Smoked Fish Brine Recipe


Smoked Trout on Grill

I love smoked fish.  I didn’t think I would ever say that when I was a child.  When I went on Boy Scout trips, we would get our fishing license and we would pull countless rainbow trouts out what ever stream or tributary we fished at – and I would lament the part where we would sit down and have to eat the sucker.

Then a couple years ago we went to a fish farm in the Cache Valley in Utah.  My sister-in-law has had her fair share of fish – sometimes it was the only thing they could put on their table.  She had so many different ways to prepare the muddy water fish.  I listened and took notes, so when we were done with this fish farm adventure I could know what to do.

I gutted out my old broken grill and converted it to my ghetto smoker.  And used this brine recipe – notably, I had quite a bit of marinade left over.  However, it changed the flavor and of course removed all the muddy characteristics the trout had.

What I was left with, was this firm fleshed fish and an amazing amount of flavor.  I was impressed.  So, Nikki this is for you.  Thank you for opening my eyes to brined, smoked trout, salmon and white fish.

This recipe was based on trout and salmon – but this works really on any fish.  My favorite use of the smoked product is to slice thinly with a serrated knife, and place with sour creme, dill sprig on a latke – bite size.  A little sea salt to top – my friends, this is great stuff.

I hope this changes your life as much as it has mine.  Good Eat’s to you!

Smoked Trout/Salmon Brine Recipe

Prep time 8 hours, 20 minutes
Cook time 2 hours
Total time 10 hours, 20 minutes
Allergy Fish
Dietary Gluten Free
Misc Gourmet
Occasion Barbecue
Website Oregon State Extension


  • 2 Quarts water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning salt
  • 4-5 Dashes hot sauce (Tabasco Sauce)


I suggest smoking with a sweet wood, such as apple wood or alder wood (no bark).


Step 1
In a 3 gallon food safe bucket combine all of the ingredients and stir to dissolve the salt(s).
Step 2
Brine your fish for 6-8 hours in thin chunks or average filets. You could go 10-12 hours if you were going to brine a whole fish in the refrigerator.
Step 3
Remove the fish from the brine and place on your smoking racks with air circulating around them. This will allow the fish to obtain a glaze.
Step 4
This brine makes enough to cure 12-15 three pound trout or salmon.
Step 5
Set your smoker at 200 degrees and let it smoke for 2 hours so the fish reaches a internal temp of 160 degrees F. The fish should hold this temp of 160 degrees F for at least 30 minutes to ensure any nasty parasites might meet their demise.



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