“Fire Up Your Smoker and Master this Classic Technique”

Prep Time
60 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Total Time
120 minutes
2-4 servings

Ingredients & Equipment

  • 2 – 4 each 6 oz Portions Secret Island Salmon
  • 3 handfuls of Apple, Cherry or Maple Wood Chips (Avoid stronger flavored woods like Hickory, Oak or Mesquite)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Brown Sugar
  • Lump Charcoal
  • Charcoal Grill / Smoker
  • Mixing Bowl
  • ¼ Sheet Pan or Disposable Aluminum Bread Pan
  • Meat Thermometer

    Consuming raw or undercooked seafood or shellfish may increase your risk of foodborne illness.

Simple Steps

Raw, seasoned salmon filets on a plate.

Step 1

Pat your salmon dry with a paper towel, lightly season with salt and brown sugar, gently rubbing it in to ensure even distribution.  Let the salt and sugar cure sit on the salmon for at least 30 minutes

Step 2

Grab a medium-sized mixing bowl and add about 3 handfuls of your chosen wood chips.  Fill the bowl with water until covering the wood chips by about an inch.  Let sit for at least 20 minutes.

Step 3

Prepare the charcoal for your grill – if using a chimney-style charcoal starter, fill about ¾ the way up.  Once the charcoal is lit and is retaining even fire/heat, distribute it along one-half to one-third of the bottom grate of your charcoal grill.  Let charcoal burn until there is a fine layer of white ash – we’re looking for an ideal consistent cooking temperature of 225 degrees to properly smoke your salmon.

Bucket of soaked wood chips next to charcoal.
Wood chips and pan in smoking grill.

Step 4

Add water to your ¼ sheet pan or disposable bread pan and place on the opposite side of your charcoal.  Then grab a couple of handfuls of your soaked wood chips and carefully place them on top of the charcoal, being sure to evenly distribute.

Step 5

Next add your salmon – skin side down – on top of the cooking surface, directly over the pan of water. If you have vents on your charcoal grill, set them to offset each other to direct the smoke over the salmon portions (in a four vent system this would have the vent under the charcoal and over the salmon open with the other two closed.)

Salmon filets on smoking grill.
Grill releases steam in front of green fields.

Step 6

Next, add your salmon – skin side down – on top of the cooking Close the lid of your grill and smoke your salmon for approximately 45-60 minutes, depending on the heat of your charcoal – we are looking for a finished internal temperature of 140 degrees – so use a meat thermometer and check every 10-15 minutes – remove the salmon from heat when it reads 130 – 135 or so since it will continue cooking with residual heat for 5-10 minutes while resting and cooling off.

Step 7

Congrats – you’ve just smoked some delicious Secret Island Salmon – now you can enjoy it in a bunch of awesome recipes!

Hand holds plate of smoked salmon filets.

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