Grilled Trout

Two whole grilled trout, stuffed with rosemary on a grill over open coals with a dish of mushrooms and a couple halved lemons on the side.

Nothing is more romantic than cooking grilled trout in the open air surrounded by Mother Nature. Years ago, our waterways were packed with river trout, the salmo trutta. By now, of course, we all know that the fish sold to us by the fishmonger and in supermarkets is farmed. Trout farmed in special fish hatcheries are fattened with meal and other concentrates. This means that they cannot be compared with trout that have spent their life fighting their way upstream, living off insects and small shrimp-like creatures that they catch along the way. Farmed trout is often tasteless and the flesh is soft. But wild fish have firm, white meat and a real trout taste—and there is no better taste in the world. Unfortunately, there are now very few wild trout swimming in our rivers. So if you want to eat a real wild trout, you need to have a few days of patience—and a lot of persistence.–Pascale Naessens

LC Fishermen And Fisherwomen Note

Just out of curiosity, how many of you fixing to make this grilled trout recipe are fishermen and fisherwomen? We’d simply like to know if there are more recipes we can provide you for your catch. Kindly let us know in a comment below.

Grilled Trout

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 20 M
  • 40 M
  • Serves 2 to 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Prepare the grill for indirect cooking and preheat it to about 375°F (191°C).

Stuff the belly of each trout with some rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Rub some olive oil over the skin of the fish.

Place the trout over indirect heat and grill, flipping once, until cooked through, 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the fish and the temperature of your grill. The fish is done when it has those lovely grill marks on the outside and the fish flakes easily when you gently tug at the inside with a fork. During the last few minutes of grilling, toss the lemon slices on the grill to warm and turn occasionally so they don’t scorch. Serve right away.

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    Make-Ahead Mushroom Side Dish

    • Take a look at that photo at the top of the page. See what’s nestled in that cute cocotte alongside the trout? It’s perhaps the easiest make-ahead side dish ever for grilled fish. Just heat a glug of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Toss in 14 ounces quartered brown mushrooms and 2 thinly sliced scallions with a little salt, plenty of pepper, and some fresh or dried thyme to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms throw off their liquid and are lightly browned. Transfer to a heat-resistant dish or cocotte and let rest at room temperature while you grill the trout and grab drinks for everyone and mingle and make merry. When the trout is almost done, place the dish of sautéed ‘shrooms on the grill to warm. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before guests help themselves.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This dish is very easy to prepare and has great flavor from the lemon and rosemary. I used a fish-shaped grill basket which held the fish together very well and produced attractive grill marks on the fish. The trout took 8 minutes over direct heat on each side. My trout weighed just over 1 pound and was enough to serve 2.

    This is a simple and effective recipe to make grilled trout. My trout were 670 grams (1.17 pounds) and 629 grams (1.13 pounds) and were approximately 13 to 15 inches in length. I used 3 small lemons, and I sliced 2 to grill and used some of the juice from the last one for the mushrooms. The packages of mushrooms I purchased were 8 ounces each, so rather than take out 2 ounces mushrooms, I used them all with 4-5 sprigs thyme. The mushrooms took about 15 minutes to cook, and grilling the trout took a good 40 minutes over indirect heat. The result was pleasantly mild and tasty, but we all thought it could use a little something and we weren’t sure what—parsley or another herb perhaps? We all liked the grilled lemon with the fish. The lemon seemed to get a little sweeter when grilled. This is a great recipe for a simple grilled fish dinner.  Next time I make this, I might add a few other herbs to the belly of the fish before grilling.

    I didn't have any whole trout, but I did have a couple of beautiful whole fillets, so I took two of them, totaling 13 ounces, sprinkled them with salt and pepper and a sprig of rosemary, and placed them together, securing them with some kitchen twine and mimicking a whole fish. I cooked it entirely over indirect heat with the grill at around 375°F. This yielded lovely grill marks and took exactly 20 minutes. I added lemon slices to the grill for the last 4 minutes of cooking and served them alongside the grilled trout. The fish had a nice flavor, and the aroma and subtle flavor of the rosemary was really good.

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    1. We live in NW Oregon, where fresh wild trout and salmon are abundant (if you have the patience and skill). My husband is teaching our son just those skills. I’m lucky enough to get freshly caught fish on a regular basis. PLEASE keep on sharing these great recipes for the catch. BTW, perfect timing on this recipe- the two of them went fishing this morning and came home with 3 big rainbow trout. I’m thrilled to try something new.

    2. I used to buy small frozen trout & cook them in the microwave. I learned after the first attempt to remove the head – the eyes exploded. :-)

    3. Yes, please! I bring my catch – saltwater and fresh – to my tiny Manhattan kitchen, so there are no grill marks, but always a tender, flaky treat.

      1. Wonderful, Dee B.! I cooked in a Manhattan kitchen for a decade and yes, we lack the grill marks yet the taste is most definitely there. Looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next!

    4. A bit of fishy discourse: Salmo trutta is Brown Trout, a European species introduced to the US, and commonly stocked in our streams. They do very well here, being a little more tolerant of warmer water than our native trouts. I’ll spare you all the piscine Latin, but the main native species are Brook Trout (actually a char) and Rainbow Trout (closely related to Pacific salmon). Virtually all farm-raised trout are Rainbows. I’ve never seen Brown Trout in a store, but have caught and eaten lots of them (in NY and Wyoming).

      Out west, there are other species (such as Cutthroat—which I’ve caught and released—and Golden trout) as well. In the east, we also have Lake Trout and Landlocked Salmon, and farther north, Arctic Char… but they’re something else altogether.

      I agree that farm-raised trout are but a pale imitation of wild trout, culinarily speaking. Trout flesh is quite lean… when camping, I like to butter them thickly, wrap in foil, and bake them in the ashes of a campfire.

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