Don's Smoked Salmon

"Multipurpose method of marinating salmon for the smoker. I particularly like it with fresh sockeye which we are lucky enough to be able to catch out of the Fraser River near our home."
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Ready In:




  • Catch, clean and filet salmon (river or supermarket).
  • Leave skin on one side of filets.
  • Wash filets in cold water and lay out on a large plastic tray (no metal), red side up!
  • Ensure tray is at least as deep as salmon filets.
  • Sprinkle garlic salt evenly over all filets.
  • Generously coat meat side of each filet with rock salt.
  • Layer sugar evenly over rock salt.
  • Leave stand covered in refrigerator overnight (at least 8 hours).
  • Check every 2 or 3 hours and drain excess liquid.
  • (The liquid magically appears as the rock salt draws the liquid out, and sucks the sugar into the meat).
  • Remove filets from tray, rinse under cold water and place evenly on smoking racks, skin side down.
  • Allow 20 minutes to dry.
  • Use electric"cold smoker" (Little Chief), with apple and hickory wood chips.
  • Place racks in smoker and close.
  • I have an old blanket that is wrapped around smoker if it is too cold outside (less than 50 degrees farenheit).
  • Remove ashes and add new wood chips about every 2 hours.
  • Smoke for 6 to 9 hours, depending on the thickness of filets.
  • Salmon should be a lovely dark orange color and will be flaky when you poke and twist with a fork.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This method of curing and smoking salmon is the best I've ever had, the taste is out of this world and worth every minute of the effort and time! The results are outstanding, once tasted done this way, you will never want it any other way. wonderful as a snack or added to other recipes, the flavour is the best!!
  2. The flavor is wonderful. I used our stovetop smoker that we have so I reduced the smoke time to just 40 minutes per the book that came with our smoker. I also use alder instead of the woods mentioned. I served this to a sit down dinner for 100 and people were licking the plates clean it went over so well. Lots of people were asking for the recipe.
  3. Great--easy for my first time use of my smoker! One tip though--don't go over the standing time too far. I ended up leaving mine for about 12 hours, making it too salty for the kids, but great for this salt addict!
  4. Wonderful flavor... easy to fix... love my stovetop smoker.


Happily nesting in the beautiful Fraser Valley.My home is filled with children, conversation and crafts.My current passion is beading. I'm a new home owner who is learning about landscaping. If I had a month for me I would craft myself silly and try to taste all the world has to offer.
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