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Smoked Salmon


  • 8 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons peppercorn
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 sprigs of fresh dill
  • 2 ½ to 3 ½ pounds salmon, cut in half or into three pieces


  • In a large saucepan combine the water, salt, sugar, peppercorns and garlic powder. Cook over medium heat until the ingredients have dissolved and are well combined. Remove from the heat and add the dill. Let the brine come to room temperature, this will take about 4 hours.
  • Place the salmon into a rectangular baking dish. Pour the room temperature brine over the salmon, making sure to submerge the salmon. Cover and place into the fridge to brine for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, line a rimmed sheet pan with foil. Place a cooling rack on top of the sheet pan. Remove the salmon from the brine, rinse with cold water and pat dry. Place the salmon onto the cooling rack and place into the fridge to dry for 12 to 24 hours.
  • When ready to smoke, heat a grill to 180 to 200 degrees. It will be important to maintain this temperature for the 5 to 7 hours while the salmon smokes. (See above for a more in-depth instruction on smoking salmon with a charcoal grill.) If using a gas grill or pellet-type grill, adjust the settings as necessary to hit the smoking temperature.
  • Place the salmon onto the grill. Close and grill lid and smoke for 5 to 7 hours, or until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees.
  • Remove the salmon from the grill. Place onto a cutting board and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. If not serving immediately, place into an airtight container and store in the fridge.
  • Serve warm or chilled with fresh chopped herbs or a mustard dipping sauce (see recipe in the notes).


Be sure to select a salmon that has been de-boned. For a simple dipping sauce combine a few dollops of whole grain mustard, a large spoonful or two of extra-virgin olive oil, a splash or two of red wine vinegar and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine and enjoy!