Author Topic: Brine for salmon.  (Read 444 times)

Offline Gebs27

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Brine for salmon.
« on: October 06, 2019, 05:28:20 pm »
Need help smoking salmon way to salty.

At supper yesterday I prepped my dry brine. 2 cups brown sugar 1 cup kosher salt. Left it in fridge over night. At 10 am I rinsed it off. Dried 2 hours.

Put in smoker. 120, 140,160 2 hours a piece.

Go to eat. One bite was so salty I spit it in garbage.

Is this normal or what am I doing wrong ??

Offline Edward176

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Re: Brine for salmon.
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2019, 06:39:40 pm »
All the recipes I've come across normally use a 4:1 Brown sugar to salt ratio. Yours is 2:1 ratio, that's way too salty for dry brine salmon. I've been using 1 cup Kosher salt and 4 cups packed brown sugar and haven't had any issues like yours. If your salmon is too salty you could try soaking the smoked pieces in cold water for an hour. Dry them off and try tasting, if its still too salty change the water and repeat. I once had my salmon too salty, and an hour in cold water really helped. I also set my smoker to 150°F and smoke for 90 minutes, brush (melted in microwave) apricot jam and another 30 minutes in smoker--total smoke is 2 hours.   

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Brine for salmon.
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2019, 02:27:07 am »
It's been a while since I've dried brine salmon. I now just us a flavoring brine; using a wet brine. I hot smoke it roughly using the times and temperatures you use - when I fully smoke/cook the salmon in the Bradley.

In addition to Eward176 post, the thickness of your salmon and the length of time you brine it also has an effect on how salty the finish product is.


Offline dubob

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Re: Brine for salmon.
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2019, 07:34:38 am »
I'm with HS on this - I never dry brine fish.  I use a wet brine for 18 to 24 hours and then smoke.  I also cover each fillet with brown sugar after the brining process is completed and just prior to putting the fillets in the smoker.  Here is my brine recipe:

Soak in the following brine solution for at least 12 hours at refrigerator temperatures (I do it more like 18 or more).  Use a stainless steel or wooden grate over the top of the meat to hold it completely under the brine.  Stir fish a few times during the brining process.

1 gallon cold water
10 oz Teriyaki sauce
5 oz orange juice
1/3 cup pickling salt
2 cups brown sugar
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Works for me every time its tried.   ;D
Bob Hicks, from Utah
I’m 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
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Offline acftmech

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Re: Brine for salmon.
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2019, 09:25:27 am »
Just smoked salmon yesterday. Made wet brine. 1C kosher,1 1/2 C brown sugar, 1/2C maple syrup, juice of one lemon, 1onion chopped course, 2cloves crushed garlic, 1 1/2 qts cold water. Brine skinless thin filets for 5-7 hours. Quick rinse in cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with course ground pepper and air dry on racks in fridge overnight. Smoked with alder at 140 until nice glazed appearance. My favorite recipe. 👍👍
I’ve had similar issues with dry brine being too salty.

Offline Gebs27

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Re: Brine for salmon.
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2019, 04:58:45 am »
Thank you everyone.
I am going to give this a go next weekend.

Offline Sausage Master

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Re: Brine for salmon.
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2019, 10:12:35 am »
Here's what I use....


•   2 salmon fillets with skin

•   1 cup Soy Sauce
•   1 cup Agave Syrup
•   1/2 cup Olive Oil
•   2 Tbs Garlic
•   1 Tbs Ginger
•   2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
•   1 lemon, quartered


•   Wash the salmon filets thoroughly and place in a pan.
•   In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, ginger, syrup, and sugar and mix well. Pour the marinade over the fillets.
•   Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or if you prefer, overnight.

1.   Preheat a smoker to 250 degrees F and smoke with pecan.
2.   Place salmon on smoker racks skin side down.   
3.   Smoke for 30 to 60 minutes or until fish flakes nicely.
Charles (Chuck) Freeland
The Sausage Master
Phone: 405-397-1084 Fax: 888-547-7993