Salmon Jerky

Salmon Jerky to the rescue!

Hands down, this Salmon Jerky steels the spotlight from the all famous beef jerky. Since salmon is honestly my favorite food, I like to think of all sorts of ways to prepare it! Salmon Jerky is a hard one to resist. It is portable GAPS/SCD/paleo food! What more could you ask for?


Salmon Jerky inspiration:

Salmon bellies (the small oily fin on the salmon fillet) are my favorite part of the salmon. I love them becsue they are buttery and crisp..mmmm. It literally makes my mouth water just thinking about these little bellies. (I buy them from my local fisherman). I wanted a unique way to take regular salmon and make it crunchy, like the bellies. I brainstormed, though it didn’t take long to be suddenly inspired to make Salmon Jerky! This Salmon Jerky reminds me slightly of the salmon bellies. They are not super oily, but the crispiness is half the fun!

Salmon Jerky nutriton:

The health benefits of salmon are endless. Everyone has heard all about the good omega 3’s and all, but just incase you have not, here is a rundown:

  • High amounts of omega 3 (Helps blood flow,brain function, and clear skin)
  • Vitamin D (Sunshine in food form!)
  • B12 (Promotes good nerve function)
  • Selenium (Helps combat stress and supports thyroid)
  • High in Protein (supports healthy body growth)

Wild vs. Farmed?

Oh one last thing…make sure you salmon is WILD!! This is a must, or else you might as well not even eat that antibiotic pumped, pink dyed, stuffy salmon. Ewww! Do your body and environment a favor and buy the wild stuff. It might be more expensive, but that is because the farmed salmon is ridiculously cheap. July/August is the best time to pick up a nice big fillet of wild salmon and either eat it, freeze it, or jerky-it.

Salmon Jerky is my favorite snack food

Yes you read that right. In my opinion Salmon Jerky is better then fruit, crispy nuts, veggies, butter…in my books it is a top priority food. Now don’t get me wrong, all of those options are good, but wild salmon keeps a special place in my heart..and stomach!

It contains no sugar, no dairy, no wheat, no soy, no gluten, no preservatives. Salmon jerky can accommodate most all diets including the GAPS/paleo/SCD/anti-candida/low carb/ traditional food. It is pretty much a universal healthy snack. You are getting the purest real deal right here!

This is definitely not the kind of stuff you get out of the bag, coated in nasty MSG and loads of salt. You will feel good and energized after eating Salmon Jerky. It is a pure good protein source, with just enough fat to keep you satisfied.

Snack ideas:

Salmon Jerky doesn’t just have to be eaten plain. Feel free to get creative. The texture reminds me of crumbled bacon, so it would make a great flip flop for bacon, crumbled on a salad! Use can also use it to dip into salsa, guacamole, sour cream..etc… Crumble the salmon jerky and put into quiche or egg muffins. They would also be great mixed into a savory salmon dip! Let your salmon imagination swim WILD!

Tips and Tricks

Be sure to use fresh quality salmon, You can either buy it frozen or fresh. (If you buy it frozen make sure it does not contain preservatives in it.) It is helpful to freeze the salmon fillet for 30 min before you slice it, to get nice even cuts. Make sure to use real sea salt too! A sharp knife (i use this one) is a must, to cut the pieces of salmon away from the skin nicely. Make sure to buy a middle piece to get nice even thickness throughout the fish. Ok, I think that is all I need to tel you… I will stop blabbing, so you can learn how to make this AMAZING salmon Jerky!

It also helps to have a dehydrator, because it turns out perfect each time! This is the dehydrator we have.



½ cup raw apple cider vinegar

1 T organic lemon juice

2 T coconut aminos

1 T paprika

½ T onion powder

½ T garlic powder

1 ½ tsp sea salt

1 cup of filtered water


14 oz wild salmon (partly frozen)




1. Freeze your beautiful piece of salmon for 30 min until it is slightly firm. (This makes it easier to cut evenly)





2. Use a sharp knife to cut ¼ inch pieces of salmon flesh. Once I cut through to the skin, I scrape the knife against the skin, to “peel” the salmon flesh away from the skin. Do this until all the salmon flesh is removed from the skin.


 * SAVE the SKIN! Crisp it up the oven at 350 until it is brown and crispy..yum (one of my favorite parts about making salmon jerky!!)

DSCN2603        DSCN2601          DSCN2608

3. In a glass bowl or container, mix all your brine ingredients together.


4. Add the salmon pieces into the bowl of brine and let sit for 12 hours in the fridge, covered.


5. Remove from fridge and lay out bleach free paper towels on your counter. (I use 2-3 on top of each other). Carefully take the brined salmon pieces out of the brine and lay onto the paper towels to soak up any dripping liquid.

* The lemon juice and apple cider vinegar almost “cook” the salmon so it turnes into a harder texture, be careful with it because it is more brittle like this. 


6. Transfer the salmon pieces onto a dehydrator tray. ** (oven directions below)


7. Dehydrate for 3-4 hours at 145 degrees Fahrenheit. You know when it is done when it turns a darker reddish brown. It should be dry and chewy, not crunchy! When you bend it, it should not snap in half.


8. Store salmon jerky in a ball jar for many months. Enjoy the health benefits of salmon anywhere, even when it is not in season!

 Yum yum! Enjoy this Super power tasty food!


 **Oven directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 160.
  2. Rub or Spray your oven racks with cooking spray (I recommend lard or coconut oil).
  3. Place salmon pieces directly over the racks.
  4. Dehydrate for 3-4 hours.


~Stay Gutsy, Caroline


disclosure 3


  1. I’ve been waiting for this recipe! It looks beautiful, and it is such a clever idea. I’m going to give it a try without the coconut aminos, since I’ve heard that the jury is still out whether the aminos are legal on the SCD diet.

  2. I have totally been waiting for this, too! Thanks so much!!

  3. What are your thoughts on smoked salmon is an electric smoker? Does it still have all the same health benefits??

    • hmm. i have never used an electric smoker. I think smoking fish and meat was done in the old times, so I think it would be like dehydrating! Just make sure you don’t put in the smoke seasoning because i don’t know what that has in it. Have fun smoking the salmon, i am sure it will taste wonderful!

      • I just made some smoked salmon this past week and used the hickory chips for the smoke flavor which “smoke” in the bottom on the hot plate. For my brine I actually just cut up my salmon and put sea salt with some rapadura and let it sit for a few hours and then smoked it for about 14-16 hours. It tastes super yummy!!!

  4. Love all the detail on this Caroline! Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday!

  5. Julia Morris says

    Does this salmon jerky need to be refrigerated? I just made some and it looks delicious.

  6. Thanks for linking this up! I never thought of making salmon jerky. Whole Foods is having a sale locally on salmon tomorrow.

  7. I am intrigued by this recipe. I actually am not a huge fan of salmon (which bothers me to no end because I know how good it is for us!), but I think this might be worth a try. Thanks! 🙂

  8. Rachel says

    I wonder if you could make this with another oily fish like trout? I heard fish that are higher in fat, like salmon, and because of that trout don’t jerk well (but my source is questionable). Any experience with other fish jerkys?

    • Wild sockeye salmon works wonderfully because it is leaner. I bet cod or mahi would work too or any lake fish for that matter. I have not make it yet, but plan on it! thanks for reading

  9. Does the brine help to prolong the shelf life of the salmon? We are so excited and just got a dehydrator but in the instructions it actually recommends NOT doing fatty fish as it says they spoil too easy…are they erring on the side of caution? I would LOVE to do this…

    • The brine helps to give it flavor mostly. wild salmon is actually pretty lean so it is ok to use. I have not had mine spoil after sting it for 3 weeks in the cabin ate. Still good! enjoy 🙂

  10. ok wow that looks downright incredible! got. to. try. this!

  11. This jerky looks incredible! Never have tried salmon jerky but have certainly tempted me to change that!

  12. We make beef and pork jerky all of the time around here. I can’t seem to keep it around for long. But, I have never heard of salmon jerky and will definitely have to try this. I’m sure my husband and son will go crazy over this! Thank you for sharing!!

  13. I guess I make “jerky” too every day, except, I actually just take salmon skin and roast it nightly. No seasonings or anything because I find the salmon skin to be sooooo flavorful and delicious on it’s own! Your photos look stunning though, make me want to have dinner all over again! Dinner will always come again though! 🙂

  14. I can not have any form of vinegar, do you have any suggestions on how to omit it?

  15. Hey Caroline! This is Sue from the 411. I’ve been looking for a good salmon jerky recipe and was so glad to see yours! Looking forward to making it soon – got a big fish order coming in from Alaska!

  16. Marina says

    What about frozen salmon I have some from Safeway?

  17. I just bought a food dehydrator and was researching on recipes. I’m so excited I will now be able to create my own snacks without the chemicals and junk companies add into their products. I love to be able to control what goes in what I’m cooking. I was a bit weary on doing jerky because I don’t want to cause anyone to be sick if I make it. So this is safe to do with fish? I will try it.



  18. I will consider trying this salmon jerky recipe. I just bought a dehydrator Nesco yesterday.


  19. Thinking about using Salmon jerky during a 5-day hike through Death Valley. Most other sites recommend vacuum sealing, refrigerating, or freezing Salmon Jerky, but we will be camping, so no fridge. Should I ditch this idea as a food source for this trip?

  20. Thank you Gutsy! My wife is pescatarian and loves this one salmon jerky she gets from http://www.wildmerman.com We then tried to make it on our own. Your blog helped a lot 🙂

  21. Mark (Nomad59) says

    Many other sites, say weeks with no refrigeration, YET,…. they are talking during Colder months,…… I want to take on the Motorcycle camping trips during Summer months,… 80 +- F degrees…..??? I do ahave a vac sealer if that will help

  22. Radoslaw Smaczny says

    Thank you Thank you Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I’ve been waiting for a delicious fish recipe for jerky.


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