Determine what size pieces of salmon you will be brining.
The salmon should be brined for one hour per pound.
However, it is important to note that the weight formula depends on the average size of each piece of fish.
If you have one, three-pound filet, leave the fish submerged for 3 hours.
If you have three, one-pound filets, leave the pieces submerged for one hour.
Once you have determined the weight and cuts of your fish, you can calculate the amount of brine mixture you will need based on the recipe above.
Choose a container or a large bowl that will allow your fish to rest comfortable while also being fully submerged and not overflowing.
For larger, longer filets, something like a lasagna dish can be a good choice.
For multiple smaller pieces, something as simple as a stock pot can be used.
Consider whether or not the container will fit easily into your refrigerator if you are brining for multiple hours and need to keep the solution cold.
In order to extract more flavor from dry seasonings, steep them like tea.
To do this, boil 1/4 of the water from the base recipe (1 gallon), so 1 quart/4 cups.
Add herbs and spices, cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Then add to the original brine base.
The brine for smoked salmon should be 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower before the fish is added.
Using chilled or ice water and keeping the fish refrigerated until adding it will help keep the brining mixture cold enough to ensure food safety precautions.
If you wish to add soy sauce for flavor, you may want to slightly reduce the amount of salt in the brining solution.
If you wish to add beer or wine, replace no more than one quarter of the total liquid.
Add your salmon and make sure that it is fully submerged. If it begins to float, add a light weight such as a plate to keep it submerged.
Leave the salmon in the brine for the appropriate amount of time as described above.
Be sure to refrigerate your container if the brining time requires multiple hours.
Avoid the temptation to brine the salmon for longer than recommended.
Discard all brining liquid and using paper towels pat your salmon dry.
This will not cause a reverse effect of the brining process, but will allow you to achieve a better sear if you are seeking a crispy outer layer.
Brining is meant to add flavor and moisture throughout the salmon.