There is a few things you need to know about smoking trout:
- It takes a long time (haha, have patience!)
- Use a mild wood such as pecan, apple, oak or alder. (I used oak this time) Strong woods can give the fish an undesired flavor.
- Trout often isn't cooked after its been brined, but if you do, make sure when you take them out of the brine, to rinse them well, and then let them air dry.
- No season is required when smoking fish. The wood gives it all the flavors it needs. The lemon slices give a slight flavor, but is used more to keep moisture in.
- Start off the wood chips at a low temperature--like 175--for 30 minutes. This makes the skin dry out so it will hold during the rest of the smoking.
- Add lemon slices after the low smoking to lock in moisture of the fish.
- After the low cooking, raise the temperature to about 225 for almost an hour (for fish 8 to 10 inches long). Adjust time to the size of fish you use.
- Make sure you place the fish far enough apart so the smoke can reach all side (in other words, make sure they aren't touching)
- Most fish is safe to eat at 175 degrees, use a thermometer to check internal temps. Much higher than that and the fish will dry out completely.
Cook some veggies as a side, but keep the flavors very mild. You don't want anything to mask the amazing flavors of the fish.
Later this week, you will see a recipe for smoked trout dip!