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How to Smoke Salmon

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Preparing the brine
Preparing the Brine

Preparing the Brine

Hank Shaw

Smoking fish is not difficult, and it takes far less time than smoking meats such as pork or venison. Once you have large pieces of your fish -- salmon is an excellent smoking fish, as is bluefish, trout or sturgeon -- you will need to prepare a brine.

A basic fish brine is:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stalk sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped fennel
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 2 smashed garlic cloves

Mix together all the brine ingredients and place your fish in a non-reactive container (plastic or glass), cover and put in the refigerator.

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