Clean Trout in 15 Seconds or Less

Clean Trout in 15 Seconds or Less

Clean Trout in 15 Seconds or Less

Uncle Harold came knocking with four brook trout, commonly called brookies, for me Monday morning. He left with a dozen duck eggs and we’re both happy with our exchange. You can clean trout in 15 seconds or less once you get the hang of it. I think brookies are the easiest fish there are to clean.

How to Clean a Brook Trout

You might or might not need a cutting board. I use one to make clean up easier but I don’t actually make any cuts on the board. It’s easier to put the board through the dishwasher than clean the fishy smell out of the counter.

Start with a small sharp knife. I used a four inch paring knife. Hold the trout in one hand. Please excuse my fingernails, this wasn’t the first trout I cleaned this morning, and we’ll leave it at that. I don’t rinse the fish before I clean them because it will make them slippery.

Clean trout, how to clean trout, brook trout belly

Start cutting at the anus (yes, I know…but it’s fine, you can do it). This will take a little pressure even with a sharp knife. Expect to use very little pressure. The tip of the knife indicates the starting point. Make the cut all the way to the top of the body cavity.

clean trout, how to clean trout, brookie Slice up the belly with only the tip of the knife, all the way up to the gills. The knife will slide through like it’s cutting almost room temperature butter. This isn’t messy.
clean trout, salmon, cut here
clean trout, fish intestinesYou’re going to make two cuts, one at the top and one at the bottom. You can slide your fingers under the guts to pick them up.

clean trout, cut here
clean trout, slide fingers under, brook trout, how to clean a trout
Make the second cut at the end of the digestive tract, slide your fingers under everything inside, and pull out. There will be little resistance. Wash the body cavity under cold running water. You’re done. clean trout, fish guts

That’s it. That’s how to clean trout in 15 seconds or less.

5 thoughts on “Clean Trout in 15 Seconds or Less

  1. Good job! My father taught us kids how to do this long ago. Wish I had a couple nice trout to clean right now, and fry up in cornmeal for lunch!

    1. I didn’t clean a fish until I was well into adulthood. I’m kind of glad I didn’t and wish I had at the same time. It would have been easier to do it than pussy foot around trying to get out of it. 😉

  2. I’m 56 years old and the way my dad taught me when I was a young teenager was similar but even quicker as follows:
    Slice from the Anusara to the gills just like you did but the next step is what takes all but 2 seconds….. press the tongue down carefully and insert your knife in between the jaw and over the tongue and back out the other side between the jaw and tongue…slice through out the front of the fish so it has two mouths….grab the tongue with your knife and thumb and just pull backwards and you get the tongue,throat, front fins, and all of the insides all at once. Done right it takes all of 3 seconds. Pull everything free and wash the spine and there you have it…..can’t tell you how many trout I have cleaned like this in all these years….try it…..you’ll like it.

    1. Thanks, Dan! I am going to try it. We’ll be ice fishing this weekend and hopefully have lots of fish to practice on. Thanks for sharing this. I appreciate it a lot!

  3. I’m 56 years old and the way my dad taught me when I was a young teenager was similar but even quicker as follows:
    Slice from the Anusara to the gills just like you did but the next step is what takes all but 2 seconds….. press the tongue down carefully and insert your knife in between the jaw and over the tongue and back out the other side between the jaw and tongue…slice through out the front of the fish so it has two mouths….grab the tongue with your knife and thumb and just pull backwards and you get the tongue,throat, front fins, and all of the insides all at once. Done right it takes all of 3 seconds. Pull everything free and wash the spine and there you have it…..can’t tell you how many trout I have cleaned like this in all these years….try it…..you’ll like it.

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