Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Smoked Salmon

The Pink Salmon run is in full force in the PNW and my husband had the opportunity to go fishing a few times in the last few weeks and brought us back a bunch of fish. The quality of the pinks are good enough to grill up but I still wanted to smoke half of it. Smoked salmon just has such an awesome flavor and is so easy to do with an electric smoker. All it takes is a little time but most of that is inactive time so its no problem.

In the past I have always stuck to the wet brine recipes in the booklet that came with the Big Chief electric smoker but this time I found a recipe for a dry brine that I decided to do. It was simple to put together and I think that it makes for a less salty end product which I like.

I can't wait to have some of this fish on a bagel with cream cheese and jalapeno jelly. The bagels are in the oven as I write this. I'm trying the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day bagels. I really hope they turn out well. Maybe that will have to be my entry for next week. This salmon is also great for making smoked salmon cream cheese dip.


  • For Dry Brine

  • 4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup non-iodized salt
  • 10-15 cloves of garlic


Press the cloves of garlic through a garlic press and in a bowl mix garlic, sugar, and salt together. In a large sealable container, add one layer of your prepared salmon chunks. The salmon should be cut to size, rinsed and all bones removed. Sprinkle a generous amount of the brine over the flesh of the salmon. Add another layer of salmon and repeat keeping flesh to flesh and skin to skin. Once all the salmon in covered place container in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Removed the fish from the container and gently rinse off the brine with water. Place the salmon on a drying rack and allow to dry for six hours. When dry, preheat your smoker and place the salmon in the smoker placing the thicker chunks on the bottom racks and the thinnest on the top. Follow manufactures instructions and add about 2-3 pans of wood chips and let the salmon dry/smoke for 6-10 hours depending on the weather and your taste. On the nice day that I smoked this salmon I used two pans of wood chips that was a mix of cherry and alder and I smoked the fish for about 7 hours.

After the salmon has been smoked, vacuum seal and freeze the extra that you don't use right away.

Recipe found from Salmon University.

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