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brine for smoked salmon

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I just got back from Door County and I love grilled salmon but I would like to smoke some too. I have used the Luhr Jensen brine mix and like that but I am looking for something different. I have had what they called candied salmon before and am looking for something in that direction, a sweet smokey flavor. I have a great marinate for grilling salmon if anyone would like that.



Here is a pic of one of the salmon that we got.


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Great fish, 30 lbs?

Lots of easy salt/sugar brines out there. For the sweet smoky flavor you're looking for, I add brown sugar instead of the regular white stuff, then maybe an hour before the smoking is done I like to brush a good maple syrup on the fillets.

I use lots more hickory chips than most recommend. The chips add more smoke than the chunks.

Here's some ideas:

Good luck.

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Great fish, 30 lbs?

DonBo didn't have a scale but my guess is somewhere between 15 and 20. The one in my avatar was bigger and we were thinking that one went 20.

So replace the white sugar with brown in the brine and glaze them with REAL maple syrup an hour before they are done. Sounds good.

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Chaff, nice fish! I use a apple juice and brown sugar brine for my salmon. I mix three cups mortons quick cure salt, apple juice(2 gallons), 1.5 lbs brown sugar, 1/4 cup garlic salt. Mix the ingredients well put in a cooler cut your salmon into 4-6" pieces and put into the brine partially frozen and let sit for 24 hours. I like to add a bag of ice once during the process and another 1/2-1 cup of the mortons quik cure, agitate the mixture well and let sit. I smoke mine with mesquite. Pull the peices out of the brine, pat them dry with paper towels and let sit for 30 minutes untill they get a shiny glaze(pedicle?), put them into a preheated smoker add my chips to the pan and smoke for 6-8 hours. Depends on what temp you run the smoker at but mine tops out at 165 so it take me a bit longer. If you run a hotter smoker then check them half way through for doneness and smoke accordingly. I like to run one small pan of chips through the smoker with about an hour to 1-11/2 hours to go just to add a bit of color and that last hint of smoky goodness. When I am smoking fillets off bigger salmon say 1 1/2 inches thick or more I like to score the fillets with a knife about 1/2 inch down in 1" intervals to get the brine to soak in deeper. This gives the fish a nice cross hatched appearance and lets the brine get down into the meat a bit more. Good luck with those tasty vittles!


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I took a 24# king on deaths door right close to you 7-24.

I always use Highmountain brines. they are straight forward with out all the goofy fruits and twigs stuff.

the Highmountain alaskan salmon brine is easy and great.

Nice fish by the way I'll be back out over 8-22.

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1 gallon of water

1 cup of pickling salt

1/2 bag dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons liquid smoke

1 teaspoon ground allspice

2 tablespoons garlic powder

soak salmon fillets in refridgerator for 18 to 24 hours. I smoke them until the fat coming out turns white or until the meat feels firm to the touch.

you can sprinkle with lemon pepper before smoking also.

I got this years ago from an old timer in wisconsin and have not found anything better for salmon or poultry yet, I soak turkeys and chicken for a week.

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Real nice Mike!

1 gallon of water

1 cup of non iodized salt w/ optional 1 tsp sodium nitrate

Or 1 cup Morton's Tender Quick

1 cup dark brown sugar

Soak fillets overnight.

Rinse and let air dry.

Coat flesh side of dill weed.

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Thanks for the feedback. Try this marinade for grilling.


1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce

1/4 cup horseradish mustard

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons honey

4 salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)


COMBINE first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish; add salmon. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes, turning once. (I like to give it a half hour on each side)

REMOVE salmon from marinade, reserving marinade. Bring left over marinade to a boil in a small saucepan. (This will make it safe to use over the cooked salmon at the end)

GRILL salmon, directly over coals about 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting frequently with reserved marinade. (I never flip the salmon over myself I just leave it skin side down. Then when it is done I slide the flipper just under the flesh as if filleting the skin away giving you nothing but the flesh to eat)

ARRANGE salmon over rice; drizzle with any remaining marinade.

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