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Best Salmon Dry Rub Recipe

Best salmon dry rub that takes your fillet from good to amazing! Rub it on then bake, smoke, or make air fryer salmon or on your fish fillets of choice to flaky perfection. Adds a ton of flavor, keep mild or make as spicy as you’d like too.

salmon dry rub

If you love fish with butter and lemon, you’ve gotta try our salmon dry rub instead next time. A sweet and savory mixture that’s easy to mix together, everyone raves about this every time we make it. One of many dry rub recipes on our site. (affiliate links present)

Dry Rub for Smoked Salmon

I don’t buy fish nearly as often as I should. The reason is that I think it’s best fresh, not frozen and defrosted. I mean if that is all I have then okay, but I prefer to buy it and cook it all in the same day when making our salmon with dry rub.

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We started using this when we shared how to smoke salmon. It was SO popular that we’ve used it time and time again on our grilled salmon, and would be great on any pressure cooker fish recipe.


Rub Salmon

It really doesn’t matter whether you’re going to use your Traeger and smoke it, or throw it into the oven. This dry rub for fish works perfectly every single time. We’ve done it all!!

Dry Rub for Salmon

Of course you can just cook and drizzle one of our salmon sauce recipes on top but this requires nothing further once it’s done. There really isn’t anything beyond this you will need once done.

What seasonings go well with salmon?

You can keep it really simple if you want like we did with our Instant Pot frozen salmon recipe. Olive oil, butter, dill and salt is all we really used and it was great. Fennel, tarragon, parsley, and/or basil are great choices too. BUT if you want bold flavors, use our dry rub recipe here!

Do you leave the skin on salmon?

Yes. If you leave it on you’ll only need to season the flesh side. It provides a barrier between the fish and the heat source so the underside doesn’t get overdone while the top is not cooked enough. Here are the ingredients we used and use on a regular basis. They’re simple and you probably have them in your cupboard right now. That is just how I cook…no weird hard to find stuff necessary.

Should you season salmon before cooking?

I think so! If you want an even stronger bolder taste, add your rub and then wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight, and then make the best baked salmon.salmon rub

dry rub for smoked salmon

Salmon Seasoning

If you wanted to make this spicier you could with red pepper flakes or dried jalapenos. Add little bits at a time as a little goes a long way and with the heat it will intensify the heat too.

  1. Brown sugar
  2. Salt – I prefer a bit more coarse
  3. Chili powder
  4. Paprika
  5. Garlic powder
  6. Small bowl

How long should seasoning sit on salmon

Now if you try this and you’re obsessed like us, and many of our followers have been, you can make a big batch. Mix it all together and store it in an empty spice jar container. Then next time you just use as much as you need.

You can add it immediately and then bake or let it sit in the fridge for a few hours for a more intense flavor profile. If you want a spicy rub you can add a bit of red pepper flakes into the mix too.

salmon seasoning

Salmon Dry Rub Recipe

If you love salmon, give this sweet and spicy rub a whirl next time. Here is how easy it is to throw together and bake perfectly. In a bowl combine the brown sugar, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and paprika. Break up clumps of sugar so it’s smooth.

  1. Cover baking sheet with foil or lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay fish skin side down on a cutting board and rub mixture on flesh side.
  2. Then transfer to baking sheet to bake, if cooking in the oven.
  3. Put sheet on middle rack and bake for 12 minutes depending on how thick it is, check after 10 to see if it flakes easily. Internal temperature should be 145 F in the thickest part.
  4. Do not flip the salmon, keep the skin side down.
  5. Remove to a platter and serve after resting for 5 minutes. Serve with side dishes like air fryer vegetables or the best corn on the cob.

I do recommend you cover the pan with aluminum foil for easier cleanup. Since the rub has sugar in it, what falls off will get quite dark and hard to scrape off. With foil you just roll it up and throw it away.

best dry rub for salmon

If you want a bit of crisp like you see here below you can bake for 10 minutes and then adjust the high heat to broil for the last 2 minutes. That is the way I really love it!!

How Long Can You Keep Cooked Salmon in the Refrigerator?

The general rule is 3 days. Of course it is best when eaten fresh but definitely don’t throw away what is left! There are SO many ways to eat it the next day. My favorite choices are:

What Can I make with Day Old Salmon?

  • Fish tacos
  • Served over white rice or steamed vegetables
  • Break it up and throw it in with some cooked scrambled eggs and brown rice for a healthy meal option.
  • Make fettuccini alfredo and serve your rewarmed fish on top
  • You can swap out the meat in this chowder recipe and use leftover salmon instead.
baked salmon with dry rub

Other recipes we’ve made that you really should try are:

Easy Baked Dinners

  1. Baked pork chops use a similar steak dry rub that we love. A low saturated fat meal that’s tender every time we make it.
  2. Our simple chicken pot pie is an amazing meal everyone loves.
  3. Then make our baked brisket recipe with or tri tip dry rub with a killer sauce served on top once it’s done.
  4. Fill the best baked potatoes with our dump chili recipe and cheese for a really cheap meal.

There is a printable version of this recipe below. Feel free to keep handy or in your recipe folder or just come back so we can “see you” again and again! 😉

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the typical mom
salmon dry rub
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Salmon Dry Rub

Best salmon dry rub that takes your fillet from good to amazing! Rub it on then bake, smoke or air fry your fish to flaky perfection.
Course Dip
Cuisine American
Keyword dry rub, salmon, seasonings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 40kcal
Author The Typical Mom




  • In a bowl mix all ingredients together using back of fork or spoon to break up any hard pieces of brown sugar.
  • Place salmon fillet on a cutting board and pour rub on top. Use hands to gently press it on so it doesn't fall off. If you want a more intense flavor cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge for an hour or more before cooking.
  • Lay salmon on baking sheet with foil if making in the oven or on a smoker we use a grate. Allow excess to fall off on to the cutting board.
  • Cook as you wish


Nutrition Facts
Salmon Dry Rub
Amount Per Serving (1 oz)
Calories 40 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 877mg38%
Potassium 16mg0%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Salmon Dry Rub
Recipe Rating

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Sunday 27th of June 2021

What are the measurements for the dry rub?

The Typical Mom

Tuesday 29th of June 2021

At the bottom of the post


Sunday 28th of February 2021

Do you cover top of pan when cooking!

The Typical Mom

Monday 1st of March 2021

The baking sheet? No

Shane Travis

Sunday 25th of October 2020

You didn't say how much of each on the rub ingredients.

The Typical Mom

Sunday 25th of October 2020

Yes it does at the very bottom inside the printable recipe card.

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