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    How to make a Homemade Smoked Salmon Platter Recipe

    Published June 11, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Impress your guests with this homemade smoked salmon platter that is loaded with vegetables, crackers, cheeses, and spreads.  Learn how to smoke salmon right in your backyard!

    How to make a Homemade Smoked Salmon Platter Recipe with assorted vegetables and cheeses

    If you love smoked salmon and are just dying to try it at home, well now here’s your chance.  Obviously, at the very least you will need a charcoal grill to be able to do this, and at most, if you’re a lazy bum like me you will have a digital smoker where all you do is press a button and walk away.  Regardless of whether it is a homemade smoked salmon or even just a simple authentic lasagna bolognese, food just tastes better when it’s homemade from scratch.

    The same smoking method that we’ll use for this can be applied to trout or other fish that you’d like to try and smoke.  Since we are making a homemade smoked salmon platter, I’m going to be using 2 sides of salmon because we are serving this up to over 20 people as an appetizer.

    When serving homemade smoked salmon as an appetizer, figure about 2 to 3 ounces of pre smoked salmon per guest.  This will help you determine how much raw salmon needs to be purchased.

    smoked salmon platter with assorted toppings and dippers

    How to Smoke Salmon

    The most important thing when it comes to smoking salmon is going to be the temperature at which you are smoking and how to regulate and hold that temperature.  The beautiful thing about smoking salmon is that it doesn’t take long because salmon is fairly thing and extremely permeable allowing lots of delicious smoke to encompass it in a short amount of time.

    Step 1: Brush the skin on salmon with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.

    Step 2: Using either lump charcoal or a smoking wood such as hickory, on one side of your grill light a few coals or small pieces of wood and then cover it with a few handfuls of coal or wood.  Cover with the top to the grill and the vent completely open. NOTE: You are looking to keep this grill a little cooler than normal temperature for smoking, around 200° t0 225° because it cooks so quickly but you still want to incorporate as much smoke as possible.

    Step 3: Once your grill is holding at around 200°, quickly remove the top, add on your grill grate and place the salmon skin-side down right on the grates where no coals or wood are below it.  You want to put whatever you are smoking on the other side of the grill so that the hot coals underneath do not cook the bottom of the salmon.

    Step 4: Smoke the salmon for about 90 minutes but no more than 2 hours.

    Step 5: Remove from the smoker and serve on a platter with assorted dippers and sides.

    sides of salmon in parchment seasoned with salt and pepper

    Homemade Smoked Salmon Platter

    You first eat with your eyes, so when it comes to this smoked salmon platter you can see that it is absolutely beautiful with tons of different delicious ingredients in it.  This part is a bit up to you, but I’ll walk you through what I found leftover in my refrigerator at the end of the week that well just needed to be eaten up.

    As you can see from the pictures there are a ton of random ingredients on this smoked salmon platter but I think that’s what makes it is so incredibly interesting.  Your platter does not at all have to look anything like mine.  In fact, I want to challenge you to dig in your refrigerator and take a look around at what you have on hands or just have a handful left that aren’t going to get used in anything else.

    For me I had a bunch of :

    • random crackers and bread
    • a handful of spinach and roasted mushrooms
    • 1/2 a cucumber
    • 1/2 a bunch of roasted asparagus
    • 1/2 a jar of pickles
    • 10 hard-boiled eggs
    • 1/2 thinly sliced red onion
    • 4 radishes which I thinly sliced
    • lemon slices
    • whipped cream cheese
    • goat cheese seasoned it with salt and fresh dill and rolled it into a ball
    • olives
    • capers
    • a few tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese
    • mustard
    • baby bell peppers and Roma tomatoes

    A lot of randomnesses, I know.

     

    smoked salmon on a sheet tray with vegetables, cheeses and bread

    All I did was roast up the peppers and tomatoes in the oven for about 30 minutes on 350°.  The beautiful thing about this is that you could absolutely leave the tomatoes and peppers raw and serve them and it would still be amazing.  I was always told you are only ever limited by your creativity, so looking past the smoked salmon crack open your refrigerator and cupboards, see what you got and get to cooking!

    Please remember that when it comes to using any fish make sure that it is sustainable and if you’re unsure then check out this link at http://www.seafoodwatch.org/.

    large platter with smoked fish, bread, lemons, vegetables and cheese

    Recipe Chef Notes + Tips

    • Woods that are good for smoking salmon are apple, alder, cherry, and hickory.
    • Other items you can add in addition to salt and pepper would be paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, dry oregano, and sugar.
    • Smoke will start to pour out of the top vent at around 150° to 160° and a thin blue stream of smoke should flow through regularly once it is to the desired temperature.
    • If using a digital smoker or a pellet grill simply hold the smoker between 200° to 225°.
    • If using a cold smoker attachment, smoke for up to 2 hours on cold smoke and 1 hour of hot smoke in between 200° to 225°.
    • Be sure not to overcook the salmon as it will become very dry very quickly.
    • If you are worried you have overcooked your salmon, once you remove it from the grill wrap it in foil and let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes so that it will collect moisture.

    More Seafood Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    How to Make a Homemade Smoked Salmon Platter Recipe

    Learn How to Make a Homemade Smoked Salmon Platter Recipe that is loaded with roasted vegetables and cheeses!
    Servings: 20
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 2 hours

    Ingredients 

    For the Salmon:

    • 2 sides of fresh wild-caught salmon, skin on
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
    • Optional woods: hickory, maple, pecan, apple or cherry

    For the Accompaniments:

    • sliced red onions
    • hard boiled eggs
    • lemon wedges
    • pumpernickel bread, sliced
    • baby spinach
    • whipped cream cheese
    • sliced radishes
    • marinated or roasted mushrooms
    • green olives
    • Kalamata lives
    • grainy mustard
    • sliced cucumbers
    • raw or roasted asparagus
    • crackers
    • blue cheese crumbles
    • tomato confit recipe
    • goat cheese with fresh dill
    • pickle slices
    • roasted peppers
    • capers

    Instructions

    • To smoke: Open the top vent completely and set your smoker to 210° to 215°.
    • The smoke will start when it reaches about 150° to 160° and then wait for a thin blue stream of smoke to come out of the vent before smoking.
    • Season the salmon well with salt and pepper and let sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before placing it on separate smoking racks.
    • Place the salmon into the smoker and smoke for 90 to 120 minutes or until the salmon has a semi-hard crust on the skin, it is cooked through and still juicy in the middle.
    • Remove the salmon from the smoker and serve it immediately with all of the accompaniments.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • When serving homemade smoked salmon as an appetizer, figure about 2 to 3 ounces of pre smoked salmon per guest.  This will help you determine how much raw salmon needs to be purchased. 
     
    • Woods that are good for smoking salmon are apple, alder, cherry and hickory.
     
    • Other items you can add in addition to salt and pepper would be paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, dry oregano, and sugar.
     
    • Smoke will start to pour out of the top vent at around 150° to 160° and a thin blue stream of smoke should flow through regularly once it is to the desired temperature.
     
    • If using a digital smoker or a pellet grill simply hold the smoker in between 200° to 225°.  
     
    • If using a cold smoker attachment, smoke for up to 2 hours on cold smoke and 1 hour of hot smoke in between 200° to 225°.
     
    • Be sure not to over cook the salmon as it will become very dry very quickly. 
     
    • If you are worried you have overcooked your salmon, once you remove it from the grill wrap it in foil and let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes so that it will collect moisture. 
     
    • Please remember that when it comes to using any fish make sure that it is sustainable and if you're unsure then check out this link at http://www.seafoodwatch.org/.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 37kcalProtein: 3gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 8mgPotassium: 83mgVitamin A: 5IUCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.1mg
    Course: Appetizer, lunch, Main
    Cuisine: American, French
    Author: Chef Billy Parisi