How to Make Salmon Jerky

Smoked salmon

Inti St. Clair / Getty Images

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
588 Calories
9g Fat
113g Carbs
17g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 588
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 16104mg 700%
Total Carbohydrate 113g 41%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 111g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 148mg 11%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 497mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You can make jerky out of almost any kind of meat imaginable, and salmon is an excellent candidate. If you've never made any kind of jerky before, it's definitely not hard—it just requires a little bit of preparation and some simple ingredients such as soy sauce, brown sugar, and a non-iodized salt, such as kosher salt.

Use your imagination to add spices and flavorings to this basic salmon jerky recipe. The jerky may be made in a dehydrator, smoker, or oven. Any of those preservation methods will work. Plan ahead as you will need at least eight hours of marination time, and it may take up to 10 hours or more to achieve the desired texture and doneness.


  • 1 cup salt, non-iodized, such as kosher

  • 2 1/2 cups light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1 gallon water

  • 1 1/4 pounds salmon fillets, skin removed

  • Cooking spray, as needed

  • Cayenne pepper, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Place salt, brown sugar, soy sauce, and water into a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pot from heat and let cool to room temperature.

  2. Slice the salmon into 1/4- to 1/2-inch long strips. Place the salmon strips in the cooled brine. Cover and refrigerate to marinate, 8 to 10 hours.

  3. Remove the salmon from the brine (discard the brine). Rinse the salmon with clean water and let it drain. Pat dry with paper towels.

  4. Spray dehydrator racks with cooking spray. Place salmon strips on racks with enough space between them so they aren't touching each other so air can circulate. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper to taste, if using. Dry to the desired doneness according to the dehydrator manufacturer's recommendations.

  5. The salmon jerky may also be dried in the oven on its lowest setting or in a smoker. The drying time could take 8 hours or more, depending on the method and how dry you like the jerky. Store in an airtight container.


  • It may be tricky to determine doneness when making jerky for the first time. You will know the jerky is ready if it cracks but does not break when you bend it.

How to Store and Freeze Salmon Jerky

Salmon jerky will keep in a zip-close bag or airtight container for two to three months, or you can freeze it for up to seven to 12 months, especially if you can vacuum-seal the fish.


Salmon jerky takes well to a variety of seasonings. Try some of the following.:

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic or onion powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoky paprika, or a combination of both
  • Add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke to the marinade