How To Cook Smoked Salmon On The Grill
How To Cook Smoked Salmon On The Grill? Grilling salmon might seem intimidating at first, but its one of the easiest ways to cook fish. Salmon is incredibly versatile and can be used in everything from salads to sandwiches. This recipe will teach you how to prepare smoked salmon on your grill with ease! Cooking smoked salmon on the grill is a great way to add some flavor without needing any extra ingredients.
Smoked Salmon: A Fun And Simple Way To Get Started Smoking
If you’re new to smoking, smoked salmon is a terrific way to start. You’ll get a feel for the basics that go into just about every smoke seasoning, curing, and the low and slow heating process.
You’ll be amazed at how the natural wood smoke from your Traeger makes salmon so deep and flavorful and you’ll be ready to try an even bigger project next time.
And thats it! Weve covered how to hot smoke salmon, dry cure mixtures, the best wood for smoking, and everything in between. Youve got this, fire up your Traeger, and get smoking.
Why Use A Traeger Grill For A Smoked Salmon Recipe
There are several electric smokers out there. When I purchased the Trager it was because of the great features that it has. One of my favorite features of the Trager is the Super Smoke Feature. At temperatures under 225°F, you can use this feature to help increase the amount of smoke being generated. It allows you to produce more smoke in a shorter amount of time so that the proteins that require a shorter smoke, can still acquire great flavor. Using this technique for dry brined salmon makes it so flavorful and juicy.
I already mentioned the ease of setup and clean-up that the pellet grills provide. It makes it easier if you are not setting up to be smoking for several hours. Additionally, I like the choice of wood flavors in the pellet varieties. You can a great choice of wood flavors as you do with wood chips. Some of the pellets come in premade blends or you can create your favorites. For this Traeger smoked salmon, I went with cherry wood pellets for the smoke. You can easily do this with oak or hickory or your favorite blend.
Make sure to try our Easy Whole Smoked Trout next!
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S To Smoke Salmon On A Pellet Grill:
Smoking salmon on a pellet grill is a great way to smoke your favorite seafood without the use of an open fire. This method is an excellent way to smoke salmon without the smoke flavor of an open fire.
Weve put together a step-by-step guide on how to smoke salmon on a pellet grill that will get you smoking your favorite seafood in no time! So lets start
How Much Flipping Is Needed
Only once. Yes, flip the fillets once throughout the grilling for best cooking results. Put the salmon pieces on the grill with the skin side down. The major part of cooking and baking is done from that side. After 6-8 minutes, flip the filet and grill the flesh side for only 1-2 minutes just to give it a crisp and consistency.
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How To Smoke Salmon
Smoking salmon is incredibly simple. You probably already have all of the supplies you need at home. All that’s needed is time, and a fresh side of salmon with the skin still on.
Your supply list:
- Cans, tubs, or jugs to weigh down the salmon
- Brown sugar
- One large side of salmon
The video below walks you through the process.
Weve rounded up this guide covering everything you need to know about how to smoke salmon — from smoked salmon rub and the best wood for smoking salmon to salmon cooking times, internal cooking temperatures, nutritional information, and more.
Preheat Your Grill Before You Start Cooking
Before you start cooking, ensure to preheat your Traeger grill. Preheating the grill will ensure that the salmon will cook evenly. Preheat your Traeger grill to 250°F.
If you want to cook salmon on a Traeger grill, this is a must-do. Your Traeger smoked salmon will not be cooked evenly if it doesnt have time to heat up before it goes into the grill. Preheat your grill before you start cooking so that all of your ingredients are at the same temperature and can cook simultaneously.
Once your grill is preheated, its time to add wood pellets to the smoker. For Traeger smoked salmon, youll want to use light-colored wood like maple or alder. These wood chips will impart a delicate flavor to the fish without overpowering it.
Once your grill is preheated, its time to start the cooking process. Add your salmon. Place the salmon on the grill grates, skin side down.
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Try Grilling Salmon With A Charcoal Grill
After buying the right salmon for grilling, its time to prepare your charcoal grill for the task. Although gas grills have become more common in the last couple of years for their ease of use, you cant get the authentic smoky grilling flavor from it. Only a charcoal grill can give you the desired results to get distinctive smoke characteristic in the grilled food.
If you are looking to buy a quality charcoal grill, then you can certainly get confused in the market brimming with options. We have reviewed some of the best budget charcoal grills in this section to ease out this buying process.
How To Prepare Smoked Salmon
- When buying your salmon fillet, ask the fish monger to take the pin bones out. These run along the upper portion of the fillet and off the spine. These can be removed using tweezers yourself if the butcher or fish monger is unable to do it for you, but trust me, ask them to do it for you.
- Trim off the belly, we find a natural line that contours the fish. This allows us to cook that separately as a snack. The belly has some cartilage and membrane that is easier to remove and then cook with the salmon.
- On the skin side, be sure to use a knife against the scales, scraping it to de-scale it. A lot of times this too is already done.
- Rinse under cold water briefly and pat dry. Then you can season and smoke it. For this recipe were keeping it simple with just salt and pepper. You can also season it with our seafood seasoning if you want a bolder flavor profile.
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Season Your Salmon With Salt And Pepper
Once youre done bringing your salmon, season it with salt and pepper to get the best results. This will help flavor the fish and give it a good start on the grill.
Dont use too much salt. You want the fish to have a nice balance between being salty and flavorful. And dont use too much pepper either.
The fish should still taste like the salmon you bought from your local grocery store or seafood market.
What Should You Serve With Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon is an ideal choice for serving at your next BBQ party, and this is because it can go well with almost any food. You can serve it with a variety of dishes, and it pairs well with many other foods, like bread, crackers, cheese, salad, or even sandwiches. Its also a great choice as an appetizer or side dish at your next dinner party.
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Uses For Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon isnt just delicious, its healthy, too. Its super high in those fatty omega-3 acids that promote heart health, filled with Vitamin B, and loaded with potassium. In terms of smoked salmon calories, the USDA estimates youre looking at 117 calories per 100-gram serving.
Bottom line: Smoked salmon is pretty good for you, although because of the higher salt content, cured salmon is probably not something you want to eat every day.
When it comes to how you can use smoked salmon, the sky is basically the limit. Its brilliant hot and fresh off your Traeger, but you can get creative with your leftovers.
If you love a savory breakfast, check out our recipe for smoked salt-cured lox or our smoked salmon potato bake, which makes for a hearty breakfast casserole that can feed large hordes in the morning.
For snacks or lunch, work leftovers into a light smoked salmon salad or hardwood smoked salmon spread that is amazing for lox or bagels. Looking for something a bit heavier? Try our recipe for wood-fired smoked salmon flatbread or salmon tacos.
Ok, you get the idea. You can do just about whatever you want with smoked salmon. So, if you need some inspiration, explore all our smoked salmon recipes, fire up, and start grilling. See other recipe ideas for your smoked salmon down below.
What To Serve With Grilled Salmon
Since salmon is a meatier fish, many people pair it with a lighter side such as a salad, rice pilaf, or a steamed veggie. Salmon is particularly healthy, making it a guilt-free way to cook on the grill that goes well with many options.
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How To Marinate Salmon
It isnt necessary to marinate salmon before grilling it, but doing so can impart extra flavor and moisture to your finished fish. And you dont have to let your salmon marinate for long just 10 minutes will do. Make a simple marinade from a fat and acid in a 3:1 ratio, then add salt and an aromatic. We love Ina Gartens Asian Grilled Salmon, which has hundreds of five-star reviews and leans on a marinade made from olive oil , Dijon mustard , soy sauce and garlic . Drizzle the marinade on the salmon while you preheat the grill.
What Temperature Do You Smoke Salmon On A Pellet Grill
When you smoke salmon on a pellet grill, you should preheat the grill to low heat, around 180-225°F. You want to remove the fish as soon as the internal temperature reaches 140°F. This can take up to 2 hours at low heat.
If youre impatient, you can smoke your salmon at 350°F for 20-25 minutesbut youll sacrifice a lot of the great smoky flavor youre looking for when you use a pellet grill.
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How To Smoke Salmon On Your Barbecue
Most people who have a smoker at some stage wonder how to smoke salmon. The mellow to rich taste of salmon and the chunky flakes of the meat lend this excellent fish to the BBQ smoker process well.
If you dont have a barbecue smoker, a barbecue grill with a lid is the next best thing.
It can also be grilled, broiled, poached and cooked in various other ways if you are inclined to try them.
Salmon grills quickly and it is easy to see when it is cooked when the flesh becomes flaky during cooking it is done. There is also a subtle change in colour that gives it away.
We will only consider the hot smoking process here, which takes a lot longer. I have given two methods, one for smoking salmon fillets and one for whole salmon.
Best Grilled Salmon Recipes
Picking the right recipe to start your food adventure can be difficult, especially since there are so many out there. These trusted recipes are a good place to start, no matter your experience level.
- Honey Balsamic Salmon – A sticky honey garlic glaze makes this recipe something special.
- Citrus Salmon – Lemon zest, butter, and dill bring out the natural flavor of the fish.
- Grilled Salmon Steaks with BBQ Corn Salad – The hearty notes of bacon, tomato, and black beans take this filling dish to the next level.
Simple Glazed Salmon Fillets Proving less can be more, these simple filets highlight the best of salmons qualities.
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Cooking Salmon On A Gas Grill
To grill a tasty salmon, you need to purchase firm, fresh fillets. In addition to being firm and crisp, ensure that the salmon is light pink in color and has smooth cuts to it.
Avoid buying fillets that have a fishy smell and steaks that indicate old cuts. To ensure that the fillets dont stick to the grill when barbecuing, dont forget to ask the fishmonger for skin-on fillets. Once you have made the purchase, sprinkle kosher salt on the salmon as an added protective layer doing this will ensure that the fillet does not stick or break apart while cooking.
How Do You Cook Salmon On A Charcoal Smoker
On a charcoal smoker, and depending on what type of charcoal smoker you have, place the salmon skin-side down on the indirect side of the grill or in the case of a barrel smoker, atop the grill grate and making sure the water levels in the pan are full. Salmon should smoke undisturbed for about 1 hour. Again, look for a fish filet that is firm to the touch and is nicely golden brown while remaining just slightly pink all the way to its middle.
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The 3 Keys To The Best Smoked Salmon
Let’s not overcomplicate things. It’s just smoked salmon after all.
Rework Your Coals And Chips
Rework your coals and chips. After about 30 minutes youll notice that the wonderfully aromatic smoke stopped coming out of your grill. Open the grill and blot your salmon dry with paper towels. Remove your grill to access the coals push the coals together and add another handful of hickory chips. Replace the grill and close it up. Now is a good time to add a few fresh briquettes to your off-grill burning stock, theyll come in handy later.Repeat as necessary. Every 30-50 min or so check your grill, blot the salmon dry, add some hickory chips and a briquette now and then.
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How To Brine Salmon With A Dry Brine Mixture
Dry brining prior to smoking salmon is key to a well seasoned and moist smoked salmon fillet. Brining is a way to impart salt, sugar, and flavor into a protein. It is so easy to make dry brined salmon.
Ingredients for the Dry Brine
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ cup kosher salt
Step One: Combine all three ingredients into a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Place your salmon fillet in a cooking sheet or tray and sprinkle the brine mixture over the entire length of it. Be sure to cover both sides with brine.
Step Two: Once the salmon is covered in brine. Leave it skin side down, and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it sit in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to an hour. If you have a small wire rack to let the dry brined salmon sit on in the tray, that will help a little more as you pull that excess liquid from the salmon.
Step Three: Remove salmon from the refrigerator. You will see that a lot of excess moisture has been pulled out of the salmon from being in the brine.
Step Four: Rinse the salmon well under cold water. We want to remove any excess salt so that the salmon is not too salty. Once it is rinsed, pat it dry with a paper towel. Let it sit another ten minutes to air dry a little more.
Should You Marinate The Salmon Simple Is Better
If you want to enjoy salmon for what it is, then keep the recipe simple. The marinade of oil, salt, and pepper is enough to keep your grilled salmon all mouthwateringly delicious. Heavy recipes only overkill the original taste. On the other hand, the simple combo of salt and pepper enhance the real deliciousness of salmon.
Also, use the oil with a higher smoke point for better grilling. Any good quality grapeseed or olive oil can be used for the marinade.
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The Biggest Tip I Can Impart To You Is To Start With The Best Side Of Salmon You Are Able To Purchase Price Does Not Represent Quality Know: When The Fish Was Caught If It Was Wild Or Farmed If Farmed What It Was Fed Waters Of Origin And If Its Been On Ice For A Few Days Or More Than A Week
For me, I look for a very recently caught wild salmon in American or Canadian waters. A caveat: there is nothing wrong with farmed fish as long as it is sustainably executed and has not been treated to enhance color. Do your homework, ask questions at a reputable fish seller, and read the signs that tell you when and where that fish was sourced.
AND, you do NOT need the biggest filet available. There is minimal shrinkage during the smoking process, so purchase what you know youll be able to eat. The method I am demonstrating here today is based on a 2-ish pound skin-on, boneless filet of salmon.