Eat & Drink

Smoked Trout

As the winter approaches, grills grow cold.  By smoking your own fish you can blow the doors off nearly any New York City deli.

I’ve long been a fan of smoked fish.  My first taste of smoked whitefish years ago left me with an insatiable craving for it.  I recently moved to the Los Angeles area, which in all honesty is rather deli-impared.    I thought enough was enough and decided to take it upon myself to recreate the flavors of Houston Street I missed so much.

The application is very simple,  in this scenario I used trout, and considering most people aren’t grilling in the Northeast these days, you can put that cold steel brazier to some good use.

What you’ll need:

Charcoal grill


Hardwood Charcoal

Preference of wood chips: Hickory, apple, maple, etc.

pastry brush


Aluminum foil

Olive oil

The Method:  if you’re at all familiar with cooking on a grill with indirect heat you should have no problem smoking your own fish.  For everyone else, it’s a rather wonderful method of grilling near anything.  The idea here though is to reduce the heat inside the grill to approximately 200 degrees.

An hour before you plan to smoke the fish, place your preference of wood chips in water to soak.

1) Take newspaper and ball it up on one half of your grill.

2)Cover the newspaper with the hardwood charcoal to make a rather solid black mound on that half of the grill.

3)Use either lighting fluid or light and use your lungs to catch the charcoal on fire.

4)While the grill top is open, let burn for approximately 30 minutes or until all the charcoal is predominately coals.

5)Close the vents on the grill so they are all approximately 1/8″ open.  Take wood chips and place in aluminum foil and poke a few holes in it.  Lay this across the top of the hardwood coals.

6)Close the lid and wait 10 minutes.  The idea is to get the soaked chips up to temperature and begin smoking.

7) With the pastry brush, lightly coat the side of the grill containing no coals, with Olive Oil.  Place the fish approximately 1/2″ apart but no closer than 3″ to the coals.

8)Allow the fish to cook with the lid closed for one hour.

9)After an hour, flip and rotate the position of the fish.  Allow it to cook another hour.

10) Remove, wrap or enjoy.  The smoked fish will last you about a week if it’s wrapped well.

– Seth