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Smoked Candy Salmon Recipe

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If you want to create mouth-watering candy salmon, here’s a recipe and tips to get you started.

Smoked salmon is a local favorite! I learned to smoke salmon when I first moved to Campbell River in 2001. I tried a lot of variations before settling on this recipe for my sweet (candied) version.


  • Salmon fillets (see bottom of recipe for slicing info)
  • Kosher salt – 1 cup
  • Dark brown sugar – 1 and a half pounds
  • 1 gallon of water
  • Half a cup of honey
  • Apple, cherry, or maple wood chips (or a combination of any of them)

You’ll also need a large pot for marinating, and a smoker. (Canadian Tire has them, but you can also check local shops like River Sportsman and Tyee Marine if you are in Campbell River).


Combine the 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of salt, and 1 pound of the brown sugar in a large pot. Place salmon fillet pieces into pot containing the above solution.

Put pot into fridge and let the salmon marinate for at least 12 hours.

Remove fillets from marinade and place on towels. Cover the fillets with remaining brown sugar. Allow salmon to air dry for about 3-4 hours.

Place the salmon fillets into your smoker, and hot smoke for approximately 3 hours. Combine honey with a bit of water, and brush over the salmon while smoking (this is optional). After 3 hours worth of woodchips are used, allow the salmon to cook for an additional 5-9 hours in the smoker. Total time in smoker: 8-12 hours.

Near the end, check on the salmon every hour to half-hour, taste and decide how soft or hard you want your final product to be.


This recipe used salmon fillets sliced into 4 inch thick pieces. Cooked for a total of 8 hours. The result was that the ends and outsides became slightly chewy, while the inside remained a bit softer.

This produced a great snack, and middle was soft enough to place on top of crackers with some cream cheese….mmmmm…. 🙂

Optional ingredients to throw into the marinade: maple syrup, molasses, honey (feel free to experiment…I don’t know anyone who makes candy salmon the same way as anyone else).

For “chewy” jerky like candied salmon – slice fillets into thinner strips (about 1 inch thick) and / or smoke for a longer period of time.

Everyone in CR seems to have their own recipe — please share your own tips in the comments, thanks!

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