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Superb Salmon Recipe

Superb Salmon Recipe

It's fair to say that Jim E. has spent his life tinkering with salmon rubs and recipes. "The key is the right rub, whether you're cooking meat or fish," he says, referring to dry spice blends that are worked, or "rubbed," into the meat before grilling. "A good rub tenderizes, seasons and also seals the meat. Whether you cook it for two hours or 22 hours, when you cut it, the juices should run out." In all, he says he has more than 1,000 on file. Here's one of his favorites.



  • 1 2- to 3-lb. salmon fillet
  • 4 tbsp. or more Salmon Rub (below)
  • Mayonnaise (optional)
  • Charcoal
  • Hardwood chips (optional)


  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. celery seed
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground fennel seed


Superb Salmon

1. Combine all the rub ingredients (the recipe makes 2/3 cup) and sprinkle several tablespoons on the flesh side of the fish, working it in with the back of a spoon. (Store the remaining rub in an airtight container.)

2. If the fillet is from a less oily variety, such as Atlantic, first coat it with a thin layer of mayonnaise. When your coals are ashed over, or with the gas grill at Medium, add a handful of soaked hardwood chips.

3. Place the fillet on a lightly oiled cooking rack skin-side down and close the grill. Do not turn the fish. Cooking time will vary anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour. The fish is done when the flesh separates into moist sections with a fork (don't wait until it separates into dry flakes). Serves 4 to 6.