Best Smoked Salmon Seasoning

Written by Mike Futia | Updated May 26, 2023

This homemade smoked salmon seasoning is simple and savory, and you can put it together in a snap! It's much fresher, flavorful, and cheaper than store-bought rub—what's not to love?

We use this seasoning every time we make our smoked salmon on the Traeger!

spoonful of smoked salmon seasoning

Feel free to tweak this smoked salmon seasoning to fit your own tastes. For example, you could easily add dried dill and it would taste just as great! 

How To Make The Best Smoked Salmon Seasoning

This sweet and savory smoked salmon seasoning includes just seven ingredients, so it all comes together in just a few minutes.

smoked salmon seasoning ingredients

The Ingredients

  • Brown sugar (2 tbsp). Adds a nice sweetness and promotes caramelization during the smoking process.
  • Black pepper (2 tsp). For a warm, pungent kick.
  • Sea salt (1 tsp). To enhance the overall flavor and sweetness.
  • Garlic powder (1/2 tsp). Adds a savory depth and nice aroma.
  • Smoked paprika (1/2 tsp). For some subtle smokiness and sweet pepper flavor.
  • Lime zest (zest of 1 lime). For a fresh, tangy brightness.
  • Mustard powder (1 tsp). For a little tanginess. 

The Directions

smoked salmon with seasoning

1. Combine all seven ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well mixed together.

2. Apply liberally all over your salmon!

smoked salmon done

Smoked Salmon Seasoning

This DIY smoked salmon seasoning is pretty straightforward, with some unexpected elements that set it apart.

We're including brown sugar and smoked paprika as the stars of the show for the smoked salmon. The brown sugar brings a sweet counterpoint to the smoky, savory flavor of the salmon, and it also makes crust when the salmon is seared off.

The smoked paprika adds a nice smokiness and sweet pepper touch, bringing the smoky quality of the smoked salmon to a new level.

How To Season Salmon

salmon seasoning

With your seasoning blend prepared, here's how to assemble the entire salmon dish.

Season: Begin by patting your salmon with a paper towel to remove any moisture. Apply a small amount of olive oil to both sides of the salmon to act as a binder for the seasoning. Then, liberally season the salmon on all sides with the mix, ensuring to cover the sides as well. Let your salmon to rest with the seasoning for at least 10 minutes.

Smoke: While you can definitely grill your salmon, my preferred method is to smoke it at a low-and-slow pace on the Traeger. This allows the smoky flavor to permeate the salmon, resulting in juicy, tender salmon.

Sear: Smoked salmon is great, but since you're cooking at such a low temperature, you won't develop much of a crust. That's why I recommend finishing your cook by searing the top part of the salmon with a sear gun to get a nice crust.

Storage Tips

spoonful of smoked salmon seasoning

Best Smoked Salmon Seasoning

Discover the best homemade smoked salmon seasoning recipe and cooking tips. Enhance your salmon with our flavorful, easy-to-follow recipe.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 2 ounces
Calories 69 kcal


  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 twp smoked paprika
  • 1 lime zest
  • 1 tsp mustard powder


  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well mixed together.
  • Apply liberally all over your favorite salmon!


Calories: 69kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 1168mgPotassium: 99mgFiber: 2gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 151IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Mike Futia

Hello, I'm Mike Futia, a passionate griller and BBQ enthusiast. I'm the creator of Grill Frenzy, and I'm committed to sharing my knowledge of grilling and smoking with you. I believe that BBQ and grilling should be accessible to everyone. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, I'm here to guide you on your grilling journey. Welcome!


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