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Homemade Cured & Smoked Salmon

Cured Salmon



Before we get started, let’s ask the question – How safe is eating ‘cured salmon’ that has not been smoked . . . or at least heated for a minimum of 30 minutes to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F?

A lot of people love to eat sushi, but there is some debate as to whether or not ‘cured salmon’ can be eaten raw. Personally, think I’d rather not have to worry about whether or not my salmon might have a parasite.     That being said . . . let’s look at curing salmon.


Prepping the salmon [1]

  • Remove head, fins and tail as well as one-half inch along the belly incision on each side.
  • Cut steaks: 3″ steaks if salmon weighs 10 lbs or under;  1-1/2″ steaks if salmon is over 10 lbs.   (Split along backbone; leave skin on if desired)

Note: The salmon should be fresh and chilled before curing/ smoking.  Use ice in the water if needed for chilling.

Cure Recipe [1]

  1. 1/2 cup white sugar
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 gallon cold water
  4. 1-3/4 cup Morton Tender Quick or Morton Sugar Cure – plain


View these Morton cure products on Amazon at these links:

Morton Tender Quick Home Meat Cure – 2 lb

 Morton Sugar Cure, Smoke Flavor, 7.5 Pound (Pack of 6) – plain


  1. You will need 1 gallon of brine for each 5 lbs. of salmon (follow manufacturer’s directions).
  2. Completely submerge salmon in the brine holding it down with a ceramic plate or bowl.
  3. Cure for 16 hours in the refrigerator.
  4. Remove salmon from brine and rinse in cool water, pat dry and cook as desired. It can also be smoked.
  5. Refrigerate if not consumed immediately.


Smoked Salmon

To make homemade smoked salmon you’ll use a Salmon Brine Mix vs. a Morton product  – following the manufacturer’s directions on the brine mix package.   Otherwise, the overall recipe is pretty much the same as for curing salmon . . . fresh salmon (prepared), brine mix, and 1 gallon ice water.

To read more about Salmon Brine Mix  visit this link at Hi Mountain Alaskan Salmon Brine, 13.4 Oz.




To make smoked salmon:

  • Immerse the salmon in the brine for 24 hours, keep in the refrigerator during this 24 hour period
  • Remove from brine, rinse in cold water and pat dry
  • Let the salmon sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes and then smoke. (The smoking process will depend on the method, type of smoker, outside temperature, etc.)

For information on smokers, visit this link:

Note: Should you not be able to get the salmon the desired internal temperature of 160 degrees F in the smoker; place it in a pre-heated oven to finish the process once the smoking process has achieved the desired color.


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