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Barbecue Trout Poached in Beer

Kaili loves to cook—from comfort food to fine cuisine—and was the recipient of a silver medal in a food and wine matching competition.

Your mouth will be watering when you catch the wonderful aroma of this barbecue trout poached in beer.

Your mouth will be watering when you catch the wonderful aroma of this barbecue trout poached in beer.

Barbecue Trout

Trout is such a wonderful fish. No matter which species—whether it's rainbow, brown, or brook—all are readily available, versatile, and great-tasting freshwater fish. This recipe is so easy and so quick to prepare. Who needs hours in the kitchen when the patio is calling?

A German or Belgian white (wheat) beer works very well with this recipe, as the flavor of these beers seems to complement the fish. There are several white beers on the market that have spice and even orange peel added to them during the brewing process, and these work very well, too. They impart a slightly different flavor to the fish during the marinating process, but the result is very tasty indeed. You can also experiment with flavors and try your own favorite brew in the recipe.

A minimum of 30 minutes of marinating time is recommended, though if you increased it to a couple of hours, the fish would taste even better.

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Cook time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

10 min

20 min

Serves two people (1/2 pound of trout each)


  • 1 pound trout fillet
  • 1 bottle white (wheat) beer
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped


  1. If using a gas grill, preheat it to about 500°F and then turn it down to medium. If using charcoal, wait until the coals are gray.
  2. Depending on the size of the fillet, you might want to cut the trout into two pieces to make it easier to work with. This will really help you later when you are trying to get the cooked trout out of its foil pouch. Rinse the trout under cold running water and lay it on paper towel.
  3. Peel and chop the garlic. Try two cloves at first, but don’t be afraid to add more, especially if you are a garlic fan.
  4. Toss the chopped garlic into a large bowl or shallow roasting pan. Place the trout flesh-side down on the garlic.
  5. Pour in about one cup of beer, or enough to sufficiently cover the bulk of the trout (don't worry if the ends are peeking out a bit). The beer will probably foam up at first, but this is normal. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes (longer is better, but we understand if you are in a rush to get out on the patio).
  6. If you have a fish poacher that is barbecue-safe, you can certainly use that to cook the trout in. If you don't happen to have a poacher, you can easily create a foil pouch out of heavy-duty barbecue foil that will do the job very nicely and make cleanup a snap. This foil is available in a standard width of 18 inches. Begin by creasing a good length (about 18 inches) of heavy-duty foil into thirds. Lay it on a flat surface and turn up the sides of the middle third about an inch so the liquid doesn't run out while you are working.
  7. Set the trout skin side down on the foil. Be sure to collect the garlic bits from the beer marinade and sprinkle them on top of the trout. Pour in enough of the beer to cover the bottom of the foil; this will vary, but will probably be between 1/2 and 3/4 of a cup. To create the pouch, begin by folding the two ends of the foil together, overlapping to seal securely. Now close the sides up by doing the same thing being careful not to allow any liquid to escape from the sides while you are folding. Try not to crease the foil so much that it springs a leak; you want to preserve the liquid in order to poach the fish. Your foil pouch of trout is now BBQ-ready!
  8. Place the foil pouch on the barbecue. Poach the trout for about 10-12 minutes on medium heat. Cooking time may vary depending on your grill. and the thickness of the trout. Remove the pouch from the grill, and tear open. Move the fish to a serving platter using a spatula. Enjoy!

Beer and Wine Pairings

This fish is especially good when accompanied by the same kind of beer you used to marinate it. A nice crisp summer wine also works very well, such as unoaked Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc.

© 2012 Kaili Bisson