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Grill Smoked Salmon with Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salad


Grill Smoked Salmon with Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salad

Quick-cure Salmon with a mixture of salt and sugar draws moisture from the flesh and helps firm it up. It also ensures that the pieces of salmon are well seasoned inside and out. Cooking the fish indirectly over a gentle fire with an ample amount of smoke produces salmon that is sweet, smoky, and tender. To complement the salmon and cut its richness, pair the salmon with a creamy cucumber salad flavored with fresh dill and rice vinegar. Using Greek yogurt for the dressing gives the salad a tangy flavor.

Place the salmon on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle sugar and 1 tablespoon kosher salt over salmon. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour. Using paper towels, wipe excess sugar and salt off salmon; keep refrigerated.

Peel, halve, and seed cucumbers. Slice cucumbers ¼ inch thick. Transfer cucumbers to colander, toss with ½ teaspoon salt, and let sit for 15 minutes. Chop ¼ cup dill. Whisk dill, yogurt, and vinegar together in bowl. Add cucumbers, stir to coat, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Soak 1 cup wood chips in water for 15 minutes; drain and toss with 1 cup
unsoaked chips. Using large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap chips in foil packet and cut several vent holes in top.

CHARCOAL GRILLGrill Smoked Salmon with Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salad

Open bottom vent halfway. light large chimney starter one-third filled with charcoal briquettes (2 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour into steeply banked pile against side of grill. Place wood chip packet on coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 5 minutes.

GAS GRILLGrill Smoked Salmon with Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salad

Remove the cooking grate and place wood chip packet directly on primary burner. Set grate in place, turn primary burner to high (leave other burners off), cover, and heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, 15 to 25 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium. (Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature of 275 to 300 degrees.)

Clean and oil cooking grate. Fold piece of foil into 18 by 6-inch rectangle and place on cooler side of grill. Place salmon on foil, spacing fillets ½ inch apart. Cover grill (position lid vent over fish if using charcoal) and cook fish until center is still translucent when checked with tip of paring knife and registers 125 degrees (for medium-rare), 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to platter; serve with cucumber salad.


Cucumbers can be stan­dard American cucumbers and long, skinny cucumbers which are also referred to as English or European cucumbers. In general, American cucumbers have a more crisp texture and more concentrated cucumber flavor than the seedless variety, which is much milder and more watery. However, American cucumbers have tougher skins due to a food-safe wax coating.

6 (6- to 8-ounce) center-cut skin-on salmon fillets
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cucumbers
Fresh Dill
1 cup whole or 2 percent Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons rice vinegar

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