Can You Smoke Trout Without Brine?

Smoking trout is a popular method of preparing this fish and enhancing its flavor. However, many people wonder if it’s possible to smoke trout without using brine. In this article, we will explore this question and provide you with some useful tips for smoking trout without brine.

What is Brine?

Before we dive into the topic, let’s first understand what brine is. Brine is a solution of water, salt, sugar, and sometimes spices that you soak the fish in before smoking. The purpose of brining is to add flavor to the fish and help it retain moisture during the smoking process.

Smoking Trout Without Brine

The short answer is yes, you can smoke trout without using brine. However, there are some important things to keep in mind if you choose to go this route.

Firstly, when smoking trout without brine, be sure to use fresh fish. Fresh fish has a higher moisture content than frozen fish, which helps it retain moisture during smoking.

Secondly, it’s important to use a low-temperature smoker or smoke your trout over indirect heat on a grill. High temperatures can cause the fish to dry out quickly and become tough.

Seasoning Your Trout

When smoking trout without brine, seasoning becomes especially important since you won’t have the added flavors from the brining solution. You can season your trout with a variety of spices such as black pepper, garlic powder, paprika or any other seasoning that complements the flavor of the fish.

Prepping Your Smoker or Grill

If using a smoker or grill for smoking your trout without brine make sure that it’s clean and well-oiled before placing your fish on it. If using wood chips for added flavor make sure they are soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before use. This will help them produce smoke instead of catching fire.

Smoking Your Trout

When smoking your trout without brine, it’s important to keep a close eye on it to prevent it from drying out. You can smoke your trout for 2-3 hours at a temperature of around 180-200°F. Make sure to baste your trout with some oil or butter every hour to keep it moist.


In conclusion, you can definitely smoke trout without brine. However, be sure to use fresh fish, season it well and smoke it at a low temperature using a smoker or grill. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious smoked trout without the need for brine.

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet