Who says jerky can't be sticky and sweet with that smoked richness that only comes from salmon? Salmon jerky is also known as "Indian Candy" or "Salmon Candy" because of the salty-sweet maple glaze that makes it so insanely tasty. It truly is as addictive and pop-able as any candy.
This jerky-lovers recipe comes from our Traeger's Jerky Cookbook.
PREP TIME: 30 minutes plus marinade overnight
COOK TIME: 5 to 6 hours
SERVINGS: 6 to 8, as snacks
PELLET RECOMMENDATION: Alder
2 quarts spring water
3/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup Morton Tender Quick® curing salt (optional)
4 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups maple syrup, divided use
1 2- to 3-pound wild-caught salmon fillet, skinned, any pin bones removed
In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the water, salt, curing salt (if using), brown sugar, and 1 cup of the maple syrup. Stir with a long-handled spoon to dissolve the salts and sugar.
With a sharp, serrated knife, slice the salmon into 1/2-inch thick slices with the short side parallel to you on the cutting board. In other words, make your cuts from the head end to the tail end. (This is considerably easier if the fish is frozen.)
Cut each strip crosswise into 4- or 5-inch lengths.
Immerse the strips in the brine, weighting with a plate or a plastic bag of ice. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).
Drain the salmon strips and discard the brine. Arrange the salmon strips in a single layer directly on the grill grate.
Smoke for several hours (5 to 6), or until the jerky is dry but not rock-hard. You want it to yield when you bite into it.
Halfway through the smoking time, mix the remaining cup of maple syrup with 1/4 cup of warm water and brush the salmon strips on all sides with the mixture.
Transfer to a resealable plastic bag while the jerky’s still warm. Let the jerky rest for an hour at room temperature. Squeeze any air from the bag, and refrigerate the jerky.
This irresistible snack will keep for several weeks.