Ol’ Trusty Trout Cooked in Coals

Southern Kitchen

About the recipe

When anglers think about keeping and eating fresh trout, the image of a lakeside campfire often comes to mind. Being in the woods and enjoying nature is as much a part of the experience as eating the fish. This recipe is simple and requires only a few ingredients. It’s best enjoyed with the sounds of nature in the background and the uninterrupted company of the forest. You can cook the trout directly in the coals of a campfire or in a cast-iron skillet over the coals. You can scale up the recipe using as many fresh fish as you’ve caught. This recipe comes courtesy of Line & Sight.

Serves: 2

Hands On Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


1 freshly caught whole trout

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more as needed


The first step to this meal is getting a good fire going at your campsite. Preferably you want a hot fire with a good bed of coals. The coals from a fire that has been lit for a while will provide a more consistent heat source than a burning log, making the timing and even cooking of the fish easier.

My preferred method is to fillet the trout so each fish creates two pieces (a left and right side). Leave the skin on it contains fat and increases the flavor. Sprinkle the fish with your desired amount of salt and pepper. I like more pepper than salt but this is completely objective to your taste buds.

Place the fish on top of a piece of tin foil with a tablespoon of butter. Tightly wrap the fish in the tin foil and place it directly in the hot coals. Cover the packet in the coals and let it cook for 7 to 10 minutes.

Allow the fish to cool for several minutes after you remove it from the coals and enjoy.

If you are cooking in a cast-iron skillet, I like to preheat the skillet by leaving it directly on the coals for 3 to 5 minutes. Then cook the fish skin down for 7 or 8 minutes. Flip the fish for 2 to 3 minutes to crisp the meat. Make sure you coat the skillet well in butter before placing the fish inside to minimize the fish sticking to the pan.