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Smoked salmon filets with lemon wedges and salt sprinkles.
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4.67 from 3 votes

Smoked Salmon Brine

This Smoked Salmon Brine will give your hot smoked salmon the most amazing flavor around. It's a simple brine that packs a big, tasty punch.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Brine and Fridge Time20 hours
Total Time1 day 15 minutes
Course: Brine, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, Seafood
Keyword: Smoked Salmon Brine
Servings: 6 people
Author: Susie Bulloch


  • 2-3 pound salmon filet cut into individual portions

Smoked Salmon Brine

  • 4 cups cool water
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • cup kosher salt
  • zest of 1 lemon


  • Brine the salmon. In a glass baking dish, combine all of the ingredients for the brine and stir until the salt is dissolved. Gently submerge your salmon portions in the brine, cover, and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. If your salmon filets are thin, 8 hours should be enough. Thicker filets will take 12 hours.
    4 cups cool water, ½ cup white sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, ⅓ cup kosher salt, zest of 1 lemon, 2-3 pound salmon filet
  • Develop the pellicle. Remove the salmon from the brine and transfer it to a cooling rack positioned over a cookie sheet. Place the salmon in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight to develop a pellicle.
  • Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 165-170 degrees F using your favorite hardwood.
  • Smoke the salmon. Place the salmon on the grates skin side down and smoke for 3-4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 145 degrees F.
  • Enjoy. Once your fish has reached 145 degrees F, remove the salmon from the smoker. Serve immediately if you want a hot dinner or chill and serve cold in a salad or sandwich the next day.


Calories: 215kcal | Protein: 30g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 741mg | Vitamin A: 60IU | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg