Smoked Salmon

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Smoked Salmon 

Coho Salmon

Smoked Steelhead-Method

Smoked Steelhead-Method

Smoked Steelhead-Method

Smoked Salmon-Method

Smoked Salmon-Method

Smoked Salmon

Smoked Steelhead

It has been salmon season in the Pacific Northwest.  With my husband’s last catch we smoked some of the salmon fillets in a wood chip smoker.  We have also had good luck smoking steelhead in the smoker.  {Steelhead is a type of ocean-going rainbow trout that is indigenous to the Pacific Ocean and a commonly-caught fish in the Pacific Northwest.  It is genetically similar to the Pacific salmon and like salmon, it is great for smoking.}

Smoking a fish is made easy with wood chip smokers but if you don’t want to bother with it or don’t have access to a smoker, you can find smoked salmon (and other smoked seafood) throughout the Pacific Northwest for a quick and healthy snack.  Serve the smoked salmon with crackers and cheese for an easy gourmethors d’oeuvre.


1 salmon (or steelhead), cut into small fillets

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Following the directions of your smoker, add wood chips to the smoker and start the fire.

Place the fish fillets on pieces of foil and arrange them on the wire racks of the smoker.  Generously sprinkle them with salt and black pepper.  Place the racks of fish in the smoker and smoke them for several hours, checking on them occasionally and replacing the wood chips whenever the smoke dies down.

Smoke the fish to taste.  My family likes to remove the fish from the smoker when the fillets flake easily but still seem moist.  Let the fish cool for 10-15 minutes.  Serve the smoked salmon with crackers and cheese or cream cheese.

You can enjoy the smoked salmon immediately or place the fish fillets in Ziploc bags and store them in the refrigerator for a few days.  If you would like to store them for more than a few days, I recommend packaging them using a vacuum seal and freezing them.

NOTE: This recipe for smoked salmon does not use a brine to help preserve the fish so it is more for immediate consumption.  It will last for a few days in the refrigerator or you can freeze it in vacuum-sealed plastic. 

Click here to view a guide for selecting seafood.

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2 Responses to “Smoked Salmon”

  1. Tonia says:

    Don’t you have to brine the fish before you smoke it?

  2. kelsey says:

    Tonia, this method of smoking salmon does not require a brine. Brines are commonly used when smoking fish and help to preserve the fish. Salmon smoked without a brine is more for immediate consumption. It will last a couple of days in the refrigerator and then would need to be packed in vacuum-sealed plastic and frozen.

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