View Full Version : first timer smoked trout but it was too salty

08-20-2007, 09:03 PM
Today was my first attempt at smoking trout. *I had two 2lb trout that I filleted and smoked on my new Big Chief smoker. *The problem I had was that I think the fish was too salty. This was confirmed by my brother. *

This is what I did. *I filleted the fish and soaked two fillets in a brine solution recipe that came with the smoker. *This brine was 1 quart of water with 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar. *The other 2 fillets were soaked in a brine solution of 1 quart water, 1/2 cup salt, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup brown sugar. *I soaked the fish in glass bowls for about 3 hours. *I rinsed the fillets with water and patted them dry with paper towel. *The fish dried for an hour. *I smoked the fish with alder chips about 2 1/2 hours.

What should I do try next time to make the fish less salty? *Should I have a brine solution with less salt? *Should I soak it for a shorter time? *

I want to make the fish taste sweeter. *Could I add brown sugar or honey on top of the fillets near the end of the heating process? Should I add more sugar to the brine solution?

I'm no executive chef. *I'd appreciate any tips or suggestions. *Thanks in advance.

08-21-2007, 08:12 AM
My brine solution is soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic. During the last half hour of smoking, I add a paste of 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 maple syrup to the fillets on the smoker.

08-21-2007, 09:32 AM
You might want to try a dry cure. Equal parts salt and sugar on both skin and flesh. Weight it down a little bit, but remember there will be juice that needs to drain. Cure up to 24 hours depending on size and thickness. Then rinse the fish with cold water and pat dry. Then to get that nice laquer type finish let the fish rest in a cool dry place (cool garage not a fridge. fridge is too moist) Let it dry for 3-5 hours and when it is dry to the touch you have formed a layer of dissolved proteins called a pelicle. This kind of acts as an egg white wash in baking. You know how a baked pie has that pretty shiny brown top that is protein. You won't have to worry about a glaze unless you like that extra flavor boost.

Also a good solution for fish that is too salty is to whip it into cream cheese or neufchatel to make a home made shmear. sometimes I make my fish extra salty just so I can make the shmear. Add some pepper and some finely diced green or purple onions and a few chopped capers into the cheese. Whip it with a hand mixer until it is fluffy and devour.

08-21-2007, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the tips. I'll try them the next time.

08-22-2007, 09:59 AM
Salt/sugar cured smoked fish always taste too salty to me if they are served right away. I vacuum seal them and chill for at least 24 hr before serving. After 48 hr, the flavors meld about as good as they are going to get. You can store vacuum sealed fish for at least 3 weeks in the fridge.

If you use a dry rub for trout fillets, don't cure for more than 3 hr or the results will be too salty for most people.

08-23-2007, 08:26 AM
I should have noted that is how I do my salmon, not trout. 24 hours for big thick salmon filets you may need to play with it to get it right for trout. Sorry for the oversight.

08-23-2007, 07:11 PM
Salt/sugar cured smoked fish always taste too salty to me if they are served right away. *.... After 48 hr, the flavors meld about as good as they are going to get.

I tried the trout a few days later and thought it did taste less salty, but I thought that was my imagination playing tricks on me. :D

I can't wait until my next attempt at smoking. Thanks again.

09-05-2007, 12:13 PM
I use my salmon brine but I reduce the salt to about 1/4 cup and only let the fish sit in the brine for about 2 hours. 24 hours is too long for even salmon sometimes. Make sure you let the fillets sit so they dry enough to form the white color on the out side and then smoke. I only smoke my trout for about 2-3 hours any longer and they will be jerky