how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker

Smoke salmon in an electric smoker – it’s a mouthwatering delicacy that can be made with ease. Whether you’re looking to impress your guests or just want to enjoy the savoury flavour of smoked fish, learning how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker is one of the simplest and most rewarding methods. From preparing the salmon to serving suggestions, this blog post will guide you through all steps needed for smoking success. So if you’re ready to get smokin’, read on for everything from preheating your smoker and placing your fillet inside – smoke salmon in an electric smoker has never been easier.

Table of Contents:

Preparing the Salmon

Before getting started on your salmon, a few measures must be taken to guarantee the finest outcome. The first step is to clean the fish. Start by removing any scales from the skin with a sharp knife or scaler and then rinse it off under cold running water. After rinsing, use paper towels to pat dry both sides of the fish and the inside of its cavity.

Next, season your salmon according to taste preferences or recipes you’re using for cooking instructions. Avoid over-seasoning, as too much salt can overpower the final dish. You may also choose to marinate your salmon before smoking if desired; however, keep in mind that some marinades contain sugar which can burn during smoking so adjust accordingly when setting up temperatures for cooking times.

raw fish in a wooden plate

Once seasoned and ready for smoking, place each fillet onto a piece of aluminium foil large enough so that it wraps around each side without tearing through when folded over the top of itself creating an airtight seal. This will help keep moisture within. Place 1 teaspoon butter into each packet along with herbs such as dill or rosemary if desired prior to sealing shut tightly with crimped edges at all four corners ensuring no steam escapes while cooking later on down the line. Your salmon is now prepared and ready for preheating.

Time to fire up the smoker and get that delightful smoked flavour going.

Preheating the Smoker

To start preheating your smoker, add some charcoal briquettes or wood chips into the firebox and light them with a match or lighter. Set the heat source alight, adjusting to your desired temperature level for optimal smoked salmon results – a recommended internal temp of 225°F (107°C). For best results when smoking salmon, aim for an internal temperature of 225°F (107°C).

Once lit and heated up properly, allow about 15 minutes for the smoke chamber to come up to temperature before adding any food items. During this time, it’s also important to check that there’s enough fuel inside of the firebox so that it doesn’t run out while cooking. Additionally if using wood chips instead of charcoal briquettes then you should add more every hour or two throughout cooking process as they burn quickly at high temperatures like those used when smoking fish.

When finished preheating your smoker, be sure to check not only its temperature but also monitor how much smoke is being produced from within. Too little could lead to undercooked fish while too much could cause overcooking which will result in an unpleasant flavour profile after eating. Finally, remember that even though most smokers come with thermometers built-in, always double-check by inserting an oven thermometer into one of its vents just to make sure accuracy before beginning the cooking process each time you use the device.

Once the smoker is preheated, it’s time to place the salmon inside and let the magic happen – so get ready for a delicious smoked salmon dinner.

Placing the Salmon in the Smoker

Once preheated and seasoned properly with wood chips if desired, carefully place each piece of prepared salmon skin side down onto the grates inside the smoke chamber. Make sure to leave some space between each one so that air can circulate evenly throughout while cooking; overcrowding will cause pieces to stick together during the smoking process which could lead to uneven results overall. After all, pieces are placed inside, close the lid tightly ensuring no heat escapes during the smoking process as this would result in temperature drops causing potential over/undercooking issues across the entire batch smoked simultaneously.

After placing the salmon in the smoker, you can now move on to setting up your desired smoking time. With careful monitoring and adjusting of temperatures, you’ll be able to achieve perfectly smoked salmon.

Key Takeaway: Smoking salmon requires careful preparation, seasoning and placement in a preheated smoker with wood chips for added flavour. Leave space between pieces to ensure even cooking.

Smoking Time

cooking raw fish

Smoking salmon in an electric smoker is a great way to savour the smoked fish taste without purchasing a large, costly smoker. Time to smoke salmon fluctuates, contingent upon the fillet’s size and thickness, as well as your smoker’s temperature. Generally speaking, you should plan for about 1 hour per pound of salmon when smoking at 225°F (107°C).

When it comes to determining if your salmon is done cooking, there are two main methods: temperature and texture. To check with a thermometer probe inserted into the centre of the fish should read 145°F (63°C). Alternatively, you can also use texture – when pressed lightly with your fingertip it should be firm but still flake easily with a fork.

To ensure even cooking throughout your entire batch of salmon fillets, rotate them halfway through smoking so that each side gets equal exposure to heat and smoke. This will help prevent any undercooked spots from forming on one side while other parts overcook due to direct heat exposure.

Once you’ve attained the wanted smokiness, it’s time to progress on to the next stage of your salmon smoking experience – food ideas. From a few basic techniques, you can craft an unforgettable experience for your loved ones.

Serving Suggestions

Smoked salmon is a tasty, multifaceted dish that can be enjoyed as an hors d’oeuvre, entrée or even part of a bigger repast. Whether you’re serving it for brunch or dinner, there are plenty of options to make your smoked salmon stand out.

newly smoked fish

Salads are always a great accompaniment to smoked salmon. A simple green salad with some fresh herbs like dill or chives will pair nicely with the smoky flavour of the fish. You could also try adding some roasted vegetables such as bell peppers and onions for extra flavour and texture. For something more substantial, try making a Nicoise-style salad with potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, olives, capers and anchovies – all ingredients that work perfectly together when paired with smoked salmon.

If you’re looking for something heartier than salads but still light enough to go alongside your fish dish then why not try making some homemade potato wedges? Chop those spuds into wedges, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then bake ’til they’re golden-brown crispiness – what could be better?

Finally, if you want something truly unique then consider making risotto cakes from leftover risotto. Simply form cooled-down leftovers into patties before pan frying in butter until golden brown on both sides; these little cakes make excellent accompaniments to any type of fish dish including smoked salmon.

Key Takeaway: Smoked salmon can be combined with a range of accompaniments, such as tossed salads, roasted veg, homemade potato chunks and creamy mashed spuds. For something unique, try making risotto cakes for an interesting accompaniment.

FAQs in Relation to How to Smoke Salmon in an Electric Smoker

How long does it take to smoke salmon on my electric smoker?

Smoking salmon on an electric smoker is a relatively simple process. Smoking a side of salmon may take anywhere from two to three hours when the smoker is set at 225°F (107°C). The time of smoking may differ depending on the dimensions and thickness of the fish, as well as temperature. If you’re looking for more intense flavour, try increasing your smoker’s temperature up to 250°F (121°C) and smoking for 3-4 hours. Remember that cooking times can also be affected by outside factors such as wind or humidity levels in your area. To ensure optimal results, always keep an eye on your food while it smokes.

What is the best temp to smoke salmon?

Smoking salmon is best done at a temperature of between 80-90°F (27-32°C). This allows the fish to cook slowly, resulting in a tender and flavorful texture. To achieve this temperature, use an indirect heat source such as wood chips or charcoal. Monitor the temperature closely with a thermometer and adjust accordingly for optimal results. For added flavour, add your favourite herbs or spices to the smoking mix before cooking. With careful attention to detail, you can enjoy perfectly smoked salmon every time.

Do you wrap salmon in foil when smoking?

Yes, wrapping salmon in foil when smoking is recommended. Foil helps to keep the moisture and smoke in a while preventing any of the fish from drying out. Wrapping salmon in foil when smoking can also help to ensure that the savoury flavour of your smoked fish is maintained during the cooking process, making for a more consistent taste. Wrapping with foil also makes for easier cleanup afterwards as well.


Learning how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker can bring out the delightful taste of this fish. With the right preparation and preheating, you can have delicious smoked salmon ready for dinner in no time. Whether you’re serving it as part of a meal or just snacking on it, smoking salmon in an electric smoker will make any occasion special. So don’t wait – get your electric smoker fired up and smoke some salmon today. You won’t regret it – after all, there’s nothing quite like the taste of freshly smoked salmon in an electric smoker.

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