Rum-Smoked Salmon Recipe

This extremely simple smoked salmon recipe takes a little prep time to let the salmon cure, but it is well worth the wait!  Make sure to plan ahead to guarantee your dish will be ready when you want it to be.

The instructions are based on a charcoal grill, but you can modify for a smoker or gas grill (modifications called out)

The Ingredients:

  • 1 Salmon Fillet (about 2 pounds) – also good for any type of fatty fish
  • 1 cup dark rum for the salmon - and 1 glass for yourself!
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
  • 4 cups wood chips – alder, apple, or cherry – soaked for 1 hour

The method: Indirect Grilling (you can see how we set up our grill here) or Smoking

Additional things needed:

  • Tinfoil drip pan
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic Wrap

 The Prep (20 minutes, 4 hours to cure)

  1. Skin the fillet and remove any bones. Rinse the salmon under cold water and blot dry with paper towel
  2. Put the salmon in a baking dish and pour the rum over it. Let it sit for approximately 15 minutes
  3. After 15 minutes, drain the salmon and blot dry. Wipe out the dish.
  4. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowel and mix well.
  5. Spread 1/3 of the mixture on the bottom of the dish
  6. Place the salmon, skin side down, on top and sprinkle the remaining mixture on top. Gently rub it in with your fingers
  7. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let cure in the refrigerator for 4 hours

 The Smoke (approx. 20 minutes)

Set up the grill for indirect smoking (or set up your smoker to 225°F)

Place a drip pan in the center of the charcoal grill and pre-heat to medium-high (400°F)

Rinse the cure off the salmon with cold water and blot dry

When ready to cook, throw 2 handfuls of wood chips on the coals (or use a pouch if using a gas grill)

Brush and oil the grill grate

Place salmon in center of the hot grate over the drip pan

Toss remaining wood chips on the coals and cover the grill

Smoke the fish for about 20 minutes. (If using a smoker at 225° it will take longer – about 1.5 - 2 hours) To test for doneness press the salmon with your fingers. It should feel firm and break into flakes

Transfer to a rack to cool. When cool, wrap it with aluminum foil and refrigerate until cold. Serve cold or at room temperature.

    Serve with bagels, cream cheese, and sliced tomato and onion! Goes great with our signature Grilled Bloody Mary's! Or more Rum!

    What’s your favorite way to grill or smoke salmon?  Let us know in the comments…

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