Smoked Wild Alaskan Salmon

Smoked Wild Alaskan Salmon

When preparing this Smoked Wild Alaskan Salmon Recipe, it’s important to leave the skin on and to remove all bones. Cut into uniform strips. Remember that strips will have a tendency to fall or sag through the larger grid racks. The following brine recipe is included to get you started, but you are encouraged to experiment with your own salt/sugar, maple, honey, peppers, seasonings to develop your own. When smoking, use the longer times given for thicker/higher oil content fish. As a general rule, the higher temp you use or the longer you hot smoke, the more the meat cooks the oils out. However, the meat becomes dryer/tougher in the process. I’ve “accidentally” left silver salmon at the 140-150°F range for up to 8 hours. And know what? It still turned out great. I personally believe that you’d have to try and make a batch of smoke salmon unpalatable by over smoking/cooking. If you get white “boogers” on the meat, you’re cooking too high/too fast.


Fillets of Wild Salmon

For the Brine:

1 gallon cold water

1 quart teriyaki OR soy sauce

1 cup pickling salt

2 Lbs brown sugar

2 Tbsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp cayenne pepper


Prepare the fish:

Fillet salmon. Leave the skin on and remove all bones. (Very important for excellence!)

Uniform Strips:

Cut meat into uniform strips, 3/8 to 1/2” wide and 3-6” long, or as long as your smoker racks can handle. The key here is to get uniform thickness cuts for uniform brining and smoking. The length is important only as far as your own packaging preferences. The strips will have a tendency to fall or sag through the larger grid racks.


Soak in your own brine recipe for 12 hours at refrigerator temps. For more complete brining throughout, place a stainless steel or wooden grate over the top of the meat to hold it under the brine. Stir fish a few times during the brining process.


Place fish in a single layer on drying racks and ensure that the pieces DON’T touch each other. Dry in a cool, shady place until a hard pellicle forms. Fish will have a tough, shiny coat and will be slightly tacky to the touch. A fan can help speed the drying process. Turn the fish over 2-3 times during the Glazing process to ensure more complete glazing. It is during the glazing process that you can sprinkle on certain spices (e.g. cayenne pepper) and/or visual enhancers (e.g. parsley flakes).


Smoke using the following Bradley Smoking guideline:

100°-120°F (37.8-48.9C) for 1-2 hours, then increase to

140° (60C) for 2-4 hours, then increase to

175° (79.4C) for 1-2 hours to finish