Cool Citrus Smoked Salmon

Prep Time 8 hrs > Cook Time 4 hrs > Meat Finish Temp: 130°F (medium) > Recommended Wood: Alder or Apple > Servings: 4 -6 CLICK HERE or the highlighted products within the recipe to order products suggested for recipe.
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 12 hours
Servings 4 -6



  • Make Brine Solution
  • Fill a 1-gallon container with cold water
  • Add 1 cup of coarse kosher salt
  • Stir until the water returns to near clear.
  • Add brown sugar and stir until well dissolved.
  • Squeeze ½ lemon, ½ lime and ½ orange into solution and stir to combine.

Brine Salmon

  • Place salmon into large plastic, glass or other non-reactive container.
  • Pour brine over fish to cover and place in refrigerator for about 4 hours.
  • After 4 hours has expired, remove from fridge.

Rinse and Dry

  • Remove fish from brine and rinse well under cold water. This is to remove any excess salt.
  • Lay fish on several layers of paper towels then lay paper towels on top of the salmon to soak up excess water. You may want to do this several times to expedite the drying process.
  • Leave the fish on the counter or cutting board to dry for 3-4 hours.
  • When the pellicle has properly formed, the fish will be shiny and it will feel tacky to the touch.

Season the Salmon

  • Squeeze the juices of ½ orange, ½ lime and ½ lemon all over the fish to create a wetness on the fish for the rub to adhere to.
  • Sprinkle Sweet and Spicy Southern rub lightly onto the top surface of the salmon.
  • Leave the seasoned salmon on the counter or cutting board for a few minutes while you go get the smoker ready.

Smoking the Fish

  • Setup your smoker for cooking at very low temperatures if possible. 160°F is optimal
  • Salmon, as with most fish, is delicate and works best with lighter tasting woods such as alder and apple. Most fruit woods will work just fine.
  • Once the smoker is ready, place the fish, skin side down, on a piece of parchment paper and lay it on the smoker grate. The parchment paper ensures it does not stick to the grates and makes it really easy to maneuver inside the smoker in case you need to rotate it. It also makes it easy to remove once it's finished cooking.
  • Let the fish smoke cook until it reaches about 130°F in the thickest part.
  • Place the fish on the counter with a little foil tented over the top and let it rest for about 10 minutes.


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