Whether cooking filets or an entire fish, trout is a great fish for the grill. One secret to good grilled trout is to ensure that you get a fairly large filet or whole fish. The bigger fish holds together on the grill better. If you’re worried about grilling the trout directly on the rack, you could always invest in a grilling or fish basket to hold your trout. Another quick solution if grilling a smaller or thinner piece of trout is to wrap the fish in foil and place it on the grill grate. However, be aware that you will not receive the true flavor of grilled trout if this method is applied. By wrapping the trout in foil, you’re actually steaming the trout, denying yourself of that great smoky flavor that grilling imparts.
Trout will usually hold together well on the grill as long as you ensure that your rack is clean. Food sticking to a grill is caused by the buildup on the racks. If your rack is cleaned and oiled, cooking trout should be simple. You’ll also need a good quality spatula to turn your trout. Look for a spatula that is large, but thin; you want to be able to slide it under the trout without tearing the fish.
Finally remember, when cooking trout, get the fish on the grill, flip, and remove. That’s all that is needed when barbecuing or grilling trout. Make sure the grill is already hot, cook the trout on one side, flip it over, cook on the other side and then remove. The less you touch the trout when grilling, the better it will turn out.
Here’s a tasty grilled trout recipe to get you started.
2 whole trout, cleaned, with the heads removed
4 tablespoons butter
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped dill
8 slices fresh lemon
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
6 slices bacon
1. Coat grill rack with non-stick spray before lighting or starting.
2. Split each trout down the middle while the grill is heating.
3. Into each trout insert 2 tablespoons, butter, 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon chopped dill, the 4 slices of lemon, 1 teaspoon of lemon pepper, and 1 clove of minced garlic.
4. Wrap 3 bacon slices around each trout. Holding the trout closed, place toothpicks into the bacon to hold in place.
5. Place on hot grill and cover.
6. Cook on each side approximately 10 minutes.
Because trout is not a strong tasting fish with a lot of flavor, you’ll want to make sure that you season it well. Experiment with different herbs and spices. Cayenne pepper and a crab boil seasoning add a spicy zest to trout.
Using wood chips such as cherry or applewood can also dramatically change the flavor of trout. Be sure to soak your wood chips in water for an hour before using. The wood chips can then be drained and either added to the charcoal if using a conventional grill, or placed in a pan and used in a gas grill.
Using a whole trout is recommended because a whole trout tends to hold together better than trout filets. When grilling a whole trout be sure to watch out for the small bones. When trout is grilled to perfection, the skin should slide off easily and the flesh should separate easily from the bones.
Trout can also be basted with barbecue sauce while grilling. Look for lighter flavored barbecue sauces such as those with smoke or honey added so that the barbecue flavor does not overpower the delicate flavor of the trout.
When using frozen trout, be sure that the trout is completely thawed before placing on the grill. Otherwise, the skin will tear and flavor will be lost during grilling. Trout is a delicate fish that needs to retain its moisture in order to remain flavorful.