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Hot Whiskey Smoked BBQ Salmon

Most people don’t bbq fish choosing instead to go with bbq meat packs from the supermarket or butcher or even using frozen burgers and sausages.
To me this is a real shame because a bbq can be used to cook so much more and better food that doesn’t really cost much more and sometimes even less.
In the video below I explain exactly how to cook a delicate piece of fish to perfection on the bbq. It is easy to follow and takes less than 10 minutes to view.
I use a process called “indirect heat” which mean the coals are to the sides of the fish and not underneath it. This means the fish cooks evenly and doesn’t dry out.
Please remember that this dish can also be done with a few portions of salmon rather than the large piece I used.
Feel free to experiment with other types of fish. Prawns in a garlic and chilli butter or on a skewer. Seabass fillets with lime, coriander and chili, Cod or Hake with a smokey tomato salsa, I could easily go on. I will post more and more fish recipes in the next month thanks to Sams Seafood in Athlone.
Topline Donated the BBQ and Lawlor Foods donated sundries like, tin foil, cling film, gloves etc. Please think of these companies when choosing where to shop, they offer excellent prices and great quality. They are all Irish companies who could do with our support.



Allergens : Gluten & Lactose Free

Fresh Salmon – 1 Side or 1 Darne per person (pin bones removed, skin on)

Irish Whiskey – 50ml (single malt is best though any will do)

Sea Salt – 1 tsp

Pink Peppercorns – 2 tbsp (Tesco)

Fresh Dill – Bunch

Tin Foil

Cling Film

BBQ (charcoal not gas)

Paprika (optional) – 2tsp

Chilli Powder (optional) – 1/2 tsp

Whiskey Smoke Chips – Good Handful (Topline Stores)




You will need – 1 Charcoal bbq (I will post a pan and oven method soon), 1 fish chopping board, 1 sharp knife, tin foil and cling film. I also highly recommend you use a food thermometer.


Light the bbq as per the instructions on the charcoal bag or use a chimney starter like I did. I highly recommend you get one.


When the coals are glowing red and covered in white ash, place them on the sides of the bbq so that there is an empty space in the centre where the salmon can go. You don’t want to hot coals directly under the fish. Sprinkle the whiskey infused wood shavings around the coals.


Tear off a long piece of tin foil, it should be enough to cover the salmon as per the video. Lay it flat on a chopping board.


Place the salmon on the foil and bunch the sides up so as to protect the fish from the heat. Don’t cover it just ensure it rises higher than the salmon on all sides.


Sprinkle the sea salt on top of the fish then the chilli and paprika if using them (they were mixed in with the salt I used)


Pour the pink peppercorns into the palm of your hand and using the other hand rub them together while holding them over the fish so the pepper coats the fish evenly or use a pepper mill if you have one to spare. Simply fill it with the pink peppercorns.


Pour 35ml of the whiskey on top trying to cover as much of the fish as possible.


The easiest way to get it onto the bbq is to lift the chopping board and slide the foil into place. Once done ensure the sides are higher than the salmon still.


Cover the bbq with the lid and leave for 15 minutes if using a full side like I did or 7 minutes if using portions.


Remove the lid and check the fish, it should be a nice pink and shouldn’t turn dark at all.


Place the lid back on and leave for 10 more minutes if using a side or 5 more if using portions.


I like to cook Salmon to 54c then remove it from the heat allowing it to cool where the temperature will continue to rise by about 8c more which will leave you with a perfectly cooked piece of fish. This will be flakey but slightly transparent. IF you like it cooked more (as per the pics) cook it to 62c or until it is flakey and not transparent.


Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.


Chop the dill and spread on top of the cooled fish.


Spread cling film onto a table surface, it needs to be wider and longer than the salmon. Layer it as I did in the video if you have to.


When the fish is cool, gently turn it onto the cling film so the skin side is facing up when to foil is removed. It may stick to the foil so go easy and it will come off without damaging the fish.


Pour the remainder of the whiskey on top then wrap completely and place in the fridge for 2 hours preferably overnight.


To serve, remove from the fridge, unwrap and cut into portions. Wrap any you don’t use in clean cling film and freeze or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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