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A piece of smoked salmon on a piece of parchment with a dollop of tartar sauce on top and potatoes and dill around it.

Smoked Salmon Recipe (how to smoke salmon)

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  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Brine Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salmon
  • Method: Smoker
  • Cuisine: American


Smoked Salmon (how to smoke salmon) – an easy and delicious smoked salmon recipe that is packed with flavor and makes the perfect dinner!


  • 12 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced or grated
  • 1.5 pounds fresh salmon


  1. Prep Brine: Combine brown sugar, kosher salt, pepper, fresh dill and garlic.
  2. Brine Salmon: Place salmon on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet, skin side down. Rub brine mixture all over the top of the salmon (no need to rub on the skin), ensuring it is fully covered. Place in the refrigerator, uncovered for 1 hour. 
  3. Smoke Salmon: Preheat smoker to 225 degrees F. Remove salmon from the refrigerator and pat dry with paper towel (no need to rinse off). Place salmon (skin side down) on top of a piece of foil and then transfer to the smoker. Let cook 40-60 minutes or until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the salmon reaches 130-135 degrees F. (see Notes).
  4. Serve: Serve salmon with smoked potatoes and smoked green beans for a delicious dinner! Use leftovers to make some smoked salmon dip!


  • Cook Time: we used a 1.5 pound salmon fillet that was approx. 1 inch at its thickest part. Cook time will vary depending upon how thick your salmon is, hot spots on your smoker, humidity, wind, outdoor temp, etc. The best way to track is to keep an eye on that internal temp using a meat thermometer. 
  • Sugar: the brown sugar does leave a little sweetness, but not much. Feel free to reduce or omit the brown sugar if you desire.
  • Storage: store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days – or use leftovers to make some Smoked Salmon Dip