If you are a passionate seafood lover, no doubt you like to enjoy the mouth-watering grilled salmons over and over again. While a typical BBQ consists of fattening foods like hamburgers, ribs, and hot dogs, the grilled salmon is a healthy alternative for the BBQ lovers.
This popular fish is born in freshwater streams, but they grow up in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Many industrial salmon farms help to provide a steady supply of the fish to the food loving Americans all through the year. The beautiful pink-orange flesh and the unique flavor make it so popular for foodies all over the world.
The succulent flesh of salmon comes with numerous health benefits and its not very expensive. So grilling salmon is always one of the hot searches on the Internet.
The Varieties of Salmon:
There are many varieties of salmon such as Chinook or king salmon, Coho or silver, Sockeye, Chum, and Pink or humpback (the smallest variety). All the varieties are rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which is known for numerous heath benefits. Salmon is a versatile fish; its well suited to sauces both creamy and acidic.
Nearly any cooking method is suitable for this fish. However, grilling salmon remains one of the most popular styles for cooking the fish.
How to Buy and Store?
Salmon steaks are usually half to one-inch thick crosscut slices from a large dressed fish. The fillets are boneless pieces from the sides. You can purchase it with or without the skin. When buying fresh salmon fillets or steaks, look for the clean & moist ones without any strong odor. It is best to cook it on the day of purchase.
If you decide to refrigerate the salmon, you can put it in coldest part of your refrigerator in a loosely wrapped condition for 2 days. If you buy a previously frozen salmon, you can refrigerate it for about 3 months. Frozen fish like this should be thawed in the refrigerator for a day before cooking.
Know the Grilling Time Before Starting to Cook:
Salmon fillets and steaks both are well suited for gas and charcoal type grilling. The grilling time is a key factor. Get your timing right to make the fish tender on every occasion.The smoked flavor is one of top reasons for grilling salmon. The lesser grilling time is another advantage.
The entire seasoning and the grilling process takes hardly about half an hours time. The texture of the fish is firm enough to hold it together while grilling.
Picture of Wild Alaskan Salmon Surf Burger
Preparation for Grilling Salmon:
Remove any skin with a sharp knife. Some people choose to remove the skin at the end of the grilling process. Rinse the salmon pieces in water and quickly dry it with a moisture absorbing paper. Add salt to your taste. Now add flavor by rubbing or sprinkling various spices. Garlic, ground black pepper, and different herbs like basil, thyme, and dill commonly go into the salmon recipe.
After mixing the spices well, keep it as such for about 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can also dip the salmon pieces in your favorite marinade. Allow it to marinate for about 20 minutes. Salmons are very quick to pick up the flavor form the sprinkled spices or the marinade.
How to Grill Salmon?
Put the salmon fillets or steaks on a well-greased grilling basket. Greasing helps at the time of removal of the pieces, they stay intact. Greased foils with holes or slits can also be used, they prevent the fillets from sticking together and allow the juices to run off. Sometimes people grill the salmon fillets by directly placing it on the greased grilling rack.
However, direct grilling requires some time & preparation before salmons can be placed on it. For charcoal grills, light the coal and allow it to burn for a few minutes until the coals are covered by a grey colored ash. Then evenly arrange the coals in the bottom of the grill. If you are using a gas grill, light it and put the burner on high flame. Close the lid and allow it to pre-heat for about 10-15 minutes. Bring the gas grill back to medium heat before placing the salmon.
After these initial start-up procedures for the direct grilling process, place the salmon pieces on the grilling rack. A half-inch thick salmon fillet normally takes about 5 minutes on the charcoal or gas grill. Of course, half way through the grilling you need to turn the fillet up side down. While grilling, you can also brush the fillets with salmon oil or butter to keep it soft.
How to Know when Salmon is Done?
You can easily know when the salmon grilling is done by piercing a fork into the fillet. The cooking is over if the fish begins to flake on testing with a fork. Check the fillet at the thickest part. If its moist, opaque and easily pulls apart with a fork, the salmon is ready to be served. Of course, you can do some garnishing with your favorite vegetables.
You can choose to use green beans, carrots, broccoli, corn, tomatoes or other vegetables for a beautiful dressing on top of the grilled salmon. Some people add honey or lime to the dressing to create an exotic taste. Invite family and friends to your house for getting a taste of your newly acquired culinary skills of grilling salmon.