smoked salmon recipe

Smoked Salmon Recipe

Smoked Salmon Recipe

My recipe and pictures for slow-smoking Salmon on a grill

Not only is smoked Salmon delicious, but it is also good for you.  It’s packed with heart healthy Omega-3 oils that fight cardiovascular disease and improve the health of your heart.  If your doctor is after you to cut back on the pork and red meat, he’ll be happy to know that you’re adding some healthy fish to your diet.

smoked salmon recipe

When it comes to Salmon, you can’t beat Wild Pacific-caught Salmon.

It has more nutrients and essential fish oils than its farm raised cousins, and it just plain taste better. Here’s an easy technique for preparing smoked salmon:

Start with a 2-3 lb fillet of fresh salmon.

You can buy Salmon with the skin on or off.  I’ve cooked it both ways and it makes no difference to the final product.  Some people prefer to cook it with the skin on because it helps hold the fish together, and it’s easy to remove when the fish is cooked.

Rinse the fillet thoroughly under cold water and pat dry.  Sometimes there are a few bones left in the fillet, so you’ll want to feel along it and remove them.  A pair of needle nose pliers works great for this.  Now place the salmon in a large baking dish skin side down.

smoked salmon recipe

In a medium size bowl mix together the Smoked Salmon Recipe dry brine:

  • 1 cup Kosher Sea Salt
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of The BBQ Rub.
  • 1 teaspoon Dill Weed
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Parsley Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Onion Flakes

Sprinkle the dry brine over the fillet making sure all of the exposed flesh is covered.  Place plastic wrap over the dish and place in a refrigerator for 3 hours.  The dry brine will start to pull moisture out of the fish and allow the other flavors to penetrate the meat trapping them inside.

smoked salmon recipe

After 3 hours remove the salmon from the refrigerator and rinse the dry brine off under cold water.  You’ll immediately notice that the texture of the fish has changed.  It should be bright pink in color and have a slight firmness to the touch.

Let the salmon sit out in room temperature air for 30 minutes until its tacky to the touch.

While the salmon is sitting, start your grill.  For smoked salmon I like to use a Weber kettle grill set up for indirect cooking.  Place about 20-25 unlit coals on each side of the grill.  A small aluminum pan can be placed in the center of the fire rack to help keep the coals in a pile and hold liquid for added moisture.  Use water, apple juice, or your favorite beer in the pan.

smoked salmon recipe

In a charcoal chimney start a dozen or so coals, and when they’re good and hot, place them on top of the unlit coals.  Add a few chunks of wood to the top and place the cooking rack on the grill.  In 10-15 minutes it is ready for the salmon.

When I’m smoking skinless salmon, I use a sheet of aluminum foil folded into a boat.

Tear off a piece large enough to hold the fillet and fold it on the edges.  I try and create a small lip all of the way around the boat.  Place the fillet on the foil and transfer it to the grill.

smoked salmon recipe

Place the lid on the grill and set back and let it do the work.  This method is considered hot smoking salmon; you can also cold smoke it at 170-180 degrees but it will take several hours.  On the Weber it only takes about 30 minutes and it’s done.

Check the Smoked Salmon in 15 minutes.

You’ll notice that a white liquid is starting to seep out on top.  When it starts to flake, it’s ready to come off the grill.

smoked salmon recipe


Just before it’s done you can glaze the salmon if you want

I’ve used a honey-brown sugar glaze, teriyaki glaze, or any other sauce that’s good on fish.  I like it plain because the left overs can be used in dips, tossed with pasta or salads, or even added to scrambled eggs.  It’s a big hit for brunch parties or as an appetizer.  However you decide to eat it, I’m sure that you will enjoy smoked salmon prepared this way.

smoked salmon recipe

Malcom Reed
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Smoked Salmon Recipe

Comments 6

  1. Hi Malcolm, I want to try this smoked salmon recipe on my pellet grill. What temp would you recommend for a hot smoke?

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      Author
      1. Hi Malcom, might be good to add this to the recipe above so that others don’t need to go to the comments section to find out. Thanks for all the recipes and videos!

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