Hot-smoked Salmon

A stovetop smoker is a great tool to have. It allows you to turn a piece of salmon fillet into wonderful hot-smoked salmon in only 20 minutes without any effort or skill. This is one of the course I served during the recent dinner on our boat. The recipe is as simple as it is delicious. You can do the same for other types of fish such as halibut. Using an instant-read thermometer ensures that the fish will always be perfectly cooked and never too dry (if you don’t use frozen fish).

Hot-smoked salmon is very different from cold-smoked salmon, since the salmon is actually cooked through while it is being smoked. If the salmon is fresh and you serve it straight away, the fish will be extremely succulent and will have a wonderful smoky aroma.

Using salmon with the skin has the advantage that it is easier to take the fish out of the smoker to serve it. The advantage of smoking without the skin is that also the underside will be smoked. You pick.


salmon fillet

salt and freshly ground black pepper

freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbsp beech dust for smoking


Rub the salmon fillet generously with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for an hour (or up to 4 hours or so).

Set up the stovetop smoker with beech dust. Insert the probe of an instant-read thermometer into the salmon (make sure the tip of the needle is deeply embedded in the thickest part).

Close the smoker and put it over the flames until the core temperature has reached 48C/118F. (We are actually shooting for 50C/122F or so, but since the smoker will be very hot the fish will continue to cook.)

That’s all! This is excellent for outdoor use, since you could even eat this ‘family style’ and just give everyone a fork and dig in. The salmon will disappear very quickly if you do that!

Wine pairing

This is great with almost any oaked dry white wine, such as chardonnay. Smoked foods usually go well with oaked wines. The wine should not be overly heavy, as the salmon with the lemon juice will be relatively fresh.

21 thoughts on “Hot-smoked Salmon

  1. Smoked Halibut. That’s a new one on me. I imagine it is excellent. I remember my late father struggling to get a couple of mackerel fillets done in such a smoker. Little success was had.


    1. Smoked halibut is certainly excellent, and so is smoked mackerel. My advice would be to use whole mackerels (head on, gills and innards removed). That’s what I always do, and it is amazing. Especially with sauerkraut! Also great together in a quiche:

      If you have any trouble using a stovetop smoker, I’d be happy to help troubleshoot. Once you get the hang of it, it is so amazingly flavorful for such little effort!


      1. It’s on my ‘must do’ list. As was the pasta machine. It got it’s first outing last Sunday. We had great fun and the pasta was divine. More about it when I get around to posting it. Thankfully, I have a raft of posts ready to go. It has been a fruitful summer.


        1. Great to hear your first attempt at home-made pasta was divine! I’ve posted some great recipes for different types of ravioli and a ‘how to’ that might be of interest.


          1. I have read some of the ravioli. They are alos on my list. However, this weekend, youngest daughter has returned from Thailand and wants Shepherds Pie. So that’s what I will be at. Not a typical summer dish but this is not a typical summer!


  2. It’s like you’re in Seattle! I love hot-smoked salmon. We make ours over wood chips in a back-yard smoker. I want to join you for a meal on your boat! 🙂


  3. Hi Stefan

    Thanks a lot for you blog. I love reading your posts, and I’ve tried a lot of them. Today I bought a stovetop smoker, and it looks just like yours. Two bags of beech dust was included, and I’ve tried this recipe for smoked salmon and smoked some chicken legs also afterwards. I’ve used about 2 table spoons of dust each time and only one of the two burners. I think the results were okay (the chicken legs was finished on the grill), but it was not like I was blown away – honestly I think both the chicken and the salmon tasted a bit weird.

    Have you tried other sorts of wood other than beech dust? I have some larger wood chips meant for barbeques. Can you use them?

    Again thanks a lot for all your posts and images. The images really makes a difference!

    Best regards


    1. Hi Henrik,
      Great to hear you like my blog and have tried my recipes. That is why I blog after all!
      Especially the salmon is supposed to blow you away, so your results surprise me. Beech dust is fine, especially for fish. I think it is better to use both the burners, but I am not sure whether that could have caused the ‘weird’ taste. I’ve used larger wood chips, but not larger than 4 mm or so.
      I have never done bone-in chicken legs, but have had good results with boneless/skinless chicken thighs as well as chicken breast.
      A question: did you use the ‘leaking’ protection so that the juices that drip from the salmon or chicken cannot reach the smoking dust (or indeed the hot bottom of the smoker)?
      Hope this helps, good luck.


      1. Thanks for your reply Stefan. I had the drip-tray in, so that’s not the problem. I think I will try and buy some other wood dust (maybe another sort than beech) and see how that tastes.

        Keep up the good work and have a nice day 🙂



  4. Hi Stefan, I love your blog! My fav so far is the sous vide croc! 🙂 I wanted to make a smoked salmon myself, but I have no idea where to buy such a stove smoker? Where did you get yours? I live in Germany btw. Thanks! 🙂


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.