2 Recipes for Smoked Trout

The difference between the two experiences is incredible, and as much I have enjoyed the chartered fishing trips, I much prefer doing it myself. Over the course of the week, we managed to catch a good variety of fish. The next year, I went back and prepared another lake trout the same way only this time I stirred the flaked meat into a risotto for another great backcountry meal. I had heard from a lot of people that the best way to eat lake trout was to smoke them but because the only place I had ever caught them was the Boundary waters, I could never bring any home to try smoking. Those Lake trout smoked over alder were some of the best smoked fish I had ever eaten. When I got home from my trip to Lake Michigan with a Lake trout in the cooler I knew ahead of time that I was going to smoke it. I have worked out a great recipe for a dry brine and cook time for smoking the fish. Served up with some fresh radishes and toasts it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Let the fillets sit in the fridge for 4–5 hours, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Let the fillets sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to form what is called a pellicle.

A couple of weeks ago, I headed over to Lake Michigan for a whole week of fishing the big lake. I had fished over there before, but this year I got the opportunity to go out with a couple of friends and do the fishing myself and not go out on a guided fishing charter. The difference between the two experiences is incredible, and as much I have enjoyed the chartered fishing trips, I much prefer doing it myself.

Over the course of the week, we managed to catch a good variety of fish. Several Coho salmon, some rainbows, some king salmon and a couple of Lake trout. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about eating Lake trout. Some people really enjoy them, but just as many seem to think they are too oily or too fishy tasting. I fall into the category of people who enjoy eating lake trout. I don’t catch very many of them so when I do get one it is a special treat.

Smoked trout
Dry-brining the lake trout.

My first experience with lake trout came several years ago, in the Boundary waters canoe area in northern Minnesota. I wrapped a whole fish in tin foil with some lemon and bay leaves stuffed inside and seasoned it very simply with salt and pepper. I placed the whole thing on the fire and let it cook for about 10 minutes on each side. The meat flaked off the bones beautifully and was one of my most memorable backcountry meals. The next year, I went back and prepared another lake trout the same way only this time I stirred the flaked meat into a risotto for another great backcountry meal.

Lake trout recipes
Smoke for four hours.

I had heard from a lot of people that the best way to eat lake trout was to smoke them but…

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