Smoked Steelhead in Modified ECB Smoker

Well, my original plan was to smoke some salmon.  You can't really cold smoke anything in an ECB (or, if you can, you are a better man than I) but it sure seemed like I ought to be able to do a better job with salmon in the smoker than on the grill.  So, I headed to the grocery store.  Well, as it turned out, the local natural and organic grocery store didn't have any salmon.  Harumph.  However, they did have steelhead trout!  Huzzah!

This was my first attempt cooking steelhead and I'm definitely going back for more.  The advantage of steelhead over salmon is that it's much, much cheaper.  Or, at least it is here in Montana where you can just pull the lil' buggers out of the water if you know what you are doing (I don't).

The downside is that there are a lot more pin bones.  So, you can either spend some time with pliers and pull them all out beforehand or just warn folks when they are eating that there are going to be bones.  Other than that, though, it's all WIN with steelhead.

If I recall, I brined these fillets in a combination of salt water and dill.  Then I took them out of the brine and let them sit at room temperature for an hour or so.  Typically you do this so you get a little bit of a salty crust on the outside of the fish.  I then got my smoker maintaining around 200 degrees and smoked the trout until it hit 145F internal temperature.

I don't have any pictures of the bratwurst that I had on the top rack of the smoker, but they really helped out the trout.  Dripping fatty goodness and some of the really spicy rub that I put on the bratwurst.  Yum.  Anyway, check out the picture.

Smoked Steelhead Trout

Yumps!

If I can dig up the bratwurst pictures, I'll post them here at a later date.  Now, get out there and get smoking.... or, at least eating. 😉