The Food Network and the Cooking Channel both have good recipes to brine a salmon before smoking it. Both recipes can be used with other types of seafood before smoking them.
The Cooking Channel?s recipe combines 6 cups light brown sugar, 2 cups dark amber honey and 3 cups salt. Combine the ingredients in 1 gallon of hot water until they dissolve. Add 2 more gallons of cold water to the brine.
The Food Network?s recipe combines 1 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar and 1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns. The brine recipe is for 2 large salmon fillets. Put the combined ingredients on both sides of each salmon fillet.
Wrap the salmon fillets in tightly sealed plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Place the salmon on a sheet pan, then put another sheet pan on top. Put something heavy, such as two bricks, on the sheet pans, and refrigerate them for 12 hours. Flip the salmon over, cover, and refrigerate them for another 12 hours.
Rinse off the salmon under cold water, and pat it dry with a paper towel. Place the salmon in a cool, dry place for one to three hours before smoking them.