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Spring Celebration Lemon Dill Smoked Salmon with Creamy Dill Dip

Lemon Dill Smoked Salmon with Creamy Dill Dip

This post is a collaboration with Primo Ceramic Grills. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.

Atlanta Salmon is smoked on the #PrimoCeramicGrill.
Primo Oval XL Lemon Dill Smoked Salmon

Description: Moist, tender, delicious salmon with a hint of smoke cooked low and slow on a Primo Ceramic Grill. This is definitely my annual go-to Spring Celebration appetizer! My friends and family repeatedly request slow roasted salmon so this year I've stepped it up and smoked the salmon. Make sure to whip up plenty of Creamy Dill Dip, this dish goes fast!

For over ten years, I have been making a memorable 175°F slow-roasted lemon dill salmon, in the oven, for Spring celebrations. Everyone raves! I wondered if my Primo Ceramic Grill could slow-roast salmon soooo low adding only a hint of smoke. Can tender, moist smoked salmon be achieved on a ceramic grill and replace my family and friends beloved favorite oven-roasted dill salmon???

I head to the kitchen and make a simple dry brine consisting of lemon zest, dill, green onions, brown sugar, and pepper. The salmon sits overnight in the dry dill brine. I’ve tried to shorten the overnight dry dill brine and results just aren’t as good…so plan ahead! The next morning, I prep my Primo Oval XL 400 for indirect heat and adjust the draft vents to a steady 190°F. There is not a scientific reason for that temperature selection, it’s just what my Primo Ceramic Bowl retained on that day. Your goal is a steady grill temperature of between 175°F and 195°F.

The salmon goes on the grill for 50-60 minutes at 190°F. In the oven, a 2 pound salmon would take 1 hour 15 minutes at a 175°F. As with all grilled meat, the internal temperature of the salmon is more important than how much time the recipe states. Transfer the salmon off of the grill pan when the internal temperature of the center of the fish reaches 140°F. Once the fish rests and reaches 145°F you are good to go!

My Primo Ceramic Grill definitely surpassed the oven slow-roasted salmon challenge! I am eager to smoke it again for our annual Easter celebration. I bet my family will be able to taste the smoky-delish difference that the Primo Grill has made!

Merry’s Tips


For the best flavor, pat the brown sugar and dill mixture on the salmon the night before. If you wish to tweak this recipe for Cinco De Mayo Smoked Salmon Tacos simply replace the dill with cilantro, lemon with lime, and add grated jalapeño or crushed red pepper flakes.

Brown Sugar and Dill Brine for Salmon
Salmon has a 24 hour dry brine of lemon zest, dill, green onions & brown sugar.and pepper.


My first pick is always fresh Norwegian Salmon. Aldi’s actually stocks it on occasions. My second local choice is Costco’s Farmed Atlantic Salmon because I do not have a fresh fish store in my town. The salmon for today’s smoked salmon is farmed Atlantic, and the bottom skin had been removed. I prefer the bottom skin attached. I don’t suggest wild caught salmon because of the leanness. And please do not select Sockeye, the flavor just doesn’t do this dish justice!


*Make sure the salmon has not been frozen.

*Do not overcook the salmon! The salmon temperature needs to taken off the grill at 140°F. As the salmon rests, the internal temperature will rise to 145°F which is the proper temperature. If you do overcook the salmon, don’t panic! Dry smoked salmon is delicious in dips, and to flavor soup.

* If you do no have a fish pan for the grill use a double sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, and shorten your cook time by at least 5 minutes.


The smoked salmon stays moist, and really picks up smoke in a defined way. Choose a wood chunk that is light in flavor like alder, apple, maple or cherry.


I prefer smoked salmon at room temperature or chilled. Smoked salmon is an ideal make-ahead dish. When served the same day at room temperature the salmon will be tender and succulent. When served after chilling overnight the flavors and smoke meld together and the salmon will be firmer in texture. Served at room temperature guests take a small plate full and dollop on the creamy dill dip, and eat with a fork. If you serve chilled, add crackers next to the dip and salmon for a one bite finger food. Either way the salmon is well received. The Creamy Dill Dip is so popular you might want to make a double batch! And for a beautiful presentation, serve the smoked salmon on a huge platter with dill springs, edible flowers, lemon slices, cucumber slices, blanched sugar snap peas, crackers, and Creamy Dill Dip.


I have so many fond memories in my backyard with friends and family reaching for bite after bite of the salmon with a dollop of Creamy Dill Dip. Easter celebrations, graduations, Mother’s Day, and even a 30th birthday by request.“Will your mom make that salmon and dip for my birthday?” So I pass on a merry updated beloved salmon appetizer to you. My new version, Lemon Dill SMOKED salmon is delicious for any holiday gathering! I know your tribe welcomes Lemon Dill Smoked Salmon with raving reviews…so why not make it for #SundaySupper this week!

Smoked Salmon
Smoked Salmon is beautiful at any Spring Celebration~


If you are lucky enough to have leftover lemon dill smoked salmon after your Spring celebration, I have a delicious salmon dip that family and friends frequently request, just DM me for the recipe. Leftover lemon dill salmon is tasty on flatbread with a smear of cream cheese or herb cheese, and topped with fresh tomatoes and herbs. Salmon Patties! Salmon Alfredo! Endless ideas! Store smoked salmon, covered, in the refrigerator, on the bottom shelf, for 1 week. Smoked salmon can be frozen; perfect for salmon patties and salmon cheese dip!

Salmon Spread with Dill
Scrumptious Smoked Salmon Spread


Lemon Dill Smoked Salmon with Creamy Dill Dip is refreshingly delicious with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, or any bubbly! Trust Me on this one!


  1. Amazing how easy it is to control the temperate with the draft vents. When my grill shot up to 325°F I thought I was doomed! I quickly shut the top daisy vent with only an 1/8-inch open on the whee. The bottom vent I closed leaving 1/8-inch crack open. The temperature dropped to 190°F and held that temperature for an hour without vent adjustments!

  2. American made ~ my purchase of Primo products helps my fellow citizens!

  3. The ceramic bowl retains heat so well!


Lemon Dill Smoked Salmon with Creamy Dill Dip
Recipe: Lemon Dill Smoked Salmon with Cr
Download • 31KB


1 (2 1/2 pound) salmon fillet, bottom skin on

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup loosely packed dill and tender stems, chopped

1 green onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated red or black peppercorns

Zest from 1 lemon

Spring Dill Dip

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons minced dill

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Zest from one lemon

Pinch of slat

Preparation Instructions

  1. 4.To Prepare Salmon: Lay the salmon filet, skin side down, on a sheet of parchment paper, in a rimmed baking pan. Note: At the end of brining there is a lot of liquid. Do not brine overnight in a cast iron bake pan; a lot of liquid accumulates by the end of the brine time.

  2. 5.Combine brown sugar, dill, green onion, salt, pepper, and lemon zest, and evenly pat over salmon. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours.

  3. 6.To Prepare Creamy Dill Dip: Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, dill, Dijon, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  4. 7.The morning after the salmon has brined, pour juices off of salmon, and discard. Pat salmon dry. Place the salmon on a new sheet of parchment paper and place on rimmed grill baking pan of choice. Examples: High quality heavy aluminum baking sheet, cast iron baking pan, fish pan, or a cast iron rectangular griddle. Use kitchen shears to cut the parchment in the same shape of the salmon.

  5. 8.Wrap two Primo Heat Deflector Plates in aluminum foil.

Cooking Instructions

  1. 1.Use a full load of Primo lump charcoal. Place wood chunk at one end of the Primo Ceramic Grill. Light charcoal with four Primo QuickLight starter cubes, two at each end of the grill. Leave the dome open. Wait 5-8 minutes for the charcoal to build a small bed of embers.

  2. 2.Insert both Primo Heat Deflector Racks on the lowest position.

  3. 3.After small embers can be seen, insert both Primo Ceramic Heat Deflector Plates. Insert both grill racks on grill.

  4. 4.Close the dome with the bottom draft door and top 1/2 open. Allow the temperature to reach a steady 190°F. It is okay if the grill reaches 200°F but attempt to keep the temperature below 200°F. (My grill temp shot up to 325°F because the draft doors were left open too long. I could quickly bring the temp back down by adjusting the draft doors. Don’t panic but keep a watchful eye.)

  5. 5.Once the temperature is 190°F, place the pan with salmon in the center of the Primo Oval Ceramic Grill. Close the dome and set the timer for 45 minutes. Turn the fish pan, front to back, one time during the first 45 minutes, for even baking.

  6. 6.After 45 minutes, check the internal temperature of the salmon. The ideal temperature for smoked salmon is 140°F. If the salmon is below 140°F cook at 10 minute intervals until ideal temperature has been reached.

  7. 7.Remove salmon from grill. Allow the salmon to sit for 10 minutes to allow temperature to reach 145°F. Remove salmon from pan when it reaches 145°F.

  8. 8.Smoked salmon can be served warm but for a Spring Celebrations but we suggest serving Lemon Dill Smoked Salmon and Creamy Dill Dip chilled or at room temperature.

  9. 9.Garnish: Dill sprigs and lemons slices.


You Will Need:

2 Primo Heat Deflector Racks · 2 Primo Ceramic Heat Deflector Plates

We Also Suggest:

Primo Lump Charcoal · Primo QuickLights Fire Starters

1 chunk wood chunk per your choice: Alder, Apple, Maple, or Cherry


Prep Time 10 min

Brining Time Overnight

Grill Time 50-60 minutes

Seasons All

Category Fish

For Primo Ceramic Grill Inspo & Info

Keep up with A Merry Recipe’s grilling and smoking adventures:

A festive Easter Smoked Salmon with Dill Dip
Smoked Salmon for Easter!



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