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Salmon Brine for Smoking
submitted by: Mark Elkins

 

Here we go:
In a 5 gal. bucket lined with a household garbage bag:

1 cup "Non-Iodized" salt. It is very important that you use this salt only as any other will ruin your fish. You can get this salt right next to the regular salt at your market, it comes in a red box(regular salt comes in a blue box).

2 gal cold water
2 lbs. dark brown sugar
1 bottle red or white wine
1 32 oz bottle Teriyaki sauce
6 oz each of garlic and onion powder
4 oz of pickling spice
1 oz each of cinnamon and mace
1 large bottle of Italian seasoning

Combine all ingredients and let stand 1 hour.

Marinate fish in brine for 12 - 24 hours stirring or agitating every 2 hrs or so. I usually go for 24 hours.

Remove fish from brine and rinse brine off thoroughly in cold running water.

Let fish air dry for at least 1 hour, you want the flesh to get a "tacky" surface on it.

Place fish in smoker(do not use a barbeque!). Distribute fish on the racks evenly to make sure there is plenty of space between pieces.

Fill chip pan with a 50/50 mix of apple and alder chips(you can get these at Big 5 Sporting Goods). A pan of chips usually will take 1 hour to burn out, replace chips as they burn out for the first 5 hours then every 4 - 6 hours for the rest of the smoking time.

A filet of salmon will take between 8 and 24 hours to smoke depending on size of the filet and the desired amount of doneness. A 10 lb salmon will yield 2 3.5 lb fillets that will take at least 12 hours to smoke for a soft texture. I will smoke this salmon for 24 hours to get a hard smoked texture that I like.

Mark Elkins, Sun Microsystems

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