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Brown Bag Salmon on the Grill

The Grillin’ Fools families journey annually to Michigan for vacation.  A very important part of the vacation involves chasing salmon around the cold, deep waters of Lake Michigan and of course grilling that wonderful fish.  This year Grillin’ Fool Tom and crew hijacked (not really) a charter boat to learn what goes on in salmon-nation before embarking out to the deep in their own dingy.  This is a chronicle of the day on the charter as well as pretty cool trick for grilling salmon using a brown paper bag.

The day began early with 10-mile ride to an area determined by the ship’s captain to be a prime location for some big salmon.

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A salmon already on the line

Fish on at dawn!!

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The first fish sighting

Scott George (not Grillin’ Fool Scott but a friend) must have a big one on the line.  A 45 minute battle has begun.  Who will win?  Fish or man?

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Landing the first fish

Grillin’ Fool Tom readies the net!

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Get the net!
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Nuttin’ but net!!

Friend Brian casually observes Captain Frank securing our meal.

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Nice fish

Scott George with his prize:

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Fine Prize

Tom scours the water for another salmon for the grill.

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Scanning for fish or saluting?

Captain Frank comes to the aid of Tom, aka Big Green Eggspert, who has a scrappy one on the line.

Brown Bag Salmon: From Hook to Cook - Collage 01
WOW!

Scott George, Tom, and Brad having a smooth return ride.

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Does it get any better than friends and fishing?

When Tom returned he was showing Greg all the photos taken on the cruise and he was especially proud of his composition of this one with the lighthouse in the background…guess he earned his stripes.

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Shadow stripes!

Here’s the motley crew with the catch of the day.

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What a catch!

With the 3-chord progression played by The Troggs ringing in our ears Captain Frank prepares to clean the catch or is there something crazy about him?

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…You make my heart sing

Grillin’ Fool Tom filets a salmon for the grill then slices another into chunks.

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FRESH!

Now it is time to head back to the cabins, grab a cold one, and stoke up the dueling Char-Broil 500X grills.

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Grill on!

Captains Frank and Elaine Pierce, yes they’re both licensed U.S. Coast Guard Captains, showed Grillin’ Fools Tom and Greg a new way to brown bag it… on the grill:

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Captain, Captain

Place a skin-on, soon to be grilled salmon, filet on a paper grocery sack, skin side down, then trim around the filet leaving a border of a half inch or what we call brown bag salmon.

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The magic of brown bag salmon

Simple treatment for the brown bag salmon, massage olive oil into the meat side of the salmon, dust with your favorite seasoning, we used a Jamaican seasoning on half the filet and a commercial bbq rub on the other half.  Kräftig Light is an imported beer up here!

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Oil and season

Fish on!!!  The grill that is!  We’re grilling the brown bag salmon over direct heat. Will the brown bag burst into flames before we get some tasty grilled salmon??

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On the brown bag and on the grill

Here’s a close-up of the skin curling and the juice from grilled salmon combining with the oil and beginning to bubble. It’s getting close to dinnertime now.

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No risk of the bag burning

Here’s another close-up showing the pin bones that can/should be removed prior to grilling.

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Make sure to take these out before eating

The grilled salmon is ready after 8-10 minutes on the grill, depending on the size of the salmon.  This was a small fish but it was grilled till flaky and it was indeed tasty.

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Ready to remove the brown bag and serve

The reason for this grilling method is to provide an easy, foolproof way to remove the skin after grilling while maintaining high moisture content in the salmon.  The grilled salmon was picked up by the tail, laid bag side up, then the brown bag simply peeled away with a juicy salmon filet remaining.

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Peal the bag

Here’s the nasty skin stuck to the brown bag.

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That’s the magic

Cool, huh?

If you’re ever in the Ludington, Michigan vicinity contact Wild Thing Charters for a great fishing adventure.  Frank and Elaine’s fishing expedition will make your heart sing.

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Grillin’ Fool Tom says you’ll catch ‘em this big!!

The following year, Grillin’ Fool Scott went out on the Wild Thing II and caught this beauty:

Scott with his prize Salmon
Scott with his Prize Salmon

You can read more about that fishing trip as well as the Cherry Plank Salmon we did by clicking the link.

Tom Jones

Tom Jones

Tom Jones

@GrillinFool

https://t.co/lVWgniik3V - #GrillPorn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
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