Easy Guide for How to Smoke Salmon on the Grill

Do you love the taste of smoked salmon, but don’t have a smoker to cook it in? It’s easy to make perfectly smoked salmon just by your grill – all you need are some wood chips or a cedar plank and hot grill grates ready to go. With this smoking guide, we’ll show you how to smoke salmon on the grill in just four simple steps.

  1. Prepare fish: Have your butcher remove pin bones from fresh salmon and section into portioned fillets. If you’re using salmon from the freezer, let it thaw the night before by placing it in the fridge. This will allow the salmon to thaw at a cool temperature for food safety.
  2. Season: There are lots of great options for layering flavour into your piece of smoked fish. This recipe uses brown sugar, pickling salt, and crab-boil seasoning to make a spicy slurry. Brines, marinades, and dry rubs also work great with smoked salmon.
  3. Preheat grill: You want to set up for indirect grilling, so heat one side of the grill to medium heat, about 225 degrees F and place a smoker box of wood chips directly on the hot grill grates. We suggest using a smoking wood flavour of sweet taste like cherry or apple.
  4. Smoke: Close the grill lid and let salmon cook for about 1 hour. Use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of the fish. If it has reached 150 degrees, it’s perfectly smoked and ready to eat. If not yet that warm, let the salmon continue cooking until it reaches the target temperature.