Trout-Handling & Cooking

Trout Tips

For best results, remember these Trout Tips…

Trout Don’t Need to be Scaled
Removing the tiny scales also removes the thin coat of natural jelly around the scales that allows the trout to be breaded without using liquid

Do Not Overcook.Trout should be moist and fork-tender. Overcooking dries out and makes the trout tough
Trout is done when it flakes easily when probed with a fork.

Cook fast and hot
Trout fried at a low temperature absorbs too much fat. The best temperature is 325°F to 350°F.

Use Mild Oils
Strong flavors in fats can be transferred to the taste of the trout. Best fats include butter, hydrogenated shortening, peanut or corn oils.
To assure good flavor and texture when preparing trout, follow these…

How to handle

Fresh Trout…should be glistening, flawless and clean smelling. The flesh should be firm and bounce back when pressed.
Whole trout should have bright red gills and shiny skin. Whether you buy fresh or frozen, buy it last before heading home. If you’ll be delayed, have it packed on ice. Store fresh trout in the coldest part of your refrigerator (usually the lowest shelf at the back or in the meat keeper) as close to 32°F as possible. Use fresh trout quickly; within 2 days.

Packaged Frozen Trout
Should be rock-hard, clear of ice crystals, having no white spots indicating freezer burn and showing no signs of thawed juices. Packages should be clean and tightly sealed. Store at 0° F or below for no more than three months.

To Thaw Trout
Defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Do not thaw at room temperature. To thaw quickly, seal fish in a plastic bag and put in cold water for about an hour.
you can also microwave on the “defrost” setting, stopping when fish is still icy but not stiff.
Use immediately after thawing
DO NOT RE-FREEZE AFTER THAWING

Preparation

Baking
To preserve flavor and moisture in the flesh, bake trout at a moderately high temperature, 400°F to 450°F, for the shortest period of time. Enhance moistness and flavor with a mild seasoned oil
Test for doneness by probing with a fork. Do not turn.

Broiling...Never place trout closer than 4 inches to the source of heat. Baste well with a basting oil or sauce before and during cooking. Broil 8 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness. Do not turn.

Grilling
Season to taste, or baste trout sauce before and during grilling. Place trout on grill approximately 4 to 6 inches from hot charcoal.
Cooking time varies with size of trout and temperature of grill. About 1 to 2 minutes per ounce of trout.
Cook naturally folded, not open even if boned, unless otherwise directed. To turn, trout will roll easily on its rounded back. To remove from grill, slide spatula under trout from head to tail. To test for doneness, check inside that no pink is left. Trout that is done will flake easily with a fork.

Pan-Frying
Use a small amount of hot vegetable oil, about I inch, in heavy fry pan. Roll in coating and fry lightly, or saute, at a moderate temperature, until browned on one side. Place meat-side down first. Turn and brown second side. Do not overload pan. Trout is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

Deep Frying
Fill fryer about half full with oil. Use light breading or thin batter. (A thick batter absorbs fat.) Fry in deep oil at 325° F to 350° Funtil trout is brown and flakes easily with a fork.

Poaching…Immerse trout in liquid barely covering it. For a flavor bonus, add wines or other liquids. DO NOT BOIL. Boiling will destroy the delicate flavor.

Microwave
Microwaving is especially suited to the high temperature and short time required for cooking trout. Always thaw trout completely to ensure even cooking.
Cover fish with plastic wrap, but turn back one corner to allow venting. Cook at HIGH for 5 to 6 minutes per lb. for one whole fish; increase time for a larger number of fish. Allow to stand 3 to 5 minutes to complete cooking.