Smoky Cedar Plank Whole Trout

Cedar plank trout
PhotoAlto/Isabelle Rozenbaum/Getty Images
Prep: 1 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 16 mins
Servings: 2 servings

Grilling whole trout is one of the best ways to enjoy this fish, and trout that is grilled on a cedar plank is even better. A traditional way to cook a whole fish, originating with the fisherman of the Pacific Northwest, grilling on a piece of wood is a smart cooking a method, as you don't have to worry about flipping the fish or it falling apart on the grill.

This recipe will require a thin, clean, untreated cedar plank to set the fish on while they grill; you can find this at your supermarket or gourmet grocer. The smoke of the wood really enhances the flavor of the fish without overwhelming the delicate taste of the trout.


  • 1 untreated cedar plank large enough to fit the fish
  • 2 (12-ounce) whole trout (gutted and cleaned)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lemon (sliced thinly)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Submerge the cedar plank in water for 1 hour.

  3. Preheat grill.

  4. Lightly coat inside and outside of each trout with olive oil. Season inside with salt and pepper and stuff with lemon slices and dill.

  5. Place soaked cedar plank on grill over direct medium heat.

  6. When cedar plank starts to smoke, place fish on the plank.

  7. Grill for about 15 minutes or until the fish is done (reaching an internal temperature of 145 F). The flesh should be opaque and flake easily.

  8. Once cooked, remove from grill and serve.


  • Before tackling this recipe, be sure to buy a cleaned and gutted whole fish, so that you don't have to do the messy work of removing the organs.
  • To debone a whole fish after it is cooked, make a slit under the tail and carefully lift it up, pulling towards the head, while using a spatula to hold down the body of the fish. The skeleton should stay intact and easily lift out of the trout. Once you reach the head, detach the bone structure—head intact—from the body.


  • Serve this trout as an appetizer by creating "smoked" trout crostinis topped with goat's cheese, pieces of trout, and a sprig of dill.
  • Turn this fish into a spread by breaking up the de-boned meat and mixing it with cream cheese, shallots, chives, ground pepper, and lemon juice until it reaches the desired consistency.

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