Smoked Lake Trout Recipe

Trout is the excellent meat to smoke thanks to its incredible flavor, texture and manageable size. For those who love fishing and spending some time on the lake, it will be fun to catch it. Or you can buy it in your local grocery store.

Let us be honest with you:

Lake trout is a fattier than some other fish. Average size ranges from five up to twenty percent fat by weight.

But here’s the kicker:

According to Paul Addis, a professor with the University of Minnesota Department of Food Science and Nutrition, “Fish oils work a lot like aspirin,” Addis explained. “They prevent blood clots by reducing the activity of the blood platelets.” Platelets are the clotting factors in the blood that are the number one trigger of heart attacks. Omega-3 fish oils may also help prevent breast cancer if combined with a low-fat vegetable-rich diet.’’

So, they are delicious and also nutritious. With our smoked lake trout recipe, we guarantee that you will love this meal. Smoked salmon is also a great meal and easy to make.

So, what are you waiting?

Impress your friends and family with this delicious food. It is easy and fun to prepare. Just follow our instructions, and you will cook it like a pro.

Keep reading to know more:


This recipe is made for a fish weighing between five to fifteen pounds. This size of trout you can easily kit or butterfly and then smoke it. We must say that the trout is ideal for this because they are very fatty and just the right size.

You could also use some other fish for this recipe such as small salmon, rainbow or big brown trout, or larger mackerel. The choice is yours.

  • One whole lake trout, kited or butterflied
  • Three ounces kosher salt (90 grams or ½ cup)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh rosemary, fir, or spruce tips
  • Two limes or lemons or grated zest (whatever you prefer)


First, you need to prepare the fish. How to do that? Well, you could fillet it, or you could use a method called kitting. It leaves the it whole and boneless.

The only part that stays is a pectoral fin bone.

Leave the belly intact, by splitting the trout down the backbone. It is the same process as butterflying the fish, only from the opposite side. We recommend to kit it because the meat is so good and fatty it will be better to smoke it whole.

After you do this, salt it from the both side, using the three ounces kosher salt. If your fish is smaller or larger, scale the salt down or up. Sprinkle it with the spruce tips, or if you prefer you can use fresh rosemary or fir.

Instructions-Smoked Lake Trout
It depends on your choice. If you never tried the spruce tips, they are citrusy and piney, a great combination to cut some of the fattiness. Roll the fish back together and leave it to cure in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Don’t forget to put the fish in a well-closed container. The next step is to remove the cure with the cold water and dry it with paper towels. You can leave it in the fridge overnight or let it sit in a breezy, cool place for a couple of hours if you don’t want to wait.

It is the very important step because when fish dries this way, it forms a pellicle.

Smoke the trout

As for the smoke, you can use whatever wood you prefer. Our recommendation is alder, oak or fruit wood. These are all good choices.

Put the fish in the electric smoker and set the unit to 200 F degrees. Cook the fish for about 90 minutes to two hours. You must pay attention to it because the time of smoking depends on the size and thickness of the trout. Sometimes it can take four hours to smoke it properly.

It is best when it’s served immediately. Or you can let it cool and eat it later. You can also store it; put it in an airtight container and place it in the fridge. It should last for a week.

lake trout smoked

Health benefits:

According to Food for Breast Cancer, ‘’Like other fatty fish, lake trout is a significant source of the marine omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids have been shown to inhibit proliferation of breast cancer cells in the laboratory. Fish protein hydrolysates also have been shown to have antiproliferative activity against human breast cancer cell lines.

Most, but not all, epidemiological studies have found convincing evidence of a negative association between DHA and EPA intake or fatty fish consumption and the risk of breast cancer. In addition, several studies have found that higher dietary omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid intakes are associated with reduced risk of breast cancer; consuming lake trout would tend to improve this ratio for most women.’’

We also must warn you that the nursing mothers, young children, women who are pregnant or might become pregnant, should limit the intake of this fish and reduce it to one meal per week. (source)

woman eating fish
Additional advice:

If you love fishing here are some tips from Crystal Beach Resort on how to catch lake trout:

‘’Trolling deep diving crank baits on light gear can bring them up to strike, along with slow-trolling spoons. The 3-way swivel technique can be extremely effective anytime the trout move to deeper depths. Downriggers can be very useful also but are not necessary to catch trout. A final technique that produces is vertical jigging with ball jigs and airplane jigs tipped with cut bait or minnows, and tube jigs with 1-1/12-ounce heads in them. Solid lead 1-2 ounce jigging spoons tipped with an enticer will catch numbers of lake trout also.’’


Follow our easy instruction on how to smoke lake trout. It is easy and fun to prepare. We assure you that you and your family will love it.