Raging River Maple/Butter Crusted Salmon
“I don’t even like salmon, but I like this!?” is something I have heard more than once since I started cooking this recipe. A perfect recipe for salmon, the combination of our Raging River Rub, fresh salmon, and a maple butter glaze is sure to delight you and your guests….even those that think they don’t like salmon!
Health benefits of salmon are proven, and the flavor is buttery and unique. More and more folks are enjoying the benefits of this healthful fish, and farm-raised salmon is what you are likely to find. According to National Geographic, only 3.5 million of the world’s 300 million Atlantic salmon are wild. So if you have access to good fresh wild salmon, it is highly recommended. But as you can see from the numbers, the farm-raised variety is what most folks have available. Make sure it is fresh, does not have gaps in the flesh, is firm, and does not smell fishy. Ask the person behind the counter if you can have a smell. They will usually let you, and you can tell right away if it is not fresh. Avoid buying the pre-wrapped fish from the case. Go right for the counter and get the fresh stuff on ice. The fillet I purchased for this project was a farm raised Atlantic fillet, and is about a pound and a half.
- 1-2lb salmon fillet
- Dizzy Pig® Raging River Rub
- Pure maple syrup
- Remove skin and cut the fillet into 3-6 inch wide strips.
- Remove the “bloodline” *1
- Apply Dizzy Pig’s Raging River Rub on all sides of the fillets.
- Let the rub “melt” in for 20-30 minutes
- Prepare grill for direct cooking and medium hot fire.
- Set the fish on a preheated raised grate.
- Cook the fish on side one for anywhere from 10-20 minutes*2
- When browned flip carefully.
- After 5-10 minutes liberally drizzle and brush mixture of butter & maple syrup.
- After glazing, cook for 5-10 mins.
- Then carefully flip and glaze side two heavily.
- Brush on one last coating of glaze before removing from grill onto serving plate.
- Best served hot.*3
*2 The time depends on the thickness of the fish, and the heat of your fire.
*3 Raging River Salmon is best served hot, right off the grill, but it is surprisingly good cold on crackers.
To make cooking and flipping easier, I cut the fillet into 3-6 inch wide strips. I also prefer to remove the skin, as most folks do not eat it, and it allows the rub and glaze to adhere straight to the meat for the enjoyment of your taste buds. A sharp knife is critical, and the blade should be angled up toward the skin as you work.
Removing the skin also allows you to remove the “bloodline”, which is under the skin running down the center of the fillet lengthwise. It is a narrow channel of dark meat that has an especially fishy flavor. I cut a very small “V” shape out with a sharp knife. You can clearly see this strip of fishy dark meat.
Dizzy Pig’s Raging River Rub, though it has turned out to be truly all-purpose, was originally designed especially for salmon. With turbinado sugar, maple sugar, Dijon mustard powder, fennel seed and a variety of herbs and citrus, it is a perfect complement to good fresh buttery salmon. Since it is not heavy in salt, I lay it on fairly thick, making sure to get it on the sides as well.
Let the rub “melt” in for 20-30 minutes while you get an established fire going on your grill or smoker. I like to get a good hot bed of coals going, then cut the airflow down to a sliver, and wait until you have a good clean fire and cooker temps ranging from 275-350F degrees. Set the fish on a preheated raised grate, approximately 12-18 inches from the coals if possible. No drip pan, just direct over the fire.
Without opening your cooker, cook the fish on side one for anywhere from 10-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, and the heat of your fire. You really want a nice golden brown crust on one side before you flip. When one side is nicely crusted, carefully jiggle a spatula under the fish, and gently flip. I use my fingers to aid in flippage. After 10 minutes or so on side two liberally drizzle and brush a mixture of butter and pure maple syrup, which I usually melt together on the grill.
After glazing, cook for a few minutes, then carefully flip and glaze side two heavily. A few more minutes and the fish is ready to remove. Brush on one last coating of glaze just before removing from grill onto serving plate.
Raging River Salmon is best served hot, right off the grill, but it is surprisingly good cold on crackers. We hope you enjoy!