I've owned an electric smoker for several years now but in that time its seen little use. After several failed attempts at doing ribs I discovered the wonders of smoking salmon.

I researched several smoking techniques & developed the following recipe based loosely on an article I read at Ed's Kasilof Seafood Inc. If you own a smoker I highly recommend giving this a try.

Ingredients - Main
Fresh Salmon 5-10lbs
Ingredients - Brine
Water 6 cups
Salt 1 cup
Brown Sugar ½ cup

The first step in smoking salmon is perhaps the easiest but definitely the longest. The fish should be brined & then allowed to cure. This removes a lot of the water in the fish & helps concentrate its flavor.

  1. Add the salt & brown sugar to the water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Fillet the fish, removing any bones & the skin.
  4. Cut the fish into even sized pieces, 2 inches wide.
  5. Place the fish into a large container & add enough brining solution to completely submerge the Salmon.
  6. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours but no more or the fish will end up being too salty.

Once the salt/sugar solution has done its job leaching much of the fish's moisture out, its time to let the Salmon cure.

  1. Discard the brining solution.
  2. Dry the fish using paper towels.
  3. Place back in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
  4. Allow to cure for at least 12 hours.

Now comes the fun part. Set up your smoker in a safe location outside. There are many types of wood you can use & I'll leave that choice up to you. Personally I like Hickory for smoking Salmon.

  1. Add a good amount of wood chips to your smoker's burner tray. A handful or two works.
  2. Add some water to the steamer.
  3. Arrange your Salmon pieces on the smoking racks allowing some space between for the smoke to circulate.
  4. Ignite/turn on the smoker.

How Long?
Smokers vary some in how fast they get up to heat. We want to cook the fish at 150º for no more than 30 minutes however we also want to allow it to smoke for a good amount of time. Having the fish in the smoker while its getting up to temperature maximizes the smoke exposure without over cooking. My smoker takes approximately 30 minutes to reach 150º & in that time it belts out a lot of smoke. So basically 1 hour in the smoker works well for my setup.

Once done smoking, the Salmon can be served immediately. However its just as good, if not better served cold. Smoked Salmon has a rather strong smoky/fishy flavor & for that reason its not ideal as a main course. Served on crackers or in salad is how I prefer it.

What I don't eat that same day I freeze in air tight freezer bags ready for a rainy day. Enjoy.


Cooking - Smoked Salmon