Brine for Smoked Salmon Recipe -
Brine for Smoked Salmon Recipe
  • READY IN 13+ hrs

Brine for Smoked Salmon

Recipe by  

"Salmon brine is made with lots of citrus flavor. It is also excellent for trout. This recipe makes enough to brine two large salmon fillets."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 gallon Change Servings
  • PREP

    1 hr 10 mins

    13 hrs 10 mins


  1. Pour the water into a large bowl or small bucket. If you must use a pot, use one that does not contain aluminum. Stir in the kosher salt, white sugar, brown sugar, lemon pepper, parsley and seasoning mix. Add the garlic, hot pepper sauce, lemons, oranges, lime and onion.
  2. Soak your salmon in this brine in the refrigerator for 12 to 36 hours. Smoke using your desired method (see Cook's Note).
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  • Cook's Note:
  • To smoke salmon: Pat fillets dry with paper towels; do not rinse. Place on smoking rack skin-side down. Place a fan on high for about 4 hours to seal the fish. Add your favorite wood to the smoker. Smoke at 180 degrees F (82 degrees C) for 5 to 6 hours. Try it-y'all will love it!

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Apr 02, 2006

Very unique recipe! Takes a bit of time to prepare the brine but it was worth it. I'm glad I halved the makes A LOT! I smoked two salmon filets and one halibut filet. Both came out juicy and flaky. Yum!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Aug 24, 2008

I didn't like the way this brine washed out the color of the sockeye. The brine was beautiful - looked like we should be drinking it instead of putting our fresh salmon into it. We tasted salmon that had just been marinated in a simple salt and sugar brine and liked it much more than this.

Aug 31, 2006

Incredible...does take some time and I halved the recipe and still had plenty (1 very large salmon)..comments were all VERY positive...I also used the leftover brine in the smoker water pan! I will definately use this one again-thanks.

Aug 15, 2007

Most excellent! I have brined salmon and smoked it before but this recipe gives such a complex range of flavors that it is unbeatable. I loved it. I did half the recipe and there was still PLENTY. Also left out the sugars and the orannge. I dont really like a lot of sweet on my food. Just me. I highly recommend this one. Thanks for sharing it!

May 02, 2008

Two Christmas's ago, I wanted to prepare some smoked salmon fillets, for picking at, during our family get-together. I prepared the recipe as per the instructions. I them smoked in my smoker using alder chips. Everyone commented on how there was no "fishy" flavor at all. Near the edges where the filets are the thinnest, the meat was a bit salty; however that is to be expected. I will be making this again, for sure!

Dec 28, 2010

This brine was awesome. I pretty much followed the original recipe, take or give an orange or two. I also had 4.5lbs of salmon and it was just the right amount, so I imagine you can cut it in half for about 2.5lbs and fewer. Some said they changed it so that it wouldn't be that sweet. I didn't find it that sweet at all even with all of the sugar. I imagine you could come some of the white out. I put the fish in the brine for about 11 hours, took out the fish, and let filets sit in the fridge over night. I soaked cedar planks for 30 minutes in the brine. I smoked the fish for about 3-4 hours at 175F using a mixture of apple and hickory. It was amazing. Thanks for this recipe.

Apr 21, 2008

This added a light citrus flavor to our smoked salmon. I used fresh grapefruit in place of the lemon and lime. I added fresh rosemary and fresh parsley from our garden. Due to time restraints, we left our salmon in the brine for 8 hours, this seemed to be plenty of time for added citrus flavor. I especially loved no fishy smell or taste.

Jul 07, 2007

Very good - mad half like the others did and it was plenty for a 10 pound salmon. Marinated for about 22 hours. The crab and shrimp seasoning (I used Old Bay) was an interesting twist and gives it a great unique flavor. Thanks!!


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  • Calories
  • 82 kcal
  • 4%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 22 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 0.1 g
  • < 1%
  • Fiber
  • 1.4 g
  • 6%
  • Protein
  • 0.5 g
  • < 1%
  • Sodium
  • 3824 mg
  • 153%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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About the Cook

Mike O.
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