Salt Brine For Smoked Salmon

When it comes to a good salt brine for smoked salmon, here's the standard mix. This is ideal for hot smoked salmon, it's easy to prepare and delivers consistent results.

The salt is in there to help remove some of the water and also to aid the movement of the sugar that will act as a tenderizer. There's very little to this recipe, the main challenge that you will have is to ensure that you brine your salmon for the right length of time.

To help you out you'll see at the bottom of the page I've put a benchmark guide for how long to brine your salmon based on the salt content in this mix and dependent on the thickness of the fish. After brining, allow your fish to dry, don't rinse it and whilst it's drying, select your fish smoking recipe.

There's lots more recipes for smoked fish brine on the site so don't think that you have to stay with this one but having said that, this is a good all-rounder.

Yield:- 1 US gallon

Preparation Time:- 10 minutes
Curing Time:- see below



  • 4 Quarts water
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 3½ cups non iodized salt


  • 4 Litres water
  • 370g brown sugar
  • 1090g non iodised salt

Suggested Brine Curing Times For Fish Fillets

Thickness Time
¼ inch (6mm) 5 minutes
½ inch (12mm) 15 minutes
¾ inch (19mm) 35 minutes
1 inch (25mm) 45 minutes
1¼ inches (32mm) 1 hour

Suggested Brine Curing Times For Whole Fish

Skin on, heads attached 45 minutes
Skin on (slits every ¾ inch or 20mm) 30 minutes

Use an electronic timer with an alarm to monitor your brining time. To brine a good quantity of salmon is going to cost you a lot of money and the last thing that you need is to forget about it and end up with a salty offering.

See Also:-

Hot Smoked Salmon Recipe
Hot Smoked Mackerel
All My Brine Recipes
Barbecue Marinades
Barbecue Rub Recipes

Return to Water Smoker Recipes from Salt Brine For Smoked Salmon

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