Fruity Smoked Salmon & Steelhead - by Tiffany Haugen

Fruity Smoked Salmon & Steelhead - by Tiffany Haugen

Smoking salmon and steelhead is still one of our favorite ways to prepare and eat these fish. Whether you’re smoking a fresh caught springer or summer steelhead, or making room in the freezer, this is a tasty recipe you’ll love.

Remember, fish marked for best eating is also best for smoking. Don’t think a dark, freezer-burned fish is going to be saved by the smoker. Springers with a high fat content are hard to beat when it comes to smoking fish. Likewise, summer steelhead and any ocean-caught salmon are excellent when smoked. Ensure the fillet is clean and blood-free, and you’re on the way to a tasty smoked product.

For this recipe I used a Little Chief Smoker. It’s still a favorite smoker of mine because it’s simple to use and the temperature stays constant. The Big Chief Smoker is also one we use a lot.

When looking to transform a stronger flavored fish like salmon, think sweet and smokey. Many people who don’t care for a salmon dinner, fawn over smoked salmon while those who think of salmon as having a “fishy” flavor, might change their minds with a fruit-forward recipe. Unique and complex, the subtle smokiness and layered fruit flavors work together to create a very special recipe.

  • 1 large salmon or steelhead fillet
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated pear and/or apple
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2” grated ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Chive or scallions for garnish


Remove pin bones from fillet. Place soy sauce in a large casserole pan and place salmon or steelhead fillet, meat-side down, on top of soy sauce. Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix graded apple and/or pear, orange juice and zest, butter, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, coriander, paprika and salt until thoroughly combined.

Preheat Little or Big Chief Smoker 10-15 minutes. Add Smokehouse Blend chips or alder chips to the chip pan. Place fillet, skin-side down, on smoker rack. Smoke 30-40 minutes.

Remove fillet from smoker and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Top fillet with fruit mixture. Bake in a preheated 350º oven 15 minutes or until fillet reaches desired doneness or an internal temperature of 135º-140º. Top with chopped
chives or scallions if desired.


Note: For signed copies of Tiffany’s popular book, Cooking Seafood, and other best-selling titles, visit

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