Smoked Salmon Burnt Ends for a seafood spin on one of our favorites. These sweet and salty, bite size pieces of salmon were absolutely delicious! I started these salmon burnt ends by curing them overnight in some brown sugar, salt and spicy honey.

The following day, I put them on the smoker and glazed them in a spicy honey butter mixture as they finished cooking. It wasn’t long after that when I was able to enjoy these tasty “burnt ends”. So freaking delicious! 

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Smoked Salmon Burnt Ends garnished and served.

Smoked Salmon Burnt Ends

We all love classic burnt ends. The tips of a smoked brisket, cut into cubes and sent back to the smoker to continue cooking in some delicious sweet sauce. So, why Smoked Salmon Burnt Ends? Well, for one thing, it’s a good way to switch up our proteins.

Secondly, it cooks in a fraction of the time as the traditional burnt ends. If salmon isn’t your style, that’s okay. You can check out my Classic Smoked Maple Sriracha Burnt Ends Recipe here. Alternatively, if you’re pressed for time, I also have a Poor Man’s Burnt Ends recipe and it’s pretty stinkin’ delicious too. 

Smoked Salmon Burnt Ends hitting the smoker.
Pieces of salmon on Grill

As I mentioned above, we started these Smoked Salmon Burnt Ends the night before by curing them. Curing is a process similar to marinating. However, curing involves salt and sugar whereas marinating can involve a variety of ingredients.

Both are used to add flavor to food. If you want to compare the two processes, you can make this recipe and then try my marinated salmon recipe!

First, mix the brown sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Next, sprinkle that onto the salmon and mix together. Continue this process until all the brown sugar/salt mixture is gone.

Then, add the spicy honey. Mix again until each one has an even coating of honey. From here, cover the salmon and place them in the fridge to cure for 2 hours. 

Smoking Salmon and Burnt Ends

The following afternoon (or morning, you can have this for breakfast if you want), start up your smoker and bring it to a temperature of 185-200F. Then, pull your future salmon burnt ends from the fridge and space them across a cooking sheet. Place that cooking sheet into the smoker and close the lid. We will leave them here to smoke for 3-4 hours. 

Smoked Salmon Burnt Ends get glazed.
Pieces of salmon

We will start making the smoked salmon glaze about an hour before the salmon finishes cooking. This go round, our glaze consists of melted butter, sriracha and more honey. I used a basting brush to spread this sweet and spicy glaze across each salmon cube. Now, close the lid and let these Smoked Salmon Burnt Ends finish cooking. 

Want to try another amazing fish dish? Try my cast iron salmon recipe!

Let’s Eat!

Pull the salmon from the smoker once they are cooked to your liking. I garnished mine with some multicolored sesame seeds and chopped scallions. From here, it’s time to chow down! Best enjoyed with friends and family. Cheers!

Smoked Salmon

For more delicious recipes, check out my cookbook Food X Fire!

Needing more spice in your life? My spice line can help with that. Check them out here.

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Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon Burnt Ends

Smoked Salmon Burnt Ends, let's get after it!
Author:Derek Wolf
4.46 from 44 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Curing Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 People


Salmon & Cure:

  • 1 Side of Salmon skinned & cubed
  • 1.5 cups Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Kosher Salt
  • 2 tbsp Spicy Honey

Honey Sriracha Glaze:

  • 2.5 tbsp Melted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Honey


  • Sesame Seeds
  • Scallions Chopped


  • Cube and skin your salmon first. Next, add it to a bowl or food safe bag. In a separate bowl, mix together your brown sugar and kosher salt. Add the mixture to your salmon along with the spicy honey. Mix together and place the salmon into the fridge. Let cure for at least 2 hours or at least 30 minutes.
  • When the curing is done, pull the salmon out and gently wash with cold water to release any excess cure. Place the salmon cubes on a baking sheet, and place in the fridge uncovered for 1-2 hours until the outside has developed a tacky texture.
  • Preheat your smoke for 185F-200F. Add some wood chips or wood chunks for added smoke flavor.
  • Pull your salmon out of the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Place the salmon into the smoker and cook for about 3-4 hours until they have become browned and caramelized all over. Make sure to keep the temperature within 185-200F as the white protein inside the salmon will leak out if hotter.
  • About 1 hour before the salmon is done, mix together the honey sriracha glaze. Glaze the salmon all over and let sit in the smoker until done. Once done, pull the salmon out and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • As the salmon cools, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!



Serving: 0.25Salmon Filet | Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 7264mg | Potassium: 334mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 93g | Vitamin A: 241IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1mg

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I would absolutely abort ship on this recipe!! The salt content … just look to the end where you see the nutrition facts … that much salt is criminal! And what’s worse is that I just wasted $30 worth of fresh, wild caught salmon. Not sure why anyone would ever want 3 days worth of salt on anything you plan to eat. Potentially with some amendments this one would have better potential. Overall, would pull WAY back on salt if you move forward with this one.

    1. So most of the salt is actually for the cure! That much salt will get washed off before it hits the smoker. This is to create the outside texture that is sticky so that the smoke will adhere to the salmon. This is very similar to candied salmon or cured salmon! Hope that helps.

  2. Can you marinate instead of curing while still producing the same sticky texture? Don’t have 24 hours and wondering if a 4 hour marinade will do the trick instead!

    1. So a marinade wont get the same sticky texture on the outside because the curing process makes a thin layer of sugar on the outside of the fish. That being said, I would just cure it for 4 hours!

      1. Made 3 times . First time a little salty but good. Second time bought a huge filet from Costco and was not salty at all. Tasted great. 3rd time on the smoker now. Love all your recipes.

  3. 5 stars
    Awesome! Make sure you rinse the salt off like the recipe says. My kids love these!. Thanks for another great recipe. Will do this recipe many more times in the future.

    1. What kind of salmon do you use? Or rather what is the weight of how much salmon to use for this recipe? A side of salmon varies greatly depending upon what kind it is & I want to get it right.

  4. Any recommendation for how long the possible longest time they could sit out for after cooking? I have only 1 smoker than I need to use for a different recipe at a higher temp, so doing them at the same time won’t work…or is it possible to reheat?

    1. If you mean once they are cooked, the curing process makes them like jerky where they should be fine to sit for 1 hour or so out.

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Derek, I have a quick question…if I cure this overnight, will it affect the texture/flavor? I’ve smoked Salmon filets many times, and always brine overnight. But your post for these days a couple hours max. I just want to make sure I don’t kill this beautiful fish that was caught two weeks ago. Thank you!

    1. You definitely can do it overnight! I prefer it that way but I’m trying to making this recipe a little more accessible for those that don’t want to cure overnight.

  6. If we started the curing process at 9am, will it ruin it if we dont smoke until the next day? Mother Nature is being mean today.

    1. I would take it out at the 3-4 hour mark and rise it dry then add to the fridge overnight to get tacky. They will be fine like that!

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe is totally worth it! I used a 2.6lb side of salmon, and pretty much followed the directions with a few exceptions. I did cure it with the ingredients as listed to around 2-2 1/2 hours and rinsed thoroughly. I placed the cubes on the tray they were in the fridge for around 1.5 hours. I took the tray directly from the fridge and placed on my Pitboss at the smoke setting. I did end up putting the temp to 200 because it’s so cold today and the smoker was having trouble staying at temp. I sprayed the tray with water every hour, but after hour 2 I started putting on the glaze so I doubled the recipe in the end. I took it off around 3.5 hours and sprinkled sesame seeds on top. Currently eating over top some scallion rice. These smoked salmon burnt ends are amazing!! They are so tender and cooked to perfection! Best salmon I ever had! 10/10!

  8. 5 stars
    Your smoked salmon burnt ends are highrunner at our parties. But I can’t believe that you cook or some them for 3-4h. In this case I would expect something like leather. 🤔😉😇

    1. Thank you! It depends on fattiness and how humid it is outside on how long you cook. That being said, I am testing recipes so I can add this to the list so I can make it more accurate.