Hot Smoked Salmon

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
Prep:
40 min
Inactive:
10 min
Cook:
20 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 pounds King salmon fillets, skin on (whole or cut in serving pieces)
  • 3 cups wood chips such as oak, hickory, or mesquite
  • Charcoal
  • 1 large, flat disposable foil pan
  • Fresh Dill Sauce, recipe follows, for serving
  • Fresh Dill Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup good mayonnaise, such as Hellmann's
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, such as Stonyfield
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (4 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup seeded, grated hothouse cucumber
Directions
  • The night before serving, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons salt, the peppercorns, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Place the salmon fillets skin-side down on a large flat ceramic or glass dish. Spread the mixture evenly on top of the salmon. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

  • At least 1 1/2 hours before you plan to cook the salmon, soak the wood chips in water.

  • Thirty minutes before youre ready to cook, heat the charcoal. Place a double layer of coals on one side of the grill, light them, and allow them to burn until the coals are gray on the outside. (I use a charcoal chimney to light the coals.) Sprinkle half the soaked wood chips on the hot coals (you will see lots of smoke). On the other side of the grill, place the foil pan and pour in 1 cup water. Place the cooking grate over the coals and the pan.

  • Scrape most of the sugar mixture off the salmon and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Place the salmon skin-side down on the side of the grill directly over the foil pan. Put the lid on the grill, making sure the top and bottom vents are open. Smoke the salmon for 10 minutes. Add the remaining wood chips directly on the coals and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon, until it's firm to the touch and barely cooked. Don't overcook the salmon or it will be dry!

  • Transfer the salmon to a clean platter and immediately cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the skin, if desired, and serve hot, at room temperature, or cold with the Fresh Dill Sauce.

Fresh Dill Sauce:
  • Place the mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese, scallions, dill, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree for a few seconds, until well mixed. Add the cucumber and puree for another few seconds, until combined. Pour into a container and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to develop. Yield: 2 cups


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