Salmon is notorious for being difficult to grill properly, with the most common issues it sticking to the grill grates, it falling apart and generally now allowing for a nice skin charr. Should you give up and just cook salmon in the oven? No, not if we can help it!
Today’s topic will entirely surround the cooking of a perfect salmon filet or steak – and it will detail the best practices for grilling that tasty, natural meat that’s high in so many beneficial nutrients – we hope it helps.
Why is Salmon so Difficult to Grill
The truth of the matter is that it’s not so difficult to grill – most people approach it just like any meat grilling, with ill-prepared methods and overall misunderstanding of the meat.
Pond-raised salmon (the most common supermarket or fishmonger varieties) is very low in fat and pretty high in protein. One 100g portion contains 8 grams of fat and 28 grams of protein both of which cook at different temperatures.
High protein meats generally require very high heat not to stick to the grill, and proper resting as well as perfectly seasoned grill greats. Once you understand the specifics you will have an easier to not allowing your meat to stick or fall apart when being turned.
What are the Most Common Salmon Grilling Issues
The most common issues with grilling salmon on a charcoal grill, are the meat sticking to the greats, strait up falling apart and coming out way too dry or undercooked.
These issues come from generally poor heat management and generally wet salmon which immediately sticks to the grill no matter how well you’ve seasoned it.
Why does salmon fall apart on the grill? Because you’ve messed with it too much and it’s too well-done, meaning the connective tissues between the meat fibers have already broken down and no longer hold it together. What is the solution? Read on to learn.
What is the Solution to Difficult Salmon Grilling
The solution to the main issue of salmon sticking to the grill can be broken down into two portions – heat and meat treatment. Salmon holds quite a lot of moisture underneath the skin and fibers – this moisture will start to come out before the cooking – dry it out with a paper towel.
Better yet, salt the salmon 24 hours before the grilling and once you take it out to grill, pat it dry with a towelette to remove the moisture.
In terms of heat management – salmon needs very high heat to cook well and to get that crispy, golden-brown crust on the skin side. Get your grill to at least 425F (all charcoal grills can get this high) – if you can’t use the foil method when heating up your grill to retain the heat on the grates.
High heat and low moisture will solve the sticking and falling apart issue. You also have to deal with the cooking part – salmon takes no longer than 3-4 minutes on one side to cook – 2 minutes on the skin side for that crunchy finish.
Other Important Factors for Better Grilling Practice
There are other factors which determine whether or not you’ll get that satisfying salmon finish or not. Have you left the meat to reach at least 45F in the fridge? Did you remove the moisture with a paper towel? Are you using a flimsy gas grill which can’t get past 400F?
If you really want to grill your salmon problem-free, then we suggest you check out the GrillerDude.com Smart Flip Grill for the ideally cooked salmon – to sticking or falling apart.
Thanks to the fantastic Argentinian style grill from Griller Dude, you don’t have to touch the meat at all until it’s done to your liking – no manual flipping with a spatula or checking for grill marks.