Salmon is a delicious popular fish that is eaten all around the world. There are multiple ways to cook salmon.
You can grill, steam, bake, or eat it raw. However, smoked salmon is special. The taste is addicting.
The most common query when smoking salmon is what temperature to smoke it and how long to smoke it. Smoke salmon at 175°F for 3-4 hours.
- What Is Hot Smoked Salmon?
- What’s the Best Salmon to Smoke?
- Wet Brine vs. Dry Brine Smoked Salmon
- Should I Baste Salmon While It Is Smoking?
- What’s the Best Temperature for Smoking Salmon?
- How Long to Smoke Salmon at 175
- Final Thoughts
What Is Hot Smoked Salmon?
There are two methods of smoking salmon: hot smoking and cold smoking.
Hot smoking refers to smoking salmon at temperatures between 120°F and 180°F. Hot smoked salmon is smoked until it is completely cooked and has a flakey texture.
You can eat salmon a few minutes after it comes out of the smoker. But since it is fully cooked, you do not have to reheat the salmon. You can eat it cold.
What’s the Best Salmon to Smoke?
Technically, you can smoke any type of salmon. However, some types of salmon are more forgiving than others. Additionally, other types of salmon develop more flavor when they are smoked.
When smoking salmon, you must consider the size and amount of oil the fish contains. Larger types of salmon with higher amounts of oil taste better. They are also more tender.
These are the best types of salmon to smoke.
Sockeye salmon is a smaller species of Pacific salmon. Sockeye salmon has a beautiful rich red color. The rich oil content makes sockeye salmon the perfect candidate for smoking.
Sockeye salmon also has a firmer texture. Therefore, it is one of the best types of salmon for smoking salmon.
Coho salmon is also a species of Pacific salmon. It is also known as silver due to its silver color indicates it’s safe to eat. Coho salmon turns red during salmon season and becomes unsafe to eat in this state.
Coho salmon is seen as the middle ground between salmon species. Coho salmon is not as fatty as some of the other types of salmon on this list. However, it has enough oil that it won’t dry out as it smokes.
Chum salmon sounds unappetizing, but it is the best fish for smoking. Chum salmon has a pale pinkish-orange color. It also contains less fat than the other varieties of salmon on this list.
Typically, chum salmon is canned or smoked. It is also a cheaper variety of salmon.
However, this does not mean you should count chum salmon out. Chum salmon has a firm texture and fresh taste when harvested which is amplified by smoking it.
King salmon is the best option for smoking. That is why it’s last on the list.
King salmon is one of the largest types of salmon. Since king salmon is so large, it needs to be smoked longer. Additionally, it is also one of the fattiest types of salmon.
King salmon is also called Chinook salmon. It has a rich deep red color and is one of the most flavorful kinds of salmon.
It does not matter which type of salmon you choose to smoke. Just make sure it is fresh.
Buying high-quality fresh or flash-frozen salmon ensures you get the best-smoked salmon.
Wet Brine vs. Dry Brine Smoked Salmon
Brining is used to add flavor to proteins like salmon through osmosis. The brine consists of salt, sugar, and other flavorful ingredients.
You can wet brine or dry brine salmon. Wet brining involves submerging salmon in a water-based solution flavored with salt, sugar, and spices. Wet brining salmon typically takes about 8-12 hours.
In contrast, dry brining involves coating salmon with salt, sugar, and spices. Dry brined salmon can be brined for up to 24 hours in the fridge.
Some people prefer wet brining salmon, while others prefer dry brining salmon. I recommend trying both techniques to see which one is best for your salmon.
Should I Baste Salmon While It Is Smoking?
You can baste salmon while it is making, but it is not necessary. Some people like to baste salmon with maple syrup or honey. However, this only works if you want the smoked salmon to have a sweet flavor.
If you are smoking savory salmon, I would not recommend basting it with honey or maple syrup. The fish will not dry out since it is being smoked at a low temperature.
What’s the Best Temperature for Smoking Salmon?
Everyone has a temperature that they think is ideal for smoking salmon. Some people smoke salmon at 100°F or 140°F, while others smoke it at 175°F.
Others use a combination of these three temperatures. They start by smoking the salmon at 100°F for 2 hours, then increase the smoker’s temperature to 140°F and smoke it for an additional 2 hours.
Finally, they increase the smoker’s temperature to 175°F and smoke it for 2 hours.
While this method may be effective, it takes too long. It’s much better to smoke salmon at 175°F. The salmon will be moist and will not take forever to cook.
How Long to Smoke Salmon at 175
Depending on the salmon’s size, it takes about 3-4 hours to smoke it at 175°F. However, pay attention to the salmon’s temperature.
The salmon is cooked when it has a temperature between 140°F and 150°F.
How Long to Smoke a 2 1/2 Pound Salmon at 225
A 2 1/2 pound salmon will take about 3 1/2-4 hours to smoke at 175°F. Check the salmon’s temperature after 2 hours to ensure it does not overcook.
How Long to Smoke a 3 Pound Salmon at 175
A 3-pound salmon will take about 4-5 hours to cook at 175°F. Check the salmon’s internal temperature after 4 hours.
How Long to Smoke Salmon at 175 in an Electric Smoker
It takes about 3-4 hours to smoke salmon in an electric smoker. But you should smoke the salmon until it has an internal temperature of 140°F-150°F.
Smoked salmon is extremely popular. You’ll be a pro at smoking salmon in no time now that you know how long to smoke it at 175°F.
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.