Stove Top Smoked Salmon

Stove Top Smoked Salmon

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Marinate Time: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
196 Calories
10g Fat
8g Carbs
17g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 196
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 2406mg 105%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 21mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 308mg 7%
*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" is 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.

For this recipe, you will need ½ to 1 cup of wood chips, plenty of aluminum foil, a large cooking vessel such as a roasting pan or wok, and a cake rack or cooling rack that can fit inside the cooking vessel.


  • 2 pounds skin-on salmon filet

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup coarse sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Vegetable oil, for the rack

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Stove Top Smoked Salmon ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Remove the pin bones from the salmon.

    Remove the pin bones from the salmon

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Spread 1/3 of the mixture evenly on the bottom of a large baking pan.

    sugar mixture on top of a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Place the salmon on top and cover with remaining sugar-salt mixture.

    sugar mixture coated salmon on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

    salmon with sugar mixture on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    wood chips in a bowl with water

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Put soaked wood chips in a wok or roasting pan. Lightly grease a rack with the vegetable oil and set it over the wood chips. Rinse the cure from the salmon under cold water and pat dry.

    wood chips in a roasting pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Put the salmon, skin-side-down, on the rack.

    salmon on a rack in a roasting pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Heat pan on high heat until the chips start to smoke. Reduce heat to low and cover pan with several layers of foil and seal very tightly to keep the smoke inside the pan. Cook undisturbed for 30 minutes.

    salmon in an aluminum foil covered roasting pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Turn off the heat and let salmon cool in the sealed smoky pan. When the pan is cool enough to touch, unwrap the salmon. Serve salmon warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

    Stove Top Smoked Salmon in a roasting pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • 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.