Preparing Fresh Trout

For best results, remember these Trout Tips…

Trout Don’t Need to be Scaled

Removal of the tiny scales also removes the thin coat of natural jelly around the scales that allows the trout to be breaded without using any type of liquid

Use Mild Flavored Oils

Off-flavors in fats can be transferred to the taste of the trout. Best fats include butter, hydrogenated shortening, peanut or corn oils.

Hot and Quick

Trout fried at a low temperature absorbs too much fat. The best temperature is 325 to 350F.

Don’t Overcook

Trout should be moist and fork-tender. Overcooking dries out and toughens the fish. Trout is done when it flakes easily when probed with a fork.

Handling Trout

To assure good flavor and texture when preparing trout, follow these helpful tips…

Fresh Trout

Should be glistening, flawless and clean smelling. The flesh should be firm and spring back when pressed. When buying whole trout, look for bright red gills and shiny skin. Whether you buy fresh or frozen, buy it last before heading home. If you’ll be delayed, have it packed on ice. Store fresh trout in the coldest part of your refrigerator (usually the lowest shelf at the back or in the meat keeper) as close to 32F as possible. Use fresh trout quickly; within 2 days.

Packaged Frozen Trout

Should be rock-hard, clear of ice crystals, having no white spots indicating freezer burn and showing no signs of thawed juices. Packages should be clean and tightly sealed. Store at 0 F or below for no more than three months.

To Thaw Trout

Gradually defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Avoid thawing at room temperature. To thaw quickly, seal fish in a plastic bag and immerse in cold water for about an hour OR microwave on the “defrost” setting, stopping when fish is still icy but pliable. Once trout thaws, it should be used immediately. NEVER RE-FREEZE TROUT AFTER THAWING…this will impair flavor.

Trout Preparation Pointers

One of the most appealing characteristics of trout is the variety of ways it can be cooked. For best results follow these basic pointers…

Baking Trout

To preserve flavor and moisture in the flesh, bake trout at a moderately high temperature, 400′ to 450’F, for the shortest period of time. Enhance moistness and flavor with a seasoned oil; or many baked recipes call for sauces or stuffings. Test for doneness by probing with a fork. Do not turn.

Broiling Trout

Never place trout closer than 4 inches from the source of heat. Baste well with a basting oil or sauce before and during cooking. Broil 8 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness. Do not turn.

Grilling Trout

Season to taste, or baste trout with selected sauce before and during grilling. Place trout on grill approximately 4 to 6 inches from hot charcoal. Cooking time varies with size of trout and temperature of grill. About 1 to 2 minutes per ounce of trout. Cook naturally folded, not open even if boned, unless otherwise directed. To turn, trout will roll easily on its rounded back. To remove from grill, slide spatula under trout from head to tail. To test for doneness, check inside that no pink is left. Trout that is done will flake easily with a fork. (NOTE: To help prevent sticking, spray grill with a non-stick product.)

Poaching Trout

Immerse trout in liquid barely covering it. For a flavor bonus, add wines or other liquids. DO NOT BOIL. Boiling will destroy the delicate flavor.

Pan-Frying Trout

Use a small amount of hot vegetable oil, about I inch, in heavy fry pan. Roll in coating and fry lightly, or saute, at a moderate temperature, until browned on one side. Place meat-side down first. Turn and brown second side. Do not overload pan. Trout is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

Deep Frying

Fill fryer about half full with oil. Use light breading (flour and/or cornmeal) or thin batter. (A thick batter absorbs fat.) Fry in deep oil at 325 to 350F until trout is brown and flakes easily with a fork.


Microwaving is especially suited to the high temperature and short time required for cooking trout. Always thaw trout completely to ensure even cooking. Cover fish with plastic wrap, but turn back one corner to allow venting. Cook at HIGH for 5 to 6 minutes per lb. for one whole fish; increase time for a larger number of fish. Allow to stand 3 to 5 minutes to complete cooking.

Remember…trout is a healthy choice!

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