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The first Hot Smoke!

True to my beliefs that mistakes are there to be learnt from and innovation, progression and development only happen through experimentation and trial and error, I'm sharing the first thing I ever hot smoked. It was trout, a delicious piece of fish caught by my father-in-law somewhere in the Salisbury area (I would tell you but there are at least five rivers which run through Salisbury!).

The trout had been frozen first, but properly thawed out I have still had great success subsequently smoking trout. After this I filleted it and brined it using brown sugar, salt, soy sauce and water (this brine recipe I haven't changed since I first used it and it works a treat, even using it on sardines before smoking too).

Having only really used the barbecue for roasting and pizzas prior to this cook my temperature control was somewhat off and I basically roasted the trout rather than hot smoke it. As you can see it is rather, well, black...and charred on the outside, the inside I hasten to add was rather more pleasing to the eye. Despite the look it turned out pretty tasty actually, especially when still hot, but went really dry after being refrigerated. However, I have since dropped the amount of charcoal used in the baskets to help keep a 210-250F temperature throughout.

The best use of trout I have found so far is mixing it with scrambled eggs for an epic brunch, which is where most of this ended up. I also has it on its own with a glass of single malt whisky, I forgot which one but I went for a less smoky one, together they tasted incredible; meaty, smoky fish with smooth single malt...lush!

(Those eagle eyed among you will notice the brown potato bag, which may claim to carry potatoes but is actually the bag you get when you buy products from the Chase distillery near Hereford. They make absolutely fantastic gins, vodkas and other spirits.)

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