Stove Top Smoker Brined Salmon

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READY IN: 8hrs
Recipe by TxGriffLover

This is not a difficult recipe to make, but it does require some advanced planning. You may wish to brine the fish the night before serving, setting it out to dry just before bed, and smoke it upon awakening. Brining and drying the fish prior to cooking creates a protective “skin” (or pellicle) on the outer surface of the fish. This film helps to hold in the moisture and provides a concentration of flavors from the brine. The brine basically consists of 4 cups liquid, usually water; a generous quantity of salt, usually some form of sugar, and additional ingredients to flavor the brine. If you have a larger quantity of fish, just make additional brine. Throw brine away after use. Select your brine, or make up your own, using the proportions suggested

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the boiling water. Combine remaining ingredients. Cool to room temperature. Pour into a baggie large enough to accommodate both the brine and the fish. Be sure fish is completely immersed in brine. Soak 1-4 hours.
  2. Gently rinse the fish under slow running water, removing some of the brine. Remove the lid from your smoker. Tilt the rack into the smoker, using the legs of the rack to rest against the lip of the smoker. Lay your fillet, skin side down, on the rack. Place rack in a cool, well ventilated place, such as a cool oven with the door propped open. Place a small fan blowing into the oven if possible. Allow to rest until a glossy film, or pellicle forms, that feels tacky-dry to the touch, about 4-8 hours.
  3. Prepare your smoker using the chips of your choice, about 1/4-1/3 cup total. Start smoker on high, and when light wisps of white smoke begin to rise, turn heat down to low and cover. Smoke over very low heat. This may take 1.5-2 hours. Check occasionally. Fish should appear opaque and lighter in color.
  4. This may be served warm or cold, or at room temperature. If you cool it prior to serving, the skin is easily removed.
  5. Easy Green Mayonnaise: 1 cup mayonnaise, 5 ounces chopped frozen spinach, cooked, squeezed dry, and cooled.
  6. 1/4 cup fresh herb of your choice (dill, tarragon, etc.) -- Combine the ingredients in a blender or food processor, process until well blended. Serve with smoked salmon.

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