I’ll let you in on a little secret…of all the tons of appetizers I have made in my day; this is hands down the favorite of everybody. A lot of other smoked salmon recipes call for both a brine and a rub before smoking, but that just seemed like way too much work, so I just decided to combine the brine and the rub ingredients into one easy step. And here you have it. Don’t have a Smoker? No problem. You can easily turn your charcoal or gas grill into a smoker that will work beautifully, and I’ve included some ‘how-to’ links so you can check it out. You might want to make twice as much as you think you’ll need. If your guests are anything like mine, this will be gone within minutes of setting it out – my guests have no shame.
As mentioned in the recipe title, this is considered ‘Hot Smoked’ Salmon. Here’s the difference between ‘Hot Smoked’ and ‘Cold Smoked’ in a nutshell: Cold Smoked salmon is rubbed with a salt-based cure and smoked until it is cooked through. This involves no heat. On the other hand, Hot Smoked salmon is brined in a liquid brine that includes salt plus other items of your choosing. In this recipe, my choosing includes apple juice, brown sugar, sriracha, and a healthy amount of brandy. Once your salmon has been brined for a minimum of two hours (I often just go ahead and brine it overnight with no ill effects), all that is remaining is to rinse it off under cold water and pat dry before smoking. Note: Please do not be tempted to skip the rinsing part or you will be rewarded with a major salt bomb and not be able to taste your fish very well. Yes, I tried it…ugh.
I use a Traeger at home for this recipe, but if you don’t own a Smoker, never fear. You can turn both your charcoal grill or grass grill into a hot smoker. The internet is full of UTube videos and other helpful links on how to handle this, but here are a couple that looked easy and undaunting:
If you are using a charcoal grill: Here is a helpful link from the Blog: The Spruce Eats: https://www.thespruceeats.com/smoked-salmon-on-the-grill-2217138
If you are using a gas grill: Here is a helpful link from CharBroil (PS – when they talk about putting wood chips in a ‘smoker box’ that can easily be substituted with a nice sized packet of double wrapped aluminum foil) : https://www.charbroil.com/learn/easy-smoked-salmon-on-the-grill/
After your smoking efforts, you will be rewarded with a not-too-salty, full of flavor, and silky smoked salmon that you will not be able to stop eating.
I am not lying when I tell you that I have to hide some of this from my guests to make sure I get at least a bite. One too many times, I’ve gone back to sneak a taste, only to find an empty platter greeting me. This is a difficult lesson to learn the hard way. It’s fun to serve this on a platter with lemon slices, some herbs and edible flowers.
Hope you enjoy this one! Thanks so much for reading today!! xoxoxo
- 1 salmon filet (about 1 ½ pounds)
- ½ cup brandy
- ½ cup apple juice
- 1-tablespoon sriracha
- 1-cup brown sugar
- ½ cup table salt (not Kosher)
- Place salmon in glass 13x9 inch baking dish, skin side up.
- Combine brandy, apple juice, sriracha, brown sugar and salt into a bowl. Stir to mix well. NOTE: The salt is going to be a big pest and not want to dissolve in with the rest of the ingredients. Just keep stirring until it cooperates – you will be victorious.
- Pour mixture over salmon. Be sure to lift up the filet to allow all the brine to get to the fish.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
- Remove salmon from brine and rinse. Pat dry with paper towels.
- VARIOUS IDEAS ON HOW TO SMOKE YOUR SALMON
- Note: there are countless Utube videos and links on the web that will show you how to turn your gas grill or charcoal grill into a smoker. I've included the two easiest ones I found below, but feel free to search on your own to find a site that works best for you. Sorry: I can't insert a link on this recipe software, but they are written out below. I happen to use a Traeger, so have included those directions for the way I handle things.
- If you are using a Traeger or other such contraption: Smoke for 30 minutes, then turn tempura to 225 degrees and continue cooking until done. This will take about 20-45 minutes, depending on the size of your filet.
- If you are using a gas grill: Here are some easy tips from Char Broil: https://www.charbroil.com/learn/easy-smoked-salmon-on-the-grill/
- If you are using a charcoal grill: Here are some easy tips from the blog ,The Spruce Eats: https://www.thespruceeats.com/smoked-salmon-on-the-grill-2217138