Get your copies now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell's or Indiebound.

120 responses to “Smoked Salmon Candy”

  1. Jon

    Is there a particular wood you recommend for this?

  2. Jessica

    OMG, You said “squaw candy” (I’m from Az, I know what “squaq” is slang for) and then you said “fatty-savory-smoky-sweet in one bite.” and I just couldn’t help myself. I started giggling like a little school girl 😉 It’s so bad, it’s…funny 😉

    In all seriousness, this sounds amazing. I’ve never had salmon “jerky” before and I’m not a fisher, so I wonder if I can find it anywhere to try it?

  3. Irina @ wandercrush

    This is brilliant… the only problem would be making it last; I guarantee it would be gone too quickly in my presence to constitute a reliable road snack!

  4. Gear Guy

    Remind me to not stop by the blog hungry 😉 These look so tasty, spread with a little cream cheese over crackers. What a nice little snack, yum!

  5. Tino B

    Really appreciate your smoked fish recipes.
    I have been smoking fish for years but have never been able to get the results I wanted until trying your other recipe.
    This version looks like it smokes a little faster and at a higher temp, with a little more brown sugar (which I use anyway).
    I like the idea of the fish being a little more hardy so I will have to try this with my next fish.
    Thanks again,

  6. joyofcooking

    This looks amazing. There’s a place in Lincoln City on the Oregon coast that sells the best smoked salmon (in this style), but we will definitely try this recipe. For all those times we can’t justify a quick run to the coast for more salmon.

  7. Erika

    OMG I’ve had this at The Fish House in Stanley Park in Vancouver a loooooong time ago as part of an appetizer tray. I contacted the chef for a recipe, and she confessed that they didn’t make it in-house and didn’t have a recipe. So thank you, Hank, for sharing this. I can vouch for the fact that this stuff is addictive!

  8. Dick Black

    In the interest of being politically correct, I’ve seen this salmon on sale at many CDN duty free shops, and they label it “Indian” Candy. In Vancouver, it’s an item very popular with tourists from Japan.

  9. The Internet Kitchen: Richmond! - Macheesmo

    […] Smoked Salmon Candy – You need a smoker for this recipe, but if you happen to have one and happen to get your hands on some good salmon, it seems like as good a use as any. I could eat an absurd amount of this I think. (@ Hunter Angler Gardener Cook) […]

  10. Best of food and drink this week |

    […] to Pit Stone Fruit from Food52 – Grilled Salmon with Summer Salad from James Beard Foundation – Smoked Salmon Candy from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook – 8 Reasons You Should Eat Pie for Breakfast from […]

  11. Cassidy

    Can this with skin off filets or will it fall apart?

  12. Harry Stout

    I made about 3 pounds today and my wife and kids and I ate it all.

  13. Brett

    What is your opinion of trying this with spawning salmon? Out east NY we get a great salmon run but the meat takes on a different quality that is typically only smoked.

  14. Kimberly

    We recently made this with some fresh kings caught off Tomales- I added crushed juniper berry to the rub and it turned out really nice. Thanks for the great recipe!

  15. Kevin

    Made a batch with 9 lbs. of Pink Salmon last night. It truly is a wonderful snack. Taking some with us camping this weekend! The only drawback for me was my smoker. Although it does the job just fine, keeping a constant temperature was tedious at best. I kept the temp. around 180-205 degrees for 6 hours having to cool the chamber every 5-10 minutes. After 6 hours of this I was spent, but it was well worth it!

  16. Roger

    Can you use farm raised salmon from the grocery store or are they not fatty enough?

  17. Lucille

    I am Gitxsan and I have smoked salmon for over 40 years

    My smokehouse is the size of a home – with a cement floor and running water

    I have tried the flavoring but found that it took too long to dry and was not the same as the original Hooxs (thin dried strips; no skin) this process takes 5 days of smoke and low heat – we use cotton and alder and at times apple wood.

    I remember when the sockeye were plentiful and we use to hang 60 – 70 fish per day. Those days are long past. This year maybe 20 every three days. such a yummy snack

  18. Adam Brown

    I wonder if anyone has used this recipe but used a Big Chief smoker? If so, how long do you smoke bigger spring salmon?

  19. Meaghan Symes

    Lucille – you are very fortunate to have your house-sized “smoker”! I grew up in Cowichan, and smoked salmon used to be a regular sight. I hope the fish return to you one day. Meaghan

  20. christina

    Can you do this with some liquid smoke (for the smoky flavour) in a dehydrator?

  21. Ken

    We make a very similar candy all summer long. Kings (Chinook) are our favorite, but Silvers (Coho) do just fine. Next summer, we plan on trying Humpies (Pinks) because of the higher fat content. We found that Reds (Sockeye) are too dry with this process – not enough fat. The skin is removed prior to applying the dry brine/cure, as we have found a preferance for the less “fishy” taste. After 12 hours, they are rinsed and air dried to develop a glossy shine. I’m sure there is a more technical term. Prior to our current smoker, the Big Chief was just fine, we just needed more racks to process the Alaskan size appetite for the Salmon Candy of our family and friends. Be willing and adventurous with additions until you find what works for your tastes. It’s well worth the effort!

  22. ryan

    I was just curious if you have the smoke on the entire time in a Bradley or if you cook for a certain time and smoke for only a portion of it?

  23. Hoof Hearted

    I tried this recipe with the salmon from the packets in the grocery store – the Starkist variety sold next to the tuna packets. First off, the salmon did not ‘cure’ and there was no slurry. Oh well, I ran it under cold water (which washed most of the salmon flakes away) to wash off the brine. Taking what remained I pushed it together to form a large patty to place on my homemade smoker (less than $40 thanks to Alton Brown). Firing up my smoker I smoked my salmon for about 8 hours. The patty was dry, hard and salty. I may need to make some modifications – like less salt and less sugar as the brine is too strong.

  24. Kelly

    I made this with some Prince William Silver bellies for a duck hunting trip to ND. It lasted about 10 minutes. Great recipe. Thanks!!

  25. DaveB

    I tried this recipe with farm raised salmon and with a wet brine using the same ingredients and it was great. I have also used a mix of pecan and cherry and that also worked out well…bottom line is that when you add sugar and maple syrup to salmon it is hard to mess things up. If using the wet brine be sure to dry the salmon very well; I put the filets on cooling racks and blow on them with an electric fan for a few hours.

  26. Chris St. John

    Would you recommend beginning the smoke with the first 90 minute period without the syrup, or do you start the smoke process with the fish already lacquered up?

  27. Rick

    I have smoked salmon for about 20 years. Farmed salmon is a waste of time. The better quality of salmon the better product. I brine for 24 to 48 hours. Smoke a minimum of 3 pans of alder or alder/cherry. Normally a minimum 5 hours will suffice.

  28. Brad Ascherman

    I made this using skinless king salmon. It did not fall apart and it was delicious. I am trying this with northern pike today. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  29. Clint Kreckman

    Any word on that pike? I’ve never smoked pike but wanted to give it a shot. That sweetness would be very interesting with the pike.

  30. Jesse

    I am going to try this recipe. would you recommend putting the syrup on before starting smoking then every 90 minutes after or smoke it as is then paint with syrup after 90 minutes?

  31. Jesse

    OK, thank you very much i am really looking forward to trying this

  32. Salmon Candy - Political Wrinkles

    […] […]

  33. Rob

    I made this today and it was quite delicious. Though I found that it wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting anyways. Still delicious, will make again.

  34. Brian

    Brett, I’ve never dealt with spawned salmon, but they are pretty lean by that time, so as mentioned above, the smoky flavor isn’t going to adhere to the filets as well as if it were a fatter fish. I would imagine spawned salmon aren’t good for much except maybe patties, where it’s easier to blend in more fat.

  35. Robert

    Any other fish this might work on for those of use in the flyover country? I’m in Oklahoma. have about 60lbs of paddlefish in my freezer from spring. We have plenty of channel and blue cat as well as most freshwater game species like Florida Bass and Saugeye??

  36. Matt

    Can you use this recipe in a brinkmann smoker with a water pan?

  37. Tony Mince

    I made this in my Little Chief smoker and smoked it for 7 hours. Absolutely fantastic!! My new favorite way to smoke salmon. I will have to make sure I never lose this recipe.

  38. Matt

    Anyone else find it salty? I made it tonight and it tasted very good just a little overly salty. I followed the recipe but cut it in half because I had half the amount of salmon. I followed it to a T and rinsed the salmon so not sure why it tasted overly salty.

  39. jacqueline

    I have 25lbs of chinook n sockeye curing, can’t wait to see or I should say taste the results. I have tried many different cures, but this one sounds great.

  40. Bradley

    Im 20 years old and this recipe was my first time getting involved with smoking salmon. It was unbelievable, tasted amazing. The only downside to my end result was the bisquettes I used. I will definitely use alder, oak, or cherry, etc. next time.

    Best of luck fishing everyone.

  41. Heeter

    What internal temperature should I go for?

  42. Tom

    I use a honey/water glaze instead of the maple syrup and it seems to work well.

  43. Daren

    WOW!! Terrific recipe, only problem is the salmon only lasts about twenty minutes! I used a dehydrator to dry it instead of a fan, however follwed recipe. Real crowd pleaser!

  44. bbq jim

    Everything sounds really good. but don’t understand why your temps are that high. Wouldn’t it be better if smoked like your other fish recipe. Is there something I’m missing here. I understand going slow with the temp the first hour but stop at 180 to 225 is kinda high ain’t it? It will lose everything out of the meat won’t it? Just asking I don’t want to waste a slab of king salmon it takes a lot of money to go on my trips. Thanks for your time and insight. It’s wonderful. I’m glad I came across it. I cook bbq all the time I’m a one man team with lots of hrs under my belt. So if you need any info on ‘queuing let me know. I will share with you. Thanks, Jim

  45. Francis

    Trying this recipe for the first time. Have a Bradley 4 rack smoker with a temperature controller, so I should be able to control the heat at 180-200.

  46. Francis

    Thanks for a great salmon candy recipe Hank.It was great and is know my favorite. Living in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia we have great hunting and fishing areas that are well kept secrets, so we have fish and game all the time. Like the ideal of cutting the fish into 2-inch pieces making it easier to share with friends.

  47. Lynsie

    We bought salmon and realized that it didn’t have skin. Do you think the recipe will be affected?

  48. Fargo

    When you smoke with the skin on, which I understand is preferred, is it edible? I would think yes, as long as you make sure it’s properly scaled..? I’m giving it a shot this weekend so just thought I’d ask.

  49. Lisa

    For the drying it with the fan you say 2 hours and then you say overnight which one is it cause I am at this point where it is drying

  50. Sarah T

    This is a great recipe. I make it for my annual neighbourhood BBQ, and my only problem is keeping it in the smoker after the first two hours. I generally start with a full rack, and by the end its about half that.

  51. Laura

    Can I can it after it comes out of the smoker?

  52. cory

    How long do u smoke for? Should u start smoking right away??

  53. Laurie

    i have been making salmon candy for 20 yr, after being in the brine for 36hr, I then scewer the strips and hang them for 48hr, then off to the smoker at 75 degrees for 3-4 hr till dry

  54. Lillian Demoski

    always looking for new tricks/ideas. I use a brine that uses spicy rum – supposed to be Capt Morgan but Kirkland works, place on cookie racks on newspaper and dry with a fan. ,smoke @ 140 for a couple of hours and can them with some jalapeños for flavor. Wonderful.

  55. Jamie

    What kind of chips???

  56. Sockeye

    Letting the salmon sit for a couple hours before smoking allows it to get “tacky”, so it takes smoke better. Lower temperatures get more smoke into salmon. Because it is important to get the moisture out of the fish you must use heat, how much and how long is a personal preference and depends on your smoker and outside temperature. I can mine in jars in a pressure cooker, so this finishes it and also disintegrates any small bones. It has a long shelf life also. Try vacusealing your strips with sausage and cheese slices and storing in freezer until you are ready to eat.

  57. Aeriol

    So I have it in the brine but the recipe doesn’t mention water. The other smoked salmon recipe does. So have I done the right thing? I am just brining it in brown sugar and kosher salt. No water. Please let me know quickly if you can wouldn’t want to wreck 5 lbs of wild caught sockeye. I plan to try out the new smoker tomorrow. Thanks.

  58. Lillian S Demoski

    I’m going to try this as soon as I get some sockeye or silvers – my question is to cut strips across the fish vs up and down? I have a Masterbuilt I use for lightly smoking then jarring in 1/2 pints. It tends to get hot and my recipes usually call for 140* – worried about the 180-225* – cooks the fish vs smoking I thought. Thanks

  59. alaskaman

    I’ve been smoking fish for many years and MY salmon candy is NOT hot smoked. More like a ham, moist and flakes easily. It usually takes about a week the way I do it. Very much like kippered, wouldn’t waste king salmon hard smoking it. When that happens it’s dog treats ! oh well to each his own.

  60. Russ

    Costco wild sockeye seems a bit thin and did not get a good 2 inch thick cut but definitely can get a 2 inch wide chunk, next time I’m decreasing temp. Overall fun recipe and fine taste, although tweaked it a bit with cinnamon in dry cure and quarter cup soy in bast

  61. Charlie

    Great recipe, love it as is. However I’d love to try Alaskaman’s recipe, if he’d share it. Variety can be fun!

  62. Jen

    Do you know if this meets the minimum Water Phase Salt requirements for retail sale?

  63. Tara

    im wondering whats the difference if I use cherry chips to alder or any other kind is cherry ok, or what would you use?

  64. Neil

    In the time of smoking the candy how many pans of chip do you use, I use 2 to 2.5 when doing a regular smoke.

  65. Lee Rasore

    Hay Hank, You have had many questions about smoking salmon and one that I have noticed was about wood chips.If I may give anyone suggestions when smoking in a smoker. Find a friend with apple trees in their yard (preferably after they get done yielding apples)cut off a few sucker branches (1/2 to 2 inches around) they are the branches that shoot strait up, STRIP THE BARK, cut into one inch chunks. usually I throw a thicker piece in there incase the rest burns up quickly. You can use sour cherry, alder, plum, and keep them wet for best smoking.

  66. Lesley

    Great recipe I’m trying it now greetings from Belgium

  67. Chris Reisinger

    It’s “albumin,” not “albumen.” Common mistake.

    “the correct spelling is albumin with an “i.” … albumen is the term for egg whites. They’re two different things.”

  68. BD

    Kosher salt vs. ionized salt?!? Thoughts on this?!?

  69. leone

    I have salmon ready to go in the smoker…but i have only two types of wood bisquettes available. ..mesquite or apple..which would you suggest? Thanks for great instructions!

  70. Ray Bell

    Everyone loves it, great recipe! See you off west marin, the best salmon fishery in the world 🙂

  71. Brad T

    I have the strips drying in the fridge overnight. Would it be okay to not start smoking it until tomorrow afternoon? it would be roughly 20 hours in the fridge uncovered. Thanks

  72. Bil Kossmann

    I tried this recipe over the weekend. My neighbor popped over when he smelled the smoker (“where there’s smoke, there’s beer at Bill’s place”) and we sacrificed a couple of the thinnest pieces for quality assurance purposes.

    I finished it off as you recommended, and the difference in taste between hot and cold is astonishing. It seems saltier when hot, and less sweet. Definitely needs to be cool when served.

    This recipe is a “do over”! Thanks Hank.

  73. Kris

    This is my go to. I do half a smoker sweet and the other half I brush withy sriracha mix I made up! Sweet and spicy!

  74. Lan Tran

    Hi there,
    I don’t have a smoker. Could I use a food dehydrator make candy salmon or candy tuna?

  75. Bra glory

    Hank awesome recipe going to try it out up here in Washington , doing Pink salmon now but plan on getting some chinook an coho to smoke . Let you know how it turns out

  76. Steve

    I’m trying this now, with old school smoker, hopefully its as good as it seems! Useing cherry for smoke, I’ll let you know in about 6 hrs or so! Thanks for the recommendations folks

  77. Tom White

    So when did u remove the skin.. after totally done? The SC I just had in Vancouver had no skin and looked like the underside was smoked and basted too.. I am just putting my belly strips on the drying rack.. been in fridge for 3-4 hrs.. I will ultimately smoke on my green egg (old one with no temp controls). The thinner strips may turn in to jerky but I can deal with that. 🙂 My gf and I caught 3 @ 15-25# WHITE King Salmon last week at mouth of Burrard inlet and I brought home on airplane as a checked bag. thx and btw.. you are a twin of a close friend of mine in Tampa, Mike Fisher.

  78. Tom White

    When do you skin the strips.. after smoking? The product I recently ate in Vancouver had no skin and looked as if it had been smoked that way.. thx

  79. John Brune

    I am making a version right now of cold smoked.

    Kosher salt and brown sugar covered layers of salmon strips in a tray.
    Left in the fridge 24 hours and stirred in the glaze brine twice during that time.

    Hung in the smokehouse around 16-18 hours to form the pellicle.

    Cold Smoke for the first 3 days.
    Day 7 cold smoke one last time.
    Remove when dried to satisfaction.

    Anyone try this method or heard of it this way?

  80. Marcia

    Is it okay to use pellets instead of chips. They are made for little chief smokers, too.

  81. Matt

    Is it better to let the salmon dry on racks in a breezy area or is it better in the fridge overnight? Will there be any difference in flavor or texture or anything else for that matter?

  82. Craig

    How much difference does it make if you dry brine for only 3 hours compared to overnight? Will it draw out less moisture then an overnight brine?

  83. Randy

    Looking at your salmon recipe and I was wondering if you could use a dehydrator just as well, or no. I have a big stainless steel commercial grade dehydrator and was thinking about using that! Please advise!!

  84. Steve Woinowsky

    Just got a Smoker for my Birthday. I’m pretty excited to make this. It will be my first attempt at smoking. I’ll let you know how how it turns out! Thanks for this recipe!

  85. cody

    The best. Tried it out and it was the best food I’ve ever eaten. I think I will live on this.

  86. Beth

    Can anyone tell me how long smoked candied salmon will last if vacuum sealed and refrigerated?

  87. Alan

    Coworkers have called my wet brine salmon candy for years can’t wait to try dry brine. Quick tip I smoke all my fish skinless trimming all dark meat off… yucky fishy tasting. I lay cheese cloth on smoker rack. Slide cloth/fillets onto cooling rack when done. Fillets won’t crumble when cooled


  88. Scott

    I have a similar recipe. The only difference is I add the real maple syrup to the salt and brown sugar mixture to make a paste. After that it is identical to your version.

  89. Bryan

    I use two pounds of brown sugar to one pound of rock salt and add one table spoon of onion powder one table spoon of garlic powder and one table spoon of white pepper, mix them all together, sprinkle a coat over your fish to dry brine them. This mix will last, sealed, for a year so it’s always on hand. I have a smoker on at the moment, just painted with honey, can hardly wait for another hour.

  90. Robert

    There was a post some time ago asking if there is a place to try it. I know sometimes Santa Monica Seafood caries it.

  91. Laura

    I will be making mine in a smoke shack…has anyone tried this method yet? I am thinking it will need about 2- 3 days of smoke? Does this sound about right? The temperature will not be high, so it will be a cold smoke.

Leave a Reply