Imagine a world where the taste of fresh seafood is never lost. A utopia for those who love it, and can’t get enough. I grew up in Pacific Northwest where all kinds are readily available – from salmon to oysters or halibut steaks cooked on an open flame grill at your own beachside cabin retreat. The seven seas await you with these culinary creations that will make any day better than before, and if not then we’ve got some more pirate-themed activities waiting.
The ocean is a great place to find seafood. With such diversity in the variety and flavor, I’ve been able to explore many different types from all over land or in air-conditioned environments where they’re sold at local markets near me. My absolute favorites are those Cajun flavors you find along Louisiana’s coastlines as well as Baja California’s south beach town Los Cabos.
I’ve been cooking salmon on a pellet grill since grade school. While other kids were learning about skateboards and keyboards, I learned about cedar planks and alder smoke.
I know a lot about salmon. Wild Pacific Northwest indigenous people were crazy for it and so are we! When you smoke your favorite fish recipe on our pellet grill, make sure to throw in some wood chips from trees that have been specially selected by an expert smoker just like me who knows how important this ingredient really is when creating delicious flavors like no other.
I might be going overboard here with all my expertise but let’s face facts: fresh wild-caught versus farm-raised – there isn’t much difference unless they’re being kept refrigerated.
Tips & Techniques
- The aromatic cedar plank is a great choice for smoking and barbecuing salmon. The cedar plank is so common today that you can find them at your local grocery store or even Walmart. Not only does this cooking technique allow the wood’s flavor and moisture to pass directly onto salmon, but it also helps prevent sticking.
- When grilling salmon, be sure to oil the grate beforehand. When you cook your fish on porcelain grates, the second time around it will stick and smell terrible.
- The salmon is best smoked after it has been cooked on the grill or in an oven. To get that delicious flavor, hit your fish with a flame and avoid overdoing it because this can cause flaking apart while cooking. A big spatula helps too especially when turning over pieces of meat so they don’t stick together during the smoking process.
- Mayonnaise and Dijon mustard can help keep salmon moist. One of the most common ways to cook salmon is by applying a thin coat of mayonnaise or mustard before putting it in an oven. This will keep your dish from drying out and tasting weird.
When I was working at the grocery store counter in college, everyone said that people only ate tuna out of a can. But one day someone came through my line with two beautiful pink steaks and they were so juicy. It turns out that all these years we’ve been missing out on delicious food because our minds didn’t want us to spoil their image.
The customer was a successful and knowledgeable man whom I respected. He explained to me how he planned on grilling his tuna steaks. That night, I bought my wife two steaks. The next morning we cooked up some delicious tuna — everything she expected and more.
The next time I saw this customer, we traded stories. He told me how impressed he was by my ability to sear tuna steaks on a wood pellet smoker and actually bought the same one — from me.
Tuna can be a delicious and healthy alternative to other types of seafood. However, the quality will depend on whether it’s fresh or dried out – if you see any signs that your preferred brand has been frozen before being sold then avoid buying them as they won’t taste nearly as good.
Tips & Techniques
- If you’re looking to add a smokey flavor, try reverse searing your tuna. I don’t smoke my tuna steaks longer than 30 minutes to avoid the fishy flavor.
- Dill is the perfect complement to seafood, especially tuna. Dill weed is a fantastic spice to have on hand, but it’s best when used for flavoring tuna steaks. Apply some dill seeds onto your plate before serving the dish up in order to get every last bit of flavor.
- It is important not to overcook the fish. Tuna steaks are always a treat, but if you’re not careful they can go from impressive to cat food really fast. They’re meant for eating just as sushi-grade tuna should be – err on the side of rarer meat when preparing your dish so that each person gets their own piece with juice.
When I think about seafood, shrimp always comes to mind. There are so many ways you can prepare it and not be disappointed in the taste. One way that stands out for me is how easy cooking them on a pellet grill is because they take less time than other types of fish or meats which makes our experience worth every second spent with this delicious food item on hand-held cuisine perfectionists like myself want everything all at once without too much hassle but still getting Their money’s worth from each ingredient used during preparation.
Whether you’re a shrimp lover or not, the grill is an excellent way to cook up some of these little guys. If possible try and find fresh never frozen ones to be cooked properly with all their flavor intact instead of using small packages that may have been sitting on store shelves since before Christmas.
Tips & Techniques
- Of all the ways to cook shrimp, I think my favorite is Cajun or Creole Louisiana-style. But there are many different types you can try out on your pellet grill. When you’re a pitmaster, there are many different styles of barbecue to keep up with. You can never be bound by just one style or method though – experimentation makes us all better.
- Lemon is an excellent addition to shrimp. Squeeze the lemon in your cooking or after for an extra burst of freshness.
- Grill baskets are a great way to cook shrimp and other small food items. To cook your shrimp, pick one basket up and put it over a direct flame or straight on the grill.
Growing up in the Mid-Valley, it was always tradition to have seafood on Christmas Eve. The three different styles of oysters would be pan-fried or smoked before being eaten on their own with some hot sauce for dipping – but not too much because then you get that burning sensation all over your mouth.
I prefer cooking these little guys medium size; they’re easy enough so as long as I don’t overcook them, which happens easily, everything should come out just right regardless of what kind/size grill/smoker you use.
Tips & Techniques
- I’ll keep saying it until you listen, but the truth is a good pair of gloves will make your job so much easier. handling oysters on your grill can be tricky. You don’t want to end up burning yourself or scalding yourself with hot shells, so use gloves.
- Peek at your oysters often, but quickly. If you want to avoid drying out the oysters, then keep an eye on them and make sure that they are closed tightly. You also need a lid for when it’s time to cook up your meal.
- Speaking of needing your lid to be closed to cook, this may be the job for a smoker. The vertical pellet smoker is a great choice for people who want an easy and fast job. The window makes it much easier than other types of smokers, making this type ideal when you’re in hurry or just have some time on your hands.