How to Smoke Salmon

The first time you do anything can be a daunting task. The feeling of failure comes upon you before you even start and then you question if it is the right thing to do. Well guess what? “The things that cause you to feel uncertain are also the things that can yield you the greatest reward.”

Once you smoke fish for the first time, you realize how easy it can be and how delicious the meal is. You will then get creative with your gain in confidence that you can’t screw it up.

Here is one of the simplest recipes to get you started.



  • Crystal Salt- I use Himalayan (1/3 to 1/2 a cup)
  • Water- 32 oz
  • Brown Sugar- 3/4 cup
  • Organic Maple Syrup- (Grade A)
  • Apple Wood, Cherry Wood and or Pellets of either flavor
  • Tool-Basting Brush


  1. Take the water, brown sugar and salt.
  2. Pour all 3 in a large flat glass tray.
  3. Put Fish into plate. (Cut filet if needed to fit accordingly)
  4. Let the fish sit in the brine for 4-8 hours. preferably longer if possible
  5. Take the fish out of the brine and pat the fish dry. I highlighted #5 for a reason. If you miss this, it will screw things up for you. The fish will not come out the way you would expect and it cuts into your cooking time.
  6. Fire up that Smoker and the wood
  7. Put fish in your smoker and run it between 150- 170 degrees. You really do not want to go over 175 degrees.
  8. Every 45 minutes to 1 hour, you will want to baste the fish with your maple syrup.
  9. You will want to smoke the fish for 4 hours @150 degrees. If you are on the lighter side of the temps, (120-150) I would recommend going for 5 hours.
  10. If you want to cool the fish and eat it later, put it in the fridge and or vacuum seal it.
  11. If you want to eat it right away, make sure you let it cool for a little bit and then enjoy with your meal
  12. Have a great time!


Fish is a lighter meal option and therefore goes better with sweeter wood. This is why I use Apple or Cherry wood. You can even mix them for some great flavor.


Scout, Hunt, Repeat

Alex Gruin


One thought on “How to Smoke Salmon

  1. I boil the water, the brown sugar and the salt, I like to melt all the crystals before I submerge the meat in the cooled brine. Then I leave it in the fridge for the time planned and then I pat the meat dry and again let it sit a little in fresh air before I smoke it. That is what I do!


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