Wed 18 Jul 2018
Read other related stories: Charcoal Grilling , Charwood , General Smoking Information , Grilling , Smoking Salmon , Smoking with chips
Charwood Grilled Salmon Fillets for a Hint of Smoky Flavor
By: Chef Calle, Resident Executive Chef
Chef Calle here and thanks to SmokinLicious® Gourmet Wood Products, I’m going to offer an easy and palate-pleasing method to cook and lightly smoke fresh salmon fillets over a Charwood fire that features a small number of smoking chips. With this approach, the smoking chips infuse a delicate smoky flavor to the salmon without overpowering its delicious fresh taste.
Today, I’m using a Stok® Tourist™ grill, clearly one of the best Charwood grilling and smoking units on the market. If you don’t have a Stok®, just about any Charwood grill will work, if its heat chamber has room enough for both the Charwood and wood chips.
Preparation is key with salmon and setting up the cooking equipment. So, first prepare the fresh salmon fillets by lightly seasoning with EVOO, salt, pepper and if you have it- fresh dill or fennel. Let them sit and soak up all those great flavorful ingredients for about half an hour or until the salmon reaches room temperature.
Chef’s Tip: Do not use salmon that is past its prime, thinking that the smoke will disguise the slightly off flavor of the fish. Only use the best salmon available.
While the fish is marinating, begin preparations for the actual grilling by first firing up SmokinLicious® all natural Charwood using a hollowed chimney starter. Never use charcoal lighter fluid! Or Charwood, charcoal briquettes, pretreated with petroleum-based starting fluid. In addition to ruining your salmon with a foul aftertaste, it’s safer not to consume the residue or remnants from petrochemical fire starter liquids.
After your embers have taken on a medium to high heat condition (grayish color), place them directly in the center of the grill’s heating chamber. Put the grill grate on over the fired embers and clean it by using either a halved onion or lemon like you would use a sponge but, do it quickly and in short strokes to avoid getting fingers or hands burned.
Smoking the Salmon
Next, position small amounts of the smoking chips (a few large handfuls, I’m using SmokinLicious® Grande Sapore) around the outer fringes of the main concentration of burning Charwood. This allows the wood chips to take on two roles- 1) indirectly contributing to the cooking process, and; 2) producing a burst of smoky vapor that flavors the fillets.
A minute or two after you’ve positioned the smoking wood chips and reattached the grate, place the salmon fillets, skin side down on the grate, directly over the medium embers and cover. Grill and smoke the salmon for about 4 to 6 minutes, uncover and gently turn the fillets over, cover and grill and smoke the skinless side for no longer than 2 to 4 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.
Chef’s Tip: Be careful not to overcook. You can gauge the finish of the fillets be being able to flake them with a fork.
When done, remove the skin by gently peeling away with a fork or just serve skin side down. For a nice finishing touch, brush with a bit more, high-quality EVOO, season with freshly ground salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to garnish with fresh dill, fennel edible flowers or lemon. Hope you enjoyed Chef Calle’s recipe Charwood Grilled Salmon Fillets for a Hint of Smoky Flavor!