Make DJ BBQ's orange-smoked trout

Orange-smoked fish has a bitter, almost marmalade-like sweetness and is great in a summer salad. You'll need a couple of bits of kit for this, but ultimately it's an easy one to pull off

DJ BBQ's orange-smoked trout; photography © David Loftus

Serves 3-4

Preparation time 20 mins

Cooking time 20 mins

"We've used many woods in our smokers on the festival circuit," declares DJ BBQ, aka Christian Stevenson, in his cookbook Fire Food: The Ultimate BBQ Cookbook. "One of our favourites," he goes on to say, "is the seasoned orange tree wood from Seville, Spain. Our charcoal maker and firebox manager, Matt Williams, turned up with a pallet of the stuff for our biggest festival of the summer, The Big Feastival. It went brilliantly with pork and chicken and it goes splendidly with fish."

You'll need a smoker for this, but, luckily for those thinking "what the heck are seasoned fruit wood chunks?", Stevenson has provided a useful substitute. Swap in an orange, peeled or grated, and a job's a good 'un.


BBQ set-up

  • Offset firebox or proper smoker
  • Seasoned fruit wood chunks, ideally orange

For the fish and smoking mix

  • 1 whole trout (about 800g–1kg), gutted, scaled and cleaned, skin on
  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 100g rice
  • Zest of 1 orange (if you can't get orange wood), peeled or grated

For the salad

  • 2 broccoli stems, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 200g watercress or lamb's lettuce.
  • 1 orange, peeled and segmented

For the mustard dressing

  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 5 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and black pepper


  1. Get your cooker fired up to 125°C and dry off your trout with kitchen towel.
  2. Using a few sheets of foil, make a rough tray with sides.
  3. Combine the smoking mix in a bowl and pour into the foil tray.
  4. Place the foil tray on the direct heat, get your trout in the tray, then put the cooker lid on. Leave to smoke for 15–20 minutes until just cooked through. When it is cooked, use a spatula/ fish slice to slide it off the foil tray and onto a board. Leave to rest for 10 minutes under some foil.
  5. While the trout is resting, you can make a salad to go with the fish. Remove the foil tray from the smoker with a pair of tongs.
  6. Rub the broccoli and fennel slices with the vegetable oil and char on the grill. Then remove and set aside.
  7. Make up a salad with the watercress leaves, orange segments, broccoli and fennel.
  8. Shake the mustard dressing ingredients in a jar until mixed.
  9. When the trout is rested, carefully peel off the skin with the back of a knife, revealing the flesh. Using two forks, remove the cooked flesh in nice chunks and serve on top of the salad.
  10. Drizzle the dressing over the top.