We eat our salmon multiple times a week, so we know that the ways to prepare it are unlimited. While we have learned from other fishermen and Bristol Bay locals, the online sources are countless. To simplify, here are some of our simple, go-to salmon recipes.

Simple Baked Salmon

This recipe is a good place to start if you are new to cooking salmon, but even the seasoned chef will find it delicious. It was one of Keith’s default cooking modus operandi when he was a single college guy, and it continues to be one of his favorites. When it comes to choosing spices, just about anything will do. Salmon is a sponge for flavor. For a prepared mix to simplify decision-making, we recommend Chef Paul Seafood Magic.

  • Fillet or portion
  • Olive oil
  • Spices and/or sauces of your choice
  • Preheat your oven to 380 degrees (higher temperatures risk dryness).
  • Place your fillet (skin down) on an oiled baking dish.
  • Brush a layer of olive oil onto the meat.
  • Sprinkle and rub in your preferred seasonings.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.

Grilled Salmon

Instead of traditional fare, be adventurous and consider salmon for your porch, patio, or backyard cookout. At our house, we grill salmon all winter. Keeping the patio shoveled free of snow is well worth it! Here is another simple recipe to experiment with your favorite seasonings. Pro-tip: if you aren’t sure what seasonings to use, go with the same ones you would put on your other favorite meats for the grill.

  • Fillet or portion
  • Olive oil
  • Spices of your choice
  • Preheat the grill to medium.
  • Brush a thin layer of olive oil to the meat.
  • Sprinkle and rub in your preferred seasoning.
  • Lay the fish flesh-side down.
  • After 5-7 minutes, flip the fish skin-side down and grill for 4-5 additional minutes.

Pro tips: If you are grilling a fillet, cut it into smaller pieces and make sure your grill is clean. This way, you will avoid any of the precious meat from sticking to your grill!

Traeger Slow-smoked Salmon

Only in recent times have we begun to use a Traeger Grill, but this recipe has instantly become one of our top choices. We recommend using alder pellets. Alder brush grows abundantly around Bristol Bay, and its smoke complements the salmon in such a perfect way. It is what the first people there used to cook their salmon, and it is what people there continue to use today. While it is more involved than other recipes on this page, the natural, smoky flavor permeated into the fish is well worth the effort. Like fishing itself, and as Tom Petty put it, the waiting is the hardest part!

  • Fillet or portion
  • Brown sugar
  • Rum or vodka
  • Salt and pepper

  • To make your brine, mix a tray with half vodka or rum and half water. Add salt liberally.
  • Soak the fish in the brine, and leave it in your refrigerator for at least four hours.
  • Rinse the fish and pat dry. Add pepper and brown sugar (optional).
  • With the Traeger grill at 180 degrees, smoke for three to four hours.

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