Trout are available whole– fresh or frozen– and in fillets. They are often fried but can also be enjoyed poached, baked, steamed, grilled or broiled. Trout is also often canned, kippered or smoked. Because of their relatively small size, even texture, and great flavor, trout is a perfect fish to hot smoke. Hot smoking is a more flavorful cooking of brined fish, and creates a dryness that I find delicious. Hot smoking involves temperatures of 200-250 Fahrenheit for periods of 1 to 4 hours, depending on the size of the fish, fire and batch. Cold smoking, on the other hand, preserves fish first by salting (curing) and then drying. Cold smoking ranges from 24 hours to up to three weeks at temperatures never exceeding 80 Fahrenheit.
Smoked trout can be frozen for months or refrigerated for days, but remember that this fish isn’t preserved. If you don’t do something with it right away, then you need to refrigerate it. If you plan to freeze the smoked trout we recommend leaving the whole skin and bones on. This will create a defensive barrier that will prolong the shelf life of the fish. Of couse, trout is easy enough to find fresh, so go ahead and skip the whole freezer thing.