Saturday, January 9, 2010

"It was the smallest one they had."

So with family coming over for dinner last Saturday night I thought I'd try to pull off something that:
1. Was healthy for us all headed into the new year--you know, Omega-3's and all that.
2. Would help showcase the Egg. Some of these folks had never eaten Egg-cooked food before.
3. Would be something new for me that would be exciting.

I thumbed through "How to Grill" by Steven Raichlen and found an entry on how to grill a whole fish. That sounded cool. My wife was shopping for the rest of the meal so I asked her to pick up a salmon. (I had also called the grocery store to confirm they had 'em.) She comes home with this huge box explaining it was the smallest one they had.

Behold: 14 lbs of farm-raised Atlantic salmon.

Now what?

Ok so I cut the head off and a good hunk behind the dorsal fin. I froze the hunk and saved the head for a couple of hours before deciding I had no idea what to do with it.

After a rinse and pat-down he remaining portion got four slits as shown below. I placed lemon slices in the cuts along with fresh cut dill. Lemon slices and dill went inside the fish as well. Everything got a liberal sprinkling of coarse salt and fresh-ground pepper.

I was hoping for some sort of "wow" factor by delivering this huge, beautiful cut of salmon to the dinner table. It didn't work out that way. After cooking this cut for about 90 minutes at a dome temp of 350f the portions on the outer edges were cooked while the interior was still pretty raw. It was time to eat, so I cut off the outer portions to serve, which pretty much eliminated the "wow." Everything ended up tasting great, but it just came off the grill in stages.

There was so much leftover fish that I was eating salmon for breakfast for a few days. After choking down salmon for dinner (again) on Tuesday night I declared to my wife that I was "off salmon" for a while. I wish I was kidding when I report that for lunch the very next day I had a catered business lunch featuring salmon.

Oof. It'll be a while before I drag the rest of that fish out of the freezer.

Again I should say that it tasted great when it first came off the Big Green Egg, but I just bought too much fish. The cook didn't wrap up and serve like I had imagined and I had so much leftovers that it'll be a while before I try this sort of thing again.


  1. Wow that was a huge fish! I've only ever done fillets, mostly because there are only 2 people in our family that eat it, my wife and our older son.

    Hilarious about the menu at the meeting!

  2. I'm with Chris... I have never ever done a fish this size, and I would be big time scared... Possible consideration, do you foil your pork and beef when you BBQ? That always gives me a 4 hour window to get it done on tome.

    First time on your site, and I am loving it... I don't have an egg (I do have egg envy), but you have plenty to show me... I will be back

  3. I love it. I've never done a whole fish before - so let me start with a 14lb behemoth! Ishmael would be proud. I am too. Sounds like something I'd do.

    You are a great addition to the bbq blogging community. Keep it up.

  4. Chris:

    Given the leftovers, it'll be a while before I try anything more than fillets myself for a long while. True story about the business lunch. The guy next to me said, "You didn't eat much of your salmon."


    Thanks for visiting the site. I'm amazed to learn what a large support group we grillers have here online. Come on back any time!

    I just got my egg at Eggtoberfest 2009 in Tucker, GA. They roll out all these new eggs for the party, cook on 'em once and then sell them afterwards at a great price. See you in 2010?


    I couldn't believe it when my wife came in with that huge box. I threw that thing out on the table and just laughed. Nothing ventured, right?

    I'm flattered that you like the site. Thanks to each of you. Stay tuned. I'll try to keep it fresh.