How to Smoke Salmon in an Electric Smoker

If you love smoked salmon, but don’t have the time or patience to smoke it yourself, an electric smoker is a great option. Electric smokers are easy to use and can produce delicious results in just a few hours. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker, so you can enjoy this delicacy at home.

1. Start with a whole salmon that’s been gutted and had the head removed. If you’re smoking a lot of fish, have your fishmonger cut the fish into manageable pieces. But for smaller batches, I like to smoke a whole salmon because it looks so impressive when it’s done.

Raw uncooked sea salmon whole fish in a tray with herbs. White background. Top view
Raw uncooked sea salmon whole fish in a tray with herbs. White background. Top view

2. Make a brine by dissolving 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of sugar in 2 gallons of water. You can add aromatics to the brine if you like—I like to add a few handfuls of fresh dill—but it’s not essential.

3. Put the salmon in the brine, making sure it’s completely submerged. If you’re smoking a lot of fish, you can do this in a non-reactive container, like a plastic bucket. But for smaller batches, I like to use a glass or ceramic baking dish.

4. Cover the salmon and let it brine for 24 hours. If you’re using a baking dish, you can put it in the fridge. If you’re using a plastic bucket, you can keep it in a cool, dark place. Just make sure the temperature stays below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. After 24 hours, remove the salmon from the brine and rinse it under cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels and place it on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Let it air dry in the refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight.

6. To smoke the salmon, you’ll need to rig up a smoker. If you don’t have one, you can use a charcoal grill or even a gas grill—just be sure to put some wood chips on the coals or in a smoker box on the gas grill so they can smolder and create smoke.

7 Fill your smoker with wood chips—I like hickory or apple wood—and light them according to your smoker’s instructions.

8 When the chips are creating smoke, place the salmon in the smoker and close the lid.

9 Smoke the salmon until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit—this will take two to three hours, depending on how hot your smoker is running.

10 Remove the salmon from the smoker and let it cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Some FAQs

Can you cold smoke salmon in an electric smoker?

You can cold smoke salmon in an electric smoker, but there are a few things you need to know first. Cold smoking doesn’t actually refer to the temperature of the smoker, but rather the temperature of the salmon itself. The ideal temperature for cold smoking salmon is between 27-32 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve this, you’ll need to use a curing salt like pink salt or kosher salt to lower the fish’s internal temperature. Once the salmon is cured, it can be placed in the smoker and smoked at a low temperature for several hours. The key to success is to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the process. If the temperature fluctuates too much, it can cause the salmon to spoil. However, if you follow these guidelines, you can create delicious cold smoked salmon that will impress your guests.

What temperature should I cold smoke salmon?

When it comes to smoking salmon, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the fish should be cold smoked, which means it is smoked at a lower temperature. This helps to preserve the delicate flavor of the salmon. The ideal temperature for cold-smoking salmon is between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is important to keep an eye on the fish, as it can quickly become overcooked at this temperature. Second, it is important to use good-quality smoked salmon. There are many brands on the market, but not all of them are created equal. Look for a brand that uses quality ingredients and offers a consistent flavor. Finally, remember that smoking salmon is an art, not a science. There is no one perfect way to do it. Experiment with different techniques and find the method that works best for you.

Why is my cold smoked salmon mushy?

There are a few possible reasons. First, it may have been overcooked. When smoking salmon, it’s important to use a low temperature so that the fish doesn’t dry out or cook too quickly on the outside while remaining raw in the center. If your salmon was cooked at too high of a temperature, it will likely be dry and mushy. Another possibility is that your salmon was not properly cured. Curing helps to draw out moisture from the fish, which prevents it from becoming mushy when smoking. Finally, it’s also possible that your smoker was not set up correctly. Cold smoking requires a very controlled environment, so if there was too much moisture or heat in your smoker, it could have caused your salmon to turn out mushy.

What temperature do you smoke fish in an electric smoker?

Although there are many different types of electric smokers on the market, they all operate at similar temperatures. For most fish, the ideal smoking temperature is between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is too high, the fish will cook too quickly and dry out. If the temperature is too low, the fish will take too long to smoke and may develop an off-flavor. For best results, try to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the smoking process. This can be tricky with an electric smoker, as temperatures can fluctuate depending on how much wood you’re using and how often you open the smoker door. However, with a little practice, you’ll be able to produce perfectly smoked fish every time.

How long does it take to smoke salmon in a electric smoker?

Smoking salmon is a process that takes several hours. First, the salmon is cured in a salt and sugar mixture. This helps to draw out moisture and gives the fish a more intense flavor. Next, the salmon is placed in a smoker and exposed to indirect heat. The amount of time the salmon spends in the smoker will depend on its size and thickness. Once the salmon has been smoked, it can be eaten immediately or refrigerated for later. When done correctly, smoking salmon results in a portion of delicious and healthy food that can be enjoyed by everyone.

I like to serve my smoked salmon with a simple lemon-dill sauce, but it’s also delicious with cream cheese or sour cream. If you have any leftovers, they’re great on bagels or in salmon salads.

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