salmon ready to be smoked (Karrebaeksminde-Denmark)

Salmon is a popular fish that can be enjoyed in many different ways. One of the most popular methods of preparation is smoking. Smoked salmon can be used for appetizers, snacks, as an ingredient in recipes, or as a main course for a meal. It takes about two days to smoke salmon in a smoker. This recipe produces five pounds of smoked salmon fillets.

Combine 12 cups of water, one cup of salt, one cup of brown sugar, five crushed garlic cloves, and ¼ cup of teriyaki in a large metal mixing bowl. Place five pounds of salmon fillets into the brine, cover, and allow it to sit for ten hours.

Strain the brine using a strainer to save the crushed garlic. Rinse the salmon fillets with cold water, and then dry with a paper towel. Brush the remaining garlic onto the salmon fillets and allow them to sit at room temperature for four hours.

Coat the racks on the smoker thoroughly with vegetable oil, and then cover the skin side of the salmon fillets with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Heat the smoker to 225 degrees and place each salmon fillet onto the smoker rack, skin side down. Cook for two and a half hours.

Combine ½ cup of apricot jam and ¼ cup of apricot brandy to form a glaze. Apply the glaze to both sides of the salmon fillets, and then smoke for an additional thirty minutes.

Remove the grates with the salmon on them from the smoker and place them inside to cool to room temperature for thirty minutes, and then place the racks in the refrigerator for two hours. Remove the racks and each salmon can then be eaten or stored. This step is necessary so that the salmon does not break apart when removed from the grate. Cooling will dry the fish and make it easier to remove and serve.


The apricot brandy glaze is optional and is only added for flavor. Other flavors can be substituted or it can be removed altogether.

Any type of woodchips can be used to smoke the salmon, but alder woodchips best compliment the flavor of this particular recipe.


Never touch the smoker racks with your bare hands. They can be very hot and can cause severe burns, always use protection.