Fennel-Smoked Salmon


Definitely give this a try if you have problems with salmon sticking to your grill grates. Since the fish never touches the grill here, it's easy on, easy off. Just this feature alone makes the technique worthwhile.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
1 hr 35 mins
2 servings


  • 2 cups wood chips

  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and very thinly sliced

  • 2 (7 ounce) salmon fillets

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 2 tablespoons fennel fronds and threads

  • 1 pinch white sugar

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place wood chips in a bowl; cover with several inches of cold water and let soak for at least 1 hour.

  2. Preheat an outdoor charcoal grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Sprinkle wood chips over coals and close grill lid, leaving top vents open. When smoke rises from the vents, shut them, open the grill, and place fennel slices directly on the grates to create a bed.

  3. Generously season salmon fillets with salt and black pepper. Place salmon on top of fennel slices. Close the grill lid, leaving the vents shut. Cook until salmon is tender and starting to flake, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Scrape fennel from the grill and place atop salmon while it rests or discard it (see Editor's Note).

  4. Combine tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, fennel fronds, sugar, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Spoon tomato mixture over salmon and serve.

Editor's Notes:

Chef John mentions in the video that he doesn't care for the texture of the grilled fennel. You may add it to the tomato salad before serving, or discard the fennel slices after grilling.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

512 Calories
34g Fat
14g Carbs
40g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 512
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 34g 43%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 97mg 32%
Sodium 306mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 40mg 202%
Calcium 84mg 6%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 1394mg 30%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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