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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
Yield: variable

How to Make Smoked Salmon

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

Delicious flaky and moist smoked salmon is easy to make! This is a super simple recipe, but you can add any seasonings you like!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


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


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

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

2 ounces

Amount Per Serving Calories 117Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 36mgSodium 192mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 13g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.


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By on November 4th, 2021

About Robin Donovan

Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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