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+ servings

Hot Smoked Salmon

Photo by Lynne Calamia
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 day 6 hours
Yield: 2 pounds


  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 pounds salmon filets, 4.5-6 ounces each, skin on, pin bones removed

Specialized Hardware

  • 3 ounces hardwood chips, not soaked
  • 8 ounces hardwood chunks, not soaked
  • Smoker


  • Combine the salt and water in a 4-quart container and stir until the salt has dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the salmon filets, making sure they are fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  • Remove the salmon from the brine, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry. Place the salmon, skin-side down, onto a wire cooling rack set in a half-sheet pan. Dry in the refrigerator until the skin becomes shiny and somewhat tacky to the touch, 21 to 24 hours.
  • The next day, turn the smoker filled with the unsoaked chips on so that it maintains a temperature of 150 to 160ºF. Place the salmon on smoking racks, skin-side down, separating them by at least 1/4 inch and place into the smoker. Adjust heat as needed and cook until the fish is cooked through, has darkened in color, and has the desired level of smoke flavor, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  • Refrigerate unused portions in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or vacuum-seal and refrigerate for up to 1 month.