Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon

There’s never a shortage of salmon when you live in Oregon.  Bruce and I eat salmon quite often because it’s delicious, quick to prepare and most importantly, one of our favorite local ingredients.  Salmon is so versatile too.  We barbecue it, make salmon chowder, poach it, bake it, put it in tacos, make sandwiches out of it, and even put it in dips.  The number of ways to prepare fresh caught salmon is virtually endless…

Yesterday I fired up our smoker for the first time this year.  We had guests coming over for dinner later in the evening and I thought that fresh smoked salmon would be a fabulous appetizer with cream cheese and crackers.

If you are going to smoke salmon, you need to prepare the fish the day before and be ready to smoke it the next day.  Smoking salmon is really a simple process but does take a little bit of time once the salmon is in the smoker.  I like to grab a good book and have an ice cold beverage on hand during the smoking process.  Using the smoker forces me to sit down and relax for an hour or so while the fish is being smoked.

For the recipe, I adapted Alton Brown’s smoked salmon recipe.  In my opinion, any recipe by created by Alton Brown is a winner.  I’m a complete fan :).

The salmon is almost done and ready to be pulled off the smoker!  Now, all I have to do is brush it with a bit of Indonesian Soy Sauce, cover it again, and let smoke for about 15 more minutes until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  When it’s done, gently pull it off the smoker, let it cool slightly and it will be ready to serve.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 large Salmon filet (skin on, scaled, rib and pin bones removed)
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbs Indonesian Soy Sauce

Begin the night before by preparing mixing the salt, white sugar, brown sugar and cracked black pepper.  Grab a large pan and line with plastic wrap.  Put 1/3 of salt/sugar mixture in the bottom of the pan.  Place the salmon skin side down in pan.  I cut my filet in half so it could fit in the pan and in my smoker.  Take remaining mixture and cover the top of the salmon.  Place plastic wrap directly on salmon and weigh down the fish with bricks or cast iron bacon presses.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

The next day…  Take the salmon out of the refrigerator and rinse well under cold water.  Pat dry.  It’s important to not skip this step.  Start up your smoker.  The internal temperature must be 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  I used hickory chips for a wonderful smokey flavor.

Place salmon on rack in smoker and smoke covered until the temperature of the fish reaches 130 degrees.  Brush top of salmon with Indonesian Soy Sauce.  Put lid back on and continue to smoke until the fish reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  Gently remove from smoker, let cool slightly and serve.  Refrigerate any leftovers for up to three days.

10 thoughts on “Smoked Salmon

  1. Lasuch w kuchni

    What a great smoker. I have never seen such store bought version. Only those creative constructions built from scraps. But this one is awesome.
    And funny thing about Alton Brown is that I absolutely adore his good eats series. I have so much fun watching it but I have never tried cooking according to his recipes.

    1. Tessa

      Hi Joanna! The type of smoker that I have is a Weber. It uses barbecue briquets as the heat source. It’s a good product. I’ve had this smoker for a few years now. I really like it.

  2. mjskit

    Smoked salmon is my favorite smoked meat but I hate paying so much for it, but I still do! I’m so jealous of your smoker! It might be worth investing in one because your smoked salmon looks better than anything I’ve bought!

  3. Sissi

    Wow! I have missed this amazing post! I wish I had a smoker too! I would probably smoke every single fish variety I find ;-) Your salmon must taste thousand times better than what we buy…

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