Charlie’s Smoked Trout Dip - A Summertime Favorite
July is national grilling month, and It’s also a great month to load up on trout. Perhaps the tastiest fish to be found in American rivers, streams and lakes, trout meat is delicate and mild with a touch of sweetness. And like its cousins, salmon and char, trout is absolutely fantastic in the smoker.
Whether its Lake, Brook, Rainbow, or any other trout species, you can make Charlie’s Smoked Trout Dip quickly, and it’s a guaranteed stunner at your next cookout.
All you need are some fresh trout fillets, a grill or smoker, and a few ingredients.
We recommend making this summertime favorite using fresh caught trout. The fresher the better.
Now, if you just caught your trout – and we hope you did - use an extra sharp fillet knife, like our 6-incher. This knife was designed specifically for filleting tender meat fish, and makes cleaning trout a snap. Just be sure to keep the skin on your fillets.
You’ll also need:
- cream cheese
- fresh dill
- fresh jalapenos
- fresh chives
- salt and pepper
Before you fire up the smoker (or use your grill as a smoker), you’ll need to brine your trout fillets. We at Charlie’s Worms prefer a dry brine. Dry brining helps intensify the flavor of the trout and makes smoking the meat a bit quicker.
For your dry brine, you’ll need
- Skin-on trout fillets
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup kosher or sea salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Remove any pin bones and pat dry your fillets. Then, mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Get out a casserole dish and coat the bottom with your brine mix.
Add your fillets, skin side down, then cover the fillets with more brine mix. After your fillets are well covered, wrap the dish in plastic and put it in the fridge. It should take about an hour or so for the brine to begin to liquefy. This liquid is the water in the fish meat being removed. The longer you keep the fillets in the brine, the more water is removed, and the more flavor intense your fish becomes.
Go ahead outside and fire up the smoker, aim for 170 to 180 degrees.
After you’ve reached your desired “brininess’, you can remove the fillets and rinse them clean with fresh water. Charlie’s Worms recommends brining your trout fillets for an hour and a half.
Lay your fillets skin down in the smoker and let ‘em “cook.” Depending on the thickness of your fillets, your fish should be in the smoker between an hour and a half and three hours. You can pull them when the internal temp of the meat reaches 145 deg, or the meat has a nice mahogany color to it.
About a half hour before you pull your trout from the smoker, get your other ingredients ready. You’ll want your cream cheese to be soft before you mix your dip. For every pound of smoked trout, you’ll need a pound of cream cheese.
Here’s your ingredient measurements
- 16 oz smoked trout fillets
- 16 oz cream cheese
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp fresh dill
- 2 or 3 fresh jalapenos (to top)
- 4 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
- a lemon, for zest and juice
- salt & pepper, to taste
And your crackers for dippin’.
Once your trout is out of the smoker, let it cool off for a bit, then remove the skin.
If you have a food processor, get it out and put your soft cream cheese in. Begin mixing your cream cheese, while crumbling in your smoked, de-skinned trout.
Then, add your paprika, the juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper and mix.
Once well mixed, remove from the processor and put your dip in a large bowl. Here, you’ll need to mix in the fresh herbs. Add your fresh dill and fresh chives and fold them into the dip.
You don’t want to add the fresh herbs into the food processor, as they may turn your dip green.
Dust the dip with some paprika…
Sprinkle some fresh chives atop…
Put your dip into the fridge for an hour or so…
Slice up your jalapenos…
And enjoy Charlies Smoked Trout Dip on some crackers!
Pro Tip: If you catch larger trout, like Lake Trout, you may need a bigger fillet knife to handle the job. Just like our 6” fillet knife, our 8” fillet knife is also designed specifically for filleting tender meat fish, like Lake Trout.
Since it’s national grilling month, and the trout are biting, we have our 6- and 8-inch knife set on sale. You can get them both, right now, with our July discount…
And we’ll get ‘em shipped to your house or cabin ASAP!
Enjoy the dip!