Hot Smoked Salmon


Hot Smoked Salmon
Author: BBQ Bill
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A delicious take on traditional smoked salmon for the BBQ, infused with festive flavours. The perfect dish for a Christmas buffet.
  • Whole (1.2-1.4kg) or half side (600-700g) fillet of salmon, skin-on and pin boned
  • 50-75g sea salt, I prefer Cornish Sea Salt
  • 50-75g granulated golden sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper, 15-20 grinds of a pepper mill
  • 8-10 crushed juniper berries
  • 2-3 crushed dried bay leaves
  • zest of one lemon or lime
  • zest of a clementine, mandarin or half an orange
  1. Equipment
  2. A plastic container with lid, big enough to hold the fish or a similar sized baking tray, and a piece of clingfilm big enough to wrap the fish for curing along with a rack for drying.
  3. A BBQ set up for indirect cooking at 80-90c and smoking wood chunks, I prefer woods such as maple, alder or birch for fish which produce a light smoke and match well to fish, I recommend you try one of these.
  4. Cure
  5. Place equal amounts of the salt, sugar (50g of each for the smaller piece, 75g of each for the larger piece) then the black pepper, juniper, bay and citrus zest in a small bowl and stir until evenly mixed together.
  6. Sprinkle a single light even layer of the mix, using around 25% of the cure, on the bottom of the plastic container or over clingfilm on a tray. Place the salmon skin down on the cure mix and sprinkle the remaining cure in an even layer over the flesh side of the fish, cover or wrap in the clingfilm, and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  7. After this time, the fish should have released some moisture and firmed up slightly. Remove from the container or clingfilm and wash gently under cold water to remove the remaining cure and spices. Pat dry with kitchen paper and place uncovered on a rack back in the fridge for another hour. After this time the surface will appears shiny and slightly sticky to the touch, this is called pellicle, and is a sign the cure has worked properly and gives something for the smoke to adhere to.
  8. Hot Smoke
  9. Set the up BBQ to cook indirectly at a temperature of 80-90c. Note, any higher than 100c and the oils will be released for the fish and producing a greasy finish.
  10. Place the fish skin down on the BBQ grate and use a temperature probe to monitor the temperature of the fish as it smokes slowly until the internal temperature is reaches 63-65c, this should take 45 minutes to an hour. Carefully lift the fish off the BBQ onto a plate and serve hot or cold as the suggestions below.
  11. Serve in thick slices with a potato salad, flaked over luxurious scrambled eggs made with added cream, flaked into a spicy kedgeree with soft boiled eggs or even cold in a pasta salad or as part of a Christmas buffet table.