Best Wood for Smoking Salmon: Alder, Apple, BBQ, Chips, Hot/Cold
Wood selection for smoking salmon would be a bit different than the other meat items. Salmons have this thick layer that can be tricky. In general, smoked salmon is one of the tastiest food items in most countries. It comes with fantastic flavor, and it is also high in protein.
Now, the problem with smoking salmon is it is quite sensitive in terms of flavor. Using the specific wood will change the taste, the character of the salmon. Depending on the wood, your salmon will have a particular feeling. So, you have to choose the right wood for smoking salmon.
- 1 Reviews of Best Wood for Smoking Salmon
- 1.1 Best Overall – Western Premium Alder BBQ Smoking Chips
- 1.2 Best Apple Wood – Weber 17139 Apple Wood Chunks
- 1.3 Best Wood Pellets for Smoking Salmon – Traeger PEL319 Hickory
- 1.4 Best Wood for Cold Smoking Salmon – Western Premium BBQ Maple Chips
- 1.5 Best Wood Chips for Smoking Salmon – Western Premium BBQ Post Oak
- 1.6 Best Peach Wood for Salmon – Western Premium Peach BBQ Smoking Chips
- 1.7 Best Smoker for Salmon – Weber 17137 Pecan Wood
- 2 How to Make Smoked Salmon with Wood Chips
- 3 Shapes of Wood Chips and How They Affect Your Smoke
How Smoke Salmon?
Salmon has the most beautiful layers of flesh, and smoking can be tricky. If you choose some hardwood, it will have a more robust smoking aroma to your salmon. Too many delicate woods cannot smoke the salmon.
I have this weak point for salmon. I go fishing a lot, and one of my prime targets would always be salmon. Also, I have done plenty of experiments with smoking, grilling, and other items as well.
In my experience, salmon is very delicate. You need to be very careful with the process. All the components should also be perfect. From the long list, today, I would try to cover the wood selection for smoking salmon.
Reviews of Best Wood for Smoking Salmon
We have selected the popular and most hyped salmon cooking woods on the market, and tasted them in house to actually see how they flavored. With our review and the analysis of market reviews we have come up with a list of woods for cooking salmon. Here are the reviews for you:
Best Overall – Western Premium Alder BBQ Smoking Chips
Let’s say you are trying to get the rich smoky flavor in your salmon. You need to get these Western Premium BBQ Products Alder BBQ Smoking Chips for your desired character. The package comes in different sizes of chunks. You will get the cherry, peach, and apple woods in the mixture.
In the alder wood, you will see the peach wood chunk. I think this is one of the best additions to the package. Peach woods have this quality to maintain the smoke. This feature is often missing from the smoking wood chips, but I think this makes a lot of difference in the process. The taste and also the cooking procedure get a lot better with the peach woods. This combination makes the whole chips pack quite perfect.
I have mostly used these chips with charcoal. The flavor gets really amazing, and the side layers are also perfect with this. I have never faced any other burnt area. Another thing I have noticed about these chips is, it never allows the pests to be in the place.
What makes it an ideal wood for smoking salmon is the overall package of utility for smoked salmon. You already have the idea of the bad smell they can cause. Luckily, this is not a problem with these chips. This is undoubtedly one of the best wood chips for smoking salmon.
- Sizeable chunk of alder wood
- Does a great job in smoking fish
- One of the best wood for smoking
- Comes with different kinds of woods.
- It includes peach wood.
- If not careful, it can make a delightful flavor.
Best Apple Wood – Weber 17139 Apple Wood Chunks
Let’s check out this Weber 17139 Apple Wood Chunks. An ideal pick for salmon, pork, chicken, and more. I would consider this more of a sweet flavored wood chunk. In my experience, it provides a delightful mild sweet flavor to the meat. The wood chunks come in convenient sizes for your grill.
You can even make smaller pieces as well. It does an excellent job of smoking fish, meat with giving a pleasing smell of apple. There are few other options as weber comes with Cherry wood chunks, Weber 17137 Pecan Chunks, and Beech Wood Smoker Chips. You just need to select what suits your hot smoked salmon.
If you are looking for apple wood for smoking salmon for several selections of smoked items, it can be your option. This is an excellent option for the meats and one of the best fruit woods for smoking fish. You can experiment with so many things with these chips as well.
These wood chunks are mostly apple woods and a few combinations. For mild flavor and more robust flavor, you need to decide the quantity and the time length. I like the fruity character that it can make. The basic options would be charcoal and gas. Besides the salmon, it works amazingly with the ham.
- It comes in a bigger chunk size.
- The Flavor Profile of the types of wood is perfect
- Amazing option for smoking salmon.
- Clean and reusable cherry for delicious smoked fish.
- Comes with a subtle sweet flavor
- It can supply the smoke for a longer time.
- Sometimes, the chunk sizes are too big.
Best Wood Pellets for Smoking Salmon – Traeger PEL319 Hickory
If you want to get rid of the acidic smell and have something original, then you can check the hickory wood option. Traeger PEL319 Hickory 100% All-Natural Hardwood Grill Pellets will be my first choice to use the pellets.
This hickory cooking pellet has exceedingly sliced up pieces. The hardwood taste would be one of the best things you can get. You can hot smoke salmon with pure wood flavor. These pallets have a pure flavor for your smoking experience.
I always have this concern about having an acidic smell. A lot of pellets have this problem. Luckily, these pellets have this amazing quality that doesn’t let your meat get smelly. You have this fantastic blue smoke in all of your items. To me, this is one of the best qualities.
Another fantastic thing is the quality of these pallets. You will find nothing but the original wood in the package. You know your grilling, smoking, or baking experience will be useful when you have all the natural forests.
The experiments are endless with this product. You can use this for beef, salmon, vegetables, pork, and chickens as well—definitely one of the best wood flavors for smoking salmon.
- Only original wood inclusion.
- You will have amazing flavor for smoking the salmon
- It can be used for different purposes.
- The wood ensures the perfect smoke for baking, grilling, or smoking.
- Sometimes, the materials are not that great.
Best Wood for Cold Smoking Salmon – Western Premium BBQ Maple Chips
Now I will be talking about one of the best woods for cold smoking salmon. These maple wood chips are from Western. Western is one of my favorite brands for choosing woods. They have plenty of products just for smoking purposes, and I have a few on this list as well. Let me tell you about these maple chips.
These chips are a perfect combination of maple woods. You can use your grill, gas smoker, or any other smoker. What makes this the best wood for cold smoking salmon is its flavor.
Maple is a great flavor. A lot of meat selections taste amazing with this. Personally, this is one of my favorite flavors. When you can get the flavor from the smoke, it stays with the food for a longer time. This fantastic wood chip can make your salmon way too tasty.
This package has an adequate amount of chips for your next barbeque. You can use these chips for hams, chickens, pork, or even steaks. It provides a sweet flavor to your meat or fishes.
• Fantastic maple flavor.
• You will have the perfect smoke.
• It can be used with gas, electric smoker, and charcoal.
I found using these chips very easy
• It takes less time to start smoking.
• Sometimes, there is less flavor in the chips.
Best Wood Chips for Smoking Salmon – Western Premium BBQ Post Oak
Let me introduce another Western product. They are fantastic for their flavors and constant smoking capability. This time I will be talking about this Western Premium BBQ Products Post Oak BBQ Smoking Chips. This is so far one of the best wood chips for smoking salmon, in my opinion.
Barbeque requires a different kind of arrangement. It can be both wood selections and smoker selection. Luckily, Post Oak BBQ smoking chips from Western have this fantastic flavor. Who doesn’t love the smell of a good barbeque? When you have the facility of a great smelling BBQ smoke directly from the wood chips, the taste gets a lot better. The smoking chips would be a perfect element in the process.
These chips are made with original oak woods and a few combinations. Oakwood is one of the toughest lumber. As a result, you are getting a consistent amount of smoke with fewer few of wood chips. You can use charcoal, grill, and other options as well.
- BBQ flavored chips.
- You will have the best flavor for a fish
- These chips are easy to smoke.
- I found it rather easy to process
- Oakwoods for a better smoke.
• Sometimes, the chips don’t provide the BBQ flavor.
Best Peach Wood for Salmon – Western Premium Peach BBQ Smoking Chips
Another Western BBQ product on my list. This time, it is a peach wood product. A block of peach wood is another fantastic choice of wood for the smoking chips or the smoking woods in general. Peachwood is not quite as dense as the oak, but it has a substantial fruit tree level of qualities. Like wood chips, it works perfectly. It is without any doubt one of the best BBQ woods chips for smoking fish.
Specific to these wood chips, I would consider the strong flavor it provides. One fantastic selection for smoking salmon, ham, or pork. Depending on the quantity of the food item, you need to arrange the wood chips. Luckily, these chips take a bit of time to start smoking.
These peach wood chips have this amazing BBQ flavor for any kind of meat. You can select pork, fish, chicken, even vegetables as well. With the proper use of honey and other ingredients, you can have the tastiest food item. Another amazing thing is these wood chips come from just peach woods. It doesn’t have any other ingredients.
- Sweet flavored BBQ taste.
- Perfect wood for smoking salmon with meats
- It comes in convenient sizes.
- It can be used in several smokers.
• Sometimes, no flavor is found in the food items.
Best Smoker for Salmon – Weber 17137 Pecan Wood
I want to finish my list with this Weber product. There are a lot of options from Weber, but I am choosing this specific wood chunk. Weber 17137 Pecan Wood has the best wood flavor for smoking salmon. Using the chunks for salmon smoking would be great. I would suggest you have the smoky taste from these wood chips.
This package comes with neatly sliced wood chips and no sawdust at all for smoked salmon. All the pieces are nicely chopped. For instant smoke, this wood chip can be a perfect pick.
You will have a strong aroma around the fish and a sweet taste as well. This is something you would not miss for heat-treated salmon. You burn slowly to get the best out of the fish.
The package is ideal for any kind of barbeque or smoking day. There is enough wood for your preparation. The wood chips don’t take much time, and you will get the smoke quite instantly. You can use gas, electric smokers, and grills. Possibilities are also open for any kind of experiment.
• It provides a more robust and tastier flavor to your meal.
• It doesn’t have any mixture of woods.
Perfect for heat-treated salmon
• It has an instant smoking facility.
• Sometimes, the wood chips burn too fast.
How to Make Smoked Salmon with Wood Chips
Mix the fish with the ingredients
First of all, you need to make a brine with all the necessary ingredients. You will need garlic, onion paste, bay leaves, sugar, salt, black pepper, butter, and water. Mix them all up. Make sure all the ingredients get mixed up nicely. When the brine is done, place the sliced fishes in the container. Use a plastic or glass container. You can quickly marinate, and it will not get mixed up with the container material.
Cure the fish
This part is a bit time-consuming. You need to cure the fish slices in the mix. This provides the necessary elements and moisture in the layers. It takes around six to seven hours. Depending on the thickness of the fish slices, it can be more or less than that. I love fishing with the best panfish setup and panfishes are something that needs proper cleaning for their thickness.
Make sure it doesn’t stay for a shorter period. Also, waiting might be harmful as well. You need to be specific for the time. As soon as it gets all mixed up, go for the next step.
Dye the fish
Dying fish cured fish is significant. Your pieces might be mixed up real well, but you need to have more sticky layers on them. Without air dying, the ingredients can fall off while smoking. You need this layer to smoke the fish entirely. Air dying is pretty straightforward. You can easily keep the container on a smoking rib rack and let them dye.
Just get the layers in a place with enough air circulation. Keep the container for at least one to two hours. It will give you a smooth and sticky coating in pieces.
Prepare the smoker
Depending on the selection, you need to prepare your smoking equipment for heat-treated or smoked fish. How much fish are you planning to smoke? How much wood might you need? These are the things you need to consider before starting to heat the smoker.
Another relevant piece of advice is don’t overheat the smoker. It will not bring any good taste.
Select the right wood
Selecting the wood would be very crucial for your fish selection and fillets. If you have the sliced thinner pieces, you can use any kind of fruitwood. Applewood, oaks, or hickory are great options. You can use the chunks or the peddles, depending on what type of taste you want.
Fix the temperature
You might need to have a stable temperature throughout the whole smoking procedure. Now here is the thing, you should never make the temperature unstable while cooking. Salmon is very delicate. Even a very little time of overheating can change a lot.
Smoke the fish
There can be two options depending on the circumstances. You can either do cold smoking or hot smoking. Hot smoking is as plain and straightforward as it sounds. You get the grill or the smoker rack. Heat it and do the necessary.
On the other hand, Cold smoking means you don’t get the temperature higher. Instead, you keep the fish quiet in a raw flavor. It doesn’t require heating or extra cooking. Put honey to get the proper taste.
Get Rid of The Overcooked Area
Make sure you don’t overheat the smoker. The heat can be uncertain from time to time. If you see any layer gets a bit overcooked, turn it on the other side. Slowly take the overcooked area off. It takes time to be in that position. So, I would recommend being careful in the first place.
Store the Fish
After you are done with the smoking, carefully take the slices in another container. Cool them down for a few minutes. You can check the taste and the texture at that time. You can store the fishes in the refrigerator. It can stay in shape for a long time.
Differences Between Hot-Smoked and Cold-Smoked Salmon?
People try different things with salmon to get the best taste out of it. Some try different types of wood options, and some try different methods. While some try hot smoking; some would pick the cold smoked salmons. Hot smoked salmon is prepared in salt water before going to the heat. Some would try wet brine for the thing.
You can smoke salmon at a high temperature from 120-125 degrees Fahrenheit. After being cured for the cold smoking of salmon, it will be smoked at a lower temperature, not more than 90 degrees overnight, so the smell does not go away.
Shapes of Wood Chips and How They Affect Your Smoke
It can provide heat and smoke at the same time simultaneously. This selection would be the most significant wood piece. Hardwood or fruitwood can be ideal picks for collecting logs. It has the capability of burning for a longer time and provides the thickest smoke.
For the highest temperature for smoking, logs are an ideal pick. You will need a bigger grill to use logs. The logs come 15 to 18 inches in size. So, you need to take place for them. Logs are more durable and more extensive.
This selection would be almost similar to the logs. They just have a perfect rectangular. For commercial usage and better placement issues, manufacturers try to give the logs a more convenient form. Squogs are the result of that. If you compare them with the logs, they bring some advantages.
For starters, they have the calculated shape. Another thing is they don’t have any extra layers. They produce thicker and stronger smoke.
Chunks are comparatively smaller than the logs, but they have thickness. You have the time and consistency at the same place. It takes a bit less time to burn out than the woods. It comes 4 to 5 inches in size. For the size, they are easy to use. Chunks can be used in multiple places, and you can store them easily. If you have the salmon or the sliced steak to make, wood would be your perfect selection. Wood chunks are great for smoking. They produce enough amount of steady smoke.
This selection is excellent for so many levels. They burn quite fast and make a consistent smoke supply. You need to add wood chips simultaneously for a better result. You must know that various smoking procedures require wood chips with more extensive wood options.
Another convenient option from the manufacturers. Wood disks have a circular structure. A lot of sawdust is compressed to make this kind of shape. This is an ideal pick for a limited smoking area. You can use charcoal or an electric smoker for smoking. This is also a smaller piece of wood. So, you might need to add more disks when you grill or smoke.
Wood pellets are fantastic for instant smoking capability. The size of the wood pellets is close to ½ inch long but has a pencil lid thickness. To make wood pellets, a lot of wet sawdust is compressed and made into little shapes. The pellets are amazing for several cooking options. Sometimes this is the only option for the smaller cooking area. This selection provides instant smoke. You don’t need to wait even for minutes. Also, you have the adjusting benefit here. You can add more pellets to the smoker if required.
This is the simplest and rarely used wood selection. For the size, sawdust is seldom used in smoking. It cannot make much difference in thicker meats, but sawdust can help when you are smoking thin layered beef or salmon. It can also be used with more significant selections.
Choosing the best wood for smoking can be tough. Sometimes there are plenty of options. Get your food selections right in the first place. How do you want your salmon to taste? It depends on not only your wood selections but also the other components. Make sure you have your requirements right and have an amazing salmon smoking experience.