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Cider Hot-Smoked Salmon

Cider Hot-Smoked Salmon

By Traeger Kitchen

This recipe for Cider Hot-Smoked Salmon is perfectly timed for cooler weather and comforting food.

Prep Time

25 Min

Cook Time

1 Hr




This recipe serves:


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Units of Measurement:
1 (1 1/4-1 1/2 lb) center-cut salmon fillet, skin-on, preferably wild-caught
12 Ounce bottle hard cider, or 1 1/2 cups apple juice or cider
3 juniper berries, lightly crushed, or 2 Tbsp of gin
1 Pieces Star Anise, Broken
1 bay leaf, coarsely crumbled
1/2 Cup kosher salt
1/4 Cup light or dark brown sugar
2 Teaspoon Traeger Blackened Saskatchewan Rub, or your favorite barbecue rub
1 Teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


  • 1

    Rinse the salmon fillet under cold running water and check for pin bones by running a finger over the fleshy part of the fillet. If you feel a bone, remove it with kitchen tweezers or needle-nose pliers.

  • 2

    Make the brine. In a sturdy resealable plastic bag, combine the cider, juniper berries, star anise, and bay leaf.

  • 3

    Add the salmon fillet to the brine, seal the bag and place the bag in a bowl or pan in the refrigerator. Brine for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

  • 4

    Remove the salmon from the bag and discard the cider mixture. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels.

  • 5

    Make the cure. In a small mixing bowl, combine the kosher salt, brown sugar, and Traeger Blackened Saskatchewan Rub. Pour half into a shallow plate, or baking dish.

  • 6

    Put the salmon fillet, skin-side down, on top of the cure. Generously sprinkle the top with the remaining cure, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-1 1/2 hours. Any longer, and the fish will get too salty.

  • 7

    Remove the salmon from the cure and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the black pepper on top of the fillet.

  • 8

    When ready to cook, set the Traeger temperature to 220˚F and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes. For optimal flavor, use Super Smoke, if available.

    220 ˚F / 104 ˚C

    Super Smoke

  • 9

    Insert the probe horizontally into the center of the filet. Place the salmon skin-side down directly on the grill grates. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 150˚F or the fish flakes easily when pressed with a finger or fork.

    220 ˚F / 104 ˚C

    150 ˚F / 66 ˚C


    Super Smoke

  • 10

    Remove the salmon from the grill and let cool slightly. Turn the fillet over and remove the skin; it should come off in one piece. If not serving immediately, allow the salmon cool completely, then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Enjoy!

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