smoked salmon on plank smoking food at home recipes


I’ve put together a fabulous collection of smoking food at home recipes.  They use all the techniques I taught you in my How-To Guide  For Smoking Food at Home post.  

You might want to check it out before trying to smoke meats and fish at homeThen you’ll know exactly what you’ll need and how to go about getting fabulous results from smoking food at home.

Let’s not delay and get right into the smoking food at home recipes I’ve created or hunted down for you to enjoy this Summer.  Here’s the recipes you’ll find in this article:



spices on slate in spoonsIn Part One of my How-To Guide For Smoking Food At Home, I discussed the why’s and how to use brines and dry rubs when preparing your meat and fish for smoking at home. 

There are so many combinations of spices, sugars and herbs that can be used, there’s no limit to how many tasty variations you can create.

The absolutely most basic brine is made by combining:

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 cups cold water 


But as I said, there’s lots of way you can add, subtract and exchange ingredients to make your own brines.  You’ll want to consider what type of meat or fish you’ll be using the brine for and adjust  your spices and herbs accordingly.  

Here’s some ingredients that can be added to your brines to give you tasty results:

  • brown sugar / white sugar / agave nectar / honey
  • fresh herbs that complement the type of meat/fish 
  • worchestershire sauce
  • fruit juices / dark beer or lager / white or red wine 
  • whole spices like allspice, cinnamon sticks, fennel seed, mustard seed
  • sliced onions/garlic cloves
  • soy sauce/teriyaki sauce/fish sauce



  • In a saucepan over medium heat, toast your spices for 2-3 minutes to bring out their essential oils. Take care not to burn them by shaking the pan to keep them moving.
  • Next, add the water or liquids, salt and sugars and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • In a tub that can be sealed, add cold water and ice. Pour the hot brine liquid in and when cool enough, add the meat. Make sure it is submerged by weighing down if necessary. 
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2 or more days, but not more than 5 days maximum.


dry vs. wet brined meat cooked


A fabulous combination of sweet, spicy with a hint of Asian cuisines thrown in for an incredible taste sensation! 

This mixture will last up to 6 months stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry location.

  • 1/3 cup instant espresso powder
  • 3 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning 
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. 5 spice powder


Any piece of pork will taste fabulous with a nice massage of this Garlic Lemon Pepper Dry Rub.  It lends a subtle garlicy nuance to the pork with just a hint of lemon, pepper and thyme.

As with any rub, you’ll want to let the mixture sit on the meat at least 30 minutes before grilling or smoking.

  • 6 Tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper



smoking food at home recipes smoked brie with bay leaves on topI know you’ve had some wonderful smoked gouda at some point, and maybe a smokey mozzarella somewhere down the line.

But have you ever thought of smoking a lovely brie, right in your own smoker or grill?  It’s absolutely fabulous when slathered on crusty French bread or crackers.

And when you add Fig Jam to the platter, it’s an absolutely sublime combination!  Leftovers just aren’t a problem with this incredible appetizer on the menu.

You’ll need a soaked fruit wood plank and some cheesecloth for this recipe, and, that’s about it!  Other than a fresh herb of your choice, but that’s optional too.


  • 1 – round of Brie (8 oz) 
  • 2 bay leaves OR rosemary sprigs OR fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
  • Fig jam
  • French bread or crackers

Fruit Wood Plank / 16 inch square of cheesecloth, doubled / Disposable foil pie pan


fig jam for smoking food at home recipes brie appetizer


  • Lay out the cheesecloth on a work surface and brush with olive oil. Place the cheese in the middle and top with the herb of your choice if desired.
  • Wrap the cheesecloth tightly around the cheese and tie closed with kitchen twine. Set the cheese, herb-side up, in the foil pie pan.
  • Once the grill/smoker reaches 250 degrees F, place the pan with the cheese on the cooler side of the grill. Close the grill and let smoke until slightly golden, about 20 minutes. If using a gas grill, turn off the flame and let the cheese sit, covered, 10 more minutes (this is not necessary if using charcoal; it imparts more smoky flavor). Remove from the grill and unwrap.
  • Serve with fig jam, crusty French bread or crackers


FABULOUS FISH IS YOURS – How to Smoke a Whole Fish

It doesn’t really matter the exact type of fish you choose. But smoking is best done with fattier types of fish, as I explained in Part One of this series – How-To Guide For Smoking Food at Home – Part 1.

If you haven’t read the post, you might want to give it a quick read before trying any of these recipes.  It’s a comprehensive guide on smoking foods, along with an explanation of the different types of smokers available on the market.  

This really isn’t an actual “recipe” per se, as I’m not giving you specific quantities.  It’s more of a general guideline, because stuffed whole smoked fish on rackfish come in all sizes and shapes!

The only real requirement is that the fish be gutted, cleaned and rinsed so that the cavity is ready to be stuffed with some fabulous aromatics.  I’ve used this “recipe” for all types of fish, including trout, red snapper and sea bass.

Here’s a list of the best fish for smoking whole:

  • Salmon
  • Sea Bass
  • Red Snapper
  • Trout
  • Sailfish
  • Black cod
  • Pompano
  • Sail Fish
  • Mackerel



Start with a prepared fish ready to be stuffed.  Season the inside with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a large bowl, add your stuffing ingredients, drizzle with olive oil, and toss to combine.

Stuff fish with mixture, packing the entire cavity until it is very full.  Tie the fish with rope in several places to keep stuffing intact. Don’t use kitchen twine, as it can burn up and the fish will burst open)

Prepare your smoker and preheat to 250ºF.  Place fish in smoker and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 150-160 degrees F.  The cooking time will vary, according to the size of your fish.  Larger fish can take about an hour.

When the fish is done, just cut the ties, gently remove the stuffing with two forks and serve with a lovely sauce if desired.

This is a list off some of the fabulous “stuffing” ingredients that can be combined for a fabulously flavored smoked fish:

  • Citrus slices
  • Thinly sliced leeks (cut into long strips)
  • Sliced onions
  • Peeled garlic cloves (use sparingly)
  • Whole, trimmed green onions
  • Sliced fennel, fronds or fennel seeds
  • Peeled and sliced shallots
  • Fresh herbs (oregano, thyme and rosemary are fabulous)

NAN’S TIP: Add the ends of your onions and some extra garlic cloves to your coals or wood chips to infuse extra flavor into the fish from “the outside, in”!




smoked salmon and horseradish creme fraiche toasts smoking food at home recipes


This is such an fast and easy appetizer that can be “thrown” together in a matter of minutes.  But, that’s if you have some of what I call “refrigerator pantry basics” on hand. 

On any given day you’ll most likely find a mason jar of creme fraîche and a little bottle of balsamic glaze tucked away inside my refrigerator. 

I deem both as essentials to have on hand for adding some flair to otherwise, ordinary recipes.

Since both require a bit of time, albeit “hands off” to some extent, it’s nice not to have to delay making a recipe to prepare them.

Making creme fraîche is super-easy, it just requires you start it at least a day before you want to first use it.  Click here to get the “recipe”:  How to Make Creme Fraîche

Don’t worry, I give you the instructions for the balsamic glaze right in the recipe!

Click here to get the recipe for:  Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Creme Fraîche Toasts 




homemade smoked beef pastrami

I’ve been wanting to try a recipe for homemade pastrami for quite a while now, as we can’t get really fabulous “deli” here in Western North Carolina.  But, as with many things in life, I still haven’t gotten around to trying it myself.  

And because it’s something that’s been “on my list” to make, I thought I’d hunt down the absolutely best homemade pastrami recipe I could find.  Now you and I can try it together and let each other know how it turned out.

Although I’m not too worried, ’cause I’ve found us a mentor!  Malcolm Reed is the man behind How To BBQ Right, a website devoted to smoked foods and bbq.  He’s also got a wonderful YouTube Channel that makes it easy to see exactly how to use his techniques.

He will take us through the steps necessary to end up with some gorgeous pastrami like the one he made pictured here.  We just have to click this link to find the recipe on his “smokin’ site”!       Click here for:  Malcolm Reed’s Homemade Beef Pastrami Recipe


smoked fish and avocado brunch croissant



Here’s one more great smoking food at home recipes that I think you’ll really enjoy!

Straight-forward and just plain delicious, my Smoked Fish and Avocado Brunch Croissant is perfect for a quick Sunday morning breakfast in bed.

It’s got a little arugula salad and soft-cooked egg “side”, so it’s the real-deal when it comes to a relaxing weekend morning repast.

Mashing a ripe avocado with some finely minced shallot makes a tasty bed for any smoked fish that you especially like.  As far as I’m concerned, using a croissant just ups the yum factor one more notch.  I like to lightly toast my croissants before filling, but that’s just a matter of preference.

This simple and fabulous Smoked Fish and Avocado Brunch Croissant should really find it’s way into your weekend schedule, real soon!                   



Slightly smokey, drizzled with honey and topped with honey-sweetened ricotta cheese and toasted nuts.  Plank plank smoked peaches with sweet ricotta and nuts smoking food at home recipesSmoked Peaches with Sweet Ricotta and Nuts is a fabulous end to a lovely meal outdoors with family and friends. 

I gave you all the information you’ll need to start cooking fruit in your smoker in How-To Guide For Smoking Food at Home – Part 1. 

So I’m not going to go over how to cook on planks again, but I will stress the need to soak the planks at least one hour before using them in your smoker.

For this recipe, it’s really nice to substitute a fruit juice for the soaking liquid, instead of water.  You won’t believe the subtle undertones it can give to a plank smoked recipe.

Apple juice is particularly lovely with these Plank Smoke Peaches with Sweet Ricotta and Nuts.

Try it with a sweet dessert wine for an incredible taste combination!

You can get the recipe by clicking this link:  Plank Smoked Peaches with Sweet Ricotta and Nuts  



smoked fish and potato salad with creamy dill dressingNow this is a Summer salad!  Smokey fish combined with potatoes, sweet peas, capers and green onions make for a delicious accompaniment to any warm-weather meal.

Then it’s all slathered in a creamy dill dressing and garnished with hard-cooked egg that adds that Summery touch of flavor we all love so much.

It’s hearty enough to stand in for the entree, or is a fabulous addition to a pot-luck or buffet supper too!

Technically, you don’t even have to smoke the fish yourself!  Just grab some from your grocer’s and you’ll be ready to enjoy this fabulous salad this Summer!

Check out the recipe for Smoked Fish and Potato Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing here.  




citrus smoked cheesecake smoking food at home recipes


I bet you’ve never tried a smoked cheesecake before!  Smoking food at home recipes have just stepped it up to a new level! I’ve never even seen one at the famous Cheesecake Factory restaurants, either. 

But if you want to try a taste treat that goes beyond fabulous, then this is a recipe you need to try, and soon!

lemon curd in pretty jarCitrusy, creamy, with a hint of smokiness combine into a sublime dessert, my Citrus Smoked Cheesecake is especially incredible when topped with fabulous lemon curd!

I’ve given you both recipes, so now you’ve got no excuse not to try this “out-of-the-box” Summer dessert!

Click here for the recipe:  Citrus Smoked Cheesecake with Lemon Curd


Once you try some of these incredible smoking food at home recipes and smoking food at home, make sure you comment below this post or share a picture with us at THE FAB LIFE FACEBOOK GROUP!

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