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How to Smoke Salmon Perfectly

This is how to smoke salmon in your smoker right at home! The best rub for fish you will ever make that brings out the flavor and makes it melt in your mouth good. Easy recipe for those who have never smoked fish, or looking for something new. Healthy dinner idea.

how to smoke salmon

I got my husband a smoker last year and we’ve been making the most amazing salmon in it. Here’s how to smoke salmon in your smoker so you can enjoy the deliciousness too! 😉 It’s one of our favorite easy smoker recipes. This post brought to you by Seafood Nutrition Partnership. (originally published 8/16, affiliate links present)

Smoked Salmon

You can make this as an electric smoker recipe too, either machine works.


That is the key in my opinion.

You can have a really expensive piece of fish but if you have an amazing rub even an average piece of fish can become incredibly flavorful.

Of course both including a wild caught or Atlantic salmon filet are best. 😉

Here’s the secret to the best baked salmon (and now smoked) my husband swears by. This time I asked him to actually write it down for me so I could share with all of you.

smoked salmon recipe

Once you’ve rinsed your beautiful piece of salmon, pat fish dry and lay it on a cutting board. Then begin to prepare your rub.

We’re all about using spices when it comes to smoking fish.  Combining sugar salt ingredients gives your smoked salmon an incredible flavor. You can add a bit of heat too if you desire.

  • Here is the smoked salmon rub recipe in it’s entirety.

It is amazing how different salmon tastes when you massage a good rub into it before smoking. It’s so much better than leaving it off in our opinion. Ours is a salty and sweet rub for fish that people comment on all the time and say this is now their go to smoked salmon recipe.

You’ll have to let us know what you think…..

best smoked salmon

How to smoke salmon and what you’ll need

  1. Electric smoker or pellet grill / smoker
  2. Salmon fillet (leave skin on)
  3. Salmon dry rub
    1. Brown sugar
    2. Paprika
    3. Sugar
    4. Salt and pepper
    5. Garlic powder
    6. Chili powder (more or less depending on what heat level you desire)
  4. Wood chips – great variety pack 
    1. or wood pellets

You can either put a thin or thick layer of rub on your fillet. For a more intense flavor, coat and then wrap in plastic wrap. Keep in fridge for up to 12 hours to deepen flavors. I refrigerate for about an hour or so myself.

how to smoke salmon

Combine your ingredients for the rub. Then massage it on to the top and bottom (yes on the skin side too) of your fillet, and you’re ready to cook.

  • Once your smoker reaches 225 degrees lay it flat on one of the racks and really that is it!

Set your timer for 1.5 hrs. to check on it, and typically it is perfectly done in about 2 hrs.

You want the flavor of smoke to adhere to the fish so wrapping it in foil is not recommended.

smoked salmon recipe

How do you eat smoked salmon?

Well of course you can eat it as is with a side of mixed vegetables in your air fryer, or smoked vegetables for a very healthy meal. Some like to drizzle a bit of maple syrup on it for a bit of sweetness.

  • Rinse brown or white rice with some cold water and serve this as a side dish as well. We think the seasonings added at the beginning are way more than enough (and the reviews below concur) but you could add more.

Pair it with some steamed broccoli too and you’re ready for a tasty dinner! If you love fish as much as our family does, it’s a real winner! 

smoked salmon recipe

If you cook fish often and have a killer recipe let us know we’d love to try it next! This is of course the hot smoking method. If you have a cold smoking recipe we’d love to try it.

Salmon is not only great for dinner but on top of an everything bagel with a little cream cheese for lunch is amazing too. We don’t really check the internal temperature when done. Fish just needs to be flaky to be perfect, and overdone isn’t good. A bit underdone is better than dry.

Looking for more easy fish recipes?

smoked salmon

When you’re ready to take it a step further and smoke meats like beef and pork, here is a meat smoking chart to get you started.

Here are a few other smoker recipes to try:

salmon in air fryer

Is it healthy to eat smoked salmon?

This goes for both prepared and sold in the stores, and smoking salmon at home. YES! It’s a good source of protein, B vitamins, vitamin D, magnesium and selenium. 

It does have a decent amount of sodium in it though so keep that in mind if you have high blood pressure. In that case you’d want to eat it in moderation since 3 ounces has 666 ml of sodium.

Does Smoked Salmon Freeze Well?

  • That is assuming you do have leftovers which is never true in our house.
  • However, if you do: Of course you can freeze smoked salmon. It can stay in the freezer 6-9 months past the printed date on the package, or the day it was made at home. 
  • I personally prefer to eat it freshly cooked of course as I think the texture is a bit altered when it is reheated.

How do you reheat frozen smoked salmon?

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and place it in either a shallow baking dish or on a baking sheet. Then, lightly coat the top with a little butter or a spray of olive oil.

Warm the smoked salmon in the oven for about five minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. You can print recipe below if you’d like.

Want to see a few of my favorite things you might want to write on your Christmas list this year??!! 😉 Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!

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***** If you LOVED this recipe give it 5 Stars below and let everyone know what you thought about it. 😉

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how to smoke salmon
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5 from 9 votes

How to Smoke Salmon

How to smoke salmon in your smoker right at home! The best rub for fish you will ever make that brings out the flavor and makes it melt in your mouth good. Easy recipe for those who have never smoked fish or looking for something new. Healthy and delicious dinner idea. 
Course Entree, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword easy, salmon, smoked
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 148kcal
Author The Typical Mom



  • Combine rub ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 
  • Massage rub into top and skin side of salmon fillet. 
  • Add chips to smoker by filling container/drawer 3/4 full. 
  • Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees, lay fillet flat on a rack once it reaches this temperature and smoke for approx. 2 hours. Check at 1.5 hrs. to ensure all is going well.
  • Salt and pepper to taste at end if you want more seasoning (we like it as is). Enjoy.
Nutrition Facts
How to Smoke Salmon
Amount Per Serving (4 oz)
Calories 148 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 2344mg102%
Potassium 182mg5%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Sugar 26g29%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 105IU2%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

how to smoke salmonHow to smoke salmon

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