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Russ’s Hot Smoked Salmon


russell steven

Cooking delicious smoked salmon at home has never been easier! Impress everyone at the dinner table with this mouth-watering recipe and start grilling today!

This recipe involves first soaking the salmon in a home made brine and then slow-smoking on a Z Grills pellet smoker.

Watch the full video here.


  • ½ cup salt
  • ½ cup sugar (raw)
  • 500ml apple juice
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup bourbon (or your poison!)
  • 4 or 5 bay leaves (crushed)
  • Dill
  • Ground peppercorn
  • Fresh tarragon


  • Mix and simmer all the ingredients over a low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
Brine in Pot
  • Set the pot aside and let it cool. To speed up the process, sit the pan in a sink of cold water.
  • Next, add the mixture of ingredients to 2 litres of cold water and place in the salmon, making sure that the flesh part is fully submerged in the brine.
  • Put a lid on the container and place in the fridge for:
    • 12 hours for large pieces of salmon as shown
    • 4-6 hours for smaller steaks of salmon
  • Make sure not to leave your salmon in the brine for too long because it may become overly salty.
Salmon soaking in brine

After hours of brining…

  • Remove the salmon from the brine and gently rinse it off in cold water.
  • Carefully dry off the salmon and place them on BBQ mesh mats skin down. Using the mats makes it easy to place the salmon on the grill and it won’t stick to the grill racks.
  • If laying the salmon on a wooden cutting board, place a layer of plastic over the board first to prevent the fish juices soaking into the wood (avoiding fishy smells and bacteria growth).
  • Put the salmon in the fridge for 2-4 hours to create a pellicle layer (a tacky coating on the fish that absorbs the smokey flavour).
Salmon on BBQ mats

Grilling time…

  • Fire up your Z Grill and set to 107°C / 225°F
  • Once up to temperature place in the salmon on the BBQ mats.
  • Place a temperature probe into the thickest piece of salmon (or all pieces if possible).
Salmon in the grill
  • Close the lid and smoke for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until up to 63°C / 145°F internal temperature. The length of time will depend on the thickness of the fish and thinner pieces may be ready earlier than thicker ones.
  • Enjoy while still hot or let it cool down and enjoy in so many different ways!
Russ's Smoked Salmon set a side
  • Smoked salmon can be kept for several days by packing in vacuum sealed bags and storing in the fridge.
Russ's Smoked Salmon ZGrills
Russ's Smoked Salmon served with cream cheese and rocket on a bagel

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