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honey smoked salmon on a pellet grill

Honey Smoked Salmon

Salmon Fillets dry brined and cured overnight then slow smoked and brushed with a honey glaze to finish.
These can be smoked on a gas grill like a Weber, a pellet grill like a Traeger or Pit Boss, or even an electric Masterbuilt smoker.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Brining and Drying Time 10 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, BBQ, Mediterranean, Seafood, Smoked
Servings 4 People
Calories 300 kcal

Equipment

  • Gas Grill, Pellet Grill, or Smoker
  • Wood pellets, chunks, or a pellet tube smoker with pellets or a smoker box with wood chips
  • Cutting Board and Knife
  • Paper Towels
  • Baking Dish
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Wire Rack
  • Instant Read Thermometer
  • Basting brush
  • Grill Mat (optional)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1-1.5 lb Large Salmon Fillet

Dry Brine

  • 3 Cups Dark brown sugar
  • 1 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh black pepper

Honey Brush

  • 1 Cup Honey warmed in microwave
  • Tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Instructions
 

Rinse, Dry, and Fillet Salmon

  • Rinse the salmon under cold running water.
    rinsing salmon before smoking
  • Place it on your cutting board and pat it very dry with paper towels
    patting dry salmon after rinsing
  • Once it is dry, run your fingers along the salmon checking for any bones that were not removed previously.
    checking for bones in salmon fillet
  • If you feel any, remove them with some tweezers and discard.
  • Lastly, slice your salmon into about 2 inch portion sized fillets.
    cutting fillets of salmon

Dry Brine the Salmon Overnight

  • Mix the brine mixture ingredients together well and place some in the bottom of the baking dish.
    mixing honey smoked salmon brine ingredients together
  • Place the fillets on top of the mixture, then spread more of the brine mixture over the fillets, trying to cover every exposed surface of the fish.
    spreading brine mixture on salmon to smoke
  • Continue to layer your fillets like this, depending on how much fish you have, packing the brine mixture around them, and then cover the whole dish tightly with plastic wrap.
    brine mixture on top of salmon fillets
  • Place the baking dish in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours overnight.

Rinse and Dry the Brined Salmon

  • After the salmon is finished brining, take the fillets out of the tray and rinse them off really well under cold running water.
    salmon after brining overnight
  • Pat dry with paper towels, and place them on a wire rack to air dry.
    salmon drying on a wire rack
  • Keep them on the wire rack for about 1-2 hours while you start to get your grill or smoker ready.

Set up your Grill or Smoker

  • Light or turn on your smoker, grill or pellet grill and set up the temperature to 180°F. If using a grill, only light a small amount of charcoal or light a single burner on one side for indirect cooking
  • Brush the grill grates with oil to keep the salmon from sticking. Ideally use a grill mat.
  • Add your wood chunks directly to the firebox of a smoker, or use chips in a smoker box, or pellets in a tube smoker or pellet grill.
    loading wood chips in an electric smoker
  • Once smoke is being produced and the grill or smoker is at 180°F, put your salmon on.
    putting salmon on the smoker

Smoking the Salmon

  • Cook the salmon for about 60-90 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 120°F using an instant read thermometer.
    salmon going on the smoker
  • Do not remove the salmon from the smoker yet. Warm up the honey in a microwave safe bowl, adding the cayenne if you wish.
  • Brush the salmon fillets on the smoker with a little bit of the warmed up honey using a basting brush.
    spreading honey on smoked salmon
  • Close the lid or door to the smoker or pellet grill and continue smoking util the internal temperature of the honey smoked salmon reaches 150°F using an instant read thermometer placed into the middle of the thickest part of the biggest fillet.
  • Remove from the smoker and serve immediately.
    finished plate of honey smoked salmon

Video

Notes

Video courtesy of and recipe inspired by Grilling Network.
Keyword big green egg, Dry Brine, electric smoker, honey smoked salmon, Masterbuilt, pellet grill, pellet smoker, Pit Boss, seafood, smoked salmon, smoked seafood, traeger