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Hot-Smoked Salmon

Yield 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces salmon)
Although commercially smoked fish is readily available, you can also prepare you own on the grill with wood chips available in small bags from most markets.  Alder wood is the go-to choice for hot-smoking salmon.  This smoked salmon is delicious in recipes or added to pasta, pizza, or a main-course salad. 


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 (1-pound) salmon fillet, pin bones removed
  • 2 cups wood chips
  • 2 cups water
  • Cooking spray

Nutrition Information

  • calories 173
  • caloriesfromfat 38 %
  • fat 7.3 g
  • satfat 1.1 g
  • monofat 2.4 g
  • polyfat 2.9 g
  • protein 22.5 g
  • carbohydrate 2.7 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • cholesterol 62 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 333 mg
  • calcium 15 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine sugars, salt, peppercorns, and cardamom in a small bowl. Rub sugar mixture into salmon flesh, and pack the remaining rub around salmon. Wrap salmon tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours. Unwrap salmon, and rinse with cold water. Pat salmon dry.

  2. Soak wood chips in water 30 minutes; drain well.

  3. Prepare grill for indirect grilling, heating one side to high and leaving one side with low heat.

  4. Place wood chips on hot coals. Place a disposable aluminum foil pan on the unheated side of grill. Pour 2 cups water in pan. Coat grill rack with cooking spray; place on grill. Place salmon on grill rack over foil pan on unheated side. Close lid; cook 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Center of fish should be opaque and warm.


Cook's Notes

Besides fresh fish at the seafood counter, keep an eye out for smoked salmon, either hot-smoked (kippered) or cold-smoked (lox).  I use hot-smoked salmon in the winter for pizzas and other savory dishes.  Lox is more delicate and doesn't hold up to cooking, but we serve it with breakfast toast and with appetizers in the afternoon.  -- Kirsten Dixon, Recipe Author

The Winterlake Lodge Cookbook and The Riversong Lodge Cookbook