John’s Smoked Salmon Dinner

Close up

Hello everyone,

Once a year, John usually manages to make his way to the west coast for some sort of climbing and/or fishing action. Lucky for me, he usually manages to bring back a nice load of wild fish, caught or purchased, to last us the year and then some. Last year, John and his dad had great success catching bottom feeders (the salmon were few and far between), and John came back with ample amounts of red snapper, lingcod and halibut, great for such dishes as fish tacos and deep fried fish and chips. Click here to see our fish taco recipe, and here to read John’s red snapper with butter wine drizzle.

This year, most of the fish was purchased and John brought back a whole boatload of sockeye salmon as well a bunch of little halibut steaks, which I am very excited for. He even brought a whole tuna (a mini one – which is still pretty big) one that he will have to unfreeze to fillet. Yes, I have a whole tuna sitting in my freezer!

Now getting frozen fish from Vancouver to Edmonton is challenging. One alternative is to fly it back. However, John brought his truck this trip. Anticipating the problem of thawing fish on the 12 hour drive home, John managed to purchase a used little deep freeze for $50.  Judging by the price, you can probably guess that it was in rough condition, so John sanded the inside to clean it out (which I thought was quite clever), and brought it out west in the back of his truck. While in Vancouver, he filled it with fish in and left it at his aunt’s place until he was ready to leave. With the help of Cody, John managed to find a way to plug it in the truck, and 12 hours later, the bounty arrived frozen to our home.

Baby KomadoAlso on his trip, John acquired the newest member of our barbecue family, a mini Komado. This little guy is perfectly portable, and will certainly accompany us on our road trips. As a bonus, he heats up a lot faster than his big brother, full-sized komado. As a result, John can fire him up and have food on the table quicker than before, while using less charcoal and fuel! With just the two of us to feed, this works well as we don’t always need the full-sized komado to fit what John is grilling. While on the trip, Cody bought one too, and I received many photos of them grilling delicious and intricate meals on their matching miniature barbecues while on their climbing trip – boys will be boys!
So of all the ways to cook salmon, John’s classic cedar plank smoked salmon is my favourite. This salmon is very simple, grilled with only olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Nothing fancy. The simple ingredients really let you enjoy the taste of the salmon and the nice smoky maple or alder flavor.

If you don’t have a smoker, relax! This recipe can be done on a regular BBQ. I have to say that the maple smoke does add a lot to the dish, however it is still very nice without the smoke.

Mushroom RiceThe last time we made this salmon, we ate it with a wild mushroom rice pilaf I had purchased from the farmer’s market. The people of ‘Untamed Feast’ forage every mushroom they sell in the wild. I purchased the ‘Chanterelle Arroz,’ a Mediterranean inspired rice dish featuring their alder smoked chanterelle mushroom. The farmer’s market is over, but you can purchase their products at Save-On-Foods. Not cheap but sooo good, the flavourful wild mushrooms will blow your mind!

So John popped the salmon on his new Komado and smoked it to perfection with maple. The final product was mind blowing, some of the best salmon you will ever have. Accompanied with baked asparagus and the chanterelle rice pilaf, this was quite a lovely meal!


  • Unlike other types of smoked salmon, this dish is served warm as a dinner.
  • Be sure to smoke the cedar planks at least 10 minutes before using
  • If you don’t have a smoker, try purchasing a smoker box. They are cheap and easy to find – you can get one at Canadian Tire or Walmart for under $10.
  • The finished salmon will have a texture different then when you cook it for a short period of time at a higher temperature. As opposed to a drier, flakier fish, the fillet will be softer and moister.
  • If you are using a barbecue, be sure that you use indirect heat, lighting only one burner, the one furthest away from your salmon
  • The leftover salmon is great. Thanks to the smoke, I eat mine cold.

So whether you own a smoker, or just a regular barbecue, prepare yourself for some of the best salmon you will ever taste! This is one of my favourites for sure.

Thanks again to John for help with the recipe, and for spoiling me with the best salmon! Below, John has included instructions for both smokers and gas barbecues

Bon appetit,


Click here to view printable Word version of recipe:
Smoked Salmon Dinner


John’s Smoked Salmon Dinner

This recipe is adapted for any smoker or regular barbecue. John’s preference is the Kamado ceramic smoker.


Salmon fillet (preferably skin on)
Salt (medium grade or cracked preferred. )
Pepper (cracked preferred)
Oil, butter or both
Crushed garlic
Onions (optional)
Fresh parsley, chopped

1 cedar plank or tin foil if plank unavailable


Soak plank for at least 10 minutes, preferably 20 minutes
For tin foil, place salmon on top of foil, fold edges up to make a tray.

Place fillet skin side down direct on plank or on pre-oiled/buttered foil.

Cover fillet with all ingredients, spread out evenly over fish. Season to taste. Salt is good!

Smoker Directions:

If using smoker, smoke with alder or maple at 220 degrees, for 45 to 1.5 hours, or until salmon looks and feels done. This will vary depending on the size of the fillet.

Please note the salmon will feel softer and moister naturally due to the length of cook, as opposed to a drier flakier fish.

If using a ceramic grill, place salmon directly on diffuser/lava stone.

Gas Barbecue Directions:

Using only one burner furthest away from where the fish will be placed, adjust to get the barbecues internal temperature between 200 – 250 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, set temperature on one burner to medium.

Only one burner is on, all other burners are off!

To smoke, use a smoke box. Smoke with alder or maple chips. Place the smoke box between the burner that is on and the grill directly above.

If you don’t have a smoker box, consider purchasing one for less than ten dollars. If not, you will just have non-smoked salmon. Still good!

Cook for 45 minutes – 1.5 hours until done. Cook time will vary with the size of the fillet.

Please note the salmon will feel softer and moister naturally due to the length of cook, as opposed to a drier flakier fish.

One thought on “John’s Smoked Salmon Dinner

  1. I can vouch for this recipe for the salmon. It is our favourite way now to season our salmon. I even just use this seasoning and bake in the oven. Delicious!


Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s