I downloaded this photo of a person grilling salmon from a random Flickr account. Let’s examine it and see if we can figure out what he’s doing wrong.
Or perhaps it depends on who you ask.
I am certainly no expert, but I have been firing up the grill more and more myself these days in an effort to learn more about how to turn out great grilled food. I used to leave it up to Howard, but sometimes he’s busy doing other things, such as mowing the lawn, while I make dinner and I figure I could at least learn how to cook a hamburger or a piece of fish. The steaks are still up to him because he has that mastered.
I bought some fresh sockeye salmon at Kroger yesterday (wild-caught, 3/4-inch thick, $8.99/lb. on sale this week, FYI) and it was a lovely, deep ruby red color. I did not want to screw that up. So I did a little research and settled on a method I found on YouTube. It worked perfectly.
The key, they said, is to get the grill really hot and grease it. The person in the video sprayed cooking spray directly on the grill while it was on high, which seemed kind of dangerous to me. Doesn’t that seem dangerous to you? Anyway, I oiled my fish on all sides with olive oil, then salt and peppered it. Then I heated my grill to high, cut it off quickly so I could spray the grates, then cut back on high.
Then I did the perfect salmon method:
1. Salmon on grill, skin side up, for two minutes. Lid closed, don’t touch the fish.
2. Flip the filet and you should have nice grill marks on the top. And I did!
3. Brush with whatever sauce you’re using (I used Sippie’s original and it was fantastic).
4. Cook, lid down, for 5 minutes.
5. Remove salmon from the grill and eat it.
Now, the instructor in the video shows you how to take the salmon off the grill by edging the spatula between the flesh and the skin, then quickly sliding it under, which removes all of the flesh but leaves the skin on the grill for discarding later. I wasn’t brave enough to try that last night because I could just see myself messing it up and having fish torn up all over the place, and I wasn’t in the mood for that kind of failure.
Some people like salmon skin, so they should definitely not try that. But if you don’t want to eat the skin, you may want to check that out.
I know a lot of you have grilled plenty of salmon in your lives. How does my new method compare with what you’ve done? And what’s your favorite sauce, glaze or seasoning for salmon?