Help! - First time doing salmon

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Feb 1, 2007
A friend of mine gave me a big piece of salmon he caught in Alaska and asked me to smoke it. I can't turn down the opportunity to try it but I've never done it before so here's my dilemma:
1) All I have for wood is hickory chunks and I use an electric smoker.
2) I don't know the process for brining. (I don't want spices, just smoked)
3) I don't know the time and temp to cook or internal temp .

4)If that wood won't work, what's a good wood to use that won't make it sweet?

I appreciate all the help I know you all will give me to make me look like a pro!
Thanks for the tip. I looked there but didn't see anything for salmon. Another question - chips or chunks?
Below is a link to a thread about smoking times. I've done salmon quite a few times. We love Dutch's maple glazed salmon. I don't even use a thermometer when doing my salmon, I just keep an eye on it and when the "fat" rises to the top I do a flake test...I've brined before, but usually I just do my glaze and that's that. I love cherry wood for salmon.

i am guessing that it is king salmon from alaska if it is over an inch thick i would lay the fillet in a cooler skin side down cover the meat with a heavy coat of rocksalt let sit for 2 hours rinse off salt put on smoker rack and let sit for another 2 hours fire the smoker up your electric smoker may have a control if it does set it to low smoke on low with smoke for 2 hours and raise temp to around 140-150 smoke the fish until it is firm

if the fillet is under an inch thick let sit in salt for a hour and a half then rinse
hickory will work great

if you need anymore help let me know good luck
Thanks clubber!

One more thing - Do I put fillets directly on rack or put them in a tray ?

thanks again.
By the way - I just ordered the alder wood chunks. Should I still follow the same procedure with those?
Huey (Salmonclubber) is a fishing and a smoking machine. He is giving good advice. You need to get some of the moisture out of the fish and some salt and seasoning into the fish. That, and the curing effect of the salt, is why you brine the fish, in the first place. Huey stays straight and simple. I tend to get a little more carried away, adding garlic and pepper and other stuff. Follow his advice for your first time and you won't be sorry. You can alway get more fancy the next time.


i just seen this yes use the alder the same way as any other wood and place the fish skin side down on the rack after an hour lift it off the rack and move it around so it dont stick to the rack you can also spray the rack with pam cooking oil this helps keep it from sticking is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.