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Does Rainbow Trout Have Bones ? Can You Eat Them ?

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Rainbow trout is one of the most common fish you can find, and it’s a great option when you can’t really go down the salmon route. One of the most common questions about rainbow trout (or any fish, really) is whether it has bones. Fish bones are beyond annoying, and they can quickly put you off a potentially delicious meal. So let’s see if rainbow trout has bones, whether you can remove them, and if it’s any good. 

Does rainbow trout have bones ?

Rainbow trout has bones, plenty of small and large bones and should be de-boned before serving. If you’re served rainbow trout (or any sort of trout), do ask the host if the fish has been de-boned before cooking or before serving. The fine bones in rainbow trout are a choking hazard so proceed with care.

Trout fillet usually has the bones already removed

Are your serving rainbow trout fillet ? Then the bones may have already been removed. If any bones are still present, they are likely very fine and an oversight during production. You can find any rogue bones before cooking the fillet by running your finger along the meat. If there are fine bones, your fingers will feel their ends and you can use a fish tweezer to remove the bones. 

When removing bones with the tweezer, be sure to grab the end of the bone firmly, and yank it in the bone’s direction, not up through the skin. If you pull up through the skin, you risk damaging the fish’s texture and breaking the bone, so you then have to look for the end of the bone. Removing bones like this takes patience, but is very much worth it. 

Whole trout likely has all of its bones

If you’re buying or serving whole rainbow trout, it’s likely only been eviscerated (has the guts removed) and still has the bone structure intact. If this is the case you can either cook the fish as-is, and then carefully remove the meat form the bone (don’t recommend, this is a flaky fish), or de-bone the fish before cooking.

To de-bone whole rainbow trout, you essentially need to cut alongside its spine with a very sharp knife to remove the majority of the bone structure. After that you need to carefully remove the meat off the ribs, and this is only done after the fish is first gutted. There are plenty of video tutorials on this, so make sure you watch several from different creators to understand where and how to cut, to remove the most amount of bone. If video isn’t your thing, then try this one with pictures and a very thorough explanation. 

You won’t be able to remove 100% of the bones, but you will be left with mostly boneless trout and can then remove any leftover bones with a tweezer. The leftover bones will be pin bones, the very thin, flexible ones, and they are a pain to remove but well worth the hassle. 

Read also: Does Tuna Have Bones ? Is It Dangerous ?

Can you eat trout bones ?

You shouldn’t eat trout bones as they’re long and fine and are a serious choking hazard. If you’re serving trout of any kind, take the time to de-bone the fish before cooking, r cut it in a way that makes it easy for each guest to remove the bones as they eat. 

If you’re at a restaurant and ordered rainbow trout, it may come with bones, so be sure to ask the waiter and/or check the fish when it arrives at the table. If you do find a few bones while chewing, remove them. Don’t try to swallow them, you could choke. 

If small children are at the table, inspect their fish thoroughly and remove any bones you may find, or help them remove the bones themselves. 

Is rainbow trout good ?

Rainbow trout tastes pretty good, and is related to salmon so its flavor profile is somewhat similar. It’s not as oily and meaty as salmon, but it’s more substantial than cod. Rainbow trout is a great option if you’re looking for fresh fish, since it’s quite easy to find fresh-caught local rainbow trout in most areas, be it wild-caught or farmed. 

The only issue is the tenderness of rainbow trout. This fish is light, tender, and flaky, so it doesn’t hold together very well when grilling. It’s best cooked in a pan or in a skillet, and preferably only turned once with great care. Breading it may also help keep it together. 

Read also: Does Salmon Have Bones ? Can You Eat Salmon Bones ?

Does rainbow trout taste fishy ?

Rainbow trout has a good fish flavor without being overwhelming, like mackerel or sardines. This isn’t a very oily or fat fish. You’ll find rainbow trout milder than salmon, but stronger than cod, so it doesn’t necessarily require a lemon wedge to help it go down. That being said you can always add a bit of lemon to any fish if you want to be 100% sure your guests will enjoy it. 

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