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How to Prepare a Whole Salmon for the Grill

From food blogger Laura Sampson, from Little House Big Alaska

Grilling is one of the easiest ways to cook salmon. There's virtually no mess to clean up and no dishes. Sometimes buying fresh salmon, whole or fillets, to cook on the grill can seem a little intimidating, but with these helpful tips you'll be grilling salmon like a lifelong Alaskan.

Here's how it's done:

Scale It--Get a firm grip on the fish's tail with one hand and lay the non-cutting edge of your boning or fillet knife on the fish and scrape from away from yourself. You're trying to scrape off as many scales as you can because getting scale in your dinner is no fun.

grilled-salmon-1 Clean It--Most commercially available fish have been quickly cleaned and you'll want to take a minute to really finish the job. So wash it after scaling it to remove loose scales, then run your hand inside it and make sure all the insides are well removed.

Trim It--Then trim it up, this is simply trimming the belly flap to remove the thinnest part of the salmon belly and the pelvic fins. Then lay it down and cut a nice even cut directly behind the pectoral fins, removing them and any "collar" bones of the salmongrilled-salmon-3grilled-salmon-5

Your salmon is now cleaned and ready for the grill. Cook the fish whole or portion it into steaks or fillets.

grilled-salmon-8 grilled-salmon-12

TIP: Leave the skin on when grilling. It serves as kind of its own little pan and the salmon will release from it once it's cooked.

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