Methods to Smoke Sockeye Salmon Completely






This Smoked Sockeye Salmon is a wealthy and scrumptious approach to put together salmon. Sockeye is understood for is deep crimson coloration and is lean and straightforward to overcook. The important thing to excellent smoked sockeye is cooking at low temperatures when smoking and eradicating it on the proper inner temperature. Learn how to completely smoke salmon with our favourite recipe for smoked sockeye.

Two filets of perfect Smoked Sockeye Salmon on a serving dish with slices of lemon

We cater plenty of occasions and, being positioned within the Pacific Northwest, naturally one of the crucial requested proteins is salmon. And there are such a lot of species of salmon we get to prepare dinner with. However one factor we now have realized is that it’s essential to acknowledge that sure species of salmon require completely different cooking strategies and cooking occasions vs others. For this recipe we’re specializing in particularly Sockeye salmon, and find out how to smoke it to perfection (sizzling smoking).


Recipe Highlights

  • This recipe is for complete filets, however you may also use this recipe for smaller cuts as properly.
  • Not like Chinook (King) salmon, or Atlantic salmon, Sockeye salmon is leaner and cooks sooner. So if you’re smoking you have to concentrate in the course of the smoking course of to how lengthy you’re cooking it, so that you simply don’t overcook it.
  • “Copper River Salmon” includes of many species, however the commonest is Sockeye and this recipe works the identical.
  • Low smoke temperatures are essential so as to keep away from overcooking the salmon.


  • Sockeye Salmon – Wild caught is greatest. One tip is to purchase the salmon with the pin bones eliminated. Ask your fish monger to do that for you. Some field shops like Costco will truly have already got the pin bones eliminated.
  • Dijon Mustard – This acts as a binder to permit the seasoning to stay to the flesh aspect of the salmon. You can too use olive oil.
  • Salmon Seasoning – We use our salmon seasoning, the identical one which we use in our well-known cedar plank grilled salmon recipe. You can too use your favourite seafood seasoning.

Sockeye Salmon versus Chinook Salmon

Sockeye and Chinook salmon are two fashionable forms of salmon that every have their distinctive traits that may have an effect on how they’re utilized in recipes, particularly relating to smoking.

Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye salmon, also called crimson salmon, is acknowledged by its vibrant crimson flesh, which retains its coloration even after cooking. The flavour is commonly described as sturdy and wealthy, extra intense than different salmon species. Sockeye is a leaner salmon selection, so it could possibly simply change into dry if overcooked. When smoking Sockeye, it’s essential to maintain the temperature low and sluggish to keep up its moisture. It takes up the smoky taste properly, and its inherent richness can stand as much as sturdy flavorings.

Chinook Salmon

However, Chinook salmon (or King salmon), is the biggest and sometimes thought to be probably the most scrumptious species of salmon. It has a high-fat content material, which makes it extremely tender and succulent, offering a buttery texture that melts in your mouth. Chinook salmon additionally has a milder and extra refined taste in comparison with Sockeye, making it extra versatile for various taste profiles. When smoking Chinook salmon, its fats content material helps to maintain the meat moist even over longer smoking intervals, and it absorbs the smoke taste extra regularly, resulting in a extra refined and nuanced style.

For Sockeye, a decrease temperature and slower smoking time can stop the fish from drying out. For Chinook, you possibly can afford a barely increased temperature and longer smoke time due to its increased fats content material. We use Chinook for our all goal Smoked Salmon Recipe.


  • Pin Bones – If the fish monger or your retailer didn’t take away the pin bones – do that earlier than you smoke the salmon, utilizing good fish boning tweezers.
  • Pre-Slicing – In case you are serving the complete filet, one catering trick we’ll do is par-slice the salmon into smaller cuts (however we don’t truly lower by the pores and skin solely). This makes the parts simpler to slice and serve after it’s smoked as a result of as you smoke the salmon first after which slice it could possibly crumble.
  • Seasoning – Season proper earlier than you’ll smoke the salmon. There isn’t a have to season to far forward.


  • Instantaneous Learn Digital Thermometer – The Thermoworks Thermapen One is the perfect prompt learn thermometer available on the market and it’s what we use.
  • Pin Bone Tweezers – If you’re going to prepare dinner plenty of fish, you want an excellent sturdy tweezer for eradicating any pin bones.
  • Giant Fish Spatula – To not be confused with the smaller and leaner fish spatula, you need a huge spatula to take away complete salmon filets.

Methods to Smoke Sockeye Salmon

When you’ve got small salmon steaks or filets.

  1. Preparation: Put together your smoker and goal 225 levels Fahrenheit utilizing a fruit wooden or oak.
  2. Season: Coat the flesh aspect of the salmon with the Dijon mustard after which season with the salmon seasoning.
  3. Smoke: Place salon on the smoker, pores and skin aspect down, and smoke the salmon till the interior temperature of the Sockeye salmon reaches 135 levels Fahrenheit. Let relaxation for 10 minutes after which serve. (Don’t flip the salmon whereas cooking. Go away the pores and skin aspect down the complete prepare dinner)
  4. Serve: Serve heat along with your favourite sides.
Two Sockeye Salmon filets on a serving dish with slices of lemon

Often Requested Questions

What wooden ought to I exploit for smoked salmon?

Fruit woods are greatest for salmon, together with Sockeye, as a result of it burns sweeter and has a extra delicate taste. One other various is oak.

How lengthy does it take to smoke Sockeye salmon?

When you ought to at all times prepare dinner to temperature, it ought to take about half-hour when smoking at 225 levels for the interior temperature to achieve 135 levels F for a juicy and tender salmon.

Ought to I brine sockeye salmon?

You do not want to brine. For this sizzling smoked salmon recipe, subsequently we don’t want a brine as a result of we use the Dijon mustard to coat the surface and we don’t overcook it. It stays tender and juicy!

Is Sockeye salmon good to smoke?

Sure. Nevertheless it’s essential to notice that cooking occasions are going to be a lot shorter as a result of sockeye salmon is way smaller and thinner than Chinook (King) salmon, or Atlantic varieties.

A closeup shot of tender flakes of juicy smoked Sockeye Salmon

Favourite Aspect Dishes with Sockeye Salmon

About Vindulge

Mary (an authorized sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (yard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fireplace + Wine, and have been creating content material for the IACP nominated web site Vindulge since 2009. They reside in Oregon on a farm simply exterior Portland.

Fire and Wine Cookbook

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Smoked Sockeye Salmon Recipe

Smoked Sockeye salmon is superb, nevertheless it additionally cooks just a little in a different way than different salmon species. Learn to smoke Sockeye salmon completely each time.

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5 from 1 vote


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook dinner Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 -8 individuals
Energy: 17kcal
Price: $30


  • 2 complete Sockeye salmon filets (Professional Tip: Ask the fish monger to take away the pin bones so that you don't should.)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons salmon seasoning
Stop your display screen from going darkish


  • Preparation: Put together your smoker and goal 225 levels Fahrenheit utilizing a fruit wooden or oak.
  • Season Sockeye: Coat the flesh aspect of the salmon with the Dijon mustard after which season with the salmon seasoning.
  • Smoke: Place salmon on the smoker, pores and skin aspect down, and smoke till the interior temperature of the Sockeye salmon reaches 135 levels Fahrenheit. Take away and let relaxation for 10 minutes after which serve.
  • Serve: Serve heat along with your favourite sides.


Energy: 17kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fats: 0.4g | Saturated Fats: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fats: 0.2g | Ldl cholesterol: 0.2mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 88IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? We might like to see!Point out @vindulge or use the hashtag #vindulge

The submit Methods to Smoke Sockeye Salmon Completely appeared first on Vindulge.

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