View Full Version : Brine Recipe from Mark Elkins?

05-27-2006, 11:43 AM
Hi guys...Newbie here. Surfed my way here chasing brine recipes for fish smoking. We just ruined a beautiful batch of albacore by following a recipe from Western Outdoor News, who are usually a good source. *It was waaaaay too salty. :-[ *What led me here was a good looking recipe by Mark Elkins which I will post below.

Sooooo........My question here is what exactly is a "large" bottle of Italian seasoning. How large is large? Our pantry and the markets have several sizes, all larger than the spice rack size. Our salt debacle is causing me to want to be exact in quantities. *

I have been unable to find a post my Mark so I can send a PM, so am asking for help here.

I have also learned to use something less valuable than albacore for a new recipe. Something like store salmon or our own caught trout.

We have previously been very happy with the deluxe brine recipe from the Little Chief booklet.

Here is the recipe that brought me here:

Salmon Brine for Smoking

Here we go:
In a 5 gal. bucket lined with a household garbage bag:

1 cup "Non-Iodized" salt. It is very important that you use this salt only as any other will ruin your fish. You can get this salt right next to the regular salt at your market, it comes in a red box(regular salt comes in a blue box).

2 gal cold water
2 lbs. dark brown sugar
1 bottle red or white wine
1 32 oz bottle Teriyaki sauce
6 oz each of garlic and onion powder
4 oz of pickling spice
1 oz each of cinnamon and mace
1 large bottle of Italian seasoning

Combine all ingredients and let stand 1 hour.

Marinate fish in brine for 12 - 24 hours stirring or agitating every 2 hrs or so. I usually go for 24 hours.

Remove fish from brine and rinse brine off thoroughly in cold running water.

Let fish air dry for at least 1 hour, you want the flesh to get a "tacky" surface on it.

Place fish in smoker(do not use a barbeque!). Distribute fish on the racks evenly to make sure there is plenty of space between pieces.

Fill chip pan with a 50/50 mix of apple and alder chips(you can get these at Big 5 Sporting Goods). A pan of chips usually will take 1 hour to burn out, replace chips as they burn out for the first 5 hours then every 4 - 6 hours for the rest of the smoking time.

A filet of salmon will take between 8 and 24 hours to smoke depending on size of the filet and the desired amount of doneness. A 10 lb salmon will yield 2 3.5 lb fillets that will take at least 12 hours to smoke for a soft texture. I will smoke this salmon for 24 hours to get a hard smoked texture that I like.

Reposted with credit to the original
creator Mark Elkins Newark, CA

11-10-2006, 02:40 PM
tried this brine last week on some salmon I smoked. It urned out great. I would reccomend it to anyone. I took the wine out of it because I'm not fond of wines in my brine.

12-14-2006, 03:59 PM

Thanks for the recipe. I used it on about 10 lbs of Eagle Lake Trout. Very good, I cooked it about 1-2 hours too long and it was a bit too dry. I guess I'll have to get more trout and try it again.

12-17-2006, 02:31 PM
With my smoker full of salmon fillets it only takes 4 hours of smoke time. I think 2 hours would be plenty for trout

12-17-2006, 05:15 PM
One thing about the "way too salty" batch of smoked fish. We find that over ~3-4 days, wrapped well, in the fridge, that the saltiness of brined smoked fish mellows out. Usually it is a bit much fresh out of the smoker. Did you keep any of the first batch a while, and see how the flavor changed?

Just a thought. :)