Grilled salmon is a staple at TEC Infrared Grills. But did you know that you can hot smoke salmon on your grill as well? It’s easy with the Infrared Smoker/Roaster accessory and your TEC Grill.
Hot smoked salmon is different than the smoked salmon you might be thinking of. You’ve probably seen those packages of smoked salmon in the market or had smoked salmon at your local bagel shop. That type of salmon is cold-smoked salmon, cured at under 90 degrees.
The texture of hot smoked salmon is closer to grilled salmon than to chewy, cold smoked salmon. Hot smoked salmon is prepared anywhere from 100-300 degrees, resulting in a firm yet flaky fish. Our Infrared Smoker/Roaster accessory makes it easy to turn your grill into a low and slow smoker. There’s no tricky installation process – you just set the smoking rack/pan onto the grill and add your favorite wood chips. For maximum flavor and perfect texture, we recommend curing the salmon first with a seasoned salt and sugar mixture.
Hot smoked salmon can easily be served in whole filets or flaked to incorporate into dips or spreads. It is very versatile and can be served at any meal. Try it with a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast, over some greens for lunch, or with tabbouli or rice for dinner. It is also delicious when eaten cold, making it a easy and healthy protein for the upcoming summer months.
This is a great recipe for hot smoking salmon on your TEC Infrared Grill, adapted from Steven Raichlen’s book Project Smoke. Once you try out this Hot Smoked Salmon, it will be a staple on your grilling menu year round!
CURE THE SALMON
Putting a dry rub on the salmon first adds flavor and helps with the curing process.
1. Rinse the salmon fillet under cold water, and pat dry. Feel along the fillet for any bones, and use fish tweezers to remove them.
2. Stir together the following ingredients in a small bowl. Note that this amount is for a roughly 1 pound salmon fillet. The recipe is easily doubled for larger fillets or multiple fillets:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Pinch or two of red chile flakes
3. Place about one quarter of the cure in the bottom of a ceramic or glass baking dish. Place the salmon fillet on top, skin side down, and then spoon the rest of the cure on top of the salmon. Pat gently to adhere the cure to the salmon.
4. Place the dish with the salmon in the refrigerator, uncovered, for about 3-4 hours. Every hour or so, spoon the cure that slides off back on top of the salmon.
5. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator, and rinse off the cure. Pat the salmon dry, and put on a clean plate.
6. Put the salmon back in the refrigerator, uncovered, for another 2 hours until the flesh is dry and somewhat leathery.
SMOKE THE SALMON
Use a wood plank in addition to wood chips for extra smokiness.
1. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Soak a wood grilling plank in a shallow dish of water for at least 30 minutes. Keep in the water until ready to grill.
3. Meanwhile, place the Smoker/Roaster accessory on the grates of your TEC Grill, and preheat the grill on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. The temperature in the grill should be around 250-300 degrees F.
4. Add some wood chips directly onto the grates right in front of the Smoker rack (no need to pre-soak the chips with a TEC Grill!). Wait until the wood chips start releasing a little smoke.
5. Remove the wood plank from the water, and place the salmon fillet directly on it. Set the planked salmon directly on the Smoker rack, and close the hood.
6. Continue smoking and roasting the salmon for about one hour, adding more wood chips as needed to keep the smoke going.
7. The salmon is ready when it is firm to the touch, flakes easily, but is still moist inside. The internal temperature should be around 140 degrees.
8. Remove the salmon from the grill, and let rest for about 10 minutes. Salmon can be served hot, at room temperature, or chilled.
Now that you have mastered how to make hot smoked salmon, here are some delicious ways to use it: