From the most basic of smoked salmon brine recipes comes this one that has a few significant additives that will really enhance the flavor of your hot smoked salmon. So it's not rocket science, just some seasonings to bring the brine to life.
At the bottom of the page I've also included some approximate timings for how long you need to brine your salmon before drying and smoking. Remember, this is just a guide and your own taste may be different to mine so you might not get it right first time.
To ensure that you continue to get better and better at brining always keep a pencil and paper handy so that you can note the brine strength, the weight of the fish and the time that you brine it for. That way you can learn by your mistakes and finally find the perfect flavor for you.
Before the additions, let me just remind you of the basic brine recipe. Measures are in both metric and imperial units.
4 Quarts water
1½ cups brown sugar
3½ cups non iodized salt
4 Litres water
370g brown sugar
1090g non iodised salt
Once mixed, put this brine aside to chill.
Additions To The Salmon Brine:-
15g or 1 tablespoon onion powder
15g or 1 tablespoon garlic powder
15g or 1 tablespoon white pepper
Measure the seasonings into a small saucepan and add a small amount of your mixed brine so that you can make a paste. Bring it to the boil and then allow to cool before chilling and then adding to your already chilled brine mixture.
Suggested Brine Curing Times For Fish Fillets
¼ inch (6mm)
½ inch (12mm)
¾ inch (19mm)
1 inch (25mm)
1¼ inches (32mm)
Suggested Brine Curing Times For Whole Fish
Skin on, heads attached 45 minutes Skin on (slits every ¾ inch or 20mm) 30 minutes
All that remains now is to dry and smoke your fish. Dry it by placing it on a cake cooling rack in your refrigerator overnight.
To smoke your slamon it's a two step process. Step 1 is to gradually bring your smoker temperature up to 80°C or 175°F over a period of about 30 minutes and then step 2 is to further smoke the salmon for another 30 minutes.