How to smoke salmon on a propane grill

How to smoke salmon on a propane grill

Smoking salmon on a propane grill can be a delicious way to prepare this fish with a smoky flavor. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it by Papa Ken at Maine Grilling Products.



  • Propane grill with a lid
  • Smoker box or aluminum foil pouch


  1. Prep the Salmon:

    • If you want to brine the salmon, submerge it in a brine solution (water, salt, and sugar) for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then rinse and pat dry. This step is optional but can add flavor and moisture to the fish.
  2. Soak the Wood Chips:

  3. Prepare the Grill:

    • Preheat your propane grill to a low to medium-low temperature, typically around 225-250°F (107-121°C). It's crucial to maintain a consistent low temperature for smoking.
  4. Create a Smoke Packet:

    • If you don't have a smoker box, you can make a smoke packet with aluminum foil. Place the soaked wood chips on a sheet of foil, fold it in half, and then fold the edges to seal it, creating a packet with a few holes poked in the top. Place this packet directly on the grill's heat source, such as over one of the burners.
  5. Oil the Grill Grates:

    • Use a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil or use a non-stick cooking spray to oil the grill grates to prevent the salmon from sticking.
  6. Place the Salmon on the Grill:

    • Place the salmon fillets skin-side down on the oiled grill grates. If using a whole salmon, make sure it fits comfortably on the grill, and you can use a fish basket or aluminum foil to help keep it together.
  7. Add Smoke:

    • Close the grill lid and allow the wood chips to start smoking. You may need to adjust the heat to maintain a consistent temperature and smoke level. You want a steady stream of light smoke.
  8. Monitor and Flip:

    • Keep an eye on the temperature and smoke levels, adjusting the grill's heat as necessary. Smoke the salmon for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the thickness of the fillets. You can flip the fillets halfway through if you'd like to add more smoke flavor to both sides.
  9. Check Doneness:

    • Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork and has an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Be careful not to overcook it, as it can become dry.
  10. Serve:

    • Carefully remove the smoked salmon from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. You can drizzle it with olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite seasonings, and garnish with lemon wedges.

Smoking salmon on a propane grill may take a bit of practice to get the temperature and smoke just right, but the result is well worth it with its smoky, flavorful profile. Enjoy!  Papa Ken

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