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Barbecued Alaskan King Salmon

Salmon has a firm flesh and a delicate flavor, lending itself to many culinary applications. It can be smoked, poached, broiled, seared, baked, steamed, or grilled. Salmon can be paired with a wide range of condiments, from the most simple, delicate butter sauces to more complex sauces and salsas.

Unlike salmon most commonly consumed in the Lower 48 states, Alaska salmon is wild, not farm raised. The flavor of most farm-raised salmon tends to be more homogenous than the rich, sweet flavor of wild salmon. Even though wild salmon is more costly and harder to find, it is well worth the expense. Sockeye, king, chum, coho, and humpback are the five wild salmon species fished in Alaskan waters.


Barbecued Alaskan King Salmon

Yield: 6 servings


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 pounds center-cut king salmon fillet, skin on, pin bones removed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
  • 12 sprigs parsley

1) Light a grill. Fashion a tray out of a double thickness of aluminum foil, with ½-inch sides, large enough to fit your grill basket. Melt together the butter and margarine. Grease the bottom of the boil tray with some of the melted butter and margarine.

2) Set the fish in the tray, skin side down. Brush some of the melted butter mixture over the fish, and season with the salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Using nonstick cooking spray, grease the grill basket very well.

3) Secure the fish, still in the foil tray, in the grill basket. Grill the fish, flesh side down, for about 10 minutes; the cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillet.

4) Slip the grill basket over, brush the fish with the melted butter mixture, cover the grill, and continue cooking. If your grill does not have a cover, loosely cover the grill basket with a sheet of aluminum foil. Grill the skin side down for 3 to 5 minutes.

5) Test the center of the fillet with the tip of a knife to ensure that it is cooked through. Carefully remove the fish from the grill basket and serve the fillet whole or portion it into the desired number of servings. Dress with sauce or garnishes of your choice. 

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