Mustard And Brown Sugar Salmon: Hello Beautiful!

I really love salmon. Really love it. In fact, some evenings I just want to grill some salmon, pull the shades, dim the lights and play soft music while I eat it.

No, I don’t want to do that at all. That would really be weird. And frankly, I find it a bit disturbing that you would even think the thoughts that you did just then.

But I do enjoy salmon. So when a whole filet showed up in our kitchen, I was eager to get it on the grill it for a quick dinner. And it didn’t disappoint.

I started by soaking the salmon filet in a quick brine solution concocted of equal parts salt and sugar, (1/4 cup each), dissolved into enough water to cover the filet. This’ll help keep that salmon tender and moist while basking in the wispy smoke and intoxicating aroma of a hardwood fire.

Forty-five minutes to an hour is a good soak for a salmon filet, so keep an eye on the clock as you get that indirect fire started. Lump charcoal does the trick, banked on opposite sides of the Weber kettle to allow a safe spot to lay the salmon filet between the two hot zones.

Once taken out of the brine and patted dry, a simple, and I mean simple coating is put on this beauty consisting of equal parts mustard and brown sugar. I went for the dijon, but only heard the thhhhwaarrrp-thhhhwaarrrp-thhhhwaat-pffft of a nearly empty bottle sputtering its last remnants of mustard out into the dish and onto my shirt. No biggie when this happens, just fill the remaining vacancy with some other mustard. In my case, I found some stoneground mustard tucked away in the fridge waiting for a moment just like this.

Make a paste out of the two ingredients and simply paint the filet, body to the tail, just like Bob Ross would do. Yeah, just like that. Get happy. When I was satisfied with my painting, I sprinkled a bit of fresh cracked black pepper over the top, but hey, if you have a favorite seasoning blend, get after it. This is your project, after all.

Leaving the salmon on a sturdy piece of foil, I laid it on the grill, right between those 2 banks of charcoal, which should be around 400° by now. Throw in any wood flavoring chips or chunks and close the lid, because you are now close to tasting some delicious salmon.

I did rotate the filet about halfway through to keep things all evened out during the cook, which ended up being about the 10 minute mark.

Once the thickest part of the filet reaches 145°, pull it off the grill and let it rest a few more minutes. Get yourself a fork, maybe some side dishes and tuck a napkin under your chin to catch any drippins’, because it’s salmon eatin’ time.

Slide your fork in this delightful hunk-o-salmon and you’ll immediately notice, and enjoy, how the meat flakes and lifts right off of the bottom skin. The subtle flavor of this salmon topped with that mustard and brown sugar paste provides a delicate, silky, yet robust mouthfeel that is exceptionally delicious in a fine dining kind of way, yet still gives enough smokey background flavor to remind you that it was done in your own backyard. And if you really want to eat this whole thing yourself, there will be no judging, because no one will see you if you have the shades drawn. And you know, the lights dimmed. With maybe some soft music in the background, just to set a mood.

Because Life Is Better Wood Fired