Smoked Rainbow Trout

I am on a bit of a smoking kick. Earlier this week I shared a recipe for smoked salmon nuggets. They were delicious as are these smoked fillets of trout. Since the fish was smoked as a whole fillet, it came out incredibly moist with a wonderful sweet and smokey flavour. I have been using a dry brine the last few times I have smoked fish and I am quite a bit happier with the results compared to a wet brine.

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5 from 4 votes

Smoked Rainbow Trout

Smoked rainbow trout done in the Bradley Smoker. Dry brined with brown sugar, salt and spices and smoked with alder wood.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq, salmon, smoked salmon, smoking
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Brine/Dry Time 10 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Steve Cylka


  • 2 pounds of rainbow trout fillets
  • 6 cups of brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper


  • Mix the brown sugar, salt and seasonings together. Rub the dry brine all over the fish. Place the fish in a bowl making sure the fish is totally surrounded and covered in the dry brine. Place in the fridge overnight (8-12 hours).
  • Rinse the fish thoroughly and place in a cool dry place of 2-3 hours to allow a pellicle to form on the outside of the fish. A fan can be used to speed up the process.
  • Smoke for 5 hours at a gradually increasing temperature, starting at 120F and increasing it 20F every hour. Leave it at 180F for the final 2 hours of smoking. The fish needs to have a minimum internal temperature of 140F.
  • Enjoy!



About Steve Cylka

Steve is the author of The Black Peppercorn. He is a recipe developer and food photographer. His recipes have been featured on websites like Bradley Smoker, Times Picayune, Buzzfeed, and Basil & Salt. He has also authored and co-authored a couple cookbooks.


  1. I meant to comment on your smoked salmon nuggets, they seriously look amazing! Hubby and I have been wanting to smoke fish, and now I REALLY want to 🙂 Your recipe sounds delicious! We are addicted to Bobby Flay’s show BBQ Addict, he smoked fish a few shows ago, and it looks fun to make! Thank you for sharing, Take care, Terra

  2. I found it really salty.I left in the refrigerator for 11 hours

  3. What kind of wood did you use?

  4. Tried this recipe last weekend, the trout came out perfectly, great taste! It was done after about 4 hours. I’ll do this one again for sure, thanks for the recipe.

  5. This recipe is great. I tried the recipe as mentioned and it was good but not quite sweet enough for me. I added 3 extra cups of sugar and cut down to 1 cup of salt and found it just right for me. I had people try both and say they were both great so it’s just preference. Thanks for recipe, will use again for sure. I used 2hrs 20min of alder smoke for mine to

    • I went the other way and reduced the sugar to four cups, guess I don’t like my savouries sweet like that. I’ve used this as a base many times with all kinds of different woods, all turned out great

  6. I smoked trout from pyramid lake NV and they turned out great. I cut the salt to one half cup and everyone loved it.

  7. Did you de-bone

  8. Thank you do much for sharing this. I made it today and it turned out so good. I made enough to feed my family of 5 and had some to share with three of our neighbors. I gave them just enough to beg for more.

  9. Worked great for this newbie smoker on some lake trout filets….unbelievably good…I surprised myself….

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