Wild Recipes

Blackened Smoked Salmon Burgers with Duck Fat Fries

Latest posts by John Vile (see all)
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Paul Prudhomme’s blackened redfish set the culinary world on fire in the mid-80’s and I’ve been a huge fan of the flavor and cooking technique ever since. I’ve blackened everything from the typical proteins like catfish and chicken to venison and duck.

The long days spent trolling for salmon on a recent trip to Lake Ontario left lots of time for my mind to wander about some new recipes to utilize my catch. I’ve blackened salmon before, but never after smoking it and, well who doesn’t like a burger. This recipe uses my blackened seasoning which has a slight sweetness and will not set your mouth on fire, unless you want that and then I would simply increase the amount of cayenne pepper. The key is to get the cast iron pan blazing hot and don’t breath in the fumes.

Serve this burger on a nicely toasted brioche bun with some fresh greens, pickled red onions, a simple remoulade, and a side of duck fat sweet potato fries and as we say in NJ “fuhgeddaboudit”.

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Blackened Smoked Salmon Burgers with Duck Fat Fries

Recipe by John Vile
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Course: Wild Recipes


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  • Brine
  • 4-5 pieces fresh salmon

  • 1-1/2 quarts water

  • 1/3 cup Morton’s Tender Quick

  • 1/2 cup molasses

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • Blackened Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon oregano

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon allspice

  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • 4 sweet potatoes

  • Duck fat

  • Burgers
  • Smoked salmon

  • 1 egg

  • Unseasoned breadcrumbs

  • Fresh greens

  • Brioche buns

  • Pickled red onions

  • Remoulade
  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup favorite hot sauce

  • 1-1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1-1/2 tablespoon blackened seasoning

  • Juice from 1 lemon

  • Pinch kosher salt


  • Combine brine ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and whisk until dry ingredients dissolve. Place salmon fillets in brine, weigh them down with a plate, and place the bowl in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours.
  • Remove fillets, place them on a wire rack, and lightly blot them with paper towels to remove excess liquid. Allow fillets to air dry for an hour or two until the pellicle is formed.
  • Set temperature of smoker to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and smoke fillets using hickory or apple pellets. After 1-1/2 hours or so, increase the smoker temperature to 160-170 degrees and continue to smoke until the salmon hits 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove salmon and allow it to cool slightly. Meanwhile, turn smoker to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, peel sweet potatoes, and slice them into ¼ inch thick slices. Place slices on a sheet pan and liberally coat them in duck fat. Place the pan on the smoker and cook for 25-30 minutes and be sure to flip the potatoes halfway through the cooking process.
  • Once the fries are slightly crispy, remove them from the smoker and liberally sprinkle them with blackened seasoning.
  • Remove skins from salmon fillets and break up the fillets in a large bowl and remove any bones. Add the egg, a couple tablespoons of blackened seasoning, and about 1 cup or so of breadcrumbs. Give everything a good mix and break salmon into smaller pieces. Form mixture into 1/3-pound patties and liberally apply blackened seasoning to both sides of the burger patties along with a spritz of avocado oil. Place burgers in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or so to set-up.
  • Place a large cast iron pan on your smoker set to the highest setting or use an outdoor burner turned to high and drizzle some avocado oil in the pan. When the pan is really smoking, add the salmon burgers. Cook for several minutes on each side until they achieve a nice crust and color. Remove burgers and finish in a 325-degree Fahrenheit oven to heat the burgers all the way through.

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John Vile

I live in NE Pennsylvania with my wife and two children. My passions include chasing whitetail deer during archery season, hunting waterfowl on local creeks, rivers, and agricultural fields, freshwater fishing, and assisting my wife with the vegetable garden. I spend almost every available minute on the water and in the woods with my kids and wife, and for us, spending time in the outdoors as a family is a way of life.

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