You won't believe how easy this Brown Sugar Smoked Salmon is! The smoked salmon rub is absolute perfection. It's ready in less than two hours with just five simple ingredients for the spice rub!
I think a lot of people are intimidated by the process of smoking meat. I totally get it! Most barbecue shows are focused on following barbecue teams around that work around the clock to get big cuts of meat prepared for competition.
"Have made this Salmon recipe a few times comes out awesome every time. I definitely recommend this so good. It really does take only one hour in the smoker and 145 is a perfect temperature to take it off."
- Susan D., Blog Comment
When my husband first started experimenting with smoking meat, he did all of the traditional cuts; pork shoulder, brisket and ribs. The more skilled he's become, the more he leans towards cuts that don't take all day, and learning how to smoke salmon is a breeze. Smoked salmon has become a favorite for us, and we eat it almost weekly at this point.
"We made the salmon and it was perfect! We smoked it at 225 for an hour and then down to "smoke only" for 20-30 minutes and they were perfect, juicy, tender and full of flavor! We doubled the sugar and seasonings and it was delicious."- Shana on Instagram
I buy about two pounds of fresh salmon on Friday, and then he spends about two hours smoking it over the weekend. When you have a smoked salmon rub that hits all the right notes it is absolute perfection!
We then eat this Brown Sugar Smoked Salmon all throughout the work week, on bagels with cream cheese, and as an easy protein-filled lunch for work!
"My favorite smoked salmon recipe!"
- Marty S, Facebook User
We have experimented with seasonings for our smoked salmon and have decided that a simple smoked salmon rub is best. A bit of salt and pepper, some dill, and brown sugar are all that you need to make a smoked salmon rub to top this simple smoked fish.
If you have the time, rub this mixture on top of the salmon and let it dry brine in the refrigerator for about an hour. If not, no worries, just rub the spices on and throw it on the smoker! We use a classic bullet-style smoker, the Smokey Mountain, which has lasted us nearly 10 years and is still going strong.
We eat salmon almost every week! When cooked perfectly with a great dry rub for smoked salmon, it is such a treat.
How Long to Smoke Salmon
Your goal is to get the salmon to an internal temperature of about 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you've smoked meat before, you know that you are in complete control of how long your smoking session is! We prefer a hotter temperature for smaller, leaner cuts, rather than the "low and slow" method you would use for a large cut of meat, like a pork butt.
For salmon, we recommend maintaining your smoker at a temperature of 250-275 degrees Fahrenheit, and smoking the salmon for about one hour.
You will need an Instant Read Meat Thermometer to check if the salmon is done. Add my favorite to your Amazon cart here.
Is Smoked Salmon Healthy?
I think we all know that the term "healthy" is relative these days, with dietary trends running to the extremes.
But yes, smoked salmon can generally be considered healthy. It is a lean source of protein, a good source of calcium, iron and vitamins as well as omega-3 fatty acid.
How long does Smoked Salmon keep?
Your homemade smoked salmon should keep for up to a week in your refrigerator. Be sure to seal it in an airtight bag or container, keeping air away from it will preserve it for longer.
You can freeze your smoked salmon for up to nine months.
I hope that you enjoy this recipe, it is truly one of our favorites. Let me know in the comments!
For the smoked salmon rub:
Or, you can try my other recipe on the smoker, this Whole Smoked Turkey!