How to Smoke a Salmon in an Electric Smoker?

Hanging out with friends seems a great idea; if topped with grilling some fresh salmon. Salmon is very easy to cook fish, which is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. It is readily available at local …

How to Smoke a Salmon in an Electric Smoker

Hanging out with friends seems a great idea; if topped with grilling some fresh salmon. Salmon is very easy to cook fish, which is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. It is readily available at local stores. It is the most popular type of fish with tender and flaky textured meat. A surprising fact about Salmon is that it has loads of nutritional benefits yet has the lowest amount of calories. Apart from making a broth, grilling is a great way to enjoy Salmon’s nutrition while retaining the taste. Furthermore, it gives a particular grill taste, which enhances the aroma and moisture of fish.

Charcoal smokers are a hassle and require a lot of time and attention, which is why many people prefer electric smokers. Here, we will discuss a few tips that will help you grill restaurant-style Salmon in your electric smoker.

Tips for smoking Salmon in an electric smoker

Buying Guide

salmon buying guide

In local stores, Salmon is available as fillets and steaks. You can choose your preferred style. However, look for the smooth cuts; as they indicate the freshness of the fish. The pink color of Salmon also shows freshness. Both the cuts have bones that need to be removed, and they can cause choking. You can run your fingertips lengthwise on the fillet to find bones to be removed. If you choose salmon steak, you will find the backbone at the center of the steak curve.

Salmon should be packed in airtight packing to avoid any clouds on the meat. It is better to buy the one packed in ice. The fish odor explains a lot about the freshness of the fish. A strong fishy smell indicates that the fish was packed for a long time; a mild fish odor is what you should be going after.

Preparing the Smoker

When using an electric smoker, always remember to preheat before putting your Salmon in it. 400F is the ideal temperature. Preheat the smoker for 15 minutes before you place your marinated Salmon in it. Salmon does not take long to cook. It will hardly take 8 minutes for the fish to be ready to serve. You do have the choice to cook for a few more minutes to let the fish get firm, but it will also make the Salmon dry. Medium-cooked salmon is good to go with a sauce, but if you want to use it in a salad or a topping for crackers, you can dry it out by leaving it in the smoker for a couple of more minutes.

Working on the Fish

marinate the salmon

There are numerous ways to marinate the fish for grilling, but you need to wash it with cold water and pat dry with paper towels before that. You can use plain salt, pepper, and fresh herbs to enhance the fish’s natural flavor. There are ready-made seasonings available at local stores that can be used to prepare the Salmon for the grill. You can choose as per your taste and preference. Brush the Salmon with a bit of oil so it does not stick to the smoker’s grills.

It is not advisable to remove the skin before grilling, or the fish will stick to the smoker’s grills. You can always remove the skin once it is grilled. If you do not intend to remove the skin, flip the fish halfway to let the skin get crispier. Keep the Salmon refrigerated till your smoker is getting heated. There is no need to marinate the fish a day before you grill; Salmon requires a few hours to absorb all the seasoning and spices.

Grilling method

There can be two options for grilling the Salmon. One is to place it on the grills, and the other is to put it on wood planks and then place it inside the smoker. It also depends on the capacity of your smoker. If you have a smaller one, then you might not be able to put a wood plank. However, wood planks enhance the flavor of fish. Preferable wood planks for grilling salmon are cherry, peach, and apple. If you are using wood planks, soak it in the water an hour before using it in the grill, or it might start burning as soon as you place it in the smoker. In 7-10 minutes, your Salmon will be ready to serve.

Placing the Salmon directly on the grill needs flipping. It is better to put the skin side down on the grill in the beginning. It will need flipping after 3 minutes, so the skin side does not dry up. You can use a spatula to flip the fish. Flipping the fish will also prevent the skin from becoming soggy. The delicacy of the fish retains, and you can enjoy the Salmon with your favorite sauces.

To check the doneness of the Salmon, use a sharp-ended knife. Insert it at the thickest part of the fillet or steak. You can also check near the bone. Salmon will flake easily when ready to be taken out of your electric smoker.

The American Heart Association recommends adding fish to your meal at least twice a week. As it is rich in proteins, zinc, and other vitamins, it reduces the risks of heart problems and builds up good cholesterol in the body. Grilling salmon is not tricky at all. All you have to do is buy a fresh one and use your favorite seasonings to grill it with.

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