How to Perfectly Brine Salmon

One way to get a delicious grilled salmon is to brine it.

Becky Low shares how to use this culinary method.

Brined Grilled Salmon
3 cups water
1 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons, non-iodized salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2-3 pounds salmon fillet, skin on
Bagels and cream cheese (see below)

Stir together water, soy sauce, salt, sugar, garlic and ginger. Place salmon fillets in 9×13 pan (or a gallon ziploc bags. Cover with brine and refrigerate.

Three methods for cooking:

1. Pan seared. Cut salmon in fillets (if not already sized). Brine the salmon at least 15 minutes. Remove salmon from brine, pat dry. Sprinkle the bottom of non-stick skillet with salt and pepper. Heat skillet over medium heat. Place salmon fillets, skin side down in hot skillet. Over medium heat, cook fillets, without moving for 6-8 minutes. The natural oil in the salmon will render out, the skin side of the meat will be well browned and the meat will be cooked approximately ¼-inch into the fillet. Turn fillets over and continue to cook opposite side for additional 6-8 minutes, without moving. Salmon is cooked when meat flakes easily and has a translucent appearance.

2. Grilled Salmon. Brine salmon for 15 minutes to 2 hours in the refrigerator. Preheat grill to medium heat. Drain brine from salmon, pat dry and place on grill. Grill 6-8 minutes per side or until meat flakes easily and has a translucent appearance.

3. Smoked Salmon. Cover the salmon with brine and refrigerate for 6-8 hours (overnight). Remove salmon from brine and pat dry. Leave uncovered in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours to dry the surface of the meat (helps improve smoke flavor, but may be skipped). Place salmon, skin side down on smoker grill rack, smoke according to manufacturer’s directions until internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat reaches 145 degrees. Remove from smoker and allow to rest.

Serve salmon as an entree for dinner, flaked on a salad for lunch, or added to bagels and cream cheese for a great sandwich.
Bagels and Cream Cheese
½ pound cooked salmon, flaked
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives or green onion
2 tablespoons finely minced or grated carrot
1 tablespoon finely minced bell pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
4-6 bagels, cut in half

All vegetable ingredients are optional and may be added more or less to taste. Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy; stir in vegetables, salt and pepper to taste.

Slice bagels in half and toast. Spread with veggie cream cheese, top with flaked or thinly sliced cooked salmon (any of the three methods above). May also add a few capers, thin slice tomato or red onion.

Becky Low represents The Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada. For delicious dairy recipes and nutrition information go to or Facebook
For nutrition research go to

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