I absolutely adore fresh salmon. The versatility it offers in cooking is remarkable. However, one of my all-time favorite ways to prepare it is by indulging in the sweet and savory flavors of candied salmon. The result is a deep, rich taste that will leave your taste buds craving more.
The Perfect Recipe for Smoked Maple-Glazed Salmon
This recipe was inspired by another delightful sweet salmon dish on our site. It pairs wonderfully with an amazing side dish recipe, creating a harmonious culinary experience.
To create this mouthwatering delicacy, you’ll only need a handful of simple ingredients. In fact, you might already have everything you need in your pantry. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Skin-on salmon pieces, cut into 1 to 2-inch strips
- Kosher salt
- Brown sugar
- Maple syrup
- Hickory, oak, or applewood for smoking
Check out the recipe card at the end of this article for precise quantities.
While there are a few steps involved in this recipe, they are all quite straightforward. Let’s break them down:
Step 1: Cure the Salmon
Start by combining the salt and brown sugar. In a large container with a tight-fitting lid, create a ¼-inch-deep layer of the salt and sugar mixture. Place the salmon on top, skin side up, and cover it with more of the salt and sugar mixture.
If necessary, repeat the layering process, ensuring that each salmon layer is adequately coated with the mixture, preventing them from sticking together.
Finally, refrigerate the salmon for 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on your preferred level of saltiness. The longer you cure it, the saltier the flavor will be.
Step 2: Rinse the Salmon
Remove the salmon from the cure and give it a quick rinse. Pat it dry with a paper towel.
Step 3: Let the Pellicle Form
Place the salmon skin-side down on a drying rack. Allow it to dry in a well-ventilated area for 2 hours or leave it uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. This process forms a pellicle, which is crucial for proper smoking.
Step 4: Gradually Smoke the Salmon
Prepare your smoker with hickory, oak, or applewood chips, and place the salmon inside. Slowly raise the smoker temperature to between 165 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of an hour.
Continue smoking the salmon for 3 to 6 hours, depending on your desired level of smokiness. The longer you smoke it, the more intense the flavors will be.
To ensure a luscious candied coating and remove any albumen, which is the white substance that may accumulate, brush the salmon with maple syrup every 75 to 90 minutes.
Step 5: Cool and Savor
When the salmon develops a glossy, lacquered appearance (approximately 3 to 4 hours of smoking), transfer it from the smoker back onto the drying racks. Give it one final coat of maple syrup and let it cool to room temperature before storing.
Hint: Gradually raising the smoker temperature ensures the best cooking and prevents the formation of albumen.
Substitutions for Personalized Flavors
If you don’t have all the necessary ingredients on hand or simply want to experiment with different flavors, here are some helpful suggestions for modifying this candied salmon recipe:
- Substitute table salt for kosher salt. While this is not typically recommended for fully curing meats, it works well in this case.
- Replace maple syrup with black strap molasses for a slightly different flavor profile.
Variations to Tantalize Your Taste Buds
Do you want to add your personal touch to this candied salmon recipe? Here are some tried and true tips for transforming this dish:
- Spice it up! Mix the maple syrup with red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce for a fiery version.
- Explore different fish options. You can use this recipe to candy any of your favorite meaty fishes.
If you enjoy recipes like this, you might also want to try our tantalizing molasses-glazed chicken thighs.
Essential Kitchen Equipment
You don’t need much to make this recipe come to life. The basic kitchen equipment you’ll need includes:
- Large container with a tight-fitting lid
- Drying rack
- Basting brush
Once you’ve enjoyed your feast, you can store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week. For longer-term storage, freeze the salmon in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Expert Tips for a Perfect Result
While this recipe is relatively simple, it does require a touch of finesse to achieve the best results. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
- Ensure that every side of the salmon is fully covered with the salt and sugar mixture.
- Adjust the curing time according to your desired level of saltiness.
- Gradually raise the smoker temperature to prevent the formation of albumen.
- Don’t rush the drying process before smoking. A good pellicle is key to achieving the best flavors when smoking fish.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you have any questions about this delectable candied salmon recipe, here are some commonly asked questions and their answers to help you out.
More Honey Recipes to Explore
If you’re a fan of honey’s sweet touch, here are some additional recipes you may want to try:
- Buffalo Wild Wings Honey BBQ Wings
- Honey Mustard Mayo
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Meatballs
Get Hook’d Up Bar and Grill Experience
Are you ready to embark on a culinary adventure with our smoked maple-glazed salmon? Don’t forget to check out the printable version of this recipe if you’d like to keep it handy. And for more fantastic dining experiences, head over to Hook’d Up Bar and Grill.
Now go ahead, fire up that smoker, and indulge yourself in this extraordinary delight!