Smoked Whole Trout

10:50 - Prep 8:20 / Cook 2:30

A sweet and salty brine helps these trout retain their moisture in our Smoked Whole Trout recipe. Their cavities are filled with lemon slices, butter, thyme and oregano for a simple seasoning that enhances the natural flavor of the fish. Slow smoking over apple wood gives them a buttery, flaky texture with a sweet, salty and smoky taste in every bite.

About the Cut: Trout is a freshwater fish, similar to salmon in appearance and flavor. They average about 20 to 30 inches long and around 8 pounds. If you don’t catch it yourself, you can buy it fresh or frozen, whole or in fillets.

We made this recipe on the Rider DLX Pellet Grill, but you can make it on your smoker.

4 Servings


  • 4 whole trout, gutted and gilled
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2 sticks butter, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 sprigs fresh oregano
  • > black pepper, to taste
  • > apple wood pellets
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup salt
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Step 1 Of 7
1. Combine water, brown sugar and salt in a large container. Whisk to dissolve completely.
2. Place trout in the container and store in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
3. Fill the hopper with pellets. Preheat your pellet grill to 225°F.
4. Remove trout from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold water.
5. Season both sides with black pepper. Then, insert 3 to 4 slices of lemon and butter, along with a few sprigs of thyme and oregano into the cavity of each trout and tie with butcher twine to hold together.
6. Place trout directly onto grill grates and close the lid. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, about 2 and 1/2 to 4 hours depending on the size of the trout.
7. Remove from smoker and serve with some stuffed portabella mushrooms.
Up Your Game: How to Maintain Airflow During Cooking
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