Smoked Salmon

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Alton Brown’s Healthy Smoked Salmon recipe. Also, check out PrimeWater Seafood for salmon that is SUSTAINABLY RAISED & TRACEABLE.

Smoked salmon is a type of fish that has been cured in a mixture of salt, sugar, and other seasonings and then cold-smoked over wood chips to give it its distinctive flavor. The origins of smoked salmon can be traced back to ancient times, when people in various parts of the world discovered that curing and smoking fish was an effective way to preserve it for long periods of time.

One of the earliest known examples of smoking salmon is the traditional Norwegian dish of gravlax, which is made by curing salmon with salt, sugar, and dill. This technique was likely developed by the Vikings, who needed a way to preserve fish while they were on long voyages.

Salmon has also been enjoyed in other parts of the world for centuries. In the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada, the indigenous people have been smoking salmon for thousands of years as a way to preserve it for the winter months.

Today, smoked salmon is enjoyed around the world and is often served as a delicacy on special occasions. It is typically served cold, sliced thin and garnished with lemon wedges and dill. It can also be used in a variety of dishes, such as omelets, sandwiches, and salads.

Got left over salmon? Try these great salmon recipes:


Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon

Delicious smoked salmon, tasty and healthy.

  • Author: Alton Brown
  • Prep Time: 14:40
  • Cook Time: 5:00
  • Total Time: 17:40
  • Yield: 20 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Smoked


Units Scale
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 2 large salmon fillets or sides, pin bones removed


  1. In a bowl, mix together salt, sugar, brown sugar and peppercorns. Spread extra-wide aluminum foil a little longer than the length of the fish and top with an equally long layer of plastic wrap. Sprinkle 1/3 of the rub onto the plastic. Lay 1 side of the fish skin down onto the rub. Sprinkle 1/3 of the rub onto the flesh of the salmon. Place second side of salmon, flesh down onto the first side. Use the remaining rub to cover the skin on the top piece. Fold plastic over to cover then close edges of foil together and crimp tightly around the fish.
  2. Place wrapped fish onto a plank or sheet pan and top with another plank or pan. Weigh with a heavy phone book or a brick or two and refrigerate for 12 hours. Flip the fish over and refrigerate another 12 hours. Some juice will leak out during the process so make sure there’s a place for the runoff to gather.
  3. Unwrap fish and rinse off the cure with cold water. Pat salmon with paper towels then place in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) until the surface of the fish is dry and matte-like, 1 to 3 hours depending on humidity. A fan may be used to speed the process.
  4. Smoke fish (see Note) over smoldering hardwood chips or sawdust, keeping the temperature inside the smoker between 150 degrees F and 160 degrees F until the thickest part of the fish registers 150 degrees. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature, wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days.


  • Cook’s Note: Trout, mackerel, and bluefish also smoke well.
  • Per Serving (about 1.6 ounces per serving): Calories 86; Total Fat 5 grams; Saturated Fat 1 gram; Protein 8 grams; Total Carbohydrate 1 gram; Sugar: 1 gram; Fiber 0 grams; Cholesterol 22 milligrams; Sodium 484 milligrams
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