How To Smoke Salmon On A Pellet Grill? : How To Smoke Salmon On A Pellet Grill?

How To Smoke Salmon On A Pellet Grill?

Key Takeaways

  • Preheat the pellet grill to 225°F (107°C) for slow and even smoking.
  • Choose skin-on salmon fillets or brush skinless fillets with olive oil and place them on a soaked cedar grilling board to prevent sticking.
  • Brine the salmon for 15-20 minutes, rinse it well, pat it dry, and season with salt, pepper, or your favorite fish seasoning before smoking.

Smoking salmon on a pellet grill is a delicious way to enjoy this flavorful fish. Not only does it infuse the salmon with a rich smoky taste, but it also helps to lock in moisture, resulting in a tender and succulent dish. In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of smoking salmon on a pellet grill, from prepping the fish to serving it with a mouthwatering dill sauce.


Before you begin smoking salmon on a pellet grill, there are a few key steps to ensure the best results. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Preheat the pellet grill: Start by preheating your pellet grill to 225°F (107°C). This temperature provides the ideal environment for slow and even smoking.
  2. Choose the right salmon: Opt for skin-on salmon fillets, as the skin helps retain moisture and prevents sticking to the grill grates. If you prefer skinless fillets, brush the underside with olive oil and place them on a soaked cedar grilling board to prevent them from sticking.
  3. Brine the salmon: Brining the salmon helps to enhance its flavor and texture. For small fillets, brine for about 15 minutes, while larger fillets may require up to 20 minutes. Make sure the brine completely covers the surface of the fish.
  4. Rinse and dry: After brining, rinse the salmon well under cold water to remove any excess brine. Pat it dry with paper towels to remove moisture, which can interfere with the smoking process.
  5. Season the fillets: Season the top of the salmon fillets with salt, black pepper, or your favorite fish seasoning. This adds additional flavor to the fish as it smokes.

Smoking Process

Once the preparation is complete, it’s time to start smoking the salmon on the pellet grill. Follow these steps:

  1. Set up the grill: Ensure that your pellet grill is set up for indirect heat. This means placing the salmon away from direct contact with the heat source.
  2. Choose the right wood chips: Select mild or fruit wood chips to give your salmon a subtle smoky flavor that complements its natural taste. Popular options include pecan, alder, maple, oak, apple, or cherry wood.
  3. Smoke the salmon: Place the seasoned salmon fillets on the grill grates, skin-side down if using skin-on fillets. Close the lid and let the salmon smoke for approximately 2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C). To ensure accuracy, use a probe or instant-read thermometer to check the temperature.

Serving and Storage

Once the salmon is perfectly smoked, it’s time to enjoy this delectable dish. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Garnish and serve: Serve the smoked salmon with a garnish of fresh dill, lemon wedges, and a drizzle of creamy dill sauce. These additions enhance the flavors and provide a refreshing contrast to the smoky richness of the fish.
  • Storage: If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Alternatively, you can freeze the smoked salmon for up to three months, ensuring you wrap it tightly to prevent freezer burn.

Smoking salmon on a pellet grill is a fantastic way to elevate this already delicious fish. With the right preparation, smoking technique, and serving suggestions, you can create a mouthwatering dish that will impress your family and friends.

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Q: What is the purpose of smoking salmon?

Smoking salmon serves the dual purpose of infusing flavor into the fish and preserving it. The slow smoking process imparts a delicious smoky taste while also extending the shelf life of the salmon.

Q: What are the advantages of using a pellet grill for smoking salmon?

A pellet grill offers several advantages for smoking salmon. It provides precise temperature control, ensuring consistent results. The use of wood pellets imparts a rich and smoky flavor to the fish. Additionally, pellet grills are user-friendly and require minimal monitoring during the smoking process.

Q: How do I select the right salmon for smoking?

When choosing salmon for smoking, it is important to opt for fresh and high-quality fish. Look for firm and bright-colored flesh with no strong fishy odor. Additionally, consider the type of salmon, such as Chinook or Sockeye, as each has its own unique flavor profile.

Q: What is the recommended temperature and cooking time for smoking salmon on a pellet grill?

For smoking salmon on a pellet grill, it is recommended to set the temperature between 180-200°F (82-93°C) and smoke for approximately 1-3 hours, depending on the thickness of the fillets. It is important to check for an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) to ensure doneness.

Q: How should I serve and store smoked salmon?

Smoked salmon can be served in various ways, such as in sandwiches, salads, or canapés. Consider accompanying it with sauces like dill mustard or horseradish cream, and garnishing with fresh herbs or lemon slices. Leftover smoked salmon should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for longer-term storage.

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