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Dry-Brined Smoked Salmon

Dry-Brined Smoked Salmon

Are you a seafood lover? Do you enjoy the delicate flavors of smoked salmon? If so, then you’re in for a treat! In this article, we will explore the wonderful world of dry-brined smoked salmon. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and learn how to create a mouthwatering delicacy that will impress your friends and family.

What is Dry-Brined Smoked Salmon?

Dry-brined smoked salmon is a culinary masterpiece that combines the richness of salmon with the smoky aroma of a well-seasoned fire. Unlike traditional wet brining, dry brining involves rubbing a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices directly onto the salmon fillets. This process draws out excess moisture, intensifies the flavors, and creates a beautifully firm texture.

Why Dry Brine?

Now you might be wondering, why should I choose dry brining over wet brining? Well, let me tell you. Dry brining is a hassle-free technique that requires less time and effort compared to wet brining. It also allows the salmon to retain more of its natural flavors and textures, resulting in a truly delectable experience.

How to Dry Brine Salmon?

The process of dry brining salmon is simple and straightforward. Start by mixing a combination of salt, sugar, and spices of your choice. Generously rub this mixture onto the salmon fillets, making sure to cover all sides. Place the fillets on a tray and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. This allows the flavors to penetrate the salmon, creating a perfect balance of saltiness and sweetness.

Smoking the Salmon

Once the salmon has been dry-brined, it’s time to infuse it with that irresistible smoky flavor. Preheat your smoker to a temperature of around 225째F (107째C). You can use a variety of wood chips or chunks to create different flavors. Place the salmon fillets on the smoker rack and let them smoke for about 2-4 hours, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Keep an eye on the temperature to ensure a consistent and even cook.

How to Serve Dry-Brined Smoked Salmon?

Now that your dry-brined smoked salmon is ready, it’s time to get creative with the serving options. You can simply enjoy it on its own, flaked over a salad, or layered onto a bagel with cream cheese and capers. The possibilities are endless! The smoky, salty, and slightly sweet flavors of the salmon will add a touch of sophistication to any dish.


Dry-brined smoked salmon is a culinary delight that elevates the natural flavors of salmon to new heights. The simple yet effective dry brining technique ensures that each bite is packed with a perfect balance of flavors. So why not give it a try and impress your loved ones with your culinary skills? They’ll be begging for seconds!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use frozen salmon for dry-brining and smoking?

A: Absolutely! Just make sure to thaw the salmon completely before starting the dry brining process.

Q: How long can I store dry-brined smoked salmon?

A: Dry-brined smoked salmon can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, allowing you to enjoy its flavors throughout the week.

Q: Can I use different types of wood for smoking?

A: Yes, you can experiment with various types of wood to infuse different flavors into the salmon. Some popular options include applewood, hickory, and mesquite.

Q: Can I add additional spices to the dry brine mixture?

A: Absolutely! Feel free to get creative and add spices like dill, garlic, or lemon zest to enhance the flavor profile of your dry-brined smoked salmon.

Q: Can I use the dry brine mixture for other types of seafood?

A: Definitely! The dry brine mixture works well with other seafood options like trout or halibut, allowing you to explore different flavor combinations.

Q: Can I use a grill instead of a smoker?

A: Yes, you can use a grill with indirect heat to smoke the salmon. Just make sure to maintain a low and consistent temperature throughout the cooking process.

Q: How do I know when the salmon is fully smoked?

A: The salmon is fully smoked when it reaches an internal temperature of 145째F (63째C) and has a beautiful smoky color and flaky texture.

Q: Can I freeze dry-brined smoked salmon?

A: Yes, you can freeze dry-brined smoked salmon for up to 2 months. Just make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn.

Dry Brined Smoked Salmon compressed image1

Dry-Brined Smoked Salmon

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 10 hours 30 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 1 and a half cups of brown sugar , split into two portions
  • 1 cup of kosher salt
  • 3 pounds of salmon fillets
  • Half a cup of honey
  • 2 cans or bottles (12 fluid ounces each) of cola-flavored carbonated beverage , like Coca-Cola® (optional)
  • 3 cups of wood chips , soaked


  • Combine 1 cup of brown sugar and kosher salt in a small bowl.
  • Spread a thin layer of the brown sugar mixture in the bottom of a 9-inch baking pan.
  • Place 2 to 3 salmon fillets on top of the brown sugar mixture.
  • Cover the salmon fillets with some of the brown sugar mixture.
  • Repeat the layers until all the salmon fillets are coated.
  • Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours to overnight.
  • Preheat a smoker according to the manufacturer's instructions, to a temperature of 195 degrees F (91 degrees C).
  • Rinse the brown sugar mixture off the salmon fillets.
  • Lightly brush the salmon fillets with honey.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar on top of the fillets.
  • Pour a cola-flavored beverage into the smoker's water pan, filling it up to within 1 inch of the top.
  • Add water to the pan, filling it to within 1 inch of the top.
  • Place half of the wood chips around the perimeter of the hot charcoal.
  • Place the salmon fillets on the cooking racks in the smoker.
  • Cook the salmon, adding more wood chips if needed, until the center reaches a temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). This usually takes about 2 hours.
  • Allow the salmon to cool
Keyword and, BBQ, breakfast, Brunch, Cooking, Dishes, DIY, Fillet, Gourmet, Grilling, Main, Other, Outdoor, Recipes, Salmon, Seafood, Smoked
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Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


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