Trout baked in foil is a simple and classic summer recipe. It’s super easy, can be cooked indoors or outdoors, and results in moist flavorful fish with a nice bright lemon flavor. Closed foil boats keep the moisture inside and also avoid any fishy cooking smells. I like to sprinkle peppercorns around the fish too, because isn’t it pretty?
Choosing your fish: The most important thing to know when purchasing fish is that it should NOT smell fishy. A strong fishy smell means it’s gone bad. In fact, if the market or counter smells strongly fishy, I suggest purchasing your fish at a different store. A filet can be less daunting than a whole fish and cooks a little faster, but often there is only one or the other available, so don’t be afraid if there is only a whole fish available. Most butchers are happy to cut off the head and tail if you ask (you’ll still have to pay for the whole fish of course, no getting around that, but less work for you!).
The skin cooks right in the foil and is very easy to separate once it’s all cooked. Trout has tiny bones – you’ll probably see some poking out of the raw fish. When you get ready to cook it, feel for the bones so you know where to expect them once the fish is cooked. They are difficult to take out while raw but easy when cooked. Once you’ve transferred your lovely baked trout to a plate, just crumple up the foil and throw it away. No pans to clean! The soft skin now scrapes off easily with the edge of a utensil.
See below the recipe for a quick tutorial on how to make a foil boat for the fish.
- 1 Trout filet or 1 whole trout, head and tail removed
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Lemon slices
- Dill weed
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Salt & Pepper
- Peppercorns (optional)
- Preheat oven or grill to 400. Prepare your foil in a little boat shape. Pour in the olive oil, wash the fish filet, and place the filet skin-side down in the foil.
- Squeeze the lemon slices over the fish and arrange the slices on top. Sprinkle with spices. If using a whole trout, put the lemon and spices in the inside cavity.
- Close up the foil packet tightly so steam will not escape. Place the packet on a cookie sheet or onto the grill grates and bake for 15-20 minutes (25 or so for a whole fish). Be extremely careful when unwrapping the foil, as the foil will not be nearly as hot as the escaping steam. You'll know it is done if the flesh flakes easily with a fork.
Trout from Harmon’s Grocery
MAKING FOIL BOATS: First, fold up the sides just a little, then start rolling in the corners. Drizzle in some oil, lay down the fish (skin-side-down if using a filet) and spices, then continue rolling in the ends. Finally, roll down the top, and make sure it’s nice and tight but still being gentle enough to not poke any holes in the foil. Steaming the fish in the lemon juice is what makes it so moist and perfect.