How to smoke salmon | Vanilla Hot Smoked Salmon Recipe

How to smoke salmon | Vanilla Hot Smoked Salmon Recipe

How to smoke salmon couldn’t be easier. My Vanilla hot smoked salmon recipe is a delicious way to cook salmon; vanilla hot smoked salmon.

In this recipe post I’ll show you how to smoke salmon – at home, with no special equipment required! This is my vanilla hot smoked salmon recipe.

How to smoke salmon seems to be a big question, but my vanilla hot smoked salmon recipe is easy to follow and delicious. The subtle warmth of vanilla with the mellow smokiness of the woodchips is a wonderful marriage of flavours.

This is a really easy hot smoked salmon recipe which I reckon is quite impressive! By brining the salmon before smoking keeps the salmon succulent and tender. 

I love vanilla and although synonymous with desserts and puddings it can compliment a savoury dish surprisingly well. The use of vanilla in this recipe brings out a subtle sweet warmth to the salmon flesh.

This is a hot-smoked salmon recipe and I’ll walk you through how to smoke salmon at home which is incredibly easy to do. The actual hot smoking of the salmon is done quite quick compared to cold smoking that is usually a 24 hour affair.

I was first introduced to smoking salmon when on Vancouver Island (Vancouver and Vancouver island by the way is awesome). I arrived in Vancouver Island during the salmon run season.

Just as I arrived so did Phil (our family that lives in Vancouver Island) with a cool box the size of a small freezer full to the brim of freshly caught salmon! Needless to say I was like a kid in a sweet store – I was over excited and had no idea what we were going to do with all that salmon.

Turns out smoking the salmon is what we were going to do. Cold smoking. We soaked our salmon in a homemade brine with maple syrup and lots of other bits I’m sworn to secrecy on for 24 hours. Once it came out of the brine, it was dried and then put into the smoker overnight.

Every wondered how to smoke salmon at home? 

That was the best smoked salmon I ever had. Thick, chunky, succulent but dry, smokey but not acrid. It was delicious, so much so, that when we left to head back over the border to Seattle I couldn’t resist but smuggle through a few fillets of smoked salmon for our journey.

I digress… I didn’t think my vanilla hot smoked salmon recipe would work as well as it did, so don’t muck about – just try it. It tastes irresistible just out of the oven or just as good the next day cold – what more can you ask for?!

Hot Smoked Salmon Recipe – Ingredients:

Salmon Fillet (1/2 a side of salmon)

Salmon Brine:

1 cup white sugar
1 cup table salt
1 vanilla pod

The Smoke:

Handful of oak whiskey barrel woodchips (or apple, hickory, whatever you can get your hands on)
Tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 cup water


Metal roasting tin
Grill that fits into the roasting tin but rests above the base
Tin foil

Hot Smoked Salmon Recipe – Method:

  1. The curing mixture:
    Mix the salt and sugar together. Cut open the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds and then finely chop the rest of the pod and mix the seeds and pod into the salt and sugar.
  2. Ideally leave this for a few hours to allow the vanilla to permeate into the curing mix (but no panic if you haven’t – it works just as well using it straight away).
  3. Prepare the salmon by making several cuts into the skin side to allow the curing mix to make contact with the salmon flesh.
  4. In a bowl; cover the salmon with the curing mixture rubbing it into the salmon flesh ensuring the entire fillet it covered. Leave for minimum 2 hours but no more than 3.

The salmon will now have a deeper colour and be very firm. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water and pat dry.

Hot Smoked Salmon:

  1. Place the woodchips into a metal roasting tray. Put the grill into the roasting tray and put the salmon skin side down on the grill. Now tear a sheet of tin foil big enough to fit snugly over the roasting tray.
    Put the roasting tray onto the hob and leave until the woodchips start to burn and smoke.
    Once it starts smoking cover the top in tin foil and move around on the hob to keep the woodchips smoking.
  2. After a couple of minutes and when the woodchips are really smoking, turn off the heat and pour 1/2 cup water into the tray and immediately close the foil over the top (you may need a couple of sheets to ensure you have an airtight fit).
  3. Place the roasting tray into a pre-heated oven (Fan 200 degree) for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, open the foil and pour the maple syrup over the salmon and using a back of a spoon rub it over the fillet. Place back in the oven uncovered for literally 2-3 minutes just for the maple syrup to glaze.

You are now done!

Goes well with an extractor fan on high, steamed seasonal vegetables and horse-radish mayonnaise; eaten either hot or cold!

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3 thoughts on “How to smoke salmon | Vanilla Hot Smoked Salmon Recipe”

  • Where would I get wood chips Theo – is it a b&q thing or somewhere special? Sounds divine and I’ve never tried smoking before so I’ll let you know how it goes! X

    • I think B&Q might or even Wilkinsons sell wood chips – apart from that; ebay! Let me know how it goes!! Txx

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