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Closeup of flaked, cooked hot smoked salmon

Traeger Smoked Salmon

Author: Louisa Clements
5 from 3 votes
Learn how to make an easy Traeger smoked salmon with a delicious homemade dry brine. This fish can be made with any smoker or pellet grill. Full of flavour and so easy to make, this will become a summer staple.
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Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
Brining and drying16 hours
Total: 17 hours 35 minutes
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Servings: 4


  • 2.5 lbs salmon fillet, skin-on
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced rosemary


  • Combine the sugar, salt, black pepper and rosemary in a small bowl. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap on a baking sheet–this piece needs to be large enough to wrap up your piece of salmon.
  • Spread half the mixture, in the size and shape of your salmon fillet, on the plastic wrap. Lay your salmon fillet, skin side down on top of the mixture. Top the other half with the remaining mixture, spreading evenly over fish. Fold up the edges and wrap tightly.
  • Place another baking sheet on top of the salmon with some heavy cans to weigh down the salmon slightly. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
  • After your fish is cured, you’ll need to let it dry out overnight to create the pellicle. Unwrap fish carefully, you’ll notice that there is a lot of extra moisture in the plastic wrap. Completely rinse the dry brine mixture off the salmon and pat dry.
  • Place salmon on a wire rack on your baking sheet, and dry out overnight (about 8-12 hours) in the fridge.
  • Preheat your pellet grill to 225F. Once preheated, place salmon, skin-side down on grill. Cover and cook for about 90 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 140F (it will continue cooking slightly when you remove it from the heat).


  1. Don’t over-brine or you’ll risk ending up with something that is way too salty.
  2. Rinse the dry brine off of the fish before drying it out in the fridge overnight. When you’re rinsing it, you may not feel like you’ve removed all of it, but that’s ok! Just rinse as much as you can.
  3. The dry brine will completely change the texture and colour of your fish. You’ll end up with salmon that is much deeper in colour and also has hardened. These are good signs that your salmon has brined for enough time. 
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