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Grilled Whole Rainbow Trout

Grilled Whole Rainbow Trout

Ingredients

Directions

  1. For the beurre blanc: Place wine, vinegar and shallots into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until liquid has reduced by half leaving at least 3 tablespoons of liquid in the pan. Strain the liquid and return it to the pan set on low heat. Add tablespoons of butter to the pan one at a time. Whisk the butter into the liquid vigorously after each addition to emulsify. Repeat until all of the butter is incorporated and the sauce is light in colour. Remove from heat. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon. Stir in chopped herbs. Serve immediately or cover surface with wrap to keep warm while trout cooks.
  2. Prepare the trout: Bring the fish to room temperature 30 minutes before grilling. Dry the inside of the fish with paper towel, then do the same on the outside. Season the inside cavity with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add a run of onion slices, laying them flat along the inside of the fish. Repeat with the lemon. Add the chives, parsley and dill in a similar fashion, finishing with one additional row of lemon slices. Drizzle the upward-facing side of the fish with oil, rubbing it over evenly and finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Turn the fish over to oil and season the other side.
  3. Grill the trout: Before turning the grill on, brush or rub the surface with extra virgin olive oil. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, a consistent 450°F. Place trout onto grill. Immediately close grill and leave fish to cook undisturbed for 7 minutes. To flip the fish, grab the head firmly with a pair of tongs and gently lift it upwards to release the first half of the fish from the grill. Using a second pair of tongs, clutch the trout in its heavy midsection. Lift the entire fish from the grill. Invert and return it to the grill to cook covered for an additional 7 minutes, undisturbed.
  4. Prepare to serve: Transfer cooked fish to a large plate or platter. For instructions on deboning, see link in story. Serve deboned trout with slices of lemon and beurre blanc.
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Grilled Whole Rainbow Trout

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Whole rainbow trout stuffed with fresh chives, dill, parsley, onion and lemon, grilled perfectly and finished with an herbed beurre blanc…

  • clock icon
    30 MIN
  • 2-4 SERVINGS
Whole Grilled Rainbow Trout

This recipe for GRILLED WHOLE RAINBOW TROUT is, literally, off the hook!

I’ve said it before, but this time I really, really mean it; prepare to be amazed. Like all our recipes, our GRILLED WHOLE RAINBOW TROUT was tested again and again until we got it right. We started by perfecting the “tastes delicious” and “perfectly cooked” parts of the recipe, but then moved on to the big challenge: cooking a whole fish that stays together on the grill. We’re happy to present our findings and this guide for your use and enjoyment. We know you’ll love this grilled fish recipe as much as we do (and we really, really do!).

We expect this recipe will be as popular as some of the other essential recipes you’ve fallen in love with over the years. Who can forget our holiday favourite ROAST GOOSE or this expertly prepared GRILLED BEEF TENDERLOIN? What about those EASY GRILLED PORK CHOPS, and then our most requested vegetarian post, QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS. We’ve got something for everyone!

The MISEN 5-piece knife set

One of the features in this story is the process of deboning a whole fish. Successfully removing bones from a properly prepared fish such as trout, snapper, grouper and many others is easier than you think. It does help to have the proper tools to do so. For this story I used my new MISEN CHEF KNIFE. Head HERE to see these amazing knives and enter the code COTTAGE to receive 20% off your order.

OK, time to prepare GRILLED WHOLE RAINBOW TROUT!

Ingredients for Whole Grilled Rainbow Trout

TACKLE BOX

Since this is a fish story, best to look at this rectangular-shaped image of the ingredients as as sort of tackle-this-recipe box. I’ll share some suggestions on the trout itself in the next section but for everything else, pretty easy right? Simply gather your favourite herbs plus have a sweet white onion and a few juicy lemons at the ready and you’ll sail through this recipe with no problems.

The whole trout cleaned and ready to be stuffed

CATCH THIS 

Head HERE for the lowdown on RAINBOW TROUT, a fish prized for its flavour. Rainbow trout and its equally popular cousin, steelhead trout, have long been popular catches for fly-fishers. Let’s say fishing isn’t your thing (Nik puts his hand up) you can still enjoy a freshly caught trout that’s either been reeled in by a friend or purchased from a local fish market or grocer.

Whole rainbow trout is usually sold already cleaned. Some are also ready for sale with the scales removed by a professional, although scaling trout isn’t essential. We think a scaled trout is more appetizing but we’ll let you decide based on personal preference. A good rule of thumb for selecting market-bought trout is to look for one that weighs between 1 and 1½ pounds, cleaned. I also like to look the fish in the eye. I was taught that clear eyes means the fish is recently caught, while cloudy or hazy eyes might mean the fish has been around for a bit too long. The eyes have it!

Lemon, onion and fresh herbs ready to be used to stuff the fish

STUFFING

We often think of incorporating stuffing for whole fowl like goose, turkey and chicken, but stuffing adds lots of flavour in this recipe as well. Don’t get too fussy about our simple call for lemon, onion and the trio of fresh dill, parsley and chives; this stuffing doesn’t get eaten. This fragrant bouquet of fillers is a true flavour enhancer so feel free to experiment with other herbs too. Tarragon, basil and fresh thyme are also welcome in this mix. Two additional things to remember before you stuff; bring the fish to room temperature and pat both the inside and outside dry before you begin. This prevents the fish from sticking to the grill.

GRILL TIME

Just a few things to consider about the cooking of this GRILLED WHOLE RAINBOW TROUT. First, oil your grill before turning it on. You can brush it lightly with extra virgin olive oil or add a bit to a clean cloth and rub it across the grill surface. Second thing is temperature, and we found a consistent 450°F works best. Last thing about grilling goes to the cook time based on weight. We cooked our 1½ pound trout for 7 minutes per side, 14 minutes total. Cook a smaller trout for about 12 minutes and a larger one for about 16. You’ll know your trout is done when the outside skin is perfectly crispy and the flesh is slightly soft to the touch.

The whole fish flipped and cooking on the grill

HIGH TURN OVER

The key moment in this recipe happens when we turn the fish over after the first 7 minutes of grill time. The goal is to flip the fish without breaking the skin or falling apart. We suggest watching this VIDEO before you begin to better understand our two-tong method. To successfully flip a whole fish, we use the first pair of tongs to grab the head and lift it up from the grill. This upwards lift provides plenty of room for the second pair of tongs to firmly grab the fish by its heavy midsection. You’ll then be able to lift the entire whole trout without incident, give it a flip and cook for the remaining 7 minutes.

Whole Grilled Rainbow Trout

OFF GRILL

Once the fish is cooked, you’ll be able to remove it from the grill using both sets of tongs to gently lift the fish and transfer it to a large plate or platter. Unlike some mains that need a rest period for juices to settle, rainbow trout can be served straight away. Wait! There is still one thing to consider; to serve it as-is or debone it. We vote deboned and the next section covers just that.

The whole fish deboned

DEBONE

Taking a few moments to properly debone trout is a game changer. Although you or your guests might still find one or two bones when you go to enjoy, most will have been removed if you follow our easy process. Again, just watch this VIDEO for a step-by-step guide on the process. We guarantee you’ll be able to add “I can debone fish” to your culinary repertoire after just one try.

Beurre blanc flavoured with chopped fresh herbs

SAUCE

Here’s a wonderful little added bonus treat: an exceptionally perfect sauce to go with the trout. We prepared a classic BEURRE BLANC and echoed the flavours of the fish stuffing by stirring the same herbs in right before serving. Having the sauce on the side also allows guests to enjoy it with their veggies too. It has boatloads of flavour and pairs perfectly with this fish main course.

The fish served with herbed beurre blancbeurre blanc

SERVE

Looking at the photo of dinner served. It sure does look special, right? Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a ton of work though because it’s quite the opposite. I now prepare and serve this trout dinner with a tossed salad, our CREAMY BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING and an easy side like buttered peas and carrots. Oh, and maybe one more thing; how about a nice bottle of a favourite chilled white wine? Fingers crossed you have a pinot grigio or a cabernet sauvignon ready to go. A beautiful white and this main – you can’t go wrong.

The trout served with a fresh salad and sauteed peas and carrots

What a catch! GRILLED WHOLE RAINBOW TROUT is perfect!

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Products used in this recipe

Just click on the below links to purchase items through Amazon.com and add them to your collection. Happy shopping!

Grilled Whole Rainbow Trout

Ingredients

  • For the trout:
  • pound whole rainbow trout, cleaned, descaled
  • ½ white onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ lemon, cut lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sprinkle kosher salt
  • sprinkle black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh chives
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • ½ cup fresh dill
  • extra slices of lemon to serve
  • For the beurre blanc:
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • sprinkle kosher salt
  • squeeze of lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped

Directions

  1. For the beurre blanc: Place wine, vinegar and shallots into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until liquid has reduced by half leaving at least 3 tablespoons of liquid in the pan. Strain the liquid and return it to the pan set on low heat. Add tablespoons of butter to the pan one at a time. Whisk the butter into the liquid vigorously after each addition to emulsify. Repeat until all of the butter is incorporated and the sauce is light in colour. Remove from heat. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon. Stir in chopped herbs. Serve immediately or cover surface with wrap to keep warm while trout cooks.
  2. Prepare the trout: Bring the fish to room temperature 30 minutes before grilling. Dry the inside of the fish with paper towel, then do the same on the outside. Season the inside cavity with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add a run of onion slices, laying them flat along the inside of the fish. Repeat with the lemon. Add the chives, parsley and dill in a similar fashion, finishing with one additional row of lemon slices. Drizzle the upward-facing side of the fish with oil, rubbing it over evenly and finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Turn the fish over to oil and season the other side.
  3. Grill the trout: Before turning the grill on, brush or rub the surface with extra virgin olive oil. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, a consistent 450°F. Place trout onto grill. Immediately close grill and leave fish to cook undisturbed for 7 minutes. To flip the fish, grab the head firmly with a pair of tongs and gently lift it upwards to release the first half of the fish from the grill. Using a second pair of tongs, clutch the trout in its heavy midsection. Lift the entire fish from the grill. Invert and return it to the grill to cook covered for an additional 7 minutes, undisturbed.
  4. Prepare to serve: Transfer cooked fish to a large plate or platter. For instructions on deboning, see link in story. Serve deboned trout with slices of lemon and beurre blanc.

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