View Full Version : Smoked Trout - Whole or Fillet

07-21-2005, 09:53 AM
I'm about to smoke some trout that has been in the freezer. Is there a preffered approach, whole body or filleted? As whole bodied, are bones a problem or does the meat just fall off?

07-21-2005, 10:05 AM
Bones aren't the problem- but whole fish, unless you hand them headless with the cavity opened up pretty good, don't smoke up all that well IMO. To much variation in meat thickness. If I were smoking frozen fish, I'd go the fillet route, anyway...

07-21-2005, 10:42 AM
I would say it depends on the size of fish. If there pretty big and you could get some nice fillets than go that way.

07-21-2005, 11:24 AM
With fresh trout, anything less than 14-15 inches can be smoked whole. On a larger fish you may want to prop open the body cavity with tooth picks. I leave the heads on for looks. Larger trout I cut in half. A few slashes across the body also help get the cure solution and smoke into the fish. I would not go to the trouble of filleting a trout, especially since both the skin and bones come right off. This may be different for a frozen fish. I typically smoke 4-5 hours. The fish keep in the refridgerator for at least 5-6 weeks, so I have them around whenever we need a quick (just microwave) meal for the wife and I. ;D

07-21-2005, 12:10 PM
The fish are some 2 1/2 - 3 pounders from Eagle. I will defrost them and marinate for a day.

07-21-2005, 12:11 PM
Don't understand the problem with fillets of smaller fish... If you do it right away, you should be able to fillet them if they are longer than 10", or so... I do, anyway. Less mess, easier to eat or process.

Best way to do whole fish is to butterfly them- cut the ribs next to the spine and open them up. Just an opinion.

07-21-2005, 03:15 PM
I smoke my fish whole, unless they are too big, then i cut them in half.....clean the fish but leave heads on, keep in marinade overnight, then lay em out on the paper towels until skin is sticky to touch, and put em in a smoker, i smoke mine for at least 6-7 hrs, i like when they come out more on a drier side( although my wife likes em moist).......Good luck

07-21-2005, 03:40 PM
whole - toothpics. afterwards the skin and bones can be removed intact. YUM YUM. Crumple all the meat together and sprinkle over eggs, or make trout salad sandwhiches.

07-21-2005, 03:48 PM
You should see the Native women in AK go to town on Salmon with their ulu's (the ulu is a knife). It's one trip up one side, one trip up the other side, whock! Off with the tail (still attached to the fillets so that the meat will balance on a drying rack). Three slashes across each fillet, and into a 150 gal. brine bucket or over the drying rack- it depends.

Anyway, they can do 30 fish in less than 30 minutes and have time left over to sharpen the ulu on a rock.

07-21-2005, 06:35 PM
I have smoked trout both ways. My preference is to fillet them. They are boneless and the flavor seems to go through the meat better. JMO

07-21-2005, 07:16 PM
Always fillet ;D

07-22-2005, 12:33 PM
I have started fileting my trout. When I catch the fish if I'm going to keep it I filet it right on the spot. I leave the guts intact and bam down to davey jones locker.

07-22-2005, 07:58 PM
hinrid, if you dont fillet the fish, you only get smoke in the chest cavity since you throw the skin away. I fillet it down one side on the spine til an inch is left on the tail, flop it over and run my blade between the skin and fillet, then cut out the rib bones and repeat on the other side, goes real quick. I also cut the fillets into smaller pieces so that they get more smoke flavoring and marinade, overall the best way to smoke fish I have found yet. I like them dry, but I always leave some moist for others ;D

07-22-2005, 11:52 PM
You guys could use a lesson on skinning, less than 30 seconds you can have a skinless fish then do as you please.
Gut'em, snap the head back and peel'em like a banana, it gets rid of the grey fatty stuff also. ;) ;D