Words cannot express how yummy fresh smoked trout is! We use a large camp oven which is quite effective to smoke two small whole trout at the same time, or two fillets. At trout harvest time though we need something bigger, so have a table-top electric smoker which is able to do 6-8 fillets at once- saving a lot to time!
The trout are cleaned, gutted and gilled (and filleted if preferred), then soaked in a saline solution for a while. This seems to help keep the fish moist. The camp oven is placed on the stove top, lined with aluminium foil, and the smoking material placed on top of the foil.
We usually use hickory shavings but there are numerous options available at camping stores. We also usually add our own extras, such as a good sprig of fresh rosemary, or a small section of lime or lemon tree with leaves attached. Once these are in place on the foil in the bottom of the camp oven, the trivet is placed on top, the lid replaced and the gas turned on to heat it up to smoking point.
There is a bit of a fine line here- it needs to be heated enough to start to smoke but not so much that the shavings burn. Once it starts smoking, add the fish (we often add whole garlic bulbs too if there is room- smoked garlic is delicious!), replace the lid and keep it heating so the smoke is maintained but the materials aren’t burning. It takes about 20 minutes for us- if we try not to open the lid to check!
Once the fish is cooked, turn off the heat and remove the trivet with the fish (careful, the fish is usually stuck to it) and replace the lid quickly because the whole house will fill up with smoke if you take too long!!
Once the camp oven has cooled down, the foil with all the charred material can just be wrapped up and thrown away, and the oven wiped down and oiled if needed ready for next time!