alt="Smoked Steelhead Trout Recipe"

Smoked Steelhead Trout Recipe

Smoking steelhead can be as difficult or as easy as you make it. And after several days of reeling in monster steelheads, weathering the cold and roughing it alongside the river, easy starts sounding pretty nice.

In this recipe from avid steelhead angler Steve Huffaker, the preparation comes down to a simple dry brine and a refrigerator, making it one of the easiest smoked steelhead recipes out there.


Dry Brine:

1 Cup brown sugar

¾ Cup Kosher salt

½ Tsp ground cloves

½ Tsp white pepper


Cover your fillets and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight where they’ll soak in their own juices and absorb the spices.

The next morning, wash the fillets off with water and let them air dry for 2 hours. This will form a tacky pellicle on the surface of the meat and it will help retain moisture.

Smoking The Steelhead Fillets:

Spray or apply oil to the smoker racks to keep the fish from sticking and place the fish on their skin side down.

Cold Smoke at the lowest possible temperature for 3 hours using Alder, Hickory or your choice of Bradley Bisquettes. Then, over a 2-hour period, gradually increase the temperature up to 170°F.

Continue to smoke at 170°F for 2 hours, being careful not to surpass 170°F, or the texture of the fish will change to that of over-cooked fish. Judge doneness by examining appearance, feel and smell. If needed, use a food thermometer to check internal temp. When it reaches 140°F, it’s done.

Let the fish cool at room temperature for an hour. Then refrigerate uncovered, overnight. The next morning, the fish can be wrapped in plastic food wrap or put in plastic bags. Devour at will.

This recipe can be used for both steelhead and salmon. Give it a try, using some of your own favorite spices, and let us know how it turns out! We always look forward to hearing from you.