Grilled Whole Trout
If there is a food that I don’t *normally* like being served, or well, serving to myself, this is it right here.
A fish – cooked whole.
There is something about them that I *normally* find particularly unappealing.
I think it’s that to me, it looks like a carcass. ESPECIALLY after the flesh has been removed. Then that’s all your left with. A head, a tail and a bunch of bones. Speaking of which… I can’t stand bones. Not in my fish, not in my chicken, not in my meat. – Period – Well, alright. There is but one tiny little exception: Rib Steaks. Ya gotta love da bone on a ribsteak! That’s the best part! But I barely ever eat those anymore, so technically, they don’t even count.
Alright, enough about bones… Back to the fish, shall we?
For some reason, there was something about this particular fish that I found exceptionally pretty. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it, and then I had a real hard selecting my favorites!
So brace yourselves, your gonna see its face… A LOT!
My special attachment to this lil’ fella is probably due to the fact that he was given to me by one of my co-workers, who happens to be an avid fly fisherman, but who doesn’t really care much for fish. Once in a while, he’ll go on a fishing trip and bring me back a few yummy delicate trouts or a humongous, tasty salmon.
I feel sooooo privileged when he does that! I’m telling you guys, it doesn’t get any fresher than this. Or better tasting!
Or better looking! 😉
Grilling a whole fish isn’t really all that complicated you know. In fact, I don’t think there is an easier way of cooking fish. It’s so easy, you don’t even need a recipe.
First, you want to preheat your grill to a nice, cozy medium heat, around 350F-375F.
Then, all you need to do is grab your fish and sprinkle the cavity quite liberally with salt and pepper, then stuff it with a bunch of fresh herbs, such as thyme, oregano, dill, rosemary, marjoram or even fennel.
Then, you can add a few slices of lemon, lime or even oranges, a few cloves of garlic, a few slices of onion if you’d like, or even a few dried chilis, why not?
You can basically stuff your fish with whatever aromatics tickle your fancy. Hey, if you want to use cinnamon, be my guest! I promise not to tell anyone! 😉
So long as you keep it healthy, knock yourself out. Have fun and improvise!
Once your fish is all good and stuffed and ready to go, sprinkle a little bit more salt and pepper on top of it, then flip it around and season the other side as well.
You may also want to lightly brush the skin with a little bit of olive oil to help it not adhere to the grill. For the record, I chose to skip that step, for I feel trout is already fatty enough as it is, and still managed to lift that fish in one piece!
Now throw your fish on the grill (not literally… be delicate, you know. That fish didn’t do anything to you!) close the lid and cook until the skin gets nice and crispy with beautiful grill marks on it and the flesh starts to turn opaque. Whatever you do, DON’T move your fish. You’ll only end up breaking the skin and delicate flesh. You may gingerly lift a corner to check for doneness, but no more.
When the fish is ready to be flipped, it should detach easily from the grill. Carefully flip it over and continue cooking until the flesh is cooked all the way through.
Cooking time varies greatly depending on the size of your fish, but as a general rule of thumb, you’re looking at around 10 minutes per inch of thickness, so that’s usually about 5 to 10 minutes per side.
Carefully transfer your fish to a serving plate or cutting board.
And there you have it, a beautiful, whole grilled fish (wait a minute, did I just use the words beautiful, whole and grilled fish together in the same sentence?) all good and ready to serve. Just look at that gorgeous, tender and juicy flesh.
And yes, that IS white rice you see. Please, don’t judge me too harshly, I was feeling lazy that night and the kids had made some for themselves, so I stole a little bit… beggars can’t be choosers… 😉
I have to admit that this method of cooking fish not only confers an unbelievable flavor to the flesh, but it also keeps it deliciously moist and allows you to not waste any of it. You can literally strip your fish down to the bone and consume every last ounce of meat.
I think I’m a made me a believer!
You with me?
27 Comments on “Grilled Whole Trout”
I was just about to ‘leave’ to get ready for about 12-15 nonstop hours of the Olympics [after this morning’s fabulous Opening Ceremony: got up at 5.30 am for that 🙂 !] The Brits DO have style!! Could not believe Her Majesty had such brilliant sense of humour!! Roared ‘Hey Jude’ along with the world! Hmm, yes, and then I saw your brilliant fish photos. So sorry, Sonia[;!] we disagreed on breakfast and here we shall disagree again 🙂 I think the trout and the way you have cooked it, is brilliant and I wish I had the plate right here! Love whole fish, love ALL kinds of bones: you should see me with chicken legs and lamb riblets – attack them fingers and all and chew them cleaner than any pup does 😀 ! Hope you are well: I’m off where every Australian [just about] already is!!
Once again, thank you very much Eha. Your comments never fail to make me smile, even if we’re not always on the same page. Thanks for saying my fish is brilliant, I’m sure he would’ve been happy to hear that! 🙂 Enjoy the Olympics (I plead guilty to not having even caught a glimpse as of yet… too many things on my plate!)
I love trout! I bet with the smoke from the grill it tastes wonderful! I don’t have a bbq, but simply frying it in a pan also works very well. It’s my favorite fish, at the moment :-). Great recipe and bon week-end 🙂
Thanks a bunch Elana! I think you should definitely get your hands on a BBQ. I know I really couldn’t be without mine. Wish I could use it year long! It makes food taste so much better! 🙂
Bon week-end to you too! 🙂
I thought you should know that after reading this on Saturday morning, I went out to buy a whole trout for dinner! Cooked whole trout is one of my ultimate favourite meals, it feels so nourishing and delicious! I cook mine in a foil parcel with fennel, a splash of white wine, lemon thyme and lemon slices. Love the photos of yours – it’s always hard to make cooked fish with the head on look pretty rather than creepy, but you’ve done it!
Oh, thank you so much for saying that, Elly. Your comment put such a huge smile on my face. I totally agree, whole cooked fish usually look creepy. Your agreeing with me that this one actually is pretty is music to my ears. Glad I inspired you to go out and buy a fish! Yours sounds delicious too, bet it turned into quite a feast! 🙂
Mmmmmmmmm… you are having a great fish run! So are we and loving it! I haven’t done a whole fish in ages and now with your inspiration I’m going to give it a go (after I fill my barbeque propane tank again – I’ve been using it so much). As usual, Sonia, you present for us a winner 🙂
Thank you so much Cathie… I wasn’t too sure about this. Not everybody loves fish, you see… glad to hear it pleases you! Your comment is just so kind, too. I truly appreciate it.
Oh, and go ahead and get that tank filled already! Summer is way too short for empty propane tanks!
Charcoal is the way to go. Use lump charcoal so that it’s real hardwood with a great smokey flavour.
Beautiful job on the fish. Looks like you cooked it perfectly. That is exactly how we like to prepare whole fish. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Griffin! Coming from you, I take that as a hell of a compliment! I am such a grill novice… 😉
Thanks for dropping by, always appreciate your visits! Oh, and by the way… I’ve got a grilled fruit salad coming up soon. Thought you, as a person who throws everything on the grill, might like that… 🙂
With a stunning fish like that, I can’t believe you are a novice. Can’t wait to see the grilled fruit salad.
If ya promise not to tell anybody, I’ll share a secret with you. 😉 When it starts to cool off this fall and winter, I got some grilled soup recipes I’ve been dieing to try out. No, really, grilled soup. I’m not joking. Seriously.
Funny you should mention that, Griffin… I also recently made a Cold Grilled Vegetable Soup, which will of course be making an appearance on this site shortly.
But grilled SOUP?
Hmmmm… you definitely got my attention! You better nudge me when you get those out! 🙂
And really… I’ve only got a few summers of grilling experience to my name! That doesn’t add up to too many hours… 😉
Made this last night and it was incredible.
Thanks for the great instructions!
Glad you liked, Sandy! Thanks a bunch for taking the time to let me know.
And the pleasure is all mine, really! 🙂
I am trying this as we speak! Caught a lovely trout just down the lane at a trout farm. I worried for a minute about not removing the scales. Did I miss that? Last time I prepared this I did that. I will let you know if It seems necessary. Thank you for the recipe! I filled my fish with lime, oregano, thyme, basil, parsley and chives. My herb garden really comes in handy for this easy recipe!!
Trout scales are very delicate, Krista, so it’s not necessary that you remove them, even if you are planning on eating the skin. I hope your fish turns out delicious! Keep me posted! 🙂
Wow! This came out perfect. Used lemon slices and fresh sage. Just make sure to really spray the grill with Pam. Thanks for the recipe. I will make this again.
Happy to hear, Zina! Thanks for the great feedback, and tip! 🙂
This is really wrong.
You don’t cook a trout that long.
HIgh heat, lid closed, 5 minutes per side should be plenty if you have a hot grill.
I’ve been cooking these for years and 5 minutes is plenty for it to be thoroughly cooked.
10 minutes a side will completely dry it out !!
I guess it all depends on the size of the fish… and temperature of your grill.
Look at the pictures! Does that fish look dry to you?
I’m assuming that this is for trout bought at a market. Almost all are 1/2 lb. (within 1 oz).
I grilled trout last night with a new grill this year. Same heat as my old Weber, same results.
4+ minutes a side with a CLOSED lid and oil lightly rubbed over the trout… perfectly done.
This guy was big! No idea how much it weighed, but the pan that it sat in while I prepped it is 13″ x 18″, to give you an idea. So he was at least 20″ long! Perhaps I should add a note in the post to that effect…
I’m with you even though not everyone here likes the way the whole trout looks on the plate.
Stuffed the trout with Thai chilies and that definitely added a beautiful kick to the fish.
Thanks for sharing.
I really want to try this recipe but I have a question. Should I descale the fish before grilling? And when do you remove the bones?
Hubby caught a 23″ brown trout last night. It’s far too big for cooking indoors so it’s to the bbq for this baby. Can’t wait to eat it! Love, love, love trout (Speckles are #1 but browns are close #2) Need to buy some herbs and citrus first. mmm I can smell it already!
Fabulous! All 4 of us really enjoyed the rosemary, oregano and thyme combo. I believe there liberal salting inside helped a whole lot. I used there and in a tin pan as I didn’t have a fish griller or Such . It honestly was 5 stars!