Any kind of jerky is popular at our house, from bear to deer to turkey to goose. With just a few ingredients and some time, just about any protein source can be turned into jerky which is not only a tasty snack but a great way to preserve your catch.
Salmon jerky is no exception.
Different from traditionally smoked salmon in that it is a bit dryer with a chewy texture, salmon jerky has many applications.
Eaten as is, crumbled over a salad, tossed in a chowder or stirred into pasta, this highly flavorful fish adds a wow-factor to many dishes.
Salmon jerky can be made in the smoker, oven or food dehydrator. The trick is keeping the heat low (under 160º) so the thinly sliced strips of fish dry slowly and don’t “cook.”
2-3 pounds salmon
1/3 cup canning salt, kosher salt or Morton TenderQuick
2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon liquid smoke*
1 tablespoon white or black pepper
Additional Ingredients (optional):
Red Pepper Flakes
- Cut salmon into desired smoking pieces, either across the fillet or in long strips.
- In a large glass or ceramic container, mix water with salt, sugar, liquid smoke* and pepper, whisking until sugar is dissolved.
- Submerge fish in brine and place a weighted plate on top of fish to keep fully submerged.
- Soak fish 4-8 hours, gently stirring, occasionally. Drain fish from brine, discarding brine.
- Pat fish dry with paper towels.
- Add any additional flavors at this time; a sprinkle of cayenne or red pepper flakes or a brush of honey.
- Place fish on racks and air dry about an or until a pellicle forms.
- For the oven or dehydrator, dry 5-8 hours at 150º or until fish reaches the desired texture.
- For the smoker, smoke 3-5 hours at 160º.
- Replenish chips as often as needed to keep a constant smoke for at least 2 hours of smoking time.
- Smoke times vary according to smoker brands, fish thickness and outdoor temperatures. Check fish often and finish cooking to the desired texture in a 165º oven if necessary.
Cover and refrigerate fish until ready to serve.
*Liquid smoke is an optional ingredient but is highly recommended if making jerky in the oven or dehydrator.
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