Coach’s Smoked Brook Trout Recipe
What seems like only a few years ago, Coach was asking about my Simple Smoked Trout Recipe. Then, in typical Coach fashion, he tweaked and twisted things until ultimately arriving at more flavorful brine mixture, with a significantly lower salt content, perfectly suited for smoked Brook Trout. Still simple, and similar enough to the original that I questioned the value of a separate post, but after devouring a fresh batch last night it became clear that this Smoked Brook Trout Recipe, complete with Coach’s dry Brookie Brine, was just too good too not share!
Smoked Brook Trout Recipe | Brookie Brine Ingredients …
- 2 Cups Demerara (Brown) Sugar
- 1/3 Cup Montreal Steak Spice
- 1 TBSP Garlic Powder
- 1 TBSP Dry Mustard Powder
- 1 TBSP Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
Smoked Brook Trout Recipe | How to …
2) Fillet the trout and remove all bones, including the pin bones. If you are not already familiar with the process you can learn how to fillet a fish here.
* Cutting one(ish) inch strips across the trout fillets, but not through the skin (see photo below), allows for better brine penetration and the ability to easily pull bite size chunks off the finished product. 😉
3) Prepare the Brookie brine by combining and thoroughly mixing together all of the ingredients listed above. Note that the cayenne pepper is optional … add or omit it to taste.
4) Layer the Brookie fillets in non reactive (non metal) container covering them with Coach’s dry brine mixture as you go. Use just enough to lightly cover the trout fillets.
5) Once all the Brook Trout fillets are completely covered with Coach’s dry Brookie brine, put the whole container in the fridge for 24 – 48 hours. The exact timing will depend on fillet thickness … you want to make sure the brine gets into the thickest pieces.
6) Check the Brook trout fillets often and when they are ready remove them from the brine, rinse them with cold water, and let them stand until they are tacky. This may take an hour or more but be patient … the results will be worth it!
* This step of the smoked trout process is often skipped, but drying the now cured fish in a cool place is vital to properly smoking it. The pellicle, the thin, lacquer like layer that forms on the fish during the drying process, seals it and offers a sticky surface for the smoke to adhere to. The salt in the brine protects the fish from spoilage while drying.
* As an option, and although the original recipe does not call for it, at this point a number of personalized touches can be added to the tacky brook trout fillets. A sprinkling of cracked black pepper or, for the sweet tooth, perhaps a light brushing of good old Canadian maple syrup. And, if you can figure out a way to keep the finished product from the kids (good luck with that), it’s a well known fact that whiskey goes exceptionally well with maple syrup! 😉 You are only limited by your imagination …
7) Load the now brined, tacked up, and potentially personalized brook trout fillets into your smoker and smoke them to your preferred dryness. You may have to experiment until you figure out how you like them best, and that may require more fishing, but hey somebody’s got to do it!
* Wood chip options tested with good success on smoked trout include Apple, Cherry, Alder and Hickory.
8) Once dried to your preference, unload the smoked trout for the smoker, let cool to room temperature, and start eating. Vacuum seal what you don’t eat right away (ya right) and freeze it for future enjoyment. When it’s all gone go fishing and start all over again …
That’s it folks, and thanks Coach for letting us share your Brookie brine / smoked trout recipe!
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*** for more delicious and organic BC wild fish & game recipes please view the complete list on our recipes index page!