The most traditional and popular method of cooking trout is smoking. This is is very simple using the type of hot smokers available at most fishing retailers and hardware stores.
For a quick and simple smoked trout:
- Gut and clean the trout. Cut off the head and tail.
- Butterfly the fish - cut lengthway from the front down one side of the backbone, but don't cut right through, and fold both halves out with the skin side down.
- Either soak in a salt and brown sugar brine for a few hours, or overnight in the fridge, or if you're in a real hurry, sprinkle salt/sugar over the flesh while you organise the smoker.
- When you are ready to smoke, rinse off most of the salt and sugar, pat dry with a paper towel, sprinkle with a little more fresh salt and sugar, and place the fish skin down on a rack in the smoker.
- Cook for 20 minutes.
Make a tinfoil cover for the fish - in many hot smokers, the fumes condense under the lid and drip down onto the fish, causing a very bitter taste where it lands. Your tinfoil 'Umbrella' will prevent this.
When it's ready, carefully lift out of the smoker and take out the bones (backbone and others). If the trout is cooked properly, these bones should come away easily. The only other bones will be a row of small bones on either side, near the front fins.