Brown Sugar Smoked Salmon (Easy Rub and Recipe)  

Smoked salmon is delicious and incredibly healthy to boot.

Add in a tasty brown sugar rub and you get an EPIC caramelization on your salmon!

However, salmon can easily end up dry, so make sure you follow my steps below!

What Should You Serve Up Salmon?

Salmon is a rich source of protein, calcium, selenium, vitamin B’s, and omega-3 fatty acids to name a few.

It’s perfect for those cutting back or switching to a healthier way of eating. 

In short – salmon is a superfood!

What better way to honor such a powerhouse than to smoke it?

How To Choose A Good Piece of Salmon? 

The three main characteristics of salmon are color, size, and oil content.

King or Chinook salmon are larger, pinker, and have the highest oil content.

Dog or chum salmon and pink salmon are smaller, pinker, and have a lower oil content by comparison.

Middle of the range is Atlantic, Red, and Silver salmon.

The pricing scale tends to run from the largest fish to the smallest.

Wild salmon carries a higher nutritional value. As such, they are more expensive to buy. The alternative is farm-raised salmon.

What To Look For in a Salmon Filet?

Good quality salmon fillets should bounce back when touched.

There should be no strong fishy smell. Fillets should be thick, plump, and firm. Check for bruising or spots and avoid them.

The whole salmon should have clear, shiny eyes. The skin’s appearance should be shiny and moist.

How Do I Prepare the Salmon?

Salmon fillets come with skin on or skin off.

Individual fillets steaks are much easier to work with if you want to grill or smoke them. Most salmon recipes use single fillets.

Fillets don’t need much prep work. Check over for any bones and remove them. Remove excess scales from the fish skin. 

If you choose to rinse off any debris, run under cold water and pat dry the salmon with a paper towel.

How Long Does Salmon Keep?

Fresh fish can keep for up to a week in the refrigerator if sealed in an airtight container or bag.

Salmon fillets can last for around 9 months in a freezer. Again, keep it sealed away from air to prevent freezer burn or spoilage.

How Else Can I Season Salmon?

This is a recipe for a brown sugar rub.

However, if you want something a little bit lighter try some of our other favorite way to season salmon!

Some ideas for flavorings include:

  • simple salt and black pepper
  • fresh lemon slices
  • pepper flakes
  • crushed walnut
  • sour cream and parmesan

How Long To Hot Smoke Salmon?

Smoke the fish until the internal temperature reached 145°F.

In most smokers, this will be about an hour.

Check with a reliable temperature probe to ensure you have the correct temperature.

Fish can cook at a hotter temperature, for a shorter time and still absorb great smoky flavor.

Thicker fillets will take more cooking time through. Always check with a temperature probe, rather than a time frame.

What Temperature Should You Smoke Salmon At?

You should smoke salmon at around 250-275°F. 

This gives enough heat to cook while giving the wood pellets a chance to produce a good amount of smoke. 

Wood Chip Recommendations for Salmon

Sweet subtle flavors such as oak, cherry, or pecan work well with the light fish flavors.

Stick to lighter fruit or nut flavored wood pellets.

More robust flavors will overwhelm the natural flavor of salmon.

How to Make Brown Sugar Rub for Salmon

Mix the salt, pepper, brown sugar, and dill in a bowl. Use dill leaves, not seeds as the seeds have too strong a flavor.

What to Serve With Smoked Salmon?

Recipe – Smoked Salmon with Brown Sugar Rub

This Brown Sugar Smoke Salmon is super easy to prepare and divine to eat!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh salmon filet
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Method:

Pre-heat the smoker grill to 250-275°F.

While the smoker is heating up, prepare the rub

Mix the salt, pepper, brown sugar, and dill into a rub. Use dill leaves, not seeds as the seeds have too strong a flavor.

Lay the prepared salmon out onto a baking sheet.

Pat the salmon rub onto the surface of the salmon. This can be prepared an hour ahead and stored in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to absorb and settle.

Smoke the seasoned salmon for an hour, or until the internal temps reach 145°F.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Smoked Salmon With Brown Sugar Rub

Smoked salmon is delicious and incredibly healthy to boot. Add in a tasty brown sugar rub and you get an EPIC caramelization on your salmon!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 429kcal
Author: Charlie

Equipment

  • Pit Boss Grill

Ingredients

  • 2 lb fresh salmon filet
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the smoker grill to 250-275°F.
  • While the smoker is heating up, prepare the rub.
  • Mix the salt, pepper, brown sugar, and dill into a rub. Use dill leaves, not seeds as the seeds have too strong a flavor.
  • Lay the prepared salmon out onto a baking sheet.
  • Pat the salmon rub onto the surface of the salmon. This can be prepared an hour ahead and stored in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to absorb and settle.
  • Smoke the seasoned salmon for an hour, or until the internal temps reach 145°F.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

 For a healthy alternative, why not try smoking salmon for your next cook-up?  

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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