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How to Cook Trout Outside: A Wilderness Culinary Guide

Trout is a classic catch for any fishing enthusiast, but cooking it outdoors, over an open fire, elevates the entire experience. Whether you’re on a backcountry adventure, having a backyard bonfire, or somewhere in between, these techniques will surely impress anyone who enjoys fresh fish.

Essentials for Outdoor Trout Cooking:

  • Cast Iron Skillet: Retains heat and evenly distributes it for that perfect sear.
  • Grill Grate: Useful for open flame cooking, it ensures even heat distribution and prevents the fish from directly touching the flames.

The Experience:
Nothing beats the satisfaction of enjoying a fish you caught yourself, especially when cooked outdoors. The smokiness of an open flame brings out the freshness and delicate flavors of the trout.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Trout Outdoors:

  1. Catch or Buy a Trout:
    For the authentic outdoor experience, catching your trout is recommended. But, if that’s not feasible, a fresh trout from the market works just as well.
  2. Preparing the Trout:
    If you’re dealing with a fresh catch, you have the option to fillet or gut the trout. For smaller trout or if short on time, gutting is the quicker option.
    • To gut: Make an incision along the fish’s belly, starting from the vent and ending at the pectoral fins. Make additional cuts behind the gill plates. Firmly pinch the throat area, pushing your fingers into the cuts, and pull down. Clean out any remaining guts and the bloodline along the spine.
  3. Choose Your Cooking Method: A. Foil-Wrapped and Broiled Over Hot Coals
    Ingredients: Whole gutted trout, butter, lemon, fresh herbs, fish seasoning.
    • Prepare a piece of aluminum foil, lay the trout on it, and season the inside with butter, lemon slices, and herbs.
    • Wrap the fish securely in the foil and place it on the campfire coals or on a grill grate.
    • Cook for approximately 10 minutes on each side. The meat should easily fall off the bone when done.
    B. Bushcraft Brook Trout
    Requirements: A gutted fish, a sturdy green stick, a campfire.
    • Skewer the trout with a pre-soaked green stick, ensuring it runs along the spine.
    • Position the trout over the campfire at a distance where it gets cooked but not burnt. Secure the stick in place and rotate as necessary.
    • Once the skin is lightly charred and the meat flaky, it’s ready to eat.

Final Words:
Cooking trout outdoors is a rewarding culinary adventure that combines the joys of fishing with the primal thrill of cooking over an open flame. Next time you’re in nature, consider this your essential guide to savoring the most of your trout dinner.

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