Grilling Fish

Fish is nutritious, quick to prepare, and downright delicious. But, when it comes to grilling, it can also be intimidating. Fear no more! The key to amazing fish on the grill is as simple as a board and some pre-soaking. Once that step is done, it can be a lot like baking or even pan-frying fish. Check now and then and give it a flavor boost partway through the process!

Now, I happened to put together a very nice Dill Butter Grilled Salmon recently and what amused me most about the process was my corgi puppy being faced with the amazing aroma coming from the grill and his overwhelming urge to help. Mostly, he just guarded the grill and wondered why we weren't just eating everything the moment it smelled good.

About halfway through the cooking process, some homemade dill butter gets slathered onto the cooking fish, giving it a chance to melt into the salmon and lend its flavor to every bite! The butter not added to the fish can be served alongside it at the table or, if you prefer, spread onto warm bread.

When you are done with your fish, you will have a slightly charred board that's possibly covered with salmon skin. You can just toss it if you'd like or add it to a summer bonfire or, if you are lucky like me, you can make a puppy very happy!

This basic technique will work for most fish on the grill. We've used it with salmon, tuna, walleye, trout, bass, and more. So next time you are feeling a little intimidated by the thought of fish on the grill, reach for a plank of wood and be brave!

Dill Butter Grilled Salmon

  • 1 salmon fillet with the skin on (2-4 lbs.)
  • 1 wooden plank cut to fit the length of the fish fillet (I used a hickory plank)
  • 1 generous bunch fresh dill, divided
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. salted butter, softened
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp. Ruth Ann's Muskego Ave Chicken/Fish Seasoning or similar seasoned salt

If needed, trim the plank to fit the length of your salmon fillet. Soak the plank in water, cider, beer, or wine (or any combination desired) for 20 minutes.

While the plank is soaking, trim about 1 T. of the fresh dill from the feathery ends and chop. Combine the chopped dill, lemon juice, butter, and olive oil to form a strongly-flavored compound butter. Set aside and prepare the grill for medium heat cooking.

Place the remainder of the fresh dill on the plank after your 20 minute soaking period is up. Place the salmon, skin side down, on top of the dill. Sprinkle the fish generously with the seasoned salt of your choice.

Place the plank in the center of the grill and close the lid. After 8 minutes of grilling, lift the lid and check the fish. If the fish is cooking too quickly, turn off burners and/or leave the lid open to cool the grill. At this point, brush the fish generously with the compound butter and continue grilling until it reaches your desired level of doneness — 5-10 minutes more.

Serve the fish directly off the plank, peeling the flesh away from the skin if desired. Serve alongside the remaining dill butter.

  • Yields: 3-6 servings, depending on the size of the fish
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes, including soaking time

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