Love salmon? Well then you are going to LOVE this salmon jerky! This recipe has a light fish flavor with a nice smokey and salty finish. Just perfect!
When it comes to fat content in fish, salmon ranks on the higher end. If you have been reading about jerky, fat is not a good thing.... But salmon still makes GREAT jerky!
Keep reading and I will show you how to make salmon jerky way better than anything you will buy in the store.
- Wild caught sockeye salmon
- Soy sauce
- Lemon juice
- Brown sugar
- Black pepper
- Liquid smoke
- Garlic powder
- Curing salt
How to make salmon jerky
I started with a wild caught sockeye salmon fillet that I purchased from my local grocery store. I always buy wild caught salmon for my dehydrated salmon jerky as well as when I make smoked salmon.
The taste is sooo much better when it is wild caught. You can tell wild caught from farm raised because of the dark red color of the meat.
Run your fingers over the meat to feel for any pin bones. I have had salmon fillets with a lot of pin bones (see above) and others that don't have any.
They will feel hard and be white in color. I use standard needle nose pliers to pull them out. They should pull out easily with a little wiggling. Don't forget this step, no one likes bones in their jerky!
Slice into strips
Here is where you can either skin the fillet or leave the skin on. I like leaving the skin on because it keeps the meat together. If you remove the skin now, the strips can break apart easily during marinating.
Once you are done drying, the skin will peel off easily before you eat the jerky.
Using a very sharp knife, slice ¼" - ½" wide salmon strips down the length of the fillet. Slicing from the "head" of the fillet to the "tail".
After all the strips are sliced lengthwise, cut across the strips to your desired length. I normally cut mine between 3-4" long for this salmon jerky recipe.
Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a ziplock bag and add the salmon strips carefully.
I marinated my strips for the salmon jerky recipe below for 18 hours in a ziplock bag stored in the fridge. Mix up the strips in the bag several times during marinating to ensure all strips are evenly marinated.
Strain and dehydrate
Strain the salmon strips in a colander and pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess marinade.
Lay the strips on dehydrator trays or a cooling rack if drying with your oven. Make sure none of the pieces are touching and there is amble room in between for air to circulate. I used my Excalibur Dehydrator when making this recipe.
Dry at 150°F or as low as your oven will go if using an oven until the strips are finished. Since salmon is high in fat I like to dry my salmon jerky more than a non fatty fish such as my trout jerky recipe. It took this jerky 9 hours to be just perfect.
This salmon jerky recipe turned out GREAT! The smoke flavor from the liquid smoke and the saltiness from the soy sauce really makes this salmon jerky taste amazing.
If you love salmon, you HAVE to make this jerky. Now all you have to do is peel the skin off and eat!
Try making these other JERKY RECIPES:
- 1 lb Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon (can use any salmon)
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon curing salt (optional)
- Remove pin bones from fish fillet with needle nose pliers. Leave skin on fillet.
- With a sharp knife, slice long strips lengthwise ¼"-½" thick from the "head" of the fillet to the "tail".
- Slice across the previously sliced long strips cutting into 3"-4" pieces.
- Assemble all the ingredients of marinade in a bowl or ziplock bag and mix well.
- Add the salmon strips to the marinade and marinate for 6-24 hours in the refrigerator. Mix the strips several times during marinating for evenly coated strips.
- Strain jerky strips in a colander and then dry with paper towels to remove any excess marinade.
- Place strips on a dehydrator tray or oven cooling rack on top of a oven pan to catch any drippings.
- Dry at 150F if using a dehydrator or as low as your oven will go if using an oven.
- Jerky will be done when it is completely dry and to your texture liking. It took me 9 hours to dry this jerky in my Excalibur Dehydrator.
- Remove skin from jerky and eat!
Can it be made without liquid smoke in the dehydrator?
Yep. You don't need to add the liquid smoke, only if you want a smoky flavor.
Thank you for your recipe. Do you have to precook the salmon at 160 degrees as you do meat to get rid of the bacteria?
It's good to still give fish jerky heat, but it does not need to be heated to the 160F like beef does. I normally dehydrate fish jerky in my dehydrator which is set at 140 - 150F.
Michael Melkers says
I am running a batch right now. I started to pat it dry but stopped as i was rubbing off the chili flakes...and I thought that the marinade would be a nice coat once dehydrated.
Anthony Riley says
How many ounces of jerky do you typically yield from a 1 lb filet?
You can expect about a 50% reduction in weight, so about 8 ounces.
So would a different brand of dehydrator use the same time/temp approach. I have recently purchased an American Harvester/NESCO Gardenmaster. Also can the skin be left on after drying?
Hey Melissa! Every dehydrator will vary slightly in time because of fan power and temperature. Times will also vary depending on how thick your fish is sliced and how much jerky you have in your dehydrator. I recommend checking it early and just keep drying until it's finished. This jerky took me 9 hours, but I would start checking it around 5 hours and then every hour after until it's finished. The skin can be left on after drying and simply removed before eating. It peels off easily.
I managed to use fresh caught coho (silver) salmon, added about 1/2 a bottle of Alaskan Amber beer to the recipe then smoked the fish for about 6 hours on my Traeger (I left out the liquid smoke). The smoker temperature stayed low at around 160 degrees F and made the fish a nice, jerky-like texture. Turned out superb!! I will be doing this again!! Cheers!
Awesome! Glad it turned out tasting great.
Kathy P says
Loved how easy to prepare this recipe is! No fussy ingredients and marinade can be put together in minutes. The hardest part is the waiting :). My daughter and I devoured the first batch yesterday and have a double batch going today. One of our favorite parts was after peeling off the skin after dehydrating the surface of the jerky had a wonderful texture underneath. We simply can't get enough of this! Thanks for sharing and keep your recipes coming!
Great to hear Kathy! I'm glad that you and your daughter enjoyed it, looks like you have to start a new batch!
Val Erie says
Hi Will. Thanks for sharing. Can you tell me about storing the salmon jerky?
Yeah Val. It's just like storing beef jerky. Storing in airtight packaging like vacuum seal bags is best and kept in the fridge will also extend the life of the fish jerky. Check out my storing jerky page for information.
Holy cow was this good. Recently had bariatric surgery and was looking for a high protein snack to make on my own. Easy, delicious, and will have a hard time keeping a full-time stock of this around the house!! I used sockeye salmon and left out the liquid smoke because I didn't have any at the time. Thanks for the recipe!
Hope you have a full recovery and glad you enjoyed the jerky!
A Dutch fan here,
I made the salmon jerky exept the liquid smoke. After drying in dihydrator.
I put haf of the batch in the firesmoker for 15 min.
Becouse liquid smoke is hard verry hard to get overhere.
And the taste is top notch! Smoked and Already made 4 kg
Love your site, i have used it a lot.
Only the mesurments are hard for me “cups” and so on.
Thanks Richard D.
Nice Richard! Glad you liked it and good job using a real smoker instead of liquid smoke. The flavor from the smoker is MUCH better! Yeah, myself and most of my readers are from the US, so cups and teaspoons it is! Sorry it's a little hard to convert, easy to use for us though. I have a food scale and am not sure how small amounts of ingredients are measured out. My scale doesn't seem to read anything under 4 grams, so a small amount of say ginger powder seems impossible to get the right amount if trying to use a scale. Maybe mine just sucks...
Steve Tyler says
This is a very good recipe. I followed direction exactly and it took 8 hours at 150. After placing on dehydration racks I seasoned some with black pepper and some with Weber garlic/herb seasoning. Both were very good, will need to make more because everyone loved it.
It's good to hear everyone loved it! Thanks for rating the recipe and commenting Steve.