Salmon is the perfect fish for the barbecue. Fresh grilled salmon is a delicious treat and a nice alternative to beef or chicken. Salmon doesn't need a lot of 'stuff' to make it tasty - simple preparations, at least in our opinion, are the best way to bring out the natural flavor of the fish. Here are a few of our favorite BBQ salmon recipes.
Some recipes will suggest you use a certain cut of salmon. Personally, we don't worry about this -- we've interchanged cuts of salmon many times. You just need to adjust the grilling time.
If you can, get a freshly caught piece of salmon - or that failing, try to buy a piece that's not frozen. Salmon fillets cook the fastest and are the easiest to eat because there's no bones... but they are also more likely to fall apart on the grill if not handled gently. There's no need to turn salmon fillets when grilling - but we usually do, just once, a couple of minutes before it's done, in order to get a nice set of grill marks on the top of the fillets. You can grill with the skin on or off. If you leave the skin on, then grill with the skin-side down. The skin will easily come off after the salmon is cooked.
Salmon steaks are great for the grill too. They're thick and easy to handle, but they have both skin and bones. The skin and bones are both more easily removed after cooking; the skin will peel right off and you can remove a lot of the bones by grasping the bone in the middle (the big piece which is the spine) and twisting it gently, then carefully removing.
Barbecuing a whole salmon can result in a beautiful presentation ... but it is definitely more finicky than using either fillets or steaks. A whole salmon has different thicknesses along the length of the fish. To help it cook evenly, take a sharp knife and score the fish cross-wise over the width. It's also more difficult to turn (although it's not normally necessary to flip it unless you want the sear marks).
Lots of people (including us!) really enjoy the flavor that you get from grilling salmon on a cedar or alder plank. You can also use wood chips to get that wonderful flavor, but salmon doesn't take long to cook and planks have worked better in our experience.
Always defrost your salmon if it's frozen. Salmon grills very quickly, typically about 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness at medium heat. Don't allow flames to touch the grill, and don't place the grill too close to the coals. With our Big Green Egg cooker, we usually grill using indirect heat at around 350 degrees F.
This section for grilled salmon recipes includes:
Grilled salmon recipes - tips on salmon preparation: how to make the most of your fish grilling experience. A good introduction especially if you're new to barbecuing salmon.
BBQ salmon recipe in foil: wrapping the filet or steaks in foil keeps the fish moist... the fish basically steams inside its foil pocket! Easy and yummy.
Recipe for BBQ Salmon (basic): a very simple and basic way to prepare salmon and let the flavor of the fish shine through. Sweet flavor goes well with the barbecued fish.
Sauce for fish: an all-purpose, citrus sauce for barbecue fish.
Remember that preparing salmon doesn't have to be complicated... just a few ingredients is enough to bring out the rich flavor of the fish on the grill. Have fun with the grill and enjoy these BBQ salmon recipes!