Total Time
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 72 hrs

Amazing recipe to marinate salmon prior to smoking. We've used this recipe the last 4 years with great success. Gives a tangy, flavorful bite to smoke fish strips. We cut the fish into 1-inch wide strips approx. 8-10 inches long and tie two together with thin twine. We then loop the tied strips over slats in our smokehouse for the drying time and smoking. We smoke slowly outdoors in our smokehouse using a combination of alders and apple chips. We use red cooking wine for our preferred flavor. Recipe taken from, Cookin' Your Catch, by Mark Elkins. This is an expensive marinade, but it will fill a five-gallon bucket and do approximately 10-12 huge fish. Prior to beginning, line a 5-gallon bucket with a clean, household garbage bag (33 gallon).

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Prepare fish, tie strips together, etc.
  2. Combine all ingredients and let stand one hour.
  3. Marinate fish in brine for 12-24 hours, stirring or agitating every 2 hours or so. Usually go for 24 hours.
  4. Remove fish from brine and rinse brine off thoroughly in cold, running water.
  5. Let fish air dry for at least 1 hour, until the flesh gets a "tacky" surface on it.
  6. Place fish in smoker (do not use a barbecue). Distribute fish over racks evenly to make sure there is plenty of space between pieces.
  7. Fill chip pan with a 50/50 mix of alder and apple chips. A pan of chips usually takes 1 hour to burn out. Replace chips as they burn out for the first 5 hours, then every 4-6 hours for the rest of the smoking time.
  8. A salmon fillet will take between 8-24 hours to smoke depending on the size of the fillet and the desired amount of doneness. A 10-lb. salmon will yield 2 3.5-pound fillets that will take at least 12 hours to smoke for a soft texture. We smoke this salmon for a minimum of 24 hours to get a hard, smoked texture. (Depending on the weather, this could take 3-5 days.).