Home Cold Smoked Rainbow Trout

I regularly smoke my own fish, it’s a real treat that is easier than you would think, and I just wanted to try and encourage a few people to give it a go themselves, unless you’ve tasted true smoked fish you haven’t tasted anything. The smoked salmon you most often buy in the supermarkets is sprayed with a smoke taste additive, and very often not even properly cured, as the curing process removes water and hence weight, so the supermarkets get more for their money which makes the salmon cheaper. The salmon in the first place is most likely farmed and fatty, so you get a washed out tasting oily fish.

You can cold smoke salmon or trout and both are delicious and easy to do at home.

The technique for curing the fish I use is a dry cure, basically a handful of coarse salt, a handful of dark brown soft sugar, a few grinds of black pepper, rub this into the fish fillets generously and then wrap in cling film. Leave for 4-6 hours, and you will see the fluid that has leached out (to supermarkets this is profit down the drain).

Wash the fillets and then allow to dry in the fridge for 12 hours, this forms a skin on the outside of the fish that allows the smoke to adhere to.

Then pop in a cold smoker, these can be easily made, I use a Pro-Q cold smoke generator which costs around £35, and enable you to cold smoke in almost any vessel, even a cardboard box, but there are also lots of DIY smoker plans out there.

I usually use beech wood dust to smoke as it is nice and sweet and not too strong, but you can add a sprinkle of other woods to give more character, I often use apple too for my fish, but the traditional wood is oak.

You then smoke for 10-12 hours, and you have yourself a product that couldn’t be further away from slimy supermarket smoked salmon.

Give it a try!

13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tudor on June 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Don’t you have to cook it at all, after you’ve cold smoked a fish ?

    Reply

  2. Posted by Rob Perkins on November 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Hi there.
    I’ve been experimenting with cold smoking for a while now and was looking for a smoked salmon recipe. I came across yours last week and went out and bought a side of salmon last weekend and the results are stunning. Follwed your recipe. Oak smoked it for 10 hours ( a bit strong for me, might try beech or maple) but it was superb. Just the right amount of curing and it slices like a dream. I am a chef by trade and have not tasted anything as good by a country mile apposed to mass produced.
    Many thanks to you.

    Reply

    • thank you so much for letting me know how you got on, I’m so chuffed you enjoyed it.
      home smoked salmon is a world away from shop bought, now you will never go back.
      cheers
      marcus

      Reply

  3. What smokers do you recommend for novice smokers who live in an apt in a city? I definitely want to try smoked salmon but I don’t want to spend too much money…

    Reply

    • Hi Jamie, thanks for visiting, the way i’d get started is with wok smoking, you can use a cheap wok with a glass lid to tea smoke salmon, you’d get a hot smoked salmon product, but it would be the easiest way to get smoking. I’m just about to do a blog post on wok smoking so your question was very timely.
      Cheers
      Marcus

      Reply

      • I look forward to your wok post! I own a wok and have steamer baskets which I’ve used to steam whole fish. Hopefully hot smoking will be an easy upgrade.

        Cheers, Jamie

      • You have all the gear you need then. Another alternative way is to smoke for6-8 minutes before steaming. Experiment and please let me know how you do.
        Cheers
        Marcus

  4. Wow! I’m going fishing this weekend…hopefully I’ll come back with some fish so I can try this.

    Reply

  5. Thank you, it really is so easy to do.
    Cheers
    Marcus

    Reply

  6. I have not smoked fish in years, John makes our own fruit wood charcoal so we have gone that way for a while.. i think it is time he made a smoker! c

    Reply

  7. I should really try this! Sounds awesome and that fish just looks amazing.

    Reply

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