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Smoked Salmon and Saying Good Bye

It has been an amazing season; we have enjoyed seeing many of you and sharing in your excitement of fish caught. Some of you were not able to make it for a variety of reasons and we look forward to getting caught up in the future. We have harvested some great fish this year but don’t worry, those of you who didn’t make it…we left plenty for the future! Can’t wait to see you all again next summer, let the countdown begin!

One of my favorite ways to eat salmon is smoked. I love it on crackers, on a salad and even just straight from the package. Really, you can’t go wrong. I thought that since we are smoking fish, as I am typing, to take home for this winter it was a great recipe to share. This simple brine we have fine-tuned and tweaked over the years. The great thing about this is it stands alone great and it can be modified. We like to add honey at the end of smoking for as smoky sweet flavor; red pepper flakes for a kick; and even just some cracked black pepper. Really, the options are limitless and don’t be afraid to mix it up a little!

Smoked Salmon – Wet Brine

2 Salmon fillets

1 Cup brown sugar

1 Cup Kosher or Deionized salt

2 Cup Soy Sauce

2 Gallons Water

½ Cup Honey, diluted with ½ cup water (optional)

  1. Cut salmon into desired portion size, we do everything from small pieces to full fillets, all depends on the presentation I am after.

  2. Put salmon in a large container.

  3. Combine all remaining ingredients, except honey, and cover salmon.

  4. Brine for 12 to 14 hours.

  5. Place fish on the smoker grill, non-stick spray may help.

  6. Smoke for 4-6 houra on steady smoke (about 150 degrees), depending on salmon slice thickness.

  7. When the salmon is almost finished, baste with diluted honey (if wanted)

Note: Salmon is done when you push on it and isn’t squishy anymore, it isn’t an exact science at our house

Note 2: We also make salmon jerky with the wet brine, cut the salmon into thin strips, brine 6 hours and smoke until jerky texture…you won’t be sorry!

Note 3: The honey is a personal preference, I leave it off most of the time because to me smoked salmon should be salty not sweet, Kelly prefers a little sweet.

Note 4: Please, try not to drool...I know, it's hard!

Note 5: As you can tell the wet brine is our go to…have fun with it!

Chef Jake likes a dry brine smoked salmon, also delicious! Here is his recipe, try them both and let me know which you prefer…he used this one for appetizers at a wedding he catered and it was a hit!

Smoked Salmon – Dry Brine

2 Salmon fillets

4 Cups brown sugar

1 Cup Kosher or Deionized salt

1 Cup Honey


  1. Cut Salmon into portions about ¾ to 1 inch thick, lay flat in a large tub with about ¼ inch between pieces.

  2. Mix brown sugar and salt, cover fish about ¼ inch thick on top, let the space between the fish fill too. Drizzle dry rub with honey.

  3. Cover container with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 to 14 hours

  4. After “soaking in” the brine, gently wipe off any remaining dry brine and place on paper towel lined plate. Save the excess brine for basting

  5. Let the fish dry for about an hour (use a fan if necessary). Baste and repeat 3 times.

  6. Smoke fish on “smoke” setting or heat your smoker to 250 degrees and after a good smoke has built up turn it down to the lowest setting.

  7. Place fish on the smoker grill, non-stick spray may help.

  8. Smoke for 1 hour on steady smoke (about 150 degrees), baste with brine after the first hour. Smoke an additional 30 min to 1 hour, depending on salmon slice thickness, at 150 degrees.

Enjoy ~ Momma Mary

P.S. I took a poll of my crew, which was their favorite Saturday dinner. By far their favorite was the Halibut Burgers…let me know which you liked the best! Miss you all already!

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