Delicious Honey Smoked Salmon
Preparing and Cooking Delicious Honey Smoked Salmon
Are you a fan of delicious honey-smoked salmon but aren't sure how to prepare it? Then do we have great news for you! We have taken the time to research all that you need to do to cook this delicious meal.
Our expert chefs examined the finest ingredients, the best cooking methods, and other tips to create the most mouthwatering honey smoked salmon recipe you'll find anywhere on the web today.
What we love about this incredible recipe is that it enhances the natural flavor of the fish without overpowering it. Best of all, it keeps the health benefits of this amazing fish intact. Packed inside of this fish is a variety of omega fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and much more.
As a result, you can eat an incredible meal that is filled with the beneficial vitamins and nutrients that you need to stay healthy and happy. By the time you finish this article, you'll be cooking delicious honey smoked salmon in no time and sharing it with those who you love.
What You Need For This Smoked Salmon Recipe
Before you start cooking your fish in the smoker, it is important to compile the necessary ingredients and tools for the job. Thankfully, there aren't many things you need to gather to execute this rather simple recipe. In our two lists, we've included information on the ingredients you'll need, their measurements, and a separate list of the tools required to smoke your fish. If you decide to use wood chips as your source of fuel, we got you covered: here are 5 things you must know to use wood chips for smoking!
Pro Tip: Most of these ingredients and tools can be reused for other dishes. Store additional or leftover amounts of these ingredients in sealed plastic bags to save yourself a little money when it comes time to cook another high-quality meal. In fact, you can reuse these same ingredients to smoke even more types of fish, such as bass or pike
Ingredients and Measurements For Cooking Salmon
- One cup of salt
- One and one-half cup of brown sugar
- One-half cup of white sugar
- Two tablespoons of fresh ground pepper
- One teaspoon of Cayenne
- One-quarter teaspoon of ground cumin
- Two tablespoons of minced garlic
- Two large salmon fillets with the skin on
- Six tablespoons of honey
Necessary Tools for Smoking Salmon
Pro Tip: Try adding a little kick to your honey-smoked salmon by adding a pinch of cayenne to the recipe. You might be surprised at just how good a slight peppery taste can be for this great recipe. But don't over do it! A pinch should be more than enough for most people.
- A bowl large enough for the salmon fillets
- Cookie sheet large enough for your salmon fillets
- Small cooking brush for applying the dry rub
- Large smoker for preparing the fish
- Charcoal or other source of fuel for the smoker
- Wax paper for the cookie sheet
- Tin foil for wrapping the smoker grills
1. Mixing Your Dry Rub
Start out the process by mixing all of the ingredients mentioned above in your large bowl. Leave your fish fillets and the honey out, though, until you have thoroughly mixed everything in equal proportions.
When you are done mixing your dry rub, it should have a slightly brown look flecked with bits of white and gray. Once your dry rub mix is prepared, place one fish fillet in the bowl and start rubbing the mix directly into the flesh of the fish.
As you work in the dry rub, make sure to pay careful attention to the evenness of its application. It should be coated on equally across the surface of the fish. You'll know you are done when there is no pink flesh left on the surface of the fish.
After you have completely covered the fish with your dry rub, wipe away any excess of it from the surface and store that extra bit in your bowl. Place the prepared fillet on the wax paper on your cookie sheet and prepare the second fillet in the same way.
Pro Tip: Using your brush to spread the dry mix evenly across the surface of the fish streamlines the process and makes it more efficient. While you can do it with your hands, these brushes are designed to not only spread a dry mix but to work it gently into the surface of the meat.
2. Placing the Salmon in the Fridge
After you have thoroughly coated both of your fish fillets with your dry mix, take the cookie sheet with the fillets and place it in a cold refrigerator. You should let this cookie sheet rest for a minimum of 12 hours in the fridge to let the dry rub thoroughly marinade in the skin of the fish.
Check the surface of the skin after it is done marinading to ensure that the dry rub has become moist. Test this by looking for a light brown mixture of the brown sugar on the surface of the fish. Carefully rinse off this extra brown sugar under cold water to avoid burning it in your smoker later.
Any extra brown sugar that doesn't come off in the water should be broken apart with your fingers and brushed away and back into your bowl. Store this mix in a sealed plastic container to use it later. After this step, let the fish air dry while you prepare the smoker.
Pro Tip: While 12 hours is the minimum time to marinade your fish, you can also wait up to 24 hours. It all depends on how intense you want your flavor. Longer smoking times will create stronger tasting honey-smoked salmon.
3. Preparing the Smoker
Prepare your smoker by mixing your charcoal base and water according to the instructions on your smoker. The exact proportion of these items may vary according to the smoker, so make sure to follow its recommendations to the letter. In case you’re using something else, make sure to read our how to cook on a gas grill tutorial and how to charcoal grill the best way.
This step should take only about 15-20 minutes to finish. Before starting the smoker, make sure to wrap the grilling racks with tin foil to keep the fish from burning to their surface. Once you have your smoker going, set it to about 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is perfect for fish smoking.
Once your smoker is ready to go, carefully spoon three tablespoons of honey onto each fillet. Use your brush to coat the top of each fish fillet with the honey and then add ground pepper to the top of the honey.
If you like, you can add another layer of honey to the top of the pepper to finish up your fish preparation. Place the fish fillets onto the grills of your smoker, push the racks into the smoker, and get ready to wait for at least seven hours for the fish to finish cooking. While waiting, you can prepare more fillets to smoke after these are done.
Pro Tip: Adjust the interior temperature of the smoker to about 145 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit once you have inserted your fish. While the previously mentioned temperature is a good start, this temperature is perfect for glazing over your honey and cooking it directly into the flesh of your fish without burning it.
4. Finishing With Your Salmon
After the seven hour cooking time has passed, carefully remove your fish from your smoker. By now, it should be quite stiff and firm at your finger tips. However, the interior will have a gentle tenderness that makes it delicious to eat later on.
Let your salmon cool down a little before trying any of it. While it shouldn't be too hot, it may be a bit too difficult to eat right away. If it doesn't have a brittle surface contrasted with a soft interior, smoke it for another hour or two at the same temperature to get it just right.
Serve your smoked salmon right away or store it in food-seal plastic bags in your refrigerator or freezer. You can also give this fish away to friends and family members as a great gift idea. For Catholics, it is an excellent snack choice to enjoy during the difficult days of Lent.
The beautiful thing about this recipe is that it can be used to create large volumes of smoked fish. If you have a huge smoker that can smoke pounds of fish at a time, use it to create delicious honey-smoked salmon for everyone in your life.
Pro Tip: Try experimenting with your recipe and smoking time to cook honey-smoked salmon of different taste intensities and smokiness. For example, smoking it for just four hours will make it less brittle and easier to store. However, 12-hour smoking times will create a texture very close to beef jerky.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope that you enjoyed our look at how to make high-quality honey-smoked salmon. We enjoyed compiling this information and presenting it in a streamlined and easy-to-understand manner for smoker fans like you. Smoking incredible fish like this is our passion, and we love helping people like you become better chefs of their favorite foods.
Another thing we want to share with you, before we end this recipe, is another way to cook your fish. Check out this easy grill recipe for salmon fillet below!
If you enjoy this article and want to say something, let us know in the comments! We love hearing from our readers and may be able to use one of your pointers or tips in an updated article! And please feel free to share this with readers who you think would love excellent smoked salmon.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Should You Cure Salmon Before Smoking It?
Salmon is usually cured with salt, sugar, and spices to add extra flavor. The salt also pulls out excess moisture, allowing the smoke flavor to stick more efficiently. Salmon should be cured for a minimum of 12 hours in the fridge, and a maximum of 24 hours.
What Temperature Should You Set the Smoker for Salmon?
A smoker temperature of 145 to 150 degrees F will glaze the honey coating of your salmon without burning it. This will also cook the salmon nice and slowly, allowing the maximum amount of smoke flavor to penetrate the fish.
How Long Does it Take to Smoke Salmon?
You can smoke salmon in as little as two hours at 220 degrees F, but this can cook the fish too quickly without allowing it to fully absorb the smoke. Smoking salmon at a lower temperature, like 145 to 150 degrees, cooks the salmon much slower. It takes about seven hours, but results in a firm, fully flavored salmon.
Can You Smoke Salmon on the Grill?
Yes, you can smoke salmon on a charcoal or gas grill using soaked wood chips. Prepare your grill for indirect heat. Place the wood chip container over the hot part of the grill and cook the salmon over the indirect, cooler side of the grill.
Why Is Salmon Good For You?
Salmon is a lean protein that is packed full of omega fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It contains the antioxidant amino acid taurine, which may have anti-inflammatory properties. It is well known for being a good source of potassium, protein, niacin, and vitamins D, B6, and B12.