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How to Make Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon is a really easy starter recipe for anyone new to smoking foods. This recipe is so simple that it is hard to even call it a recipe. The best part is that it takes less than an hour from start to finish!

Low angle shot of two pieces of smoked salmon garnished with fresh thyme

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What ingredients do you need?

All you need to make this hot smoked salmon recipe is salmon, salt, and whatever type of smoker chips you want to use—alder, cherry, apple, really whatever hardwood chips you like.

You can also add other seasonings like brown sugar, black pepper, maple syrup, lemon juice, and whatever other flavors you like infused into your smoked salmon.

I always recommend using the highest quality salmon you can and choosing wild salmon over farmed salmon. And of course, you want to use fresh fish if at all possible.

How do you make it?

Smoking salmon is easy! This recipe is for hot smoking (cold smoking salmon is a whole different thing.) It details the hot smoking process. To make cold smoked salmon, you would smoke the fish at low heat, less than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This hot smoked version uses a higher temperature, 250ºF.

  1. Start by preparing your smoker with whatever wood chips you like (alder, cherry, apple) and heat the smoker to 250ºF.
  2. Wrap a board in aluminum foil and spray with oil.
  3. Place the fresh salmon on the board and season with salt.
  4. Place the board in the smoker and smoke for 30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 140ºF.
overhead shot of two pieces of smoked salmon garnished with fresh thyme

What do you serve with this?

Homemade smoked salmon is perfect for making this Smoked Salmon Dip. It’s also a great addition to a bagel and cream cheese platter, with sliced red onion, tomatoes, capers, and all the other standard accompaniments, or on a charcuterie platter.

It is also great tossed in a salad. Try it in scrambled eggs or tossed with pasta. Add sour cream or crème fraîche to make it extra decadent.

My favorite way to serve this smoked salmon is to use it in Chlebecky, little Czech open-faced sandwiches. I also love to turn it into a Smoked Salmon Dip and serve it with crackers, baguette slices, or pita chips.

close up shot of smoked salmon
overhead shot of two pieces of smoked salmon garnished with fresh thyme

How to Make Smoked Salmon

Robin Donovan
Delicious flaky and moist smoked salmon is easy to make! This is a super simple recipe, but you can add any seasonings you like!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Fish and Seafood
Cuisine American
Calories 117 kcal


  • 1 pound Salmon fillets as much or as little as you want!
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt use 1 teaspoon per pound of salmon


  • To smoke the salmon, prepare your smoker with alder, cherry or apple smoker chips. Get you smoker to 250°F.
  • Wrap a board in aluminum foil and spray the foil with oil.
  • Place salmon on the board and season with the salt.
  • Set the salmon in the smoker to smoke for 30 minutes, or until the
    internal temperature reaches 140°F.
  • Remove the salmon from the smoker and let for 5 minutes before.


1. Smoked salmon will keep in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container, for up to a week.
2. You can freeze your smoked salmon for up to 6 months, just be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then store it in an airtight storage container or in a resealable plastic bag.


Serving: 2ouncesCalories: 117kcalProtein: 13gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 192mg
Keyword hot smoked, salmon, smoked, smoker, smoking
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on November 4th, 2021
Photo of Robin Donovan

About Robin Donovan

Robin Donovan is the creative force behind All Ways Delicious. She's a writer, recipe developer, photographer, and cookbook author with more than 40 books to her name, including the bestselling Ramen for Beginners, Ramen Obsession, and Campfire Cuisine. Her work has been featured in major publications, both print and digital, including MSN, Cooking Light, Fitness, Buzzfeed, and Eating Well. More about Robin

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