Smoked trout is one of those “cool, new” canned fish that’s actually been around forever but only just started to be trendy thanks to super cool Instagram girls. Not to boast, but I’ve been eating smoked trout for years and years. I was one of those super cool girls eating smoked fish back when it was actually frowned upon to whip out a smoked trout fillet in public and chow down. Thankfully, society has caught up, though. And now there are enough brands of shrink-wrapped and canned smoked trout to conduct an official Sporked taste test.
Here’s what I was looking for this lineup of smoked canned trout: firm texture (no one wants mushy trout; this is not fish paté, this is smoked trout), smoky flavor (it’s smoked trout so it should taste like it’s been near a fire), pleasant fishiness (it should not taste fishy in the way that a can of seafood delight cat food tastes fishy, it should taste like fresh, actual fish—trout, specifically).
I opened eight cans and packages of smoked trout to find the best of the best. Some of the brands I tried were not very good at all. Others, like Trader Joe’s smoked trout, were just fine. You won’t see those on this list. This is a list of the canned smoked trout that I would actively recommend you seek out. If you’re in the market for smoked trout, and you’re in Trader Joe’s, then go ahead and get the Trader Joe’s smoked trout. As I said, it’s perfectly serviceable. But if you’re planning ahead and you only want this best, then this is the list to reference.
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- Jose Gourmet Smoked Trout Fillets in Olive Oil
If I was judging on packaging alone, Jose Gourmet would win hands down. The box features an illustration of a trout by Yuri Corrêa that I would gladly hang on my wall. Please send me this print. I will put it up in my office. Luckily, the fish inside is also very high quality (though not great for hanging on your wall). The fillets are skin-on, which might be off-putting to some. But if you can get over that, the fish is very sweet and tender—almost like rillettes—which makes it easy to flake onto toast. The smoked trout fillets are packed in olive oil and you can taste it.
Credit: Merc / Amazon
- Fishwife Smoked Rainbow Trout
The smoked rainbow trout from foodie darling Fishwife is perfect for a salad. It’s firm, chunked, and not packed in a lot of oil. So it’s easy to simply spear and throw onto your favorite bagged salad or bowl. I bet you could even bring this to an office and get away with it—it’s not very fishy or messy thanks to the lack of oil. There’s a pleasant undercurrent of smoke. This is a great smoked canned trout for beginners.
Credit: Merc / Fish Wife
- Ducktrap Smoked Trout Fillets
Sold in the refrigerated section next to the smoked salmon, this smoked trout fillet is a great substitute for lox—perfect for flaking onto a bagel. It has a really rich smoked flavor and wonderful flaky texture. It’s a mix of tender meat with a firm layer on top where it hit the smoke. It would also be great to use in smoked trout cakes or simply serving on a platter as an appetizer with some crackers and creme fraiche and capers. Just beware: There are some bones!
Credit: Merc / Amazon
- Fangst Regnbue Ørred
I can’t stop thinking about this canned smoked trout. It’s just so good. This is so good, it’s practically a canned restaurant dish. You could put this on a plate, garnish it with a sprig of dill, throw a couple of those craggy rye crackers on there, and you’d fool anyone into thinking it was prepped in a professional kitchen. Leave it to the Danes to really treat smoked fish with the respect it deserves. The sizeable, skinless fillets are smoked with juniper and lemon thyme—but it’s not heavy handed with the herbs. If you don’t like gin because of the juniper I think you’ll still like this smoked trout—it’s very subtle. The first bite comes with a hit of salty, smoky flavor, then the botanical notes come through. Put this on a seacuterie board (that’s a seafood charcuterie board), make yourself a Martini, and enjoy being a canned fish influencer.
Credit: Merc / Amazon
Best for Toast
Best for Salad
Best for Bagels
Best of the Best
Other smoked trout brands we tried: Trader Joe’s Hardwood Smoked Trout Fillets, Cole’s Trout, Scout Smoked Trout, Seabear Idaho Smoked Trout
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