How to Cook Fresh Brook Trout


There are few things tastier than freshly caught brook trout, though if you have access to a reputable fishmonger, you can purchase it cleaned and ready to cook. Brook trout, like most fish, cooks very quickly, so the key to a tender and moist result lies completely in the timing. Trout is versatile enough to use almost any cooking method, but the full flavor and delicate, firm texture shine through most deliciously when it is cooked very simply.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Paper towels
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemons
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Clean fresh brook trout by cutting off the head and tail. Slice open the belly and clean out the guts. Cut the fish into fillets, or leave it butterflied if you intend to stuff it before cooking. Remove the skin if you prefer, though trout is often cooked with it on.

  • Rinse the fish thoroughly in cool water. Pat it dry with paper towels. This is not as necessary if you have purchased the fish already cleaned.

  • Season your brook trout with salt, pepper, lemon juice or seasonings. Brook trout has a rich flavor, so don’t be afraid of strong seasonings. Coat your grill rack or broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray, or wipe them down with a paper towel dampened with oil. Any oil will do, though olive oil adds flavor. If pan-frying brook trout, coat the skillet with a thin film of oil.

  • Preheat your grill, broiler or skillet to medium-high. If using a skillet, it is hot enough to cook the fish when you can smell the oil or it develops a shimmer across its surface.

  • Cook brook trout for 5 minutes per every 1/2 inch of thickness, turning it once halfway through the cooking time. This timing holds true whether you broil, grill or pan-fry brook trout.

  • Check for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the largest piece of fish. Your brook trout is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 F. The meat will be fully opaque and flake easily with a fork.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stuff whole, cleaned brook trout with seasoned bread crumbs, chopped cooked mushrooms and crab meat before cooking for a special treat.
  • Do not overcook brook trout or it will dry out and get tough.

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