How Long to Smoke Salmon in Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

Are you wondering how long it takes to smoke salmon in your Masterbuilt electric smoker? Look no further! In this article, we’ll provide you with the answers you need.

We’ll guide you through each step of the process, from preparing the salmon to checking for doneness. By following our concise and clear instructions, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly smoked salmon in no time.

So, let’s get started!

Preparing the Salmon

To prepare the salmon, you’ll need to season it with your favorite spices and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. This step is crucial as it allows the flavors to penetrate the fish and enhance its taste.

When it comes to smoking techniques, there are a few options to choose from. One popular method is cold smoking, which involves smoking the fish at a low temperature for a longer period of time. This technique imparts a delicate smoky flavor to the salmon without fully cooking it.

Another technique is hot smoking, where the fish is smoked at a higher temperature, resulting in a fully cooked and flaky texture. Both methods have their own unique benefits and flavor variations. For example, you can experiment with different wood chips, such as hickory or applewood, to add different layers of smokiness to your salmon.

Additionally, you can try using different spice rubs or marinades to further enhance the flavor profile of the fish. Whether you prefer a subtle smoky taste or a bolder flavor, there are endless possibilities when it comes to smoking techniques and flavor variations for your salmon.

Brining the Salmon

Brining the salmon is essential for achieving the best flavor and texture. To start, you’ll need to prepare a brine solution. A basic brine consists of water, salt, and sugar. You can also add other ingredients like spices or herbs to enhance the flavor. Once your brine is ready, place the salmon fillets in a container and pour the brine over them. Make sure the salmon is fully submerged in the brine.

The brining time will depend on the size and thickness of the fillets. As a general guideline, brine the salmon for about 1 hour per inch of thickness. For example, if your fillets are 1 inch thick, brine them for 1 hour, and if they are 2 inches thick, brine them for 2 hours. During the brining process, the salt in the brine helps to draw out moisture from the salmon, while the sugar adds a touch of sweetness. This helps to infuse the salmon with flavor and also helps to firm up the texture.

After brining, rinse the salmon fillets thoroughly to remove any excess salt and sugar. Now you’re ready to move on to the next step in smoking your salmon.

When it comes to smoking salmon, the choice of wood chips can make a big difference in the final flavor. There are several different types of wood chips that you can use, each with its own unique characteristics. Some popular options include apple, hickory, and mesquite.

Apple wood chips provide a mild and slightly sweet flavor, which pairs well with the natural richness of salmon. Hickory wood chips, on the other hand, impart a stronger and more robust smoky flavor, adding depth to the salmon. Mesquite wood chips have a bold and intense flavor, perfect for those who enjoy a strong smoky taste.

Experiment with different types of wood chips to find your favorite flavor combination. When using wood chips in your electric smoker, soak them in water for about 30 minutes before adding them to the smoker box. This helps to create more smoke and prevents the chips from burning too quickly.

Seasoning the Salmon

Once the salmon has been thoroughly rinsed, it’s time to season it with your desired flavors. This step is crucial in enhancing the taste of your smoked salmon. Before we dive into the seasoning process, let’s take a moment to understand the importance of smoke flavor and wood chips.

Smoke flavor plays a significant role in giving your salmon that irresistible smoky taste. It adds depth and enhances the overall experience of eating smoked salmon. Wood chips, on the other hand, are responsible for producing the smoke that infuses the salmon with its distinct flavor. Different types of wood chips, such as hickory, apple, or cedar, can be used to achieve different flavors.

Now, let’s move on to seasoning the salmon. The table below provides a simple guide on popular seasonings and their recommended quantities for a 2-pound salmon fillet:

Seasoning Quantity
Salt 1 tablespoon
Black Pepper 1 teaspoon
Garlic Powder 1 teaspoon

Feel free to experiment with other spices and herbs to create a flavor profile that suits your taste. Once the salmon is seasoned, it’s ready to be placed in the smoker, where the magic of smoke and wood chips will transform it into a delicious smoked salmon delicacy.

Preheating the Smoker

Before you begin smoking your salmon, it’s important to preheat the smoker to the optimal temperature. Preheating ensures that the smoker reaches the desired heat level, allowing for a consistent cooking environment.

The recommended preheating time will depend on the type of smoker you’re using, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for best results.

Optimal Preheating Temperature

To achieve the best results, it’s important to maintain the optimal preheating temperature for your Masterbuilt electric smoker when smoking salmon. Proper preheating ensures that the smoker is ready to provide the ideal cooking conditions for your fish. The table below provides some preheating techniques and temperature control tips to help you achieve the optimal preheating temperature:

Preheating Technique Temperature Control
Preheat for 15-20 minutes Set the temperature to the desired level and wait for the smoker to reach it.
Use a digital thermometer Monitor the smoker’s internal temperature to ensure it remains steady throughout the preheating process.
Adjust vents and dampers Control the airflow to maintain a consistent temperature inside the smoker.

Importance of Preheating

Make sure you understand the importance of preheating for optimal cooking results.

Preheating your oven or grill before cooking has several benefits. Firstly, it ensures that your food cooks evenly and thoroughly, preventing undercooked or overcooked spots.

Secondly, preheating helps to create a crisp exterior and a juicy interior, enhancing the overall texture and taste of your dishes.

Additionally, preheating allows for more accurate cooking times, as the temperature is already at the desired level when you put your food in.

However, there are some common mistakes that people make when preheating. One mistake is not giving the oven or grill enough time to reach the desired temperature.

Another mistake is not preheating at all, which can result in uneven cooking.

To achieve the best results, always follow the recommended preheating times and temperatures for your specific cooking appliance.

Preheating Time Recommendations

Now that you understand the importance of preheating your Masterbuilt electric smoker, let’s talk about the recommended preheating time.

Following these preheating techniques and using the right preheating equipment will ensure that your smoker is ready to go and will provide you with the best results for smoking salmon.

Here are some recommended preheating times for different types of Masterbuilt electric smokers:

  1. Masterbuilt 30-inch electric smoker: Preheat for 30 minutes at 225°F (107°C).
  2. Masterbuilt 40-inch electric smoker: Preheat for 40 minutes at 225°F (107°C).
  3. Masterbuilt Bluetooth electric smoker: Preheat for 30 minutes at 225°F (107°C).
  4. Masterbuilt 30-inch digital electric smoker: Preheat for 30 minutes at 225°F (107°C).

Smoking Time for Fresh Salmon

When it comes to smoking fresh salmon, it’s important to know the optimal smoking duration to achieve the desired doneness. Factors such as the thickness of the salmon fillets, the temperature of the smoker, and the type of wood chips used can all affect the smoking time.

Optimal Smoking Duration

To achieve the best results for smoking salmon in your Masterbuilt electric smoker, you’ll want to aim for an optimal smoking duration. This will not only ensure that the smoke flavor intensity is just right, but also prevent overcooking. Here are some tips to help you achieve that perfect balance:

  • Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the salmon throughout the smoking process. The ideal temperature should be around 145°F (63°C).

  • Start with a preheated smoker set to a temperature of 225°F (107°C). This will ensure a consistent and even cooking temperature.

  • Estimate a smoking time of approximately 30 minutes per pound of salmon. However, it’s essential to keep an eye on the internal temperature and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

  • Consider using a brine or dry rub to enhance the flavor and texture of the salmon.

  • Remember to let the salmon rest for a few minutes after smoking to allow the juices to redistribute.

Factors Affecting Smoking Time

Factors that can affect the smoking time of your salmon in the Masterbuilt electric smoker include the thickness of the fillets and the temperature of the smoker.

Thicker fillets will require more time to smoke, while thinner ones will smoke faster. It is important to monitor the smoker temperature to ensure that it stays within the recommended range.

The ideal temperature for smoking salmon is usually around 225°F. You can control the smoker temperature by adjusting the settings on the electric smoker.

Additionally, the type of wood chips you use can also impact the smoking time and flavor. Different types of wood chips, such as hickory or apple, can add distinct flavors to your smoked salmon.

Experimenting with different wood chips can help you find your preferred taste.

Achieving Desired Doneness

Achieving the desired doneness of your smoked salmon can be influenced by factors such as thickness and smoker temperature. To achieve consistency in your smoked salmon, it is important to adjust the smoking time accordingly.

Thicker cuts of salmon will require a longer smoking time to ensure that the fish is fully cooked and infused with the smoky flavor. On the other hand, thinner cuts of salmon will require less time in the smoker to prevent overcooking.

Additionally, the smoker temperature plays a crucial role in achieving the desired doneness. Higher temperatures will result in a quicker cooking time, while lower temperatures will require a longer cooking time.

Smoking Time for Frozen Salmon

When smoking frozen salmon in your Masterbuilt electric smoker, you’ll want to thaw it first to ensure even cooking. Here are some important tips to keep in mind for smoking time:

  1. Smoking time for canned salmon: Canned salmon is already cooked, so smoking is mainly done to enhance the flavors. Smoke it for about 1 to 2 hours at a temperature of 225°F (107°C). This will allow the smoke to penetrate the fish without overcooking it.

  2. Smoking time for salmon fillets: For fresh or thawed salmon fillets, the smoking time will vary depending on their thickness. As a general rule, smoke the fillets at a temperature of 225°F (107°C) for approximately 30 to 60 minutes. Thinner fillets will require less time, while thicker ones will need more time to cook through.

  3. Use a meat thermometer: To ensure that your salmon is cooked to the desired doneness, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The salmon should reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for safe consumption.

  4. Adjust smoking time to personal preference: The smoking time mentioned above is a starting point. You can adjust it based on your personal preference for the level of smokiness and doneness you desire. Remember to monitor the cooking process closely to avoid overcooking the salmon.

Checking for Doneness

Now that you know how long it takes to smoke frozen salmon in your Masterbuilt electric smoker, it’s important to know how to check if it’s done.

When checking for doneness, there are a few signs to look out for to ensure your salmon is cooked to perfection.

First, the internal temperature of the salmon should reach 145°F (63°C). You can use a meat thermometer to measure this. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the salmon, making sure not to touch the bone. Once it reaches the desired temperature, you can be confident that your salmon is cooked through.

Another way to check if the salmon is done is by observing its texture. Cooked salmon should be flaky and opaque. You can gently separate the flakes with a fork to see if they easily come apart. If the salmon is still translucent and the flakes are not easily separated, it needs more time to cook.

Lastly, the color of the salmon can also indicate doneness. Fully cooked salmon will have a vibrant pink or coral color, depending on the species. If the salmon looks pale and raw in the center, it needs more time on the smoker.


In conclusion, smoking salmon in a Masterbuilt electric smoker is a simple and delicious way to enjoy this flavorful fish. By following the steps of preparing, brining, seasoning, and preheating, you can achieve a perfectly smoked salmon.

The smoking time will vary depending on whether you are using fresh or frozen salmon. Remember to check for doneness by ensuring the internal temperature reaches 145°F.

With a little time and effort, you can enjoy a tasty smoked salmon that will impress your friends and family.