Smoked Filet Mignon of Salmon

This smoked filet mignon of salmon is delicate, delicious and easy to prepare when you want something really special for dinner.

Please pay special attention to the USDA recommended temperature vs the chef recommended temperature in this recipe as it will make all of the difference in how well your fish turns out.

Enjoy!

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45-60 minutes
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 145°F (USDA)*
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan and/or Alder

*The USDA recommends cooking fish to 145°F before removing it from the heat however I find that this results in overly dry fish– inedible in my opinion. Most chefs recommend only cooking it to somewhere between 125°F and 130°F for salmon that is so much better than you ever though it could be.

What You'll Need
IMG 0492 1000x715Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats– you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

Precook Some Bacon

I decided to precook the bacon so that it would end up a little crispy. I had really thick peppered bacon and it required about 20 minutes at 375°F in the oven but if your bacon is thinner, it will require much less time.

To ensure that the bacon did not roll up, I laid the bacon into a flat cookie sheet then laid another cookie sheet on top of that to hold the bacon flat while it cooked.

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If you have a bacon press and want to do it differently, that will work.

Make sure it is still somewhat flexible and not crispy when it's finished regardless of what type of bacon you use.

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Make the Round Filets

Lay the salmon filet on your cutting board.

Pull out any pin bones that you find using a clean pair of needle nosed pliers or tweezers.

To find the pin bones, simply run your fingers along the fish and you'll feel the little bones sticking up just above the flesh. They are usually located right along the side of the thickest part of the fish.

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Cut the fish into strips width wise. Use a piece of bacon to measure how wide it needs to be.

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Once the strips are cut, use a sharp knife to remove the skin from each piece.

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Roll (2) pieces in a plate of Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) to coat.

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I used (2) uncoated pieces to show you how to roll them into a round filet

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Lay the pieces on top of each other as shown. Thick part on top of the thin part of the fish.

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Roll it together to form a circle.

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While holding it, wrap a piece of bacon around it and secure with a toothpick or a piece of butchers twine.

I used some really nice bacon that was sent to me by Bear Creek Smokehouse in Marshall, TX and due to the size, I used two pieces of bacon instead of only one.

Secure the bacon with a toothpick or two if you can

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Some butchers twine also works well for this process.

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I made (4) filets with the 2 lb salmon filet and had a piece at the small end left over.

I laid them in a rack to make it easy to move them from the cutting board to the smoker and then back when they were finished cooking.

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Get That Smoker Ready

We often cook salmon in the smoker at very low temperatures but these are hot smoked at 225- 240°F. Set up your electric, charcoal, gas or wood smoker for about an hours worth of cooking and a nice fruit wood or something that is not too strong such as alder, cherry, apple, pecan, etc.

Smoke the Filet Mignon of Salmon

Place the salmon filets on the smoker grate and let them smoke cook at 225-240°F  with indirect heat for about 45-60 minutes or until they reach about 130°F in the center.

As I mentioned above, the USDA recommends 145°F finish temperature for fish however this results in salmon that is extremely dry and inedible. Make sure your salmon comes from a reliable source and try cooking it to only 125-130°F and you will see what most chefs recommend a much lower finish temperature.

A great tool for checking the temperature on these is the ThermoPop digital pocket thermometer which reads in 3-4 seconds (that's fast)!

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Serve the Smoked Filet Mignon of Salmon

Just as soon as the salmon is finished cooking, serve them immediately for best results.

Notes/Comments:
  1. The advantage to cooking salmon in this way, unlike just cooking it as is, is that it is the same thickness all the way across and can be served perfectly done.
  2. To get even more flavor, brine the salmon for a couple of hours in 1 gallon of water mixed with 1 cup of kosher salt and ¾ cup of brown sugar. Rinse well then let it air dry in the fridge before cutting the fish and creating the round filets.
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Jeff’s Smoking Meat Books

smoking-meat-book-coverSmoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue – The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that “no smoker should be without this book”!

With more than 1000 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended and is a Bestseller in Barbecuing & Grilling books on Amazon.

AmazonBarnes & Noble | German Edition

smoke-wood-fire-book-coverSmoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.

It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.

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Printable Recipe

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Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Smoked Filet Mignon of Salmon

This smoked filet mignon of salmon is delicate, delicious and easy to prepare when you want something really special for dinner.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Servings: 4 -5

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lb filet of salmon
  • Jeff’s original rub
  • Bacon
  • Butchers twine and/or toothpicks

Instructions

Precook Some Bacon

  • Lay bacon into a flat cookie sheet then place another cookie sheet on top of that to hold the bacon flat while it cooks.
  • Cook bacon until is about 75% done and is still flexible enough to wrap around the salmon filets.

Make the Round Filets

  • Lay the salmon filet on your cutting board.
  • Pull out any pin bones that you find using a clean pair of needle nosed pliers or tweezers.
  • To find the pin bones, simply run your fingers along the fish and you'll feel the little bones sticking up just above the flesh. They are usually located right along the side of the thickest part of the fish.
  • Cut the fish into strips width wise. Use a piece of bacon to measure how wide it needs to be.
  • Once the strips are cut, use a sharp knife to remove the skin from each piece.
  • Roll (2) pieces in a plate of Jeff's rub to coat
  • Lay the pieces on top of each other. Thick part on top of the thin part of the fish.
  • Roll it together to form a circle.
  • While holding it securely, wrap a piece of bacon around it and secure with a toothpick or a piece of butchers twine.

Smoke the Filet Mignon of Salmon

  • Set up your electric, charcoal, gas or wood smoker for about an hours worth of cooking at 225-240°F and a nice fruit wood or something that is not too strong such as alder, cherry, apple, pecan, etc.
  • Place the salmon filets on the smoker grate and let them smoke cook for 45-60 minutes or until they reach 130°F in the center. (note: USDA recommends 145 for fish but I find the fish is overdone and inedible at this point)

Serve the Smoked Filet Mignon of Salmon

  • Just as soon as the salmon is finished cooking, serve them immediately for best results.

5 Comments

  1. Christopher Toumajian September 12, 2021 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Another homerun, Jeff! Lower temp and shorter cook time (45 min) were the keys to success. Thanks again!

  2. Meg June 24, 2021 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I don't normally try new recipes when company comes over, but this one really caught my attention and I decided to try it. I'm sure glad I did because it came out awesome! The flavor was wonderful, and the texture of the salmon was melt-in-your-mouth at your recommended finish temperature. My company was very impressed – another winner from Smoking-Meat.com! Thanks, Jeff!

  3. Joe February 9, 2021 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    THIS web site is my GO TO tutorial anytime i smoke anything . I’ve turned a few friends onto this website and i hear nothing but great comments , I personally have tried about 50 or so recipes by Jeff and never been disappointed . All my friends think I’m the king of smoking , Thanks Jeff , keep em coming. Joe

  4. William Maley January 14, 2021 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    When I use bacon, I lay out the amount of bacon strips needed, on, 2-3 paper towels placed on a dish. Cover with another 3 paper towels. Microwave for 3 minutes, let rest for 30 seconds , then another 3 minutes. The bacon at this point, can be wrapped around the main entree… More microwaving increases the crispy-ness of the bacon. Resting keeps the bacon from getting too hot and burning.

    • Bob Langer January 25, 2021 at 4:28 pm - Reply

      5 stars
      I agree 100% with your comment! When you wrap a fish/sea food product with uncooked bacon, by the time the bacon is cooked the fish/seafood product is WAY over cooked! Most fish/sea food product are cooked to 120 to 130 degrees.
      To make another comment. I joined this site because of your originality on smoking different products. I have NOT been disappointed. Keep up the great work. Thank you.

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