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How do you cook trout so they dont taste like dog food?

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It starts when you catch the fish, within a minute break the throat latch, break the neck and pull out the gills. The trout is then to be kept cool in a creel or cooler until gutted and cooked,  preferably with an hour or three.  (fish and visitors begin to stink in three hours, eh?) Leave the skin intact, may roll in coarse cornmeal to keep skin from sticking to skillet, season well inside with salt, black pepper and herbs of choice, put butter in the  cavity and skillet/griddle fry til the skin blisters off then turn and do the other side.  At this point the meat should be flaking off the bones; squeeze lemon over the meat or give it a dash of balsamic vinegar.  Treat the skin as a bone. You can use foil to wrap and bake or cook in microwave but frying allows you to see when the cooking is done.  Trout suffers from over cooking.  I have never eaten good trout that have been kept alive on a stringer, skinned  or filleted.  If you stress a hog for an hour or two then suffocate it to death the bacon will taste bad too.  If you skin a chicken before cooking 90% of the flavor is lost.

wrench's suggestion of being far from the hatchery is more important in the sense of time than in distance, they can haul fish a long ways. Time away from the growing pellets and a diet of stream food will modify  the taste more than miles of highway. After you eat enough fish you will recognize by color tones the ones fresh from the feeder and those that live on insects.

They will also taste better if caught and cooked before you eat anything else that day, catch at dawn and make them for breakfast within the hour.

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After feeding your dogs ,wash your hands before you eat.😉

Joking

Butter, lemon ,salt and pepper.  Baked fried or grilled. Sometimes flavor depends  on who's cooking the fish and if they know how.  I've been to some fish frys where it was totally obviously the cook was awful😄

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I like to bake them with onions, lemon slices and dill. Really used to enjoy 15 to 18" brown trout that had been in the river for a while. They would have the orange colored flesh. Those I would stuff with dill, basil, bread cubes, sauted bacon and onions. Maybe add some minced shrimp. Then bake. Since I no longer keep brown trout, my daughter hates picking bones, and am only likely to keep stocker rainbows, I tend to fry them. I mix a half and half mix of regular and panko bread crumbs. Then dried basil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then parmesan cheese. Dredge filets in seasoned flour, then egg wash, then into the bread crumbs. Fry at 375 until golden brown. Would make a fried boot taste good😁.

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I rarely eat them because nobody in my family likes fish. That could also be the problem with you liking them. When I do keep a few I always smoke them.

The good thing is that if you don't like them you can drop them back in the water and they swim away. 

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Depends. If they have pink or orange flesh they are excellent table fare. Those go in a foil pack on the grill with some butter & seasoning. Gray fleshed stockers get skinned, filleted, breaded, and fried in peanut oil for fish tacos. Serve to order with a side of Hush Puppies. Smoked is OK too.  I slash a fishes gills and let it bleed out the second I choose to keep it and always keep them cool. Best if consumed within an hour or two of capture.

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