Welcome to Salmon University.  Tom Nelson founded Salmon U to provide you with all the information necessary to Catch More Salmon!




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TICA Rods and Reels Lucky Sportfishing - Barkley Sound

British Columbia
Great Lakes

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Fish like a Pro
Humpy (Pink) fishing
12 Rules of salmon fishing
Flasher fishing
Deep trolling for Chinook
Taking care of your fish
How to brine herring
How to rig cutplug herring
How to fillet salmon
How to smoke salmon
How to tie strong knots
Saltwater Chum salmon fishing

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Chinook - Timing is Everything
Welcome to Pinkatropolis
Washington Coast Halibut
Shrimping 101
Boating Halibut
Heavy Metal Halibut
2009 Clam Season
Downrigger Tips
Six Tricks for Fall Coho
Buzz Bombing Techniques
New! How to fillet halibut
Rudnick's Halibut Fishing
How to rig cutplug herring
How to smoke salmon
Smoked salmon recipe #1
Ilwaco & the ocean
Barkley Sound, BC
Deep trolling for Chinook
How to brine herring
How to fillet salmon
Reel Maintenance

New Salmon Scenter™
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Win FREE tackle!!

How to smoke salmon - the basic steps

There are countless recipes and ways to smoke salmon, but the most common methods all include a few basic steps. Read the steps below and then go ahead and try one of the recipes listed at the bottom.

This first step is primarily the process of salting the fish to remove moisture, firm the flesh, and impart a salty flavor to the fish... but the brine may also include additional flavors and colorings. Brines can either be liquid or dry, and all of them include salt in some form... in some recipes this is granular salt, in other recipes it might be soy sauce or something similar. Brine recipes may also include sugar in some form... white sugar, brown sugar, honey, fruit juice, etc. Still other recipes call for addtional flavorings, like garlic, pepper, rosemary, dill, etc.

After the fish comes out of the brine, it must be air-dried. This removes even more moisture from the fish, and this is the step in which the "pellicle" forms on the surface of the fish. The pellicle is the slightly tacky glaze that forms on the surface of the flesh. It absorbs some of the smoke and it is where a lot of the flavor comes from. Air-drying is done at a relatively low temperature room temperature, or outdoor temperature, depending upon where you're doing the drying.

This next step involves the smoldering of wood to create smoke, and the imparting of the smokey flavor into the fish. The smoking is done in a smoker or a larger smokehouse. Many smaller commercial-made smokers are available, they range from small electric-powered all-in-one units to bigger charcoal and wood-fired units with separate fireboxes.

In this last step, even more moisture is removed from the fish, and this is the step in which you make sure you get the fish up to at least 145°F, to kill off any bacterias and other critters in the fish. The heat-drying process is normally done in the smoker, but some people smoke their fish in a smoker to get the smokey flavor, then move the fish to an oven to do the heat-drying.

So now that you know the basics, try it yourself using one of the recipes below!

Smoked salmon recipe #1