|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 14g||18%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||14%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 11g|
|Vitamin C 4mg||21%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
There are several types of smoked salmon—from lox to gravlax and cold smoked to hot smoked. While the other types don't encounter any heat, hot smoked salmon is cooked over a smoky fire and infused with a fabulous smoky flavor. Although commercial offerings are usually made in a smokehouse, hot smoked salmon can be made at home, as any common grill will do when it is set up properly.
The salmon is first cured in a sugar-salt mixture, which pulls out moisture from the salmon and infuses it with flavor, helping create the distinctive sweetness of traditionally smoked salmon. Then the fish is cooked on a grill over wood chips, which are what contribute the rich, smoky taste. The flavor of cedar chips complements the salmon beautifully, but hickory may be easier to find. You will need between 1/2 to 1 cup of wood chips; this technique can be done on either a gas or charcoal grill.
"This was a big hit at my end-of-summer brunch! The salmon was flaky, smoky, sweet, and savory all at the same time. I used a gas grill with soaked wood chips wrapped in heavy-duty foil package. I poked a few holes in the foil so the smoke would release slowly into the salmon." —Diana Andrews
Gather the ingredients.
Rinse and pat the salmon dry with paper towels. Pull out any pin bones from the salmon.
Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Spread about 1/3 of the sugar mixture into a mound (roughly the size of the salmon) in the bottom of a rimmed baking pan.
Set the salmon on top of the mixture, skin side down. Cover the fish with the remaining sugar-salt mixture.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Put the wood chips in a large bowl, cover them with water, and let them soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain them completely. Put the wood chips in a small smoker box that comes with some grills, or simply put the soaked chips in an aluminum loaf pan or even a bowl you fashion out of aluminum foil.
Prepare your grill for indirect heat; the hot side should reach about 300 F. Fill an aluminum pan with about 1 inch of water. For gas grills: Heat 1/2 of the burners and set the pan under the cooking grate on the cold side of the grill. For charcoal grills: Light a fire. When the coals are ready, push them to one side and set the pan on the other side under the grate. For both types of grills: Put the wood chip container over the hot part of the grill under the grill grate.
Remove the salmon from its sugar-salt mixture and rinse off the fish. Pat it dry and set it skin-side down on the cool side of the grill (on the cooking grate that is over the pan of water). Cover the grill and cook until the salmon is fully smoked and flaky, 20 to 30 minutes.
Serve the salmon warm, at room temperature, or chilled and enjoy.
- Although the salmon is smoked, it is not shelf-stable. It will last about a week in the fridge but isn't preserved beyond that point.
- When draining the wood chips, be careful to catch any wood bits from going down the sink drain and clogging the pipes or messing with the disposal.
- If you don't have a grill, you can also smoke salmon on a stovetop.