When we think of summertime meals on the grill, fish isn't necessarily at the top of the list. However, we're going to share a super easy, delicious, and healthy grilled salmon recipe (besides the butter).
Working with a skinless salmon while cooking provides a couple advantages. One of the biggest advantages is the ability to trim the brown fat that is in between the skin and the meat from the fish. The brown fat is where most of the contaminants within Great Lakes fish are found, so it is much better cutting it off at the start of cooking. It also allows for excess fat to drip off of the fish.
Salmon Fillets (skinless)
Old Bay Seasoning
It's time to prep our fish. When we freeze Lake Michigan salmon we always leave the skin on, just in case we decide it's going in the smoker vs going on the grill. Store bought fish often has the skin on when purchased too. So grab a fillet knife and fillet the skin off the salmon (you'll also want to trim the brown fat off the fish at this point). Ideally we will have serving size chunks of the fillet about 3 to 4 inch long.
Hit the salmon with some lemon juice. Freshly squeezed is always preferred, but the stuff in the bottle will work just fine too. Make sure you get both sides of the fillet coated.
Take a basting brush and brush all sides of each fillet liberally with olive oil. This is absolutely critical to keeping the fish from sticking to the grill grates. While you are at it, be sure to brush the grill grates with olive oil before they get too hot. If the grill is already hot, be careful brushing on the olive oil. It will go up in flames quickly.
* The cleaner the grill grates are before attempting this recipe the better the results will be.
It's time to sprinkle Reel 'n Smoke All-Purpose seasoning on our salmon. Get it nicely seasoned on all sides so it looks nice and peppery. At this point, you can add a classic seafood seasoning on top of the Reel 'n Smoke base. Either Old Bay or Lemon Pepper compliment this dish great, but is not needed.
We are ready to start grilling. Add the salmon fillets to the grill at medium high heat. You can crank it up if you want the outside a little crispy. We like to put a good sized chunk of butter on top of the fillet when it's first added to the grill. As the butter melts, it will spread over the top of the fish. Grill 6 minutes on each side, or until the fish is flaky (extremely large salmon might take a minute, or two longer). You'll want to use a large spatula to flip the salmon without having it flake apart on you. Once the fish is done; plate, serve, and enjoy! Remember to be watchful for small pin bones that may still be in the fillet.
For this recipe's Michigan beer pairing we are going with bonfire brown from Saugatuck Brewing in Saugatuck. We wanted a flavorful beer, that wasn't too heavy, and had some sweetness to it. A classic brown ale is just right for that! A little bit of sweetness typically a good thing when it comes to salmon and the beer was the perfect place to add it. The other thing we really liked about this brown ale is it has a taste of smokiness at the very end. And we all know that smoke and salmon are a perfect match.