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Perfectly Grilled Salmon with an Amazing Rub

grilled salmon recipe
grilled salmon recipe

This grilled salmon recipe saved my marriage!  Ok, we would probably still be together, but this recipe is my wife’s favorite, out of anything I have ever made… and I think this salmon is a flat out winner as well.  It is super easy and can be prepared in 30 minutes from start to finish, which is a bonus.  

When you are done you will have a large tender juicy piece of salmon that has crispy skin on one side and a sweet and salty flavor crust on the other.  Follow this guide below, and you will have something special to share with your family and friends. 

Basic Steps for Perfectly Grill Salmon

  1. Pick out a thick 1-1.5 lb piece of salmon for each couple you are serving.  I buy about 8 oz of salmon per person. 
  2. Rinse and dry your fish, as you want a nice clean piece of fish to absorb our BBQ Spice Rub
  3. Season the skin side lightly with BBQ Rub and the flesh side liberally.  You do not want the rub “cakey” but you want a fairly thick coating
  4. Slather the salmon with Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, or another vegetable oil.  Marinate for 20-60 minutes. 
  5. Heat your grill to medium high.  Clean thoroughly.  Then place your Salmon flesh side down for 3 minutes.  
  6. Flip after those 3 minutes with a big spatula.  Turn the grill down to medium low and cook for another 3-10 minutes until the internal temperature in the middle is 125°F.  

Salmon Rub Recipe

One of the absolute keys for an amazing grilled salmon is a BBQ rub that is full of flavor, but is not overpowering.  Luckily, I have a perfect rub that will give you a balanced sweet and salty bite, with a little heat on the end.  Make a big batch of this and you can use it on Salmon, Chicken, and Pork of all types. 

  • 2 Tablespoons Celery Salt
  • 6 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 12 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, Turbinado Sugar, or Coconut Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Ancho Chile
  • 1 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Paprika
  • 1/2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

How do you Know When Salmon is Done?

So, the easiest way to know when salmon is done is to use a quality temperature probe to measure internal temperature.  I like to take my salmon off the grill when it reaches 125-130°F in the middle.  If you like salmon more rare, you can take it off at 110°F. 

Another key to look for if you do not have a temperature probe, is how the salmon will start to open up on the flesh side, and you will see the texture of the fish appear.  You can see the fissures in the salmon below… that is one way to tell when it is getting closer to done. 

Tips to Flipping Salmon on the Grill

There are several keys to flipping salmon with out losing a bunch of fish in the process. 

  1. First, you cannot be scared.  You have to slip the spatula under the fish quickly and aggressively.  Go slow and you are finished for sure. 
  2. Second, when you grill the flesh side down, make sure the thick part of the fish is facing toward you. It gives the spatula a better chance of getting under the fish clean. 
  3. Finally, get a proper big ass stainless steel spatula.  Something like this one, which should get the job done. 
  4. Also, make sure that the cut of salmon is not much wider than your spatula.  Cut your fish to size if needed.  

Check out the video below to see my techniques in action for more confidence grilling better salmon: 

You will LOVE this recipe… its been a fan favorite on YouTube… so give it a try with confidence.  Leave me a comment if you try it… and hit me up with questions if you have any. Cheers – Keegan

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Green Chile Pork Carnitas

hatch green chile pork carnitas

This recipe for Green Chile Pork Carnitas is one of my all time comfort foods, as it brings some heat from the regional New Mexican hatch green chiles and a ton of rich flavor from a variety of pork cuts.  Throw this in a low and slow kettle or slow cooker for an afternoon and you will have the start for an amazing meal for your family and friends. 

hatch green chile pork carnitas

Pork Carnitas Grocery List

Although the flavors for these carnitas are rich and complex, the ingredient list and following recipe is super simple.  Only a few things needed from the store to tackle this recipe.  

  • 10-12 lbs of Pork:  I prefer to use a variety of lean pork and fatty pork.  Typically 5-6 lbs of Pork Loin and then 5-6 lbs of Boneless Country Style Ribs or Boneless Pork Shoulder. 
  • 40 oz Jar of Roasted Hatch Green Chile:  I like to buy the Medium Heat 505 Brand Jars from Amazon or Costco.  They are straight out of New Mexico and have exactly the right combination of heat and tangy flavor. Do not skimp on quality green chiles… this is the key to the recipe! 
  • 28 oz can of Diced Tomatos or Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes 
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic Roughly chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar 
  • Pantry Seasonings:  Salt, Black Pepper, Ancho Chile, Granulated Garlic

Pork Rub Seasoning

The green chiles goes a long way for seasoning the pork, but we need to add some more salt to make sure the carnitas have a nice punch of flavor after braising in the oven for 5 hours.  This is a basic rub I like to use to give the carnitas a well rounded bite….

  • 6 Tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Ancho chile
  • 2 teaspoons Granulated Garlic

Pork Prep for Carnitas

The most timely task in this whole process is prepping the pork, seasoning the pork, and then searing the pork in the dutch oven.  You can skip searing the pork if you want to save time, and it will come out fine.  However, I do think searing the pork builds a little more flavor. 

  1. Cube up the pork in 3″ cubes or strips depending on the cut of pork you are working with
  2. Season on all sides with the rub, coating all sides of the pork cubes evenly.  Don’t be shy with it! 
  3. Heat up your dutch oven, or other large 8 quart pan to medium heat until nice and hot. 
  4. Put a few table spoons of Vegetable Oil in bottom of the pan and sear the pork in batches, adding oil as needed.  Sear small batches at a time, so you are developing a nice golden brown flavor crust on all the pieces.  If you over crowd the pan, you steam the meat, and not get that nice crust. Turn the Pork once every 3-4 minutes to sear most sides of the meat.  
  5. Set pork aside after searing, then add it all back to the dutch oven after all the pork is seared. 

Slow Cooking the Green Chile Pork

Now that you have the pork seasoned and seared, the rest is easy!  The smells out of the oven the rest of the way will be intoxicating. 

  1. Pour the diced tomatoes, chopped garlic, roasted green chiles, and rice vinegar over the pork and nudge them into the crooks and holes of the pork.  
  2. Cover the dutch oven or pot and place in the oven at 300°F for a total of 5-6 hours. 
  3. At the 3-4 hour mark, get a sample of the braising liquid and some of the pork in a little bowl, shred and taste test.  At this time, add more salt to your taste before cooking the pork for a few more hours.  
  4. When you pull the pork from the oven, it will be swimming in liquid at first, similar to the picture below.  Before you shred all the pork, try to skim any excess fat from the top with a spoon. 
  5. Shred the pork and the meat will absorb all the juices and be amazingly tender and juicy! 
slow cooked pork carnitas

I hope you enjoy this one!  New Mexican flavors will always hold a special place in my heart from my time spent there.  Some of my favorite meals to make with the green chile pork are: 

  • Simple soft tacos with sour cream
  • Burrito bowls with rice and beans, and tomatoes.
  • Breakfast burritos with eggs, hash browns, cheese, and sour cream

Leave me a comment if you give this one a try!  – Keegan

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Traeger Grill Table Plans

pellet smoker grill table plans for traegers
traeger grill table plans

If you are a Traeger pellet grill owner, you may have noticed there are not many Traeger Grill Table Plans out there, if any at all.  I am thrilled to finally offer Traeger owners a solution to building a quality Traeger Grill Table at home for a reasonable price.  You will no longer have to drag pellets, meat probes, and other accessories back and forth from that garage.  You can keep all your smoking gear right inside your new Traeger Grill Table.  

Currently, I have Grill Table Plans that fit the Traeger Pro 575 and Traeger Ironwood 650 as one plan set for both.  If you own the larger Traeger Pro 780 and Traeger Ironwood 885, these grill table plans are also sold as one set as both grills are a similar size.

What are Included in the Plans?

The plans for each grill table include all the details you need to get the job done right the first time, with minimal trips back and forth to the hardware store.  Plans include… 

You may purchase grill table plans for several sizes of Traeger Grills below….. 

I have designed all of these plans to be super easy to build.  If you have a chop saw and a table saw, it will be very easy to cruise through these plans in a weekend.  If your tool set is less advanced, it will take you a little longer.  

The plans are designed to break-up the project into modular units, so the final project is easy to assemble, even if you are a one man band in the garage. 

You will work from the ground up to build the base frame, cabinet frames, and then finish everything off with beautiful trim work to create your own work of art. 

base frame of traeger grill table
traeger grill table completed with cedar trim

You can be confident these plans are well designed and built to last a long time, as I am a registered Landscape Architect here in Iowa.  I spend a lot of my time at work designing more complex outdoor kitchens, so you can feel confident these are complete plans that will help you save time and money during the process.