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How To Smoke Salmon In An Electric Smoker

How exactly would you go about smoking salmon in an electric smoker? This method is actually considered to be one of the most popular methods for preparing this food type. Smoking salmon would involve the salmon filet(s) to be properly prepared for the purpose of hot smoking or cold smoking. There are actually many recipes that you can choose from to prepare and smoke this delicacy meal, and the results are nothing less than rewarding.

If you are interested in an electric smoker, check out our review for the best electric smoker :


How smoking salmon in an electric smoker is beneficial

slamon on electric smoker

Salmon is quite a tasty food option. While there are many ways to prepare it, there is no doubt that you are in for a treat when you prepare is smoked. Besides how good it tastes, there are also plenty of other advantages to smoking your salmon with an electric smoker. Let’s take a look:

Using an electric smoker to prepare your salmon before consuming it, you will be able to take advantage of the many nutrients that are found inside this food. This includes Selenium, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, etc. These are all vitamins that are needed in a healthy diet.

  • Types of healthy acids that you can find in salmon include docosahexaenoic acid, Omega 3 fatty acids, and eicosapentaenoic acid. The omega 3 fatty acid is an acid that is especially important for protecting the proper functioning of your brain. It can keep you from feeling depressed and also keep you from other health issues later down the road like dementia.
  • Iron is a mineral that is found in salmon. Iron is important for keeping the right amount of oxygen in your blood to supply your tissues with.

Salmon Risks

While for the most part salmon is healthy for you, it’s still important to know risks that you may face from consuming too much of it. When salmon is smoked, it is known to be quite high in sodium so it is best to not overconsume it.

Cold smoked salmon probably poses the most threats since all of the bacteria aren’t being killed with the method of cooking that is being used.

Preparing your Salmon

So preparing your salmon is something that you will do the day before you actually smoke it. It’s quite an easy process though.

Let’s take a look at the steps that you’ll take for preparations.

Choosing your Wood Chips

It’s important that you purchase the right flavored wood chips that pair with your meat well. While there are various different wood chip flavors, there are only certain ones that would be right for smoking with your salmon. Let’s take a look at some of the wood chip options that pair very well with salmon:

  • Cherry wood
  • Fruit tree
  • Hickory
  • Pecan wood
  • Alder wood

wood chips types

If you want, you can even get creative and add more than one wood flavor to your electric grill for unique combined smoky salmon flavors.

Cleaning the Salmon

Deboning the Salmon

Deboning the Salmon

Deboning salmon is actually quite easy and not as hard as deboning other types of meat. Salmon does tend to cost more than other types of basic fish filet options, but the price and quality are definitely worth the results you get after smoking it.

  • Rinse the Salmon
  • Pat the Salmon Dry
  • Double checks to make sure all bones have been removed.

Apply Your Brine

brine salmon

  • Now it is time to prepare your brine of choice (various brine recipes can be found online).
  • Or do this one: Mix two cups of sugar per cup of kosher salt added.
  • A thick layer of kosher salt should be placed at the bottom of the tray.

Next, your salmon pieces need to be layer one by one on top of each other:

Sugar is your most important in this step, so make sure you add the right amount of sugar per kosher salt as mentioned previously.

Refrigerate your Salmon

Refrigerate your Salmon

  • Use some plastic dish wrap to cover the tray or dish that your salmon is in. Try not to have too much air inside the dish as you wrap it.
  • The salmon should then be refrigerated for at least 8 hours.
  • The following day you need to rinse all of your brine off.
  • Spray your rack with non-stick cooking spray and add your slabs of salmon to the rack.
  • Allow your salmon to cook for 2 hours in your smoker.

This is basically just an outline of the more detailed steps just to give you an idea of the basics. Continue to read along for the more detailed steps.

Keeping Your Mess to a Minimal

There are ways that you can go about keeping your areas or preparation clean when you are smoking salmon. By placing foil inside your drip tray, you can clean up more easily by just simply removing that foil when your salmon is done the cooking. Some of the spills still may get inside the pan but it won’t be nearly as hard to clean.

Smoking your salmon: The Details

While the process may some lengthy to some since it requires preparing on two different days, it’s still not hard to do. Now, let’s get to the actual day that you will get down to business; here is what you’ll do:

  • 1: Cut your salmon into the appropriate serving sizes.


  • 2: Take the rack out of your smoker, and turn the smoker on, and light your wood chips. Allow your smoker to reach 150F, and wait until you see smoke billowing before you add your tray back with the salmon on it.


  • 3: Once 150F has been reached and you notice smoke billowing, add your salmon to the rack, with space left in between the pieces as they are placed. Quickly place the rack with your salmon on it inside the electric smoker. Do this fast to keep too much of your valued smoke and heat from escaping.


  • 4: Most of the times it is recommended for average-sized salmon to cook for 2 hours. It really just depends on the sizes of the salmon. (Check your salmon accordingly).


  • 5: When you get down to about 30 minutes of cooking time left, add your marinade to your salmon.


  • 6: Once the two hours are up; you can now enjoy eating your salmon!

Smoked Brine Recipe

  • Pour 1 gallon of water inside of a bucket. Add 1 cup of brown sugar, a cup of kosher salt, lemon pepper, and 3 ounces of seasoning.
  • Add 4 slices of crushed lemon, limes, and 1 yellow onion. Add two crushed oranges, some hot pepper sauce (to your liking), and garlic.
  • Add your salmon to this watery season mixture and let it marinate for 12 to 36 hours.

This is considered to be a very basic recipe that you can use for your salmon, and while it is basic when all of the ingredient flavors come together, it makes for a very appetizing smoked salmon meal.

Smoked salmon recipes are quite popular, and there are so many different ones that you can choose from. You can really make some very appetizing smoked salmon that would be perfect for feeding your family and pleasing your guests. Not only will you benefit from some great tasting food, but you will benefit from the healthiness of the salmon. You can even use this recipe mentioned while adding a bit more ingredients of your choice to give your salmon a bit more of a different taste.

Furthermore, if you haven’t yet, it’s time to get the perfect electric smoker to do the trick. Amazon has plenty of these to choose from. It’s best to read the reviews and specifications to see which electric smokers would be perfect for smoking with the best quality to achieve the best taste in your salmon.

Once your salmon is in the smoker, just sit back and let the smoker do the rest!



This article is written by Noam Shahar the founder of Limited-Red, Noam is a serious carnivore, And he has a strong passion when it comes to meat and cook, He Decided to review the "BBQ world" 9 years ago after discovering how many people struggle with choosing their dream grill.

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