Forget everything you know about cooking salmon and try this recipe. The smoke flavor mixed with the salty and sweetness goodness will have you never wanting to eat salmon any other way. It also makes a great game day or party snack. Try this smoked salmon candy at your next get together. Just make sure to grab some first because they disappear quickly!
Can I brine the salmon for longer than 8 hours?
I would actually recommend brining the salmon for less than 8 hours if time is an issue; it can become too salty if you brine it for more than 8 hours.
- 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillet, skinless
Maple Syrup Brine & Glaze
- 1 cup brown sugar, substitute coconut sugar
- 3/4 cups maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coarse salt, sea or kosher
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 splash of whiskey, optional
Prep and brine the salmon
Rinse the salmon well under cold water and pay dry with paper towels. Slice the salmon into 1 inch stripes wide and a few inches long. Place the salmon in a large resealable bag. Combine the brown sugar, salt, 1/2 cup of maple syrup, black pepper, whiskey (if using), and 4 cups of water. Stir until most of the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour the mixture into the bag with the salmon, seal the bag, and toss well. Place the bag in the refrigerator and brine for 8 hours, turning every couple of hours to evenly coat the salmon.
Air dry the salmon
Remove the salmon from the brine, rinse well under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the salmon on a wire rack coated in olive oil (any oil will do) over a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips. Let the salmon air dry in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Smoke and glaze the salmon
Preheat your smoker to 225°F. Remove the wire rack from the rimmed baking sheet and place it directly onto the grates of the smoker. This will allow the smoke to penetrate on all sides while also making it easier to transport the salmon once finished. Smoke the salmon for approximately 1 hour until the internal temperature reaches 140°F. You're looking for a bit firmer consistency than you'd normally cook salmon to. I recommend using a good thermometer to test the temperature of the salmon instead of relying on time.
Every 15 minutes or so, brush the salmon with the remaining 1/4 cup of maple syrup to form a nice glaze.
Serve the smoked salmon candy
When the salmon is finished cooking, brush once more with the remaining maple syrup and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve the salmon at room temperature or chilled for an amazingly delicious treat!