Although a bit time consuming this is simple tasty smoked salmon that is great for all occasions. Today I am using Atlantic salmon, this recipe is equally good with all types of salmon.
- 5 lbs Salmon, Trout or Char
- 2 cups Maple Syrup
- ¾ quart Cool Water
- ⅓ cup Kosher Salt
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- Mix together the brine ingredients in a large pot a heat on the stove until dissolved. Cool the brine with ice. Add the fish to the cooled brine and place in a glass or plastic container, seal and put in the refrigerator. If you do not have enough brine to fully cover the fish simply repeat the brine recipe.
- Cure the fish for at least 4 hours and for larger filets you may brine for up to 8 hours.
- After brining, remove, pat dry and set on your cooling racks, skin side down. Place the fish uncovered in your fridge for 12 hours, you will see a shiny skin develop. This thin, lacquer-like layer on top of the fish is a critical step to achieve as it seals the fish and offers an adequate surface for the smoke to penetrate.
- Set your smoker to low or smoke and place the fish on the racks. I like to get an initial smoke setting at about 140 degrees. To achieve this you may need to add an ice tray to the smoker. Smoke for approximately 2 hours.
- Baste the fish every hour with the maple syrup and flip the fish.
- After a couple hours, increase the temperature to 180 degrees F and cook for another 2-3 hours, basting with Maple syrup every hour.
Smoked salmon keeps up to 4 weeks in the fridge or may be frozen and enjoyed for up to a year. I find this recipe to be quite simple and tasty. It is best enjoyed in many ways, try it as an addition to eggs benedict instead of ham, or try adding to Mac and Cheese, or simply as an appetizer served on crackers.