Outdoor Emporium and Sportco  - For the Northwest Sportsmen

NorthWest Salmon Candy - Smoked Salmon Rub

by Terry Wiest

Smoked salmon, is there anything better? We all know everyone has their "secret" recipe, but in reality most are quite similar with just a few variations. Almost always salt, sugar and some spices are common ingredients. I used to use a liquid brine, but in the last few years I was introduced to a dry recipe called "Salmon Candy". It has by far created the best smoked salmon coming out of my home and doesn't last long once friends and co-workers know I have some in the fridge.

The ingredients needed for "Salmon Candy" are:

n Sugar
n Brown Sugar
n Salt
n Onion Powder
n Garlic Powder
n Pepper

Another great recipe is available on Salmon University.



As you can see, there a quite a few ingredients involved which not only takes up space in the pantry, but also requires measuring and mixing the ingredients.

This is my technique for preparing the fish for the smoker:


  • Place the fish skin side down in a glass, plastic or non-metallic container. I used my wife's Pampered Chef marinating containers, which are now designated specifically for smoking fish.
  • Liberally sprinkle "NorthWest Salmon Candy" to the flesh of the salmon.
  • Place another layer of salmon and repeat. Some people prefer to place the fish flesh to flesh and skin to skin. I too have found this to be a good method and generally follow this rule although not all the time and I haven't noticed a difference.
  • Seal the container and place in the refrigerator
  • Flip the container upside down (if the container allows for this) after 24 hours. If you can't flip it, take the fish and rotate the fish from bottom to top. You'll notice a lot of juice forming, this is normal.
  • After another 24 hours take out and gently rinse and place on paper towels. Do not rinse ALL the product off, just the excess.
  • Once towel dried for 1/2 an hour, it's ready to load the smoker.
Salmon after 12 hours
Salmon after being rinsed

Smokers are a whole different subject, but they'll all do the job. Smoking times and heat will vary depending on the smoker and if you've had good success using your smoker a certain way I'd stick to it.

I used a Bradley smoker with a combination of Alder and Hickory "pucks".

I cold smoked the salmon @

120 degrees for 2 hours
160 degrees for 2 hours
180 degrees for 2 hours

Then finally 200 degrees for 1 hour to finish it off.


It turned out delicious!


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