Smokehouse Recipes

Easy Tips to Get the Best Smoked Salmon

Written By: Smokehouse Products

Here are some easy tips to get the best smoked salmon (or trout), like how to solve common issues like having your salmon getting stuck to your grills. 

Cold smoking salmon using the Big Chief Drying Screens

Keep your salmon from sticking to your grills...

You can spray your grills with pam or whatever else and people will tell you in won't stick... well, it's gonna stick, we guarantee it. Try some Drying Screens, they fit right on your grills and the salmon won't stick to them. Plus you can take them right out and put them in the dishwasher to clean them. It's easy and simple and eliminates the chance of ruining your fish. The Drying Screens come perfectly sized to fit a Big Chief or Little Chief smoker. If you have something else, use the Big Chief size and cut them to fit.

Blow your fish with a fan before smoking it...

Once you have your fish on the drying screens and placed on the racks in your smoker, blow them with a fan. The reason for this is that the fish will form a skin on the outside and when being smoked it won't break open and let the oils out. This keeps the fish nice and moist... as long as you don't use too much heat. Again, the benefit of using a consistent low temp smoker like the Big Chief or Little Chief that only gets up to about 165 degrees. Blow the fish with a fan for 2-3 hours. And don't worry, the fish won't spoil during this time since you've already cured it using the brine.

Use 2-3 pans of wood chips...

Choosing your flavor of wood chips is often a matter of opinion. But if you ask us, and many natives who grew up smoking salmon, we prefer using alder for smoking fish. It's a mild smoke that allows the flavor of the fish to really come through. Now, when you're smoking your fish you'll want to turn on your smoker and immediately fill a heaping pan of Smokehouse Wood Chips. Place this pan on your element. This will smoke for 45 minutes to an hour. Fill up another pan of wood chips after this, then an optional third pan if you'd like. After this you'll just want to use the heat of the smoker to dehydrate the fish until it is done. This usually takes anywhere from 6-12 hours depending on the outside temps, thickness of the fish and other factors. 

These are some basic tips that are easy to do and go a long way towards producing some excellent smoked fish. Give them a try and we think you'll agree.

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Created on Posted by Dale Richard Comment Link

For years I have been smoking salmon filets in a Little Chief and I still use the basic brine of water, salt and sugar. But, I get absolute rave reviews on all of my smoked salmon and other like fish because I do an even mix of alder and maple chips for them. Incredibly delicious!!! Try it

Created on Posted by Smokehouse Products Comment Link

Hi John, temperature is always critical in smoking salmon and something never to be overlooked… Smoking salmon is best done at 165 F. Good luck!

Created on Posted by John Respini Comment Link

You sell the brine mix and have all the tips here, the one thing I don’t see is a recommendation for how hot to smoke salmon! !!! Nothing on the package, how I supposed to know????

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