher salt, brown sugar, black pepper, and soy sauce.

Detailed Article

What is Trout?

Trout is a freshwater fish found in cool climate areas, weighing between 2 to 10 pounds. Unlike salmon, trout stays in freshwater throughout its life.

Smoking vs. Grilling Trout

Smoking is done at low temperatures over a longer period, resulting in a drier texture with prominent smoke flavor. In contrast, grilling is quicker, done at high temperatures, and yields a moist texture but less smoke flavor.

Preparation Steps

  1. Gutting and Cleaning: Essential before smoking.
  2. Butterflying: Slicing the fish to lay flat, which helps in faster and more even smoking.
  3. Brining: Soaking the fish in a solution of water, salt, sugar, and spices. This step enhances flavor and kills bacteria.

Brining and Curing Process

  • Ingredients for Brine:
    • 1 gallon water
    • 1/4 cup salt
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Procedure:
    • Mix the ingredients until dissolved.
    • Submerge the trout fillets and refrigerate for at least one hour.
    • Optional: Leave the fish uncovered in the fridge to form a pellicle for better smoke adhesion.

Smoking the Trout

  1. Temperature and Duration:
    • Preheat the smoker to 225°F.
    • Smoke the trout for 1.5 to 2 hours until the flesh is opaque and flaky.
  2. Wood Selection: Use wood from cooler climates, like oak, for a complementary flavor.


Smoked trout can be served hot or cold, retaining its delicious smoky flavor.

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