Stop swimming upstream and start smoking salmon with ease. Our smoked salmon recipe takes all the guesswork out of the equation, leaving you perfectly smoked salmon every time.
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Remove all pin bones from salmon.
In a small bowl, combine salt, sugar and black pepper. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface that is at least 6 inches longer than the fillet. Spread 1/2 of the mixture on top of the plastic and lay the fillet skin side down on top of the cure. Top with the other 1/2 of the cure spreading it evenly over the top of the fillet. Fold up the edges of the plastic and wrap tightly.
Place the wrapped salmon fillet in the bottom of a flat, rectangle baking dish or hotel pan. Place another identical pan on top of the fillet. Place a couple of cans or something heavy inside the top pan to weigh it down making sure the weight is distributed evenly.
Transfer the weighted salmon to the refrigerator and cure for 4 to 6 hours.
Remove the salmon from the plastic wrap and rinse the cure thoroughly (not rinsing thoroughly will result in a salty finished product). Place skin side down on a wire rack atop a sheet tray and pat dry. Place the sheet tray in the refrigerator and allow the salmon to dry overnight. This allows a tacky film called a pellicle to form on the surface of the salmon. The pellicle helps smoke adhere to the fish.
When ready to cook, set Traeger temperature to 180℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes. For optimal flavor, use Super Smoke if available.
Place the salmon skin side down directly on the grill grate and smoke for 3 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature of the fish registers 140℉. Enjoy warm or chilled.
Traeger Staples: How to Smoke Salmon
A step-by-step guide to how to smoke salmon. From smoked salmon rub and the best wood for smoking salmon to cooking times, internal cooking temperatures, nutritional information, and more.