Some years ago I catered a very special 60th wedding anniversary and needed to serve a smoked trout pate as a part of the menu. I went out and bought the trout and paid $5 a pound for the trout. I had previously checked and discovered that smoked trout was for sale at $16 a pound so I figured I would save some money and get it smoked at a local restaurant. Then when I checked, they wanted $50 to actually do the smoking. I said whoa this is too much money for a mere 10 lbs of fish. I then went over to my local Home Depot and discovered that for a $100 something I could buy a double decked smoker and do fish or anything else that I wanted, and have it available any time I needed it. The smoker pictured below is the same model that I bought although it is much newer than mine.
The smoker gives you the ability to add water and do a moist smoke or leave it out and dry smoke the product. You can use a variety of hardwoods to achieve different flavors. I am fond of applewood myself, cherry, oak and mesquite will also work quite nicely. You simply put the wood in a bucket of water and soak it for a couple of hours. Then you place the chunks of wood on the electric element, spread our your fish on the racks above, close the lid and go away. The smell will drive the neighbors crazy, 30 minutes later you have a fantastic batch of smoked trout. Most smoked fish takes very little time if you are doing beef or pork plan on 4 to 6 hours depending on the thickness of your product.