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Nick's Candied Salmon


Meat Mopper
Joined Mar 30, 2013
Just got done smoking some salmon strips. This was the first time for this recipe. I got it from a good friend of mine.
Nick’s Indian/Salmon/Squaw Candy/Jerky Recipe!!!
Revision 2
1 Part course sea salt (do not exceed 1c per batch)
4 Parts brown sugar
(Example: 4c Brown Sugar 2/3C Sea Salt) good for 1 salmon

Remove skin from fillets
Cut into length wise half inch strips (half the salmon – then length wise) it is easy to cut the bones out this way.
*Note: Fresh salmon is easier to cut thin if it’s been in the fridge over night (more firm)

Pat dry - removing excess water if needed
Layer strips of salmon in dry brine, leaving a buffer of sugar salt in between salmon strips. Can do this in a 9x12 pan (holds 1.5 fish) or in gallon zip locks.

Leave in brine for approx. 30-36 hours covered in the fridge, mixing the brine three to four times in between. The sugar/salt will tend to consolidate at the bottom of the pan which is why it is very important to rotate the strips from the bottom to the top. Thin strips will become almost transparent and more firm, that’s when you want to remove salmon from the brine. If it turns out hard and not flexible at all it was in too long. The more transparent they are the closer they will turn out like sweet jerky (which I tend to like more).

Rinse each strip and pat dry

Hang in protected area for about 18 hours, w/fans is preferred and takes less time. I like to put about 12 strips with a bbq skewer and set in between the grates of the smoker trays, I had a helper zip tie the try to the oven rack (fly free/ sterile area) to let hang – less messy this way.

*Note - You can add course pepper at this point if desired prior to hanging.

Do this until the salmon has a semi-hard/less tacky glossy finish on it (fans help a lot here and will lessen the time). If you don’t have the time, just hot smoke it…
Dried a bit, still tacky when touched.

Smoke w/alder chips at about 150F for approx. 6-8 hours for jerky/5-6 for candied smoke salmon. This all depends on how you like to eat fish and how thick the strips are.

If you like sweeter the 5:1 is recommended. I did 4:1 because I ran out of sugar. It was saltier than I would have thought. I did use Himalayan pink salt instead of sea salt. I should have used less salt. It wasn't overpowering. I didn't get any pics of the prep. Here is one of the final smoke.
This was 3 silvers I got out of the kuskokwim river.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
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Joined Jun 22, 2009
They look delicious!

Great color!

Nice job Jason!



Master of the Pit
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Joined Jun 23, 2012

Looks fantastic !!    I like how Silver Salmon puts out such a darker color as compared to our local King Salmon. 


Epic Pitmaster
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★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 25, 2014
Jason That looks good nice color I have never tried Fish jerky



Meat Mopper
Joined Mar 30, 2013
Thanks guys. I will adjust the salt a bit. Other than that it was really good. The kids wiped out most of it. Need to get some more fish.


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Oct 31, 2012
Nice post! Point!



Fire Starter
Joined Dec 9, 2016
Maybe a dumb question, but would this work with fair-sized (18-20") rainbows? I'm not much on eating trout (that's why I never catch any- catch and release without the middleman. Yep.) but I do like candied salmon. I just have to wait for the temps to stay above freezing long enough to cold smoke.


Meat Mopper
Joined Mar 30, 2013
It will work for any sized fish. Just have to adjust the ammount of brine and shorten the time for thinner filets.

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