This maple mustard smoked salmon is tender, flakey, and full of flavor. Marinate the salmon filet in a simple mustard marinade, smoke the filet, and you are all set to serve this maple mustard smoked salmon as an appetizer or the main dish.
Delicious Maple Mustard Smoked Salmon
This smoked salmon recipe is the sister recipe of our basic dry rub smoked salmon recipe. Rather than a dry rub, this salmon recipe uses a marinade and it leaves you with a slightly more tender and moist salmon that is just as flakey and delicious.
Why you’ll love it!
Reasons why you’ll love it.
It is a delicious balance of savory and sweet with the combination of maple and mustard.
Smoking salmon after letting it sit in a marinade adds so much flavor you wont’ believe it.
All of the featured ingredients for this smoked salmon recipe are in the title! Salmon, mustard, and maple syrup work together to add so much flavor and tenderness to this salmon.
- Salmon Filet: when in doubt, buy good salmon. We love Surrender Salmon because it’s wild-caught, Alaskan salmon that is flash-frozen the day it’s caught!
- Mustard: we love the combination of savory and sweet. The mustard adds a bit of vinegar and that mustard flavor that pairs so well with salmon.
- Maple Syrup: the sweetness of this dish comes from a little maple syrup. It adds flavor and a little caramelization to the salmon filet during the smoke time.
- Salt: don’t skip the salt! The salt gets the juices flowing in the salmon and enhances all of the flavors of other ingredients.
Try Surrender Salmon!
Our all-time favorite salmon is Surrender Salmon. They catch wild-Alaskan salmon off of Bristol Bay in Alaska. The salmon is bright orange, so flakey and delicious, and truly the best.
Surrender Salmon is a family-run company based here in Minneapolis and they are good friends of ours! Support a local business if you can.
- Remove moisture: first, pat the salmon dry to remove any excess moisture.
- Make the dry rub: whisk all the ingredients for the salmon marinade together in a large dish with sides. Place the salmon into the marinade and roll the salmon filet around a couple of times to coat the salmon.
- Refrigerate: place the salmon in the fridge for around 1 hour.
- Smoke: let the salmon rest on the counter for 10 minutes while your smoker preheats to 225ºF. Place the salmon on the smoker skin side down and save the marinade. PS: we used Traeger’s signature blend pellets. Smoke for 1 hour.
- Brush with marinade: brush the salmon with the excess marinade after 1 hour.
- Up temp: up the temperature of the smoker to 375ºF and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Let rest: remove the salmon once the internal temp reaches 145ºF – 150ºF. Then, let rest for 5-10 minutes before digging in.
Make sure your smoker always has pellets. The last thing you need is for your smoker to run out of pellets during the cook time. Be sure you fill your pellet box or that you always have soaked wood chips on hand to keep that smoker going.
Don’t skip the high heat at the end. For the last 10 minutes of smoking we have you up the heat. Don’t skip it! It will help crisp up the edges and top of the salmon.
Manage the internal temp. Be sure you are checking the internal temperature of the salmon filet a few times towards the end of the smoke time to be sure its not overcooking.
We recommend using Traeger’s signature blend. But any flavor would work.
Smoked salmon is cooked and not raw. If made correctly, the internal temperature of your salmon should reach 145ºF – 150ºF, a safe eating temperature for fish.
Smoked salmon is high in protein and packed with omega-3 fatty acids making it a healthy option.
The best way to eat smoked salmon is with crackers, on a bagel, or in a smoked salmon dip.
Due to the nature of fish cooking quickly, salmon only needs to cook for around 1 hour and 15 minutes to be safe to eat.
A 1/2-lb. filet of salmon should take around 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cook salmon until it reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF-150ºF.
Store leftover smoked salmon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
- Tightly the chilled smoked salmon in tin foil.
- Freeze for up to 3 months
To thaw: let your frozen salmon in the fridge for 24 hours or on the countertop for about 3-5.
Maple Mustard Smoked Salmon
- Pat the salmon filet with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture from the salmon. Set aside.
- Add the maple syrup, mustard, garlic powder, and coarse sea salt to a bowl and whisk the ingredients together.
- Place the salmon in a gallon bag or a deep dish and pour the marinade over the salmon. If you are placing the salmon in a deep dish, be sure the salmon is skin side up so the meat is sitting in the marinade.
- Place the salmon in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
- Preheat the smoker to 225ºF and remove the salmon from the refrigerator. Let the salmon sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- When the smoker is ready, remove the salmon from the marinade, allowing excess marinade to drop off the salmon. Set marinade aside for later.
- Place the salmon filet skin side down to the smoker and smoke the salmon for 1 hour at 225ºF.
- After 1 hour of smoking, brush the salmon filet with the remaining marinade and increase the smoker temperature to 375ºF and smoke the salmon filet for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the salmon from the smoker when the internal temperature reaches 145-150ºF.
- Let the salmon rest for 15 minutes.
- Eat immediately or place the salmon in the refrigerator to cool and serve cold.
Tips & Notes
- This recipe uses a wet brine (or marinade) before smoking. It will not look as “dried out” as a dry brine.
- Feel free to use any type of pellet that you would like in your smoker. We used Traeger’s classic pellet mix.
- We crank up the heat right at the end to caramelize the glaze.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.