How to Cook Trout on the Grill

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Trout need a screaming-hot grill, mainly for their initial sear. Fillets and whole trout both do best finished over indirect heat. Trout aren't particular about fuel; charcoal and gas both work equally well, but one side of your grill has to produce medium-high to high heat and the other low. If you have a charcoal grill, simply pile the lit coals on one side and their indirect heat will carry over to the other side, where the trout can finish softly after a hard sear. Gas is just as easy; set the burners on one side to low and those on the other side to medium-high.

How to Cook Trout on the Grill
(Brad Jones/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Vegetable oil
  • Herbs and seasonings to taste
  • Aromatic vegetables
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Wire brush
Step 1

Marinate the fillets for 10 to 15 minutes in your marinade of choice. Scrape the excess marinade off the fillets before you take them to the grill, especially if they contain sugar.

Brad Jones/Demand Media
Step 2

Season the fillets with salt, pepper and spices, whatever matches your taste. Lay the fillets on the hot side of the grill; space each fillet at least 1/2 inch apart.

Brad Jones/Demand Media
Step 3

Grill the fillets until you see the edges curl; moisture beads on top of the fillets when they're ready to turn. It takes about 5 to 6 minutes for 1/2-inch-thick trout fillet to sear on one side.

Brad Jones/Demand Media
Step 4

Lift the fillets from the hot side of the grill and flip them over onto the cool side. Cook the trout until it reaches 135 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit; trout isn't a fish that benefits from medium-rare doneness.

Brad Jones/Demand Media
Step 5

Transfer the fillets to a plate. Finish with freshly chopped herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice. Smear a little butter on top before serving for a smooth finish and gloss.

Brad Jones/Demand Media
Step 1

Rinse the trout inside and out with a low stream of cool water; dry the fish with paper towels.

Brad Jones/Demand Media
Step 2

Coat the trout inside and out with vegetable oil and season it to taste. Focus your seasoning inside the cavity.

Brad Jones/Demand Media
Step 3

Pack the cavity with herbs and aromatic vegetables. The choice of vegetables is up to you; vegetables produce steam during grilling that helps the rate of cooking inside of the fish keep up with the outside.

Brad Jones/Demand Media
Step 4

Lay the trout on the hot side of the grill. Cook the trout until the edges start to brown and turn them.

Brad Jones/Demand Media
Step 5

Cook the trout another 5 to 10 minutes; their interiors will reach between 135 and 145 when they're ready to serve.

Brad Jones/Demand Media

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