Maple Bacon Bourbon Salmon Bites Recipe


Derek Wolf’s recipe brings big Southern flavour to the table. Tender salmon bites wrapped in crisp bacon, glazed with sticky maple bourbon BBQ sauce, and grilled to flaky, caramelized perfection over apple wood chips. Topped with fresh jalapeño, these indulgent morsels are sweet, savoury and tangy with sultry bourbon undertones.

About the cut: Salmon is an extremely versatile and flavourful fish, subtly sweet and salty with a meaty texture and high fat content, making it ideal for grilling and smoking.

These Maple Bacon Bourbon Salmon Bites were created by our partner, Derek Wolf at Over the Fire Cooking.

We made this recipe on the Bronco Drum Smoker, but you can make it on your smoker.


1 whole side of salmon, cubed

olive oil, to taste
½ cup maple bourbon seasoning
12 bacon slices, halved

Maple Bourbon BBQ Sauce

jalapeño slices
2 ounces bourbon
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup yellow mustard
1½ tablespoons brown sugar
2½ tablespoons maple syrup


  1. Preheat the Bronco Drum Smoker to 350°F.
  2. Remove salmon skin and slice into 1½ to 2-inch tubes.
  3. Coat salmon cubes with oil and season liberally with maple bacon seasoning.

HOT TIP To stay true to the recipe; you might want to try Derek Wolf’s Maple Bourbon Seasoning.

  1. Wrap each salmon cube with a half strip of bacon. Then, coat the outside with maple bourbon seasoning and set aside.
  2. Place a cast-iron skillet on the grates to heat for 2 minutes.
  3. While you wait, slice jalapeños into thin rounds.
  4. Add bourbon to the skillet and simmer for 1 minute. Then, add the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and maple syrup. Whisk well and sit over medium-low heat for 10 minutes with the lid closed or until the sauce thickens.
  5. Remove the skillet from heat and keep the sauce warm.
  6. Cool smoker to 250°F for indirect cooking. Add wood chips or chunks for added flavour, if desired.
  7. Place salmon on the grates and cook until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, using an instant-read thermometer, about 30-40 minutes.
  8. Baste the outside with sauce every 10 minutes as the salmon cooks.
  9. When the salmon is done cooking, remove it from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.

HOT TIP Giving your salmon the time it needs to rest allows juices to redistribute, retaining moisture for tender meat. The internal temperature will continue to rise 10 to 15 degrees until it levels out and begins to fall.

  1. Garnish with jalapeños and plate.

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