Maple Bacon Bourbon Salmon Bites

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1:20 - Prep 0:20 / Cook 1:00

Derek Wolf’s recipe brings big Southern flavor 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, savory and tangy with sultry bourbon undertones.

About the cut: Salmon is an extremely versatile and flavorful 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

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

4 Servings


  • 1 whole side of salmon, cubed
  • > olive oil, to taste
  • 1/2 cup maple bourbon seasoning
  • 12 bacon slices, halved
Maple Bourbon BBQ Sauce
  • > jalapeño slices
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
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Step 1 Of 13
1. Preheat smoker to 350°F.
2. Remove salmon skin and slice into 1 ½ to 2-inch-cubes.
3. Coat salmon cubes with oil and season liberally with maple bacon seasoning.
Hot TipTo stay true to the recipe, you might want to try Derek Wolf’s Maple Bourbon Seasoning.
4. Wrap each salmon cube with a half strip of bacon. Then, coat the outside with maple bourbon seasoning and set aside.
5. Place a cast-iron skillet on grates to heat for 2 minutes.
6. While you wait, slice jalapeños into thin rounds.
7. Add bourbon to the skillet and simmer for 1 minute. Then, add the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and maple syrup. Whisk well and let sit over medium-low heat for 10 minutes with the lid closed, or until the sauce thickens.
8. Remove skillet from heat and keep the sauce warm.
9. Cool smoker to 250°F for indirect cooking. Add wood chips or chunks for added flavor, if desired.
10. Place salmon on the grates and cook until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, using an instant-read thermometer, about 30-40 minutes.
11. As the salmon cooks, baste the outside with sauce every 10 minutes.
12. When the salmon is done cooking, remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Hot TipGiving 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 then begins to fall.
13. Garnish with jalapeños and plate.
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