United States Trout Farmers Association

Trout Tips & Handling How-To's

Trout Tips   Handling  Preparation 




Trout Production



Trout Tips, Handling How-To's, and Preparation Pointers
About Farm-Raised Trout
Farm-Raised Trout - A Healthy Choice



Trout Talk
Salmonid Magazine Quality Assurance
Member Sign
USTFA Policies
Membership Info
Officers, Board, & Patrons
Internet Resources
Mercury Levels in Farm-Raised Rainbow Trout

USTFA T-Shirts and Hats


Contact Us

No part of this web site may be reproduced without the express permission of the United States Trout Farmers Association, 2008

Trout Tips

For best results, remember these Trout Tips...

Trout Don't Need to be Scaled...Removal of the tiny scales also removes the thin coat of natural jelly around the scales that allows the trout to be breaded without using any type of liquid

Use Mild Flavored Oils...Off-flavors in fats can be transferred to the taste of the trout. Best fats include butter, hydrogenated shortening, peanut or corn oils.

Hot and Quick...Trout fried at a low temperature absorbs too much fat. The best temperature is 325 to 350F.

Don't Overcook...Trout should be moist and fork-tender. Overcooking dries out and toughens the fish. Trout is done when it flakes easily when probed with a fork.


To assure good flavor and texture when preparing trout, follow these...

Handling How-To' s


Fresh Trout...should be glistening, flawless and clean smelling. The flesh should be firm and spring back when pressed. When buying whole trout, look for bright red gills and shiny skin. Whether you buy fresh or frozen, buy it last before heading home. If you'll be delayed, have it packed on ice. Store fresh trout in the coldest part of your refrigerator (usually the lowest shelf at the back or in the meat keeper) as close to 32F as possible. Use fresh trout quickly; within 2 days.

Packaged Frozen Trout...should be rock-hard, clear of ice crystals, having no white spots indicating freezer burn and showing no signs of thawed juices. Packages should be clean and tightly sealed. Store at 0 F or below for no more than three months.

To Thaw Trout...gradually defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Avoid thawing at room temperature. To thaw quickly, seal fish in a plastic bag and immerse in cold water for about an hour OR microwave on the "defrost" setting, stopping when fish is still icy but pliable. Once trout thaws, it should be used immediately. NEVER RE-FREEZE TROUT AFTER THAWING...this will impair flavor.


One of the most appealing characteristics of trout is the variety of ways it can be cooked. For best results follow these basic...

Preparation Pointers

Baking...To preserve flavor and moisture in the flesh, bake trout at a moderately high temperature, 400' to 450'F, for the shortest period of time. Enhance moistness and flavor with a seasoned oil; or many baked recipes call for sauces or stuffings. Test for doneness by probing with a fork. Do not turn.

Broiling...Never place trout closer than 4 inches from the source of heat. Baste well with a basting oil or sauce before and during cooking. Broil 8 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness. Do not turn.

Grilling... Season to taste, or baste trout with selected sauce before and during grilling. Place trout on grill approximately 4 to 6 inches from hot charcoal. Cooking time varies with size of trout and temperature of grill. About 1 to 2 minutes per ounce of trout. Cook naturally folded, not open even if boned, unless otherwise directed. To turn, trout will roll easily on its rounded back. To remove from grill, slide spatula under trout from head to tail. To test for doneness, check inside that no pink is left. Trout that is done will flake easily with a fork. (NOTE: To help prevent sticking, spray grill with a non-stick product.)

Poaching...Immerse trout in liquid barely covering it. For a flavor bonus, add wines or other liquids. DO NOT BOIL. Boiling will destroy the delicate flavor.

Pan-Frying...Use a small amount of hot vegetable oil, about I inch, in heavy fry pan. Roll in coating and fry lightly, or saute, at a moderate temperature, until browned on one side. Place meat-side down first. Turn and brown second side. Do not overload pan. Trout is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

Deep Frying...Fill fryer about half full with oil. Use light breading (flour and/or cornmeal) or thin batter. (A thick batter absorbs fat.) Fry in deep oil at 325 to 350F until trout is brown and flakes easily with a fork.

Microwave ... Microwaving is especially suited to the high temperature and short time required for cooking trout. Always thaw trout completely to ensure even cooking. Cover fish with plastic wrap, but turn back one corner to allow venting. Cook at HIGH for 5 to 6 minutes per lb. for one whole fish; increase time for a larger number of fish. Allow to stand 3 to 5 minutes to complete cooking.

Remember ... trout is a healthy choice

Have a look at the USTFA Trout Recipe Book

...an informative 40 page recipe book packed with delicious recipes and information about trout


PO Box 1647 Pine Bluff, AR 71613 USA
Tel: (870) 850-7900 Fax: (870) 850-7902