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Smoked Candied Salmon Recipe

Follow this fish recipe to make a sweet smoked salmon that's perfect for snacking on the go or at home.

Smoked Candied Salmon Recipe
Smoked Candied Salmon (Field 2 Grill photo)

Smoking salmon is easy to do with this recipe. Brining the salmon is the more challenging task. There are many brines that can be used, from wet to dry and salt to sugar. This recipe calls for a wet brine and the main ingredient is blackstrap molasses. The result will be a sweet smoked salmon that you can take anywhere as is or mix with some cream cheese! Normally you would smoke your fish with a fruit type of wood, but since the brine in this particular recipe is sweet, I like to use hickory.

Serves: 4-6 (½ pound per person)
Prep time: 15 minutes + 12- to 36-hour brining time
Cook time: 5-6 hours (or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees)


  • 3 salmon filets, skin on
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 2 cups blackstrap molasses
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup orange juice

Salmon fillets with skin on. (Field 2 Grill photo)


  1. Prep the brine: Heat the water (just enough to heat the ingredients you are about to add).
  2. Once the water is heated enough, pour in the kosher salt, brown sugar, and blackstrap molasses. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Once dissolved, mix in the black pepper, lemon juice, and orange juice. Stir.
  4. Cool the brine down by putting it in the refrigerator or putting the pot in ice to bring the temperature down. The brine must be cooled before you can add the salmon.
  5. Once the brine has cooled, put it in a food-grade bucket or other container that is big enough to hold the brine and submerge the fillets. Do not use an aluminum container.
  6. Place the salmon in the brine and let it soak submerged for 12-36 hours. Note: Make sure the brine has cooled before adding the salmon to it because you do not want to cook any of the fish with the hot liquid.

    Salmon fillets submerged in brine. (Field 2 Grill photo)
  7. When time is up, remove the salmon from the brine and pat dry.
  8. Start your grill and set to smoke at 180 degrees.
  9. Place your Salmon skin side down on the grill and smoke it for 5-6 hours.

    Rydell Danzie, host of Field 2 Grill, salmon fishing in Alaska. (Field 2 Grill photo)

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