Rub Recipe for Salmon

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Original poster
Aug 17, 2010
I'm going to try a Salmon on the Smoker but I need a good rub to try out as well.  Have to be a from scratch rub too.  It just means more when it's all from scratch.


Well, it's a little late in the day but I've used this "rub" when I had to do a quick smoke.  Now, first you take some fresh cracked pepper, a little salt, rub the salmon, non skin side with a light coating of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) (it helps hold the next items on the fish), sprinkle the aforementioned pepper and salt then step away.  Oh, there's tons of rubs and concoctions out there but sometimes, the simplest are the best. 
I'm mostly with NWDave on the "less is more", but when you want a change, salmon is a fish that can take a lot of seasoning and still taste like salmon.  We eat a LOT of salmon up here in the PNW. Teriyaki and miso flavors work really well, even Indian spices can be really delicious like cumin, coriander, curry-type spices, chile powders and cayennt for a Thai influence, and don't forget dried herbs work, too. I've mostly grilled it, but smoked a fillet last week and it came out very tasty.  The only real way I know of to hurt it, is to overcook it!
What are Miso flavors?

Miso is fermented soy bean paste. It comes in "colors". I've used mostly the golden/lighter colored miso. will have some for you to check out.  It does not taste like soy sauce and makes very tasty salad dressings, as well.

Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze

4-6 servings (dep. on size of fillet)

1/3 cup white or yellow miso

2 Tbsp. orange juice

1 Tbsp. Mirin (or sake)

2 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. dark brown sugar

1 tsp. grated orange peel

salmon fillets

finely chopped green onions

Whisk glaze ingredients together in a small bowl.

Preheat broiler, line a baking sheet with foil.  If using skinless salmon, spray with cooking spray.  Place salmon on foil, skin side down.  Spread glaze mixture over salmon pieces.  Broil until glaze begins to blister and brown; 3 to 5 min. depending on distance from broiler.  Cover loosely with a piece of foil.  Broil, covered, until fish is cooked through, about 5 – 10 min. longer. 

Garnish liberally with chopped onions to serve.

Excellent with Miso Dressing and Veggie Slaw and steamed rice.

 Here's one of my spicier rubs. the technique of searing in the hot spice/oil mixture makes a crust, which may or may not work better for smoking.  I think I would sear the spices and then rub on, without searing the flesh in that case. I may have to try this today!  This is a lot of spice-use it lightly, not like a rib rub.

Some Kind of Salmon?

Mix together and rub onto flesh side of fish

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dry mustard powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

Sear in generous amount of olive oil, spice side down, then up.  Bake at 350 or sauté until done. Serve with sauce.

Sauce: Whisk together in small bowl

6 Tbsp. rice vinegar

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp. finely minced fresh ginger

1 tsp. sugar

??written on back of an envelope.  Might be good for shrimp, too.
Last edited:
My favorite way to do Salmon is this:

I do this on a gas grill but you can try other ways.


Chopped garlic

Kosher Salt

Old Bay Seasoning

Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Large disposable 1/2" foil pan. (Larger than the salmon your cooking)

Wood chips to your liking (I usually use Alder)

How to:

I usually pick up a nice fillet of wild caught salmon

I heat the grill to about 300-350

Pour a nice coating of EV Olive Oil and garlic in the foil pan

Place the Salmon on the foil pan and put more garlic, olive oil, old bay, and kosher salt on top.

Place the whole thing on the grill and cook until done.

I have had great reviews of this and everyone asks for the recipe.
I'm with BarbeQueen - I like to let it sit in some Yoshida's teriyaki sauce for about 15 minutes. Then grill/smoke it, brush with more Yoshidas and a sprinkle of kosher salt about half way through, serve with a lemon wedge. Simple and tastey.
The last salmon I smoked I did naked, the fish not me!
 It was perfect.
I know you want your own concoction, but for me it's just EVOO with any cajun seasoning. I get Tone's at Sam's Club. I use skinless salmon, rub both sides. Put directly on grate (oil grate first so it doesn't stick). Smoke at 225, usually takes about 1 1/2 hours. No need to flip it over. I like to use mesquite for wood.
Best rub on salmon & steelhead: EVOO on skin, salt & coarse pepper on flesh. Maybe a shot of fresh wasabi on the side. Leave it alone. Good salmon & steelhead is naturally flavorful and delicious. It is low fat, high in omega 3 and proteins.

I get a kick out of high end chefs that cover salmon in gravies and sauces. Dead give away that they do not know how to cook fish or they got poor quality fish.
instead of the rub i like a little bit of a syrup on mine-

bottle of white wine (chardonnay for me)

reduced with 2#'s of brown sugar

let it cool and soak the fish for 10-15 min before it goes in the smoker- I like it
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