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#531778 03/09/21 05:46 PM
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I'd like to harvest my rainbow trout before they die off in summer & a friend recommended smoking them, then maybe making a dip.

Anybody tried doing that? RBT are harder to fillet than my other fish, would prefer to just gut & gill them prior to smoking. Any recommendations as to good smokers?


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Sounds like a great plan to me!

It also sounds like a lot of work in a very short window. Do you have any good neighbor friends that you could pay with delicious smoked trout for some help on the gutting work?

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You are thinking straight. I hate to fillet trout because I leave so much meat behind compared with other fish. Honestly, I'd rather just cut off the head, gut 'em & smoke 'em.

But your idea is good even if my neighbors don't help with the cleaning. Real important to keep good relations & for them to keep an eye on my place when I'm not there.


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We do steelhead that way. Cut the head off gut them. Steelhead being bigger we would cut them into steaks with the skin still on. Depending how involved you wanted to get with it you could buy or make a smoker. My dad used an old fridge ( didn't run) ran an extension cord to the inside with a hot plate a pot on it with hickory, applewood. The idea was to get the smoke for flavor remember low heat but with smoke. Sometimes we would finish drying them in the house oven low temp again. We've even used a cardboard box in the backyard to smoke in. Good luck

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For low and slow think pellet smoker. Any decent pellet smoker with digital control should run in the 165° F neighborhood on its lowest setting.
You can add a cold smoke chamber to get the temp down even further, or just use one of the stainless steel mesh containers to burn the pellets
and leave the main burner shut down, then after you get enough smoke on them finish off in the dehydrator. Far as that goes any kettle type
charcoal grille would serve the purpose if you just make fire in a smoke tube gizmo. Go on amazon and search for "smoke tube for pellet grille".

I did some blue cat nuggets that way last summer and they turned out real nice.

If you have a salt slab you might try using that and see how you like it. I did some catfish on the slab and it turned out too salty, but with the
trout still having the skin on, it might be just about right.

Last edited by Augie; 03/10/21 09:55 AM. Reason: added a comment
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Thanks, guys! I'll give you a report back after I try your suggestions. Love smoked salmon and smoked pheasant -- pate was out of this world -- but I've never tried doing it myself.


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Somewhere back in an old Pond Boss magazine (maybe 3 or so years back) is my wifes recipe for smoked catfish dip. She smoked CC that turned our really well.


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I learned at Lusk's Pondology that smoked catfish carcass (after filleting) is the bomb...just a few minutes and you're picking deliciousness off the bones.


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The brine is a PITA to make vs. a traditional brown sugar/salt brine but it's worth it. Use a light flavored wood, Alder, Apple, etc.


Citrus Salmon and Trout Brine
1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Lemon pepper to taste
1 (3 ounce) package dry crab and shrimp seasoning mix (Old Bay)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, crushed or to taste
4 lemons, sliced and crushed
2 oranges, sliced and crushed
1 lime, sliced and crushed

Boil 1 qt. water. Add spices and then the rest of the ingredients. Let cool to below 40°F before adding salmon or trout.
Use leftover brine in the water tray.
To smoke salmon: Pat fillets dry with paper towels; do not rinse. Place on smoking rack skin-side down. Place in fridge to form pellicle for 4 hr. Add your favorite wood to the smoker First choice is Apple, followed by Alder, Pecan, Cherry or Hickory. Smoke at 180 degrees F (82 degrees C) for 5 to 6 hours. For thinner fillets, 175°F for 4-5 hours.
Cut recipe in half for smaller batches, this will brine up to 10 pounds of salmon, Can (should) leave salmon in brine 36 hr.
Try cutting down the salt by half, and added a half cup of Teriyaki Marinade, and added some Chinese chili paste. Both are excellent both are unique. You can taste the citrus flavors right off the grill, but the longer it sits in the refrigerator the better smoked salmon flavor it gets! (Brine it for a full 36 hours if you can.)


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Sounds delicious esshup!

Catfish skin is obviously different than trout and salmon skin. Have you tried that (or similar) on catfish?


Slightly off topic:

I have a bunch of 90 year-old red mulberry trees in a shelter belt that have major branches that need to be pruned back.

They do qualify as a "fruit" tree. Is mulberry a good-flavored wood to use in a smoker?

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Sounds delicious esshup!

Catfish skin is obviously different than trout and salmon skin. Have you tried that (or similar) on catfish?


Slightly off topic:

I have a bunch of 90 year-old red mulberry trees in a shelter belt that have major branches that need to be pruned back.

They do qualify as a "fruit" tree. Is mulberry a good-flavored wood to use in a smoker?


I haven't tried it on catfish, trout/salmon is oilier than cats. Try a small batch and see.

Never used mulberry.


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Thanks for the recipe! I love citrus, even been known to eat lemons, so this sounds right up my alley.


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Originally Posted by DannyMac
I learned at Lusk's Pondology that smoked catfish carcass (after filleting) is the bomb...just a few minutes and you're picking deliciousness off the bones.

Danny, does this include the skin? Can't imagine eating catfish skin, but maybe that's just my prejudice.


7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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Originally Posted by anthropic
Originally Posted by DannyMac
I learned at Lusk's Pondology that smoked catfish carcass (after filleting) is the bomb...just a few minutes and you're picking deliciousness off the bones.

Danny, does this include the skin? Can't imagine eating catfish skin, but maybe that's just my prejudice.

Me either, but I thought is was possible that the smoked catfish meat would just flake off the bones (and the skin?) in that preparation.

Danny's post was a little confusing. "Catfish carcass" and "filleting" are opposite ways of preparing the fish.

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Originally Posted by anthropic
Thanks for the recipe! I love citrus, even been known to eat lemons, so this sounds right up my alley.

If you plant some lemon trees around your pond, then feed train your RBT to lemon slices, you can have your smoked trout come perfectly "pre-flavored". laugh

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Sounds like a plan! Though after the winter we just had down here, I guess it will be frozen lemon concentrate.


7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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Originally Posted by esshup
The brine is a PITA to make vs. a traditional brown sugar/salt brine but it's worth it. Use a light flavored wood, Alder, Apple, etc.


Citrus Salmon and Trout Brine
1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Lemon pepper to taste
1 (3 ounce) package dry crab and shrimp seasoning mix (Old Bay)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, crushed or to taste
4 lemons, sliced and crushed
2 oranges, sliced and crushed
1 lime, sliced and crushed

Boil 1 qt. water. Add spices and then the rest of the ingredients. Let cool to below 40°F before adding salmon or trout.
Use leftover brine in the water tray.
To smoke salmon: Pat fillets dry with paper towels; do not rinse. Place on smoking rack skin-side down. Place in fridge to form pellicle for 4 hr. Add your favorite wood to the smoker First choice is Apple, followed by Alder, Pecan, Cherry or Hickory. Smoke at 180 degrees F (82 degrees C) for 5 to 6 hours. For thinner fillets, 175°F for 4-5 hours.
Cut recipe in half for smaller batches, this will brine up to 10 pounds of salmon, Can (should) leave salmon in brine 36 hr.
Try cutting down the salt by half, and added a half cup of Teriyaki Marinade, and added some Chinese chili paste. Both are excellent both are unique. You can taste the citrus flavors right off the grill, but the longer it sits in the refrigerator the better smoked salmon flavor it gets! (Brine it for a full 36 hours if you can.)
Great recipe. Thanks, I'll try to cook the fish next weekend. Tell me, if I cook pike instead of salmon, will it be also delicious? After all, they have completely different taste . I also want to smoke it, but I have never smoked a pike. Once I tried grilled, but it turned out to be not very successful on it. Or is it better to stick to the recipe and cook the salmon?

Last edited by superjacob; 11/21/21 02:55 PM.
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have smoked catfish and bullheads both come out great. Have pickled trout and steelhead. Also have taken fish and ground the fillets and seasoned and took a jerky shooter (the flat nozzle or could roll out in sheets) and put in dehydrator and made fish jerky. All my friends said your nuts, until they tried it. Now they do the same. INTERESTING!

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I've never tried Pike, but I've done barracuda and it was great.


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I have found this website very helpful, he knows his stuff and from what I've tried to duplicate it's all been great:

https://honest-food.net/smoked-trout-recipe/

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Originally Posted by BEPA
have smoked catfish and bullheads both come out great. Have pickled trout and steelhead. Also have taken fish and ground the fillets and seasoned and took a jerky shooter (the flat nozzle or could roll out in sheets) and put in dehydrator and made fish jerky. All my friends said your nuts, until they tried it. Now they do the same. INTERESTING!

BEPA, never heard of this, sounds interesting indeed. Did you first cook or smoke the filets before grinding & dehydrating?


7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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Originally Posted by STP
I have found this website very helpful, he knows his stuff and from what I've tried to duplicate it's all been great:

https://honest-food.net/smoked-trout-recipe/

Thanks! I checked the site & intend to give it a try.


7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB & 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS -116




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Cool, I'm no Chef and he's more global than I can get around to but there's a lot there to work with given what you have on hand.

Adapt and roll along.

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The carcass is left after fileting. Just the skin on the head and the tail end. What you would normally trash (besides guts), smoke about ten minutes. Also, Amazing Ribs has recipes for hot smoking fish, even catfish filets, using a blackened redfish rub. There's also a lemon cream sauce (but it sounds like a PITA project). Recommend grill mats, a bed of orange slices, filets on that, about 350F.


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My wife & I love Prudhomme's Blackened Redfish Magic. First used on redfish, but we've found it great on salmon as well. Bet it works for most fish!


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