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How Long to Smoke Salmon at 250

How Long to Smoke Salmon at 250

Smoked salmon is just that good. It is salty yet slightly sweet and smoky. 

However, if you plan to smoke salmon, you must know how long it takes to smoke salmon at 250°F. Cook salmon for 1-1/2 hours at 250°F. 

If not, you will end up with dry overcooked salmon instead of moist, delicious salmon.

Is Smoked Salmon Cooked?

In this case, we are talking about hot smoked salmon. The salmon is heated at a low temperature until it reaches the recommended safe temperature.So, yes, hot smoked salmon is fully cooked. 

Hot vs. Cold Smoked Salmon

There are two main ways to prepare smoked salmon: hot and cold smoking. Hot smoking refers to cooking salmon between the temperature of 120°F-180°F. 

At this temperature, the salmon is smoked until it is completely cooked. 

In contrast, cold-smoking salmon involves smoking salmon at temperatures below 100°F-120°F. It requires a long time to cook. Salmon can take as little as 6 hours or as long as 18 hours to cold smoke.

Cold salmon is usually cured with salt before smoking. Salt draws moisture out of the fish. 

The cold smoke will not cook the fish. It infuses it with a smoky flavor.

Therefore, smoked salmon maintains a raw-like state. 

How To Buy Salmon

To get the best-smoked salmon, you must start with a high-quality fillet of salmon. Fresh salmon has a vivid pink color. It should have little to no scent. 

If you are smoking a whole salmon, the eyes should be clear. The salmon is probably not fresh if the eyes are glazed and cloudy and the fish has a strong scent. 

It may be better to smoke an entire salmon fillet. Working with an entire salmon fillet is easier than individual pieces of salmon. 

Different types of salmon have varying degrees of fat. The higher the fat, the longer the cooking time.

There are two types of salmon you will find available in grocery stores. 

Farm Raised Salmon

Farm-raised salmon is cultivated in a farm or open water enclosure. Typically, this type of salmon is bigger and has a higher fat content. 

These fish do not have to work as hard as salmon do in the wild. So they can relax in these large farms or enclosures.

Farm-raised salmon is very forgiving when it comes to smoking. The high-fat content will keep the salmon moist and tender while it is smoking salmon.

King salmon or Atlantic salmon are the most common types of farm-raised salmon for smoking. 

Wild-caught Salmon

As the name implies, wild-caught salmon is wild. These salmon are harvested from their natural habitat. Since wild-caught salmon have to swim to survive, they are much smaller and leaner than their farm-raised counterparts. 

Wild-caught salmon is ideal for grilling, but it’s also perfect for smoking. However, wild-caught salmon will cook much faster due to its low-fat levels. 

Wild salmon also has more flavor than farm-raised salmon. Chinook, copper river, coho, and sockeye salmon are the most popular types of wild-caught salmon for smoking. 

Should You Wrap Salmon in Foil When Smoking?

Some people recommend wrapping salmon in foil. The foil makes it easier to place the salmon into the smoker and remove it from the smoker. The foil also makes cleanup super easy. 

However, I do not suggest smoking salmon in foil. The foil can prevent smoke from infiltrating the salmon. 

It’s better to place the salmon on a wire rack. You can place a foil pan under the salmon to catch any liquid that drips from the salmon. 

Should I Brine Smoked Salmon?

Although brining salmon is beneficial, but it can take up to a day to fully penetrate the salmon.  

You do not have to brine salmon. The salmon will be just as flavorful without the brine. 

However, if you do brine your fish, make sure your fish is clean. The salmon fillet can have small pin bones. You can remove the bones with a boning tool. 

Apply your favorite rub to the salmon. You can also use a simple combination of salt, brown sugar, and spices. Place the salmon on a wire rack set on top of a sheet tray and dry brine it overnight.  

How Long to Smoke Salmon at 250

It takes an hour to an hour and a half to smoke salmon at 250°F. However, thinner salmon fillets will cook faster than thicker fillets.

So, check the salmon’s internal temperature after 30 minutes to ensure it does not overcook. 

How Long to Smoke a 2 1/2 Pound Salmon Fillet at 250

It takes an hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes to smoke a 2-pound salmon at 250°F. Check the salmon after 1 hour. If the salmon is not cooked, you cook it until it has the correct temperature.

How Long to Smoke a 3 Pound Salmon Fillet at 250

A 3-pound salmon will take about 60-90 minutes to cook at 250°F. Check the salmon’s temperature after 1 hour and adjust the cooking time if necessary.

The salmon is cooked once it has a temperature of 140°F. 

How To Smoke Salmon In An Electric Smoker 

You can smoke salmon using any type of smoker. However, electric smokers are in high demand. So, let’s talk about how to smoke salmon in an electric smoker. 

Electric smokers are perfect for smoking salmon. It is also slightly easier to smoke salmon in an electric smoker.

Set your electric smoker to 225°F. You add your desired wood chips. Alder, apple, cherry, and pecan woods work perfectly with salmon. 

Soak your wood chips in water for 15 minutes. Soaking the wood chips in water will help them generate more smoke. 

You can add more wood chips to your smoker in 30-minute increments. However, do not add too many wood chips to the smoker, or it will overpower the salmon’s flavor. 

Place the salmon into the smoker. Smoke the salmon for 1 hour until it has a temperature between 140°F and 150°F. 

Remove the salmon from the smoker. Let the smoked salmon rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

Final Thoughts

Smoked salmon is perfectly delicious. The trick is knowing how long it takes to smoke salmon at 250°F.

Luckily this won’t be an issue. As long as you smoke your salmon for 1 1/2 -2 hours, the salmon will be moist and delicious.