Smoke House Salmon Recipe

Smoke House Salmon recipe is courtesy of David Hegstrom, former officer in charge of the Canadian Coast Guard station in Bamfield (west coast of Vancouver island). I, personally love smoked salmon, so please check out David’s Smoke House Salmon recipe.

Smoking wild salmon is very simple if you follow the below recipe.

Smoke House Salmon

More of Linda’s great Salmon Recipes and also How To Select, Buy, and Cook Fish.

Smoke House Salmon Recipe:
Prep Time
30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoke House Salmon Recipe
  • Whole salmon, freshly-caught
  • Approximately 1 1/2 gallons cold water
  • Non-iodized salt (Kosher or pickling salt)
  • 2 cups sugar (granulated) or you can substitute 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  1. Clean fish by gutting and scaling.  Tip: Wash scales off with garden hose or knife (just hose against the scales and they wash off).  Remove all small bones, blood, and ragged edges.  Cut salmon into easy-to-handle strips approximately 3-inches wide by 1-inch depth.  Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Prepare Brine: In a large glass, crockery, stainless steel, or plastic bowl (not aluminum).  Combine water and salt.  NOTE:  David says to mix until a hard boiled egg will float in the brine. Mix in sugar.

  3. Variation:  Can also add to brine mixture for additional flavor, garlic powder, onion powder, lemon juice, pepper, Tabasco sauce, soy sauce, and/or Worcestershire sauce.

  4. Place the salmon in the prepared brine, skin-side up, for 1-1/2 to 3 hours (completely immerse the fish strips in the brine solution).  If fish is two inches or more thick, then it needs more time.  After brine time is completed, remove salmon from the brine; thoroughly rinse under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.

  5. Place brined fish on smoker racks and let dry for approximately 1 to 2 hours.  NOTE: You will notice a glossy look to the fish when it is dry. This is called the "pellicle" and its formation on the surface of your meat is important.

  6. Place racks of salmon in your smoker.  Fill the smoke house pan with the desired fuel (wood chips or pellet) of your choice (alder, apple, cherry, mesquite, or hickory) and slip it through the door onto the heating element.  Plug in smoker.  A pan of fuel will start to smoke in approximately 20 minutes and last about 45 minutes.  Cook salmon either using the Hot Smoke (use lower section for hot smoking) or Cold Smoke methods.

  7. HOT SMOKE:  Smoke about 6 to 8 hours at 165 to 190 degree F. (check temperature often and do not let it get too hot).  Salmon is done when fat white stuff come to surface, feels firm, and has a golden glaze on the surface.  May only need four pans of wood or more in larger smoke/house. (Shed type).

  8. COLD SMOKE:  Is smoked shorter time, or can be smoked much longer for smoke/cured fish "Indian style."  This style can be smoked for days.  Using a Big Chief Smoker, 8 to 12 hours – may need 6 to 8 pans of wood.

  9. CANNING:  If canning - Hot/Smoke 4 hours and Cold/Smoke 6 hours or less.

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