Quick Bites: Don’t flounder when grilling your salmon

3 out of 5 households in the United States own a gas grill. And the world of outdoor cooking has a fair amount of charcoal and wood chip enthusiasts. Fish may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re planning to grill, but it’s a healthy, delicious choice.

While some may be intimidated by cooking fish on the grill, this method is simple. Salmon makes a great choice for grilling. Its meaty and oily texture allows it to hold up well on the grill without falling apart. And it’s a solid source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promotes a healthy cardiovascular system. Wild Alaskan salmon is in season from late May through Fall.

Safety First
While nearly half of people who grill are year-rounders, July is the peak month for grill fires. So let’s fire up the grill safely and enjoy some delicious salmon.

A few grill safety reminders:

  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
  • Your grill should be placed away from your home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Remove grease and fat buildup from your grill rack and in trays below the grill.
  • Check your gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Get the grill serviced by a professional if there is a leak.

Season and Grill the Salmon
Once your grill is safe and ready, it’s time to make the rub for the salmon. Traditionally, when making a rub, the first thing to consider is the ratio of salt to sugar. More salt works best in rubs for beef, fish and wild game, while those with more sugar are better suited for pork.
Besides salt and pepper, rubs often use some of these favorites:

  • Chili powder has a pungent earthy flavor. Use it with beef, lamb, pork and wild game.
  • Cumin is aromatic with a nutty, light peppery flavor. Use it with beef, poultry, fish, pork and seafood.
  • Hungarian paprika has a deeper, heartier flavor, while Spanish paprika has a milder flavor. Use either kind with beef, poultry, fish, pork and seafood.

Salmon Rub Ingredients
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Other Ingredients
4 6-ounce Alaskan salmon fillets
2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Combine the rub ingredients together. Rinse four 6-ounce Alaskan salmon fillets and and pat them dry with paper towels. Pat the rub on both sides of the salmon fillets. Spray a grill basket or aluminum foil with cooking spray.

Grill the salmon in a grill basket or foil on medium heat for 4 minutes. Then flip it gently with a metal spatula. Brush the fillets with the maple syrup, and then cook it 5 more minutes or until firm.

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