Stove Top Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon
Michael Piazza / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Marinate Time: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
183 Calories
8g Fat
9g Carbs
18g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 183
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 2405mg 105%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 18g
Calcium 23mg 2%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The phrase "smoked salmon" gets used to describe what is, in fact, cured salmon. While fabulously delicious, salt-cured salmon like gravlax never sees smoke and cold-smoked fish like lox retain its soft texture and take up a limited smoke flavor.

Here, we have truly smoked salmon—salmon cooked by the heat of the smoke, while also getting infused with rich smoked flavor—made at home, on the stove. You don't need a commercial smoker; you're going to make a small, stovetop version out of stuff in the kitchen.


  • About 2 pounds of salmon filet or how much will fit on the rack below
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 cup wood chips
  • Large wok, roasting pan, or another large cooking vessel
  • Cake rack, cooling rack, or indoor grilling rack that fits in the cooking vessel
  • Plenty of foil

Steps to Make It

  1. Pull out any pin bones from the salmon filet(s).

  2. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Put about 1/3 of it on the bottom of a baking pan, set the salmon on top and cover the salmon with the remaining sugar-salt mixture. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

  3. Put the wood chips in a large bowl, cover them with water, and let them soak at least 30 minutes. Drain them, being careful to catch any wood bits from going down the drain and clogging the pipes or messing with the disposal.

  4. Put the soaked wood chips in the bottom of the wok or roasting pan, lightly grease the rack, and set it over the wood chips. Rinse the cure off the salmon under cold water and pat it dry. Set the salmon, skin-side-down, on the rack.

  5. Heat the pan over high heat until the chips start to smoke. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with several layers of extremely well-sealed foil. In short, you want to keep the smoke in the pan with the salmon. Cook, undisturbed for 30 minutes.

  6. Turn off the heat and let the salmon cool in the sealed smoky pan. When the pan is cooled off enough so you can handle it easily, unwrap the salmon. Serve the salmon warm, at room temperature, or chilled.


  • 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.