This Maple Smoked Salmon post is brought to you by Char-Broil. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Spiced.
Making smoked salmon at home is easier than you might think! This Maple Smoked Salmon is one of our favorites!
We had an absolute blast last weekend! Two of our best friends in the world drove up from Philly to visit us, and we just hung out the entire weekend. We met these friends back when all four of us were in grad school in Atlanta. Actually, to be more accurate, my wife met them on her first day of grad school. I still remember when she came home and told me that we all needed to hang out…she had a hunch that we would all get along. Well, let’s just say that hunch was accurate, and we’ve become lifelong friends!
Times have changed since those days back in Atlanta, but it seems like there’s never a gap with good friends. Know what I mean? Back then, we would get together and chat about the best places to go for pizza and beers in Atlanta. Now, we get together and talk about the best brand of sippy cups for our sons. (Well, our soon-to-be son as his due date is in early November.) Back then, we’d get together and rent water slides for our birthdays. Now, we get together and go shopping at home improvement stores. (Seriously. We spent part of the day Sunday installing a new railing in our basement.)
Even though our topics of conversation have changed, we still enjoy the same activities. We still watched lots of college football. We also pulled out the smoker and made a bunch of delicious smoked meats. Nothing beats a cool Saturday in the Fall with college football on tv and the smoker cooking away on the back porch!
You guys know that I love to grill and smoke pretty much anything and everything, right? I recently had the chance to check out the brand new Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker, and of course I jumped at the opportunity! I’m all about easy when it comes to smoked meats, and this smoker is seriously easy. Forget checking the fire and constantly watching the temperature. This digital smoker maintains the correct smoking temperature for you. Yup, this bad boy pretty much cooks the food for you. It’s like having a sous chef working outdoors while you sit inside and watch football!
So how does the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker know when your food is done? You simply insert the digital probe into the thickest part of the meat. Once the probe reaches the target temperature, the smoker just switches over to a warming mode. That means you can put your food in the smoker and walk away. Once the game is over (or you’re done installing a handrail in your basement *ahem* *ahem*), then you can just grab your food and you’re ready to eat!
One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard in the past about electric smokers is that you have to constantly feed them with wood chips. You can forget that chore with this smoker! The larger smoker box in the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker means that it can run 8x longer than other smokers before needing to be refilled. 8x!
Maple Smoked Salmon
After our friends left, I decided to pull the smoker out again and challenge myself with a new recipe. Smoked salmon. I’d never smoked salmon before, and I wanted to give it a whirl. One of my wife’s favorite restaurants in Atlanta always had a smoked salmon dip on the menu, and it’s still one of our go-to ‘fancy’ appetizers when we have company over. It is important to note that hot-smoked salmon is very different than the cold-smoked version that is common in Europe. However, both versions are delicious, and this Maple Smoked Salmon didn’t last long around here!
Although maple sugaring season occurs in the Spring here in upstate New York, I always associate maple with the flavors of Autumn. So I decided to use a bit of maple syrup in this recipe. The slight hint of maple-y sweetness was a great complement to the smoked flavor of the salmon.
Smoking salmon can totally be done at home, and I can now check that one off my bucket list! The only trick about smoking salmon is that you need to let it soak in a brine overnight. Then the next day, the salmon needs to sit out for a couple of hours until the skin becomes tacky. Once that happens, it’s ready for the smoker! I popped that salmon into the smoker and went off to rake leaves. The smell of that salmon smoking was incredibly alluring, and by the time the yard was clean, I was ready to dig in!
What are your plans for the Fall? Might I suggest grabbing a Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker? It does all the work for you, so you can have delicious dinners ready to go with very little work. Authentic, slow-smoked food that requires almost no effort? Sign me up! That means you’ll have plenty of time to watch football, rake leaves and install handrails in your basement.
The Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker is available on Amazon and at select retailers.
Have you ever smoked meat before?
What’s your favorite thing to do on Saturday afternoons in the Fall?
Love smoked salmon? Try these other recipes, too!
Maple Smoked Salmon
- 3-5 pound salmon filet, 1” thick and skin on
For the Brine
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups water
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
For the Rub
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- ½ Tbsp black pepper
- Using a large bowl, whisk all of the brine ingredients together until dissolved. Pour mixture into a large glass baking dish. Place salmon in the dish skin side up. (Note: If necessary, add more water until the salmon is completely covered with liquid.)
- Cover dish and place in refrigerator overnight, or 10-12 hours.
- Remove the salmon from the brine and pat dry; discard the brine.
- Place salmon in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) until the surface of the flesh is tacky to the touch. This will take 1-3 hours depending on the humidity in the air, but you can use a small fan on low speed to help speed up the process. (Note: The salt from the brine will prevent the salmon from spoiling.)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and black pepper. Brush this mixture evenly over the top of the salmon.
- Prepare the smoker to a temperature of 165°F. Fill smoker with wood chips (Tip: I recommend cherry or apple chips for salmon.)
- Brush the cooking grates of the smoker lightly with vegetable oil; place the salmon filet (skin-side down) sideways across the grates.
- Smoke for 1-3 hours, or until the thickest portion of the salmon reaches 145°F. (Note: Cooking time will vary greatly based on the thickness of your salmon. The temperature probe is very helpful to knowing when the salmon is done!)
- Remove grate from smoker and place a sheet pan on top of the salmon. Flip the salmon over and then carefully remove the cooking grate.