A dish of smoked steelhead.

Smoked Winter Steelhead Recipe

The reward of going steelhead fishing is the fishing. The bonus when is comes to winter steelhead fishing is a hatchery steelhead to harvest and take home. My mission when steelhead fishing has never been trying to catch a hatchery fish. I just love getting outdoors, fishing with friends, and enjoying the moment. But every now and again, you hook and land a hatchery steelhead to take home and eat.

One of my favorite winter steelhead recipes is smoked winter steelhead. Smoked steelhead is one of my go to recipes, and you too can use your smoker to make some of the best smoked fish ever!Ingredients:2 Cups Gin1 Cup Brown Sugar1/2 Cup Kosher Salt1 Tbsp Ground Pepper1 Cup Maple Syrup3-6 lbs of Winter Steelhead (bones removed)Mix all the ingredients but the fish in a very large container. I use a container called the briner jr. Add all the dry ingredients into the container, then mix with the gin, breaking down the salt and brown sugar to fully incorporate. Next add the maple syrup to thicken the wet brine. Stir for a couple of minutes to ensure everything is mixed well. Set aside the brine. Next prep the steelhead, removing all the bones with tweezers and trimming up any loose pieces, cutting off any fins. Cut into 1 inch wide pieces, and place into the container with the brine.Leave the brined steelhead in the fridge for 24 hours to marinate.After 24 hours, take the container of the fridge. On a large cutting board or sheet pan tray, lay paper towels down, then place the steelhead onto of the paper towels. Take additional paper towels and dry off all the remaining liquid. Get the steelhead as dry as possible and ready for the smoker.Turn your smoker on with the temperature around 150 (I smoke my steelhead on the Traeger, so turn it to smoke setting which is around 150). Place a sheet of tin foil on the grate, spray some non-stick spray on the foil, then lay the steelhead onto the foil. After all the pieces have been put on the foil, sprinkle a small amount of brown sugar onto each piece of steelhead, this will make it a sweet flavored smoked steelhead. Smoke the steelhead for about 2 1/2 – 3 hours depending on the thickness of the steelhead, how hot/cold your smoker is running, and your desired texture. Take the steelhead off the smoker when done, place on a plate or into a container. Let the steelhead rest at room temperature for a few hours to cool down. Side note – do not leave out in an area a dog can get to, don’t ask me why. Then enjoy your smoked winter steelhead with family and friends. Once the steelhead is cool enough, you can vacuum seal pieces and place them in the fridge or freezer to give to friends or enjoy later.

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