You’ve never had anything as delicious as this barbecued salmon

Many years ago, our good friend Pete gave us a fabulous cookbook as a souvenir of his vacation in Seattle. James McNair’s Salmon Cookbook. Our favorite recipe in it is for barbecued salmon. You will always find a bottle of homemade salmon barbecue sauce in our fridge.

Stick with me a minute while I sing some praises about the health benefits of salmon and then I’ll share the recipe!

Fish, in general, is high in protein and low in calories, cholesterol and saturated fat. And salmon is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are supposed to lower our risk of heart disease and stroke. Because of the health benefits, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 recommend that adults eat eight ounces of fish a week.

If you’re concerned about mercury in any fish you eat, the EPA has lots of information on advisories and safe eating guidelines. And when it comes to salmon, if you’re not sure whether to eat wild or farmed, registered dietitian Kitty Broihier says, “Wild salmon has fewer calories and less fat overall than farmed. And, although farmed salmon has slightly more omega-3 fatty acids, it’s also got more saturated fat. It’s a bit of a trade-off.”

The barbecued salmon recipe

We eat a lot of fish at our house and salmon is at the top of the list. Here’s that recipe I promised. I don’t have the nutrition information for the barbecue sauce. Fair warning: It’s got a bit of butter and sodium in it. But it’s oh, so good. Time to start the grill!

Salmon on the grill

Source: Pond5

Barbecued Salmon

Cuisine: Seafood
Author: James McNair
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1/4 soy sauce
  • 2 TBS American-style mustard
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • Ketchup to taste (about 1/4 cup)
  • Salmon size depends on how many people you’re serving. A normal portion is 4 to 6 ounces per person.
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat and simmer until the butter is melted and the flavors are well blended, about 15 minutes.
  2. Makes about 1 1/4 cups, enough for 1 medium-sized whole salmon.
  3. Quickly rinse the salmon under cold running water and pat dry with paper towel.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper and brush the fish all over with some of the sauce.
  5. Place the fish skin-side down on the grill so it is not directly over the coals.
  6. Grill the fish, brushing frequently with the sauce and turning only once, until the flesh is opaque, about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
  7. Cover the grill and close the air vents during at least part of the cooking to add smoke flavor.
Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. She now hosts and produces the Catching Health podcast and writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.