Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tips for Grilling Salmon

I read a very informative article about grilling salmon by Chris Koetke, dean of the School of Culinary Arts at Kendall College in Chicago, and I agreed with the conclusion that salmon is the perfect fish for the grill. I've been a huge fan of grilled salmon for years: Salmon is rich enough in flavor to be complemented (not overwhelmed) by the flavors of char-grilling, plus its higher fat content and meaty texture help keep it intact during grilling and flipping. Here are some great tips from the article and from my experience:

*Instead of grilling an entire (or very large) salmon fillet, cut the raw fillets into into individual serving portions prior to grilling so that they're easier to flip over.

*Make sure your grill grate is really clean and really hot prior to placing the salmon on it, to reduce sticking and to help create tasty (and eye-catching) char marks.

*If you're going to grill the salmon using just a spice rub (I think that Adams Rib Rubb is excellent on salmon), make sure the fillets are completely dry before seasoning by patting down with a paper towel, then brush lightly with a little bit of olive oil, and then press the seasoning onto the oiled salmon. This will help to reduce sticking.

*If you're marinating the salmon (I personally love Bear-Man Sap-Happy Golden Bear Maple Sauce with salmon), I recommend marinating in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator for no more than 2 hours. If making my own marinade at home, I always add some oil (usually olive or peanut) to help keep the salmon moist as it grills.

*Salmon, like other fish, will cook quickly on the grill, especially over high or direct heat. Start skin side up for a few minutes (usually less than 5), then flip to cook the skin side for a few more minutes. The key is to remove the fillets while the middle is still red or dark pink (medium rare), because they will continue to cook after your remove them from the grill. Remember, you can always put the fillet back on the grill for a little longer if needed, but you can never undo overcooking.

Zestfully yours,

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