I love to smoke salmon! And it is easy to do if you have a decent smoker.
I use Char-Broil 17202004 Digital Electric Smoker, Deluxe, Silver because it is compact, easy to use, and has double wall construction. Overall, it makes for a pretty good smoker for the price range. No matter which smoker you use, smoking salmon is very simple. The method I use is a dry rub with salt and brown sugar.
Types of Salmon
I like to smoke winter black mouth salmon because usually they are smaller and are great smoker size. Next I would smoke Pink salmon and Chum salmon and save the Coho and Chinook for table fare.
Simple Smoking Method
- Make sure your fish is dry. Pat it dry with paper towels if needed.
- Mix 4 cups brown sugar with 1 cup kosher salt. Make sure it is mixed well.
- Put your fish, skin side down, in glass casserole dishes (1.5-2 in deep).
- Completely coat the top (meat side) of the fish with the sugar/salt mixture.
- Cover the fish tightly with plastic wrap,
- Refrigerate. Depending on how salty (or not salty) you want your fish determines how long you will leave your fish in the refrigerator. If you want you smoked salmon less salty, about two hours in the refrigerator. Medium saltiness, 4 hours. Very salty (if you are making smoked fish dip), overnight.
- After you remove your fish from the refrigerator, you will want to rinse the sugar/salt mixture off every piece really well with cold water.
- Next lay your fish out on racks. I use the racks from my smoker to lay all the fish out.
- Next place a fan so it blows on all the fish. You will want the fan to blow on the fish for at least 2 hours until the fish has a tacky texture.
- Smoke. With a preheated smoker, smoke the fish for 2 hours. Read the manual of your smoker to know how long to exactly smoke your fish.