• COOK TIME | 1.5-2 HRS
This recipe produces a firm yet delicate restaurant-quality fish. The dry brine gives the trout a mouthwatering taste without drying the fish out like other brines can do. I serve the fish with crackers, capers, and cream cheese, and I often make this delicious Smoked Trout Salad.


  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 4-6 whole, gutted and cleaned trout


  1. Combine the ingredients in a large food grade container and set aside.
  2. Place the fish in the container with the brine, and then liberally distribute the brine over the fish. Every nook and cranny of the fish should be covered with brine.
  3. Cover the container with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Let the fish brine for 3-6* hours. There should be a fair amount of liquid in the container. This tells us the brine is working.
  4. Rinse the fish well and pat dry. Refrigerate until ready to smoke, no more than a few hours.
  5. Set the smoker to 140-150°F, and then place the cold trout on the grill grates.
  6. Smoke for 1.5-2 hours depending on the thickness of the fish, until the trout reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. I tend to keep the temperature as close to 200°F** as possible.


* Be careful not to over-brine the fish—let it sit no longer than 6 hours to avoid too salty of an outcome.

** Do not let the temperature of the smoker raise above 225°F or the fish will dry out.