How To Make Amazing Garlic Butter Trout In Foil

Learn how to make amazing garlic butter trout in foil by following this recipe. I love recipes I can easily make in the kitchen and field, and this garlic butter trout certainly fits those criteria. Garlic and butter are often a staple in my recipes. This simple five-ingredient recipe will have you craving more wild trout. You can substitute wild trout for store-bought trout.

This past trout season opener with family allowed me to bring some trout home for table fare. It’s been several years since I targeted trout to bring home for a meal. Preparing this recipe brought back some fond memories of learning how to catch trout on the streams in Taylor County, WI.

Trout camp with family
Opening Day Of Trout Season With Family

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Prep: 5 minutes  

Cook: 10-15 minutes – click here for the 10-minute cooking tip.

Total: 15-20 minutes

Servings: 2-4 people, depending on how many trout used


  •  One 10-13 inch trout per person, thawed
  •  Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Butter

How To Make Garlic Butter Trout

If dealing with frozen trout, the first thing to do is thaw them trout. Once thawed, I like to remove the fins and head; some people will leave the head on. I prefer to enjoy my food without looking at the trout’s eyeballs! Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Take aluminum foil large enough to wrap the trout completely in; I take a couple of pats of butter and lay the trout on that, and slip a pat or two inside the trout; I also season the inside of the trout with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper will do, but you can get creative and use your seasoning of choice. Sprinkle some minced garlic into the packet, loosely seal it, lay it onto a baking sheet, and go into the oven.

You will then cook the trout in the oven until it flakes. The rule is to bake for 10 minutes or until temp reaches 145 degrees. See the 10-minute Rule for details on cook time. 

The last steps are to open the foil and broil for approximately 3 minutes; some like to squeeze fresh lemon juice on top of the trout before serving. I keep it simple and skip that part. I can’t ever recall having a lemon in camp, so it’s a technique that I have always passed on.

How To Cook Trout

As this recipe indicates, the common methods are baking or grilling to prepare the trout in foil. The baking method we covered in this article’s How to Make section. If you prefer to use the grill, you can do that method. Follow the 10-minute rule or test until the internal temp is 145 degrees. 

As I indicated at the beginning of this article, I like recipes that are easy to swamp from the kitchen to the field. Having fresh trout over a campfire is an experience; you can use the foil method or pan-fry the trout over an open flame. Any potatoes make a great side to this experience. 

If you want a great wilderness experience, catch some wild trout, build a fire, and cook your trout over that fire. It will be an experience you will celebrate in your memories for a long time. It may even be the best trout you have ever had. May I suggest a cold beer to go along with this experience?

How To Store Leftover Trout?

Personally, when I have made trout, there have not been leftovers; that is how good these are. It’s also from being conservative in the harvest and only taking what I plan to eat. Most of my trout fishing is catch and release. Putting them in an airtight container is recommended if you have leftovers, which is only good for 2-3 days.

There are several ways to reheat trout.  My preferred method to reheat trout is in a cast iron pan so that the trout stay crispy. You could also broil in the oven for 1-2 minutes. If you have sides to reheat in the microwave, you could reheat your trout alongside those if you choose to do so.

Tip: 10-Minute Rule

Cook fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Only flip the fish once during the cooking time, do this at the halfway point.

  • The fish fillet is ½ inch thick; cook it for 5 minutes, turn it over after 2 ½ minutes of cooking, and then cook for another 2 ½ minutes.
  • The fish fillet is 1 ½ inches thick; cook it for 15 minutes, turn it over after 7 ½ minutes of cooking, and then cook for another 7 ½ minutes

** if cooking fish in a foil packet, add 5 minutes**

** if cooking fish in the sauce, add 5 minutes**

Final Thoughts –

This is a simple and easy way to prepare trout; I recommend the campfire experience if you have never done that. Some great sides that go with trout are wild rice and check out the recipe for garlic roasted potatoes. The trout streams here in Central Wisconsin don’t produce the biggest trout, but they are fun to catch regardless of their size. 

My methods of pursuing wild trout have flipped back and forth between fly gear and spinning gear. I can’t help but think of scenes from one of my favorite movies, A River Runs Through It, and imagine catching big trout in the western streams. Someday I will have to make that experience a reality!

Celebrate The Experience!

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