By Tom B.
The envy of most backyard chefs is that of a food smoker. There’s just something about having a smoker that up’s your backyard cooking game. For most though, adding a food smoker to the outdoor kitchen hasn’t happened yet. So, what do you do in the mean time when you want that smokey flavor but don’t want to go to the store and buy smoked foods or use liquid smoke? Well, if you have a bbq grill box, you’re already on the path.
I had family in town over the weekend and wanted to cook salmon. But I wanted to make it awesome. So how do you make salmon more awesome than it already is? You smoke it. That’s what I did and it turned out great. So great that my sister, a self-proclaimed “flex-a-tarian” (the in between land of eating meat and being a vegetarian), ate her whole filet.
I did my best to provide a how-to on smoking salmon in the bbq grill box. There’s no real sure-fire way to doing this. Tweak it as you see fit and most importantly, enjoy.
Step 1: I grabbed some cedar wood from my dad’s garage and broke it in to smaller pieces so I could fold it up in aluminum foil. Be sure to fold the foil over the ends and pinch them tight.
Step 2: Once you have the wood wrapped in the foil, put holes on the top side. Pull the grate off to the side and place the wood one side or the other the grill box and place the grate back on the grill box.
Step 3: Turn the stove on to medium to medium-high heat. This will heat up the cast iron and get the wood smoking. Once you have a solid smoke coming from the grill box, you’re ready to cook.
Step 4: Place your salmon on the box and add some seasoning. I used lemon juice and lemon pepper. Not a lot, just enough to add some sizzle and flavor.
Step 5: After about 15 minutes, I added more lemon juice and added butter.
Step 6: This step is all up to you. After 20 minutes or so, I took the cedar out from underneath the grate. If you want a more smokey flavor leave the wood under longer or if you don’t want a strong smokey flavor take it out sooner.
Step 7: Now the tricky part. You will want to flip the salmon to finish cooking it all the way through and to brown the top. This is where cooking on a well-seasoned cast iron grate comes in handy. The skin doesn’t stick to the grate, so I used some tongs and flipped the salmon over and let them cook for another 8-10 minutes.
Step 8: Enjoy!
To complete this great meal we had corn and potatoes fresh from the garden. And my wife made a caprese salad with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, and some killer vinegar and oil. This was a Sunday dinner done right.