Try this secret smoked salmon brine recipe sent in by Gary Thompson. (He sure is busy and judging by the amount of preserving he needs to do, a fine fisherman)
* 8 - 10 lbs Salmon fillets, skin on
* 1 cup coarse salt
* 1 cup brown sugar
* ½ cup Soy Sauce
* 1 tbsp Garlic powder
* 1 cup Apple juice or cider
* 1 cup water
* large plastic bowl with a lid
Gary’s smoker will hold approx. 10 pounds of salmon so this recipe is based on that amount.
Into your container place all the brining ingredients and stir well.
Cut the salmon fillets into 3" - 4" pieces and place into container and top off with water.
Place the top on the container and shake gently to mix the brine and salmon thoroughly.
Let the brine and salmon sit in the refrigerator for 24 - 48 hours.
Remove fish from brine and pat dry.
Place fish on a cookie sheet and put in a 350F oven for 20 minutes.Gary adds the time in the oven to eliminate any problems with botulism.
Place fish on smoker racks and put into smoker.
Add smoking chips to the smoker and smoke the fish for approx 3 - 6 hours(depending on how strong you want your smoke flavor to be)
Gary uses Hickory chips because they are readily available in Michigan, where he lives.
When using a charcoal smoker 6 hours gave the best flavor.
Gary’s electric smoker will do the same thing in about three hours.
Gary’s secret brine recipe for smoked salmon goes very well with wheat crackers and a nice chilled ale or porter.