Smoked Salmon Brine

Grill/Smoker, Sauce


2 lbs. salmon fillets

3 cups warm water

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon fresh diced garlic

1 tablespoon onion powder

1/2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger


Steps to Using a Smoked Salmon Brine:

Make brine:
Wet brines have two essential components: salt and water. The salt helps flavor the meat while the water packs in extra moisture. It can be as simple as just these two ingredients, or you can flavor your fish by adding other seasonings, herbs, and aromatics. Our recipe for garlic soy smoked salmon brine below creates a tasty flavor profile common in asian-cuisine.

Let fish soak in the brine for at most 6-7 hours. Be sure to place the fillets in a resealable zip-top bag or a covered baking dish to prevent cross contamination with other foods. Proteins should always be kept in the fridge while brining to keep the food at a safe temperature.

Although you want to use a brine to add extra flavor to your fish, be sure to rinse and dry the fillets before smoking. This will wash away any excess spices that may have clumped together while resting.

Salmon is a great fish to smoke on a cedar plank. This helpful tool not only creates delicious smoky flavor, but it also makes transporting the fish from the smoker to the table a snap. The key to making perfectly smoked salmon is to keep the temperature low and controlled throughout the cook time. We set our Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker to 160 degrees F and used the probe to monitor the internal temperature of the fish. You’ll know it’s done when it reaches 160 degrees F.

In a large baking dish, mix water, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, onion powder, and ginger until well combined. Let cool completely.
Add fish fillets and let rest in the fridge for 6-7 hours.
Preheat smoker to 160 degrees F and add alder wood chips to the smoker box. Place salmon in smoker and cook for about 3 hours.
Use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the salmon. Remove from smoker once the fish reaches 160 degrees F or until the fillets take on a light pink color and begin to flake apart.