Smoked King Salmon Recipe

This smoked king salmon recipe has been developed through many years of experimentation.

We’ve used various brine ingredients and soaking times, different types of wood used to create smoke and various temperatures and times used in the smoking process.

Below is one of our favorites, give it a try.

Alder Smoked King Salmon

We think this species of salmon is the best choice of fish for the smoker The very high oil content of king salmon keeps it moist and produces excellent flavor

The Fish

This is one of our smoked salmon recipes, that's nice to have at least two big fillets that weigh about 5 or 6 pounds each. In each fillet, there’s a row of small bones starting where the head was, going towards the tail, called pin bones.

I like to remove these prior to brining the fish but it’s optional. A small pair of needle nose pliers works great.

Cut the thin strip of belly meat off the fillets (don’t throw them away) Now cut the rest of the fillets into about 3 or 4 inch wide strips

The Brine

  • 1cup soy sauce
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1cup pickling salt
  • ¼ cup Johnny’s seasoning salt
  • 2tbls onion powder
  • 2tbls garlic powder

Using a plastic container mix the soy sauce and spices in 1 gallon of cold water until totally dissolved. Now put the salmon in the brine making sure all the pieces are completely submerged. Don’t forget the belly meat.

Brine the fish for 12 hours in the reefer or a cooler with ice in it. When the brining is complete, rinse each piece with cold water and pat dry.

Now place the fish on racks to air dry in a cool area. When it becomes tacky to the touch it’s ready to go in the smoker.

The Smoker

Heat your smoker up to 120 to 130 degrees, place the fish in the smoke chamber skin side down, making sure there is a little room between each piece. Put the belly meat as far away from the heat source as possible, being thinner it will be done sooner than the thicker pieces.

The traditional wood used for smoking salmon in the northwest is alder. It produces a light smoky flavor without overwhelming the taste of the salmon.

Smoke the fish at 120 to 130 degrees for 1 hour, then raise the temperature to 140 to 150 degrees for 2 more hours. Finally, raise the temperature to 170 to 180 degrees and smoke the fish for another 2 hours.

The belly meat should be done at this point unless you like your fish really done, so try a piece and see what you think.

If it’s not done enough for your taste continue to smoke the fish at 170 to 180 degrees until desired doneness is achieved.

So reel in your King Salmon and lets get smoky!

Pink Salmon smoked to perfection the Pacific Northwest way.

Sea Bass is another great fish to smoke.

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