If you’ve never had smoked, grilled or even pan-fried fish before then this article will be just right up your alley.
What Is The Best Way To Cook Salmon?
There are many ways that you can prepare fresh salmon depending on what kind of fish you have.
If it has been caught in the wild, frozen or canned you may want to go with an easy cooking method such as baking or grilling.
However if you plan on eating it raw, you should know how to properly cut and clean it so that you don’t end up having any nasty surprises.
Salmon is usually sold whole.
To prepare it for cooking, place it on a cutting board with the head facing down and make small cuts lengthwise along both sides of each side of the body.
Then use a knife to remove the skin from the top portion of the tailbone to the middle of the back bone.
You can either leave the belly intact or pull off the belly flap.
Once everything is cleaned out, there are several different methods that you can choose from but we find the most common one to be poaching.
Poaching involves submerging the fillet into water and letting it cook slowly until done.
This allows the flesh to remain moist while keeping the protein tender.
Poached salmon makes a wonderful dish when served over brown rice, pasta or salad.
There are also other options like broiling, frying, sautéing, roasting and smoking which you can try out as well.
The following guide will give you more information on how to cook salmon effectively.
You can buy salmon at almost any grocery store these days.
Look for a product labeled “wild Alaskan sockeye salmon” or “Alaska king salmon” which indicates that it was harvested by hand rather than through fishing nets.
Some people opt for farmed salmon because they believe that it tastes better but that doesn’t mean it is healthier for you.
What Are Some Good Salmon Recipes?
While it might not have been as popular in the past (it was considered an undercooked food), today salmon has become very popular due to its nutritional value.
According to the USDA, Americans eat about 3 pounds of salmon per person every year.
That makes it one of America’s most popular seafood choices.
Benefits of eating wild caught salmon
Salmon is rich in omega three fatty acids which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease risk factors.
There are also many other beneficial nutrients found in salmon including protein, vitamin D, iron, B vitamins, zinc, calcium, selenium, and phosphorous.
Healthy Benefits of Eating Wild Caught Salmon
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure
- Helps prevent cancer by decreasing cell proliferation and increasing apoptosis (programmed cell death)
- Improves bone density by promoting osteoblasts growth and inhibiting osteoclastic activity (bone resorption)
- Promotes healthy skin through collagen production
- Protects against diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and regulating glucose metabolism
- Lowers body weight
- Maintains healthy eyesight
- Restores cognitive functions such as memory & concentration
- Prevents kidney stones
- Increases testosterone level
- Boosts energy levels
The list goes on but we would like to emphasize that there are so many more benefits to eating salmon than what we mentioned here so please do read our full post on why you should start eating salmon.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Salmon?
The best part about eating healthy is that it doesn’t have to be complicated.
All you need to do is eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, walnuts, coconut, and macadamia nut butter.
You can also get these nutrients from other sources such as vegetables, beans, seeds, eggs, and dairy products.
But what if you want something tasty that tastes great but has all those same ingredients in one convenient package?
Well there’s no reason not to enjoy salmon because research shows that it provides many health benefits.
These include lowering cholesterol levels, helping prevent osteoporosis, reducing risk of heart disease, boosting immunity against colds and flu, and improving skin health.
In addition to being high in protein (which helps build muscle mass), omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium, zinc, iron, calcium, copper, phosphorus, and potassium, salmon contains vitamins A, C, E, K, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, biotin, choline, magnesium, manganese, iodine, sodium, chloride, phosphorous, potassium, chloride, and sulfur.
Salmon is packed with essential amino acids which give our bodies energy, help us grow hair and nails, improve bone strength, aid digestion, boost immune function, and protect against cancer.
So here we go!
I’m going to share with you how to make this incredible Traeger salmon recipe on my website so you can see exactly what it looks like when done correctly.
Let me tell you though, it tastes better than any restaurant version ever could.
What Is The Difference Between Wild And Farmed Salmon?
Farmed salmon is raised in tanks and fed with antibiotics and hormones, which makes them much larger than their wild counterparts.
They also have less fat content and higher levels of mercury because they live so long in captivity.
So farmed salmon has been linked to cancer, and it is now illegal in several states (California, Oregon, Washington) to sell farmed salmon.
The FDA does not regulate farmed salmon, but if you buy it at retail stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s they must indicate on the label whether it was farm-raised.
Wild salmon comes from different types of rivers around the world.
In North America, Atlantic salmon come from New Brunswick, Canada, and Pacific salmon come from Alaska.
Both species grow quickly and mature within four years.
They both prefer cold water temperatures and eat mainly plankton, small organisms that drift through the ocean.
Wild salmon spend most of their lives swimming upstream against the current, eating mostly krill and other tiny plankton, while farmed salmon swim downriver and get pumped full of feed pellets made from animal byproducts.
Farmed salmon also tend to be bigger, and they may be genetically modified as well.
The best thing about wild salmon is that you don’t need any special equipment to prepare it.
You can simply grill it over an open fire outdoors, or smoke it inside your home using a traditional smoker.
If you use a stove top grill pan, you can sauté the fish without overcooking it too badly.
However, if you want to do something really fancy, try grilling it under the broiler until the skin crisps up.
How to clean farmed salmon
- Remove the head, gills, fins, tail, and bones, then rinse off all blood stains with fresh water.
- Slice into 4 equal pieces.
- Pat dry with paper towels.
- Season with salt and pepper. Don’t add more than 2 teaspoons of each.
How Can I Make Sure My Salmon Is Cooked Properly?
When it comes to cooking any kind of fish, there are two things that need to be considered.
The first one is how long it takes to cook through, and the second thing is what exactly happens in the center of the fish itself.
The best way to know if your fish has been cooked all the way through is by using a thermometer.
If you place a probe into the thickest part of the fish (usually at its belly) and see that the temperature reads at 145° F / 63° C, then the fish is done.
Any higher than that, and it needs more time.
You should also consider whether you want to eat the whole piece or cut it into smaller pieces so they don’t overcook.
You could always remove the skin from the fillet if you prefer not to have it on but remember that removing too much fat may affect the taste as well.
Finally, once you decide how long you want to cook your fish, keep in mind that thicker cuts like steaks take longer to finish cooking while thinner ones like fillets only require about 10 minutes.
Also, avoid overloading your grill with multiple items at the same time because that means less space for each item to get cooked thoroughly.
With these tips, you should be able to achieve an excellent result every single time you try out this recipe.
What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Cooking Salmon?
There are lots of different ways that people try to cook salmon in their own kitchens but there are also many things they tend to forget about along the way.
These include making sure that it isn’t overcooked so that it doesn’t dry out on the outside while being undercooked internally which would ruin its flavor.
- It’s important to keep an eye on your food as you cook it because if you don’t watch what you’re doing then you might end up with something like this…
Do not leave your salmon unattended!
When we were kids learning how to cook, our mothers always told us “never walk away from the stove when you’re cooking”.
They said that this was especially true when you were frying chicken wings.
But now, more than ever, we need to be careful with our food and that includes salmon.
Salmon has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan.
If you have a nonstick surface then this should be no problem at all, but if your pan is made of cast iron (like mine) then it may seem like the salmon won’t want to release itself.
What Are Some Tips For Cooking Salmon?
When it comes to salmon, there are several techniques that can produce fantastic results.
From grilling over an open flame, to smoking on a pellet grill, to baking in the oven – there are many different ways to prepare this tasty meat.
Here we have provided a few of our favorite recipes and methods for preparing salmon.
We hope these help get you started with your first taste of this protein rich fish!
How Do I Know When My Salmon Is Done?
The best time to serve any kind of food would have to be at its peak, so it makes sense that the same applies here.
The perfect serving temperature for salmon varies depending on whether you want it cooked rare, medium, well done, or crispy skinned.
However, there is one thing all types of salmon have in common – they should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63.3 degrees Celsius) for optimal flavor.
When it comes down to it, though, you can always take a peek inside the cavity by inserting a sharp knife into the thick part of the flesh near the spine.
If it feels firm but not hard, it means the meat is still raw.
Keep in mind that if you don’t have a thermometer, this method won’t give you accurate readings.
Instead, insert a probe through the side of the fish with a digital thermometer attached to the other end.
Once you get an accurate reading, remove the probe from the center of the fish and set it aside until the rest of the meal has been served.
You can also check out our guide on how to tell if your steak is ready to eat.
What Are Some Delicious Salmon Recipes?
This recipe is perfect if you love salmon but don’t want to use any fancy equipment.
The Traeger grill makes cooking food easy!
You can get all the flavor of traditional salmon without having to spend hundreds on a professional smoker.
All that is needed is a little bit of time and an open flame.
The result is fresh and flavorful salmon every single time.
The Benefits of Smoked Fish
Smoking fish has been around since ancient times.
In fact, smoking was so important in the development of civilization that it helped people survive the Ice Age.
For example, the Vikings used smoking techniques to preserve meat during long sea voyages.
Smoking also helps maintain the quality of seafood by keeping bacteria at bay.
But what does this have to do with today’s recipes?
Well, most restaurants will only serve their fish cooked using high temperature methods like frying or grilling.
These processes destroy nutrients found in fish while leaving them dry and bland.
That’s why many consumers choose not to eat fish because they simply aren’t aware of how wonderful smoked fish is.
Ingredients Needed for Smoky Food
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup wood chips (pine variety preferred)
- 20 pounds skinless salmon filets
- Extra virgin olive oil spray
Prepping Your Ingredients
Before starting any project there needs to be preparation.
If you don’t prepare your ingredients properly then you could end up wasting money and effort.
So first things first, wash your salmon fillets thoroughly under running water and pat them dry with paper towels.
Next, put everything from the above list into a large bowl until you have a total of 2 cups.
Mix well and set aside.
Now, take out one third of the mixture and place it back into the same bowl.
Add two more cups of the remaining mix to make another third.
Finally, add the last cup to separate container and keep it in the fridge for later use.
Preparing Your Firebox
Now that we’re almost ready to start our fire let’s talk about what kind of firebox we should use.
There are three main types of fireboxes available on the market: ceramic, stainless steel, and aluminum.
Each type comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Ceramic fireboxes tend to burn hotter than other materials which means less smoke and ash.
But ceramic fireboxes generally require special tools to clean after each use.
Stainless steel and aluminum boxes don’t produce as much heat and generate far less smoke.
They are cheaper though and easier to clean.
So, which box would work best for us?
We’ll go with aluminum because it’s simple and cheap.
First off, remove the bottom plate of the grill and lay down a couple sheets of newspaper.
Then, pour about half of the charcoal onto the base of the grill.
Next, light the charcoal with a match or lighter.
When the charcoal starts to glow orange throw the wood chip packet directly over the coals.
Once you see flames coming out of the chimney stack, spread the rest of the charcoal evenly across the surface of the grill.
A Simple Way To Cook Fish
When you’re ready to begin cooking the salmon, you need to preheat the grill according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
After heating the grill to medium-high heat, brush the inside of the grill rack with vegetable oil.
Place the salmon filets in the middle of the rack and cover the grill.
Grill the salmon for 5 minutes per side or until it reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the salmon to a serving platter and allow it to cool for five minutes.
Once the salmon has cooled enough to handle, remove it from the grill and slice it into four equal portions.
What Are Some Of The Best Salmon Dishes?
The most popular kind of fish in America is salmon.
This tasty white meat has long been considered one of the healthiest choices when it comes to eating seafood.
Plus, there are many ways to prepare this healthy food that taste good too!
There is no shortage of salmon recipes out there but if you want something special try these popular salmon dinner ideas.
- How To Make Grilled Salmon With Lemon Dill Aioli Dressing
- Easy Crock Pot Baked Salmon with Creamy Garlic Sauce
- Grilled Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
- Crispy Pan Seared Salmon Burgers
- Seared Salmon with Cilantro Lime Rice Pilaf
- Salmon Chowder
- Lemon Poppy Seed Salmon
- Smoked Salmon Spreadable Scramble
- Butterflied Whole Fish Roasted on an Open Fire
- Spicy Asian Ginger Glazed Salmon
- Ginger Citrus Marinated Halibut
- Sweet and Spicy Sesame Flounder
- Grilled Salmon Tacos
- Freshly Baked Potato Soup
- Miso & Honey Glazed Salmon
- Parmesan Crusted Tilapia
- Breaded Cod Fillets
- Shrimp Fried Rice
- Salmon and Asparagus Stir Fry
- Grillade Salmon
- Roast Salmon
- Garlic Herb Rubbed Salmon
- Whole Fish Stuffed With Herbs And Feta Cheese
- Chili Crema
- Pan Fried Salmon With Peppered Sourdough Broccoli Rabe
- Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Oven Barbecued Salmon Steaks
- Mediterranean Shrimp Pasta Salad
- Stir Fry Chicken Tenders With Crispy Vegetables
- Fried Catfish Sandwich
- Herb Marinara Sauce
- Fish Tacos
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Spaghetti Squash Alfredo
- Honey Mustard Salmon
- Flatbread Pizza Roll Ups
- Crab Cakes With Old Bay Mayonnaise
- Scalloped Cornish Hens
- Herbed Goat Cheese Flat Bread Rolls
- Creamy Avocado Egg White Frittata
- Linguine with Lobster Mushroom Bisque
- Salmon Tacos
- Baja Taco Bowls
- Strawberry Basil Pesto Pasta Salad
- Sweet and Tangy Salmon
- Broiled Salmon
- Salmon Patties
- Salmon Quiche Cups
- Coconut Curry Coconut Macaroons
- Raspberry Chocolate Chip Salmon Cake
- Cheesy Jalapeño Crab Dip
- Cajun Jambalaya
- Stuffed Shells With Smoky Tomato Sauce
- Cranberry Walnut Turkey Meatloaf
- Buffalo Blue Cheese Ranch Sliders
- Coffee Flavored Pork Loin Medallion
- Cheddar Bacon Onion Pull Apart Rolls
- Cheddar BBQ Jack Cheeseburgers
- Crispy Parmesan Chicken Wings
- Turkey Chili
- Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew
- Beef Stroganoff
- Spiced Apple Cranberry Ham
- Herbed Turkey Breast
- Cinnamon Sugar Sweet Potato Hash Browns
- Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- Tortilla Espana
- Crispy Skinless Chickpeas
- Jerk Turkey Picadillo
For more information about cooking with Traeger grills, check our other articles below:
- Best Traeger Grill Recipes
- Traeger Grill Cooking Methods
- How to Buy a Traeger Grill
- Traeger Grill FAQ
- 1 Zester
- 1 Pastry Brushes
- 1 pounds skin-on sockeye salmon
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tbsp fresh peeled grated ginger
- 2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
- Avocado oil
- Salmon fillets should be taken out of the fridge and left to warm up. Set the grill to 450 degrees.
- In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlicand crushed red pepper flakes while the grill is getting ready. Heat to a boil over medium.
- Heat down to medium-low and keep cooking until sauce is reduced by one-third (it will have thickened slightly and will coat the back of a spoon).Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and divide evenly between two bowls: One for dishing and one for basting the grilled fish.
- With paper towels, completely pat dry the salmon fillets. Avocado oil should be liberally applied on the salmon's two sides.A pair of tongs,rub the grill grates with a paper towel that has been dipped in avocado oil. Salmon fillets should be placed on oiled grates skin side up. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the fish for 2 minutes, or until it easily slides off the grill.
- After turning the fish over, brush the fillets with half of the basting sauce.Grill cover off for a minute.Cook for a further 30 to 60 seconds after basting once more with the leftover sauce.Once done, check the fish and remove it from the grill. Serve with any remaining sauce.