“Healthy food, healthy life!”
I had successfully cold-smoked salmon on a small wood-pellet smoker several years ago but this was my first attempt at hot-smoking salmon on my large wood-pellet grill/smoker and, judging from the delicious results, I think I’ve found another “go to” recipe. Wild-Caught Salmon is recommended but I couldn’t find any locally so I settled for a nice, bright pink, 1 lb. farm-raised fillet and it still came out moist and tasty.
Temperature control is an absolute must with this recipe. Rather than trust my smoker’s digital temp display, I clipped one temp probe inside the pit on the level of the fish and I inserted another probe inside the thickest part of the meat. The pit temp should average 200°F. for the first hour of smoking and then 235-255°F. until the fish is done when the meat probe indicates 145°F. at which time you should remove it from the pit. No spritzing is necessary and don’t raise the lid taking a peek at progress because you’ll lose a lot of smoke & heat.
A word about cedar planks…. DO NOT use cedar lumber such as cedar fence pickets because it may by treated with chemicals that could be harmful. Use only food grade cedar planks, made for cooking, which can be found at grocery stores, Walmart, Amazon, and even Lowes & Home Depot in the BBQing department.
The inspiration for this recipe came from “Pit Boss Cedar Plank Salmon” on the website, thatguywhogrills.com. Instead of the original recipe’s listed spices, I used Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Salmon Seasoning which is available at many grocery stores and also on Amazon.com.
Place the cedar plank with the salmon fillet on the smoking/grilling grate of your smoker, shut the door and smoke for one hour at/or about 200°F. After one hour, the salmon internal temp should be around 115°F. and you should turn your smoker temp up to whatever temp will keep it at 235-255°F. Watch the internal temp readings carefully because (depending on the heating of your smoker), sometime between 90 minutes and 120 minutes (from start time) the internal temp should reach 145°F. and that is when the fillet(s) should come out of the smoker.