Make this Smoked Salmon Recipe for an easy meal idea. The results are a flaky, smoky, tender salmon that is seasoned with simple ingredients.

Smoked Salmon on a plate with a side of broccoli
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Smoked Salmon Recipe:

Salmon is one of my favorite fish to make. We especially like smoking salmon as it adds so much flavor and it is seasoned with simple spices. The key to making this salmon so delicious is the brine and cooking the salmon to the right temperature.

Salmon is prepared by rubbing a dry rub mixture which is a combination of brown sugar and salt. The salmon is then refrigerated for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

The salmon is then rinsed of the brown sugar mixture and placed in the smoker. After the salmon has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees, the honey mixture is basted on the salmon to add flavor. If you love smoker recipes also try Smoked Cream Cheese.

Ingredients needed - salmon, wood pellets, brown sugar, salt, honey, water

Ingredients: 

  • Salmon (skin on) 
  • Wood Pellets (hickory, mesquite or Cherry) 
  • Brown Sugar 
  • Salt 
  • Honey 
  • Water 

How to Smoke Salmon: 

  • Step 1 – Combine Salt and Brown Sugar – Stir together the salt and brown in a small bowl. 
  • Step 2 – Season the Salmon – Place the salmon filet on a baking sheet and cover both sides of the salmon with the brown sugar and salt mixture. 
  • Step 3 – Chill the Salmon – Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. 
  • Step 4 – Rinse the Salmon – Remove from the refrigerator and rinse the dry brine from salmon with cold water. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and let it dry at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. 

  • Step 5 – Heat the Smoker – Preheat a smoker to 225 degrees F with a water pan.  Place the salmon skin side down directly on the grates in the smoker. 
  • Step 6 – Prepare Honey Mixture – In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and water.  
  • Step 7 – Cook Salmon – Let the salmon cook for 40-50 minutes until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F.  
  • Step 8 – Baste Salmon – Baste the salmon with the honey mixture every 15 minutes.  
  • Step 9 – Remove the Salmon – Remove the salmon from the smoker.  Let it rest for 10 minutes. 
  • Step 10 – Serve and Enjoy – Then the salmon is ready to serve and enjoy. 
Smoked Salmon on a plate with a side of broccoli

How Long to Smoke Salmon:

When smoking the salmon, it will depend on may different things. We heated our smoker to 225 degrees and cooked it for about 30 minutes to 40 minutes.

Your salmon could take longer based on the type of brine you used and the smoking temperature. The size of your salmon is and how thick it is may results in longer cooking time. It could take less time or more time based on these factors.

It could also depend on the type of smoker you use and if your salmon is at room temperature or just pulled from the fridge.

The best way to determine how long your cook your salmon is by using a meat thermometer. Check in the center of the salmon with the thermometer for best results.

How to Use Smoked Salmon:

Feel free to use your salmon in many different ways. It is great served straight from the smoker but you can also dice up and make one of these options.

  • Salad– Make a salad with your favorite toppings and put the salmon on top.
  • Tacos– Salmon tacos are the best.
  • Salmon Cakes – Chop up leftovers and make salmon cakes. This is similar to crab cakes and you just need to add breading and an egg until it is the right consistency. Fry until golden brown over medium heat.
  • Sandwich– Enjoy on a hamburger bun and add lettuce and tomato. This makes a great lunch the next day.
Smoked Salmon on a plate with a side of broccoli

How to Know when Smoked Salmon is Cooked:

Use an instant-read meat thermometer to make sure that the salmon is cooked to a safe temperature. You should get a reading of 145 degrees before removing it from the smoker.  

Based on the factors you want to make sure is cooked to the right temperature. You may need to adjust your temperature of the smoker if it is getting to hot to quickly.

Types of Smoked Salmon:

When preparing to smoke salmon, we recommend getting the fresh salmon with the skin on. You can smoke the entire salmon filet or slice the salmon into smaller pieces.

You can choose from a wild caught or a farmed salmon to smoke. It is personal preference. Farmed Salmon is fattier and is a good choice. The wild caught Alaskan king salmon have more bold flavor and less fat.

What is the White Stuff on the Salmon?

This is a liquid protein called Albumin that forms when it comes it contact with heat from the smoker. It is safe to eat, but you can also remove it before serving.

Smoked Salmon on a plate with a side of broccoli

What to Serve with Smoked Salmon:

  • Parmesan Pasta – Creamy, delicious and easy to make. We like to serve the salmon on top of the pasta.
  • Rosemary Red Potatoes – It is so easy to dice red potatoes and roast them for a great recipe. Roasted potatoes takes very little time and everyone loves it with salmon.
  • Roasted Broccoli – Make a side of roasted broccoli for a delicious side dish. We love this low carb option to serve with this smoked salmon.
  • Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts – Once you see how amazing the texture of roasted brussels sprouts taste, you will love cooking them in the oven. They are crispy around the edges and so tender inside.
  • More Salmon Side Dish Recipes
  • Also see Sauces for Grilled Salmon for different ways to serve your grilled salmon.

How to Store Leftovers:

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Hot Smoked Salmon is delicious leftover with a side of rice and roasted vegetables. You can even use leftovers to make Smoked Salmon Dip.

Is Smoked Salmon Fully Cooked?

Hot Smoked Salmon is fully cooked while cold smoked salmon is not considered cooked. Cold Smoked does reach the high temperature like hot smoked salmon does.

But both methods are safe to eat.

A Fork in a salmon

Recipe Tips:

  • Wood Chips – Make sure to add chips to the smoker every 15 minutes if your smoker does not have an automatic feature.  You can also use different flavors of wood chips to enhance the flavor of the cold smoke salmon.
  • Marinate Salmon – Allow the salmon to marinate in the dry rub for at least 6 hours. This gives the salmon so much flavor.
  • Rinse Dry Brine – Before placing the salmon in the smoker, make sure to rinse off the brown sugar and salt mixture. If not, then your salmon will be to salty.
  • Dry Salmon – Make sure the salmon is completely dry before placing in the smoker.
  • Watch the Temperature – Make sure your temperature to get to hot. It could result for your salmon to over cook and it will be dry.
  • Smoke with Skin On – We recommend smoke with the skin on for the best tender salmon.

Seasoning Variations:

There are many different seasonings that you can use on salmon. Try one of these to add flavor to your smoked salmon.

  • Paprika
  • Kosher Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dried Thyme
  • Mustard Powder
  • Black Pepper

Can you Freeze Smoked Salmon:

Yes, salmon can be frozen. We recommend wrapping in plastic wrap and foil and store in a freezer bag. The smoked salmon will last about 2 months if stored properly.

When ready to serve, then defrost smoked salmon allow to thaw in the fridge.

Is Smoked Salmon Healthy to Eat?

Yes, smoked salmon is healthy and safe to eat. We love having salmon as it packed with nutrients which is beneficial to your health.

Easy Smoked Salmon:

We have made salmon many different ways. We love to make it on our Blackstone, Grill, or place in the air fryer. It is always loved by the family and delicious leftover.

Now that we have a smoker, we have been cooking more and more in it. The slow and low temperature gives the salmon so much flavor. Simple dry rub gives the salmon flavor and is easy to prepare.

Print Recipe here for Smoked Salmon:

Smoked Salmon

5 from 4 votes
Make this Smoked Salmon Recipe for an easy meal idea. The results are a flaky, smoky, tender salmon that is seasoned with simple ingredients.
Prep Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Let Sit 10 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 503

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Salmon skin on
  • 1 bag Wood Pellets hickory, mesquite or Cherry
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Salt
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Water
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Instructions

  • Stir together the salt and brown in a small bowl.
  • Place the salmon filet on a baking sheet and cover both sides of the salmon with the brown sugar and salt mixture.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours.
  • Remove from the refrigerator and rinse the salmon with cold water. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel and let it dry at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
  • Preheat a smoker to 225 degrees F with a water pan.  Place the salmon skin side down directly on the grates in the smoker.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and water.
  • Let the salmon cook for 40-50 minutes until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
  • Baste the salmon with the honey mixture every 15 minutes.
  • Remove the salmon from the smoker.  Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Then the salmon is ready to serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 503kcal, Carbohydrates 48g, Protein 45g, Fat 14g, Saturated Fat 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat 6g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Cholesterol 125mg, Sodium 7179mg, Potassium 1153mg, Fiber 0.1g, Sugar 48g, Vitamin A 91IU, Vitamin C 0.2mg, Calcium 46mg, Iron 2mg

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Make this Smoked Salmon Recipe for an easy meal idea. The results are a flaky, smoky, tender salmon that is seasoned with simple ingredients. Salmon is one of my favorite fish to make. We especially like smoking salmon as it adds so much flavor and it is seasoned with simple spices. #grillonadime #smokedsalmon #salmonrecipe

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Grill on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. From the Best Blackstone recipes, to grilling, and easy smoker recipes, together we are going to cook real food, with easy ingredients… for real families!

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