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Salmon Skin Sticks ! :( Traeger Pellet Burner

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    Salmon Skin Sticks ! :( Traeger Pellet Burner

    Greetings Esteemed Colleagues,

    I cooked big pieces of salmon a couple of times this week, they were various species etc. from Costco.

    First time I cooked it on a wire rack with pretty small grids.

    Second time two pieces on wire rack, one piece on grill grates, with the grill side up (ie. not on flat side).

    Salmon came out tasting great.

    But dang getting the skin off the rack and grill grates, yikes ! The second cook was a little better cuz I remembered to spray the fishies with olive erl. But they still pretty much stuck.

    So, what's up with that ?

    (Picture of rack, approximately)

    Attached Files
    Last edited by zzdocxx; August 25, 2021, 11:54 PM.



      Every time I smoke salmon I put it skin side down on a piece of paper (just regular paper), per Meathead's advice. Never had an issue with skin sticking to the grate that way, and the skin comes right off when you peel the paper after the cook. On the other hand, I don't like salmon, and the fam only likes smoked salmon, so if you're grilling it, I can't help. Only done it a couple of times and always had it on something other than the grate.


        Oil the fish AND the grates.


        • barelfly
          barelfly commented
          Editing a comment
          This……….and don’t mess with the fish. If it doesn’t want to come off the grate to flip, it’s not ready to be flipped. If that’s how you cook it. I usually just let my salmon only cook from the skin side down.

        Click image for larger version

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ID:	1083361 We get Costco salmon all the time. I'll cook it right on the grills grate indirectly. I use the Weber baskets pushed to either side, foil between them and lay the slab over the foil. I may wipe the grate with oil but mostly not. I don't move it at all while cooking. I'll use two large spatula's to lift it off when finished. Never sticks.

        Last edited by HawkerXP; August 26, 2021, 06:41 AM.


        • HawkerXP
          HawkerXP commented
          Editing a comment
          I see you are using a pellet cooker, is there a way to shield the meat from direct heat?

        I too find this to be annoying, so ours either gets cooked in a cookie sheet where the erls & juices from cooking keep it loose, or I remove the skin if I want to cook on grates, more flavor that way anyhow. That is me, not that I'm right, but I'm right for me!


          The solution is easy and one I have harped on for ages. Get some of those cooking mats, they're sold in various types on Amazon or most bbq cooking stores. Nothing sticks to them, plus they diffuse the heat for more even cooking. The added bonus is you can pick the whole thing up, place it on a serving platter or baking sheet and there's no muss or fuss. I swear by them and have not had sticking for fish or other small items since getting them.

          Click image for larger version

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          • Michael_in_TX
            Michael_in_TX commented
            Editing a comment
            I also like your tying the asparagus together with twine. I've always used toothpicks, but I can only do three at a time. Need to try twine.

          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah I've got some frog mats or something like that one of the kids gave me for Christmas, rolled up in my BBQ storage cabinet, and will have to remember them next time I am doing fish.

          Yeah, Frog Mats work really well. I agree with Troutman.


          • smokenoob
            smokenoob commented
            Editing a comment
            Frog mats for the win!
            I spray with olive oil to

          • CandySueQ
            CandySueQ commented
            Editing a comment
            Agree 100%! In fact, I have a variety of different sizes and I cook almost everything on Frog Mats. Mainly because I can move the mat without burning my hands.

          Some sacrificial lemon slices work very well as well.


            I like to use paper from a grocery bag. Put the fish on the piece of paper and place it on the grill. When you are done cooking, the fish slides right off the skin and you are good to go. No mess in your grill and no racks to clean.

            If you want to save the skin, use a griddle with plenty of oil. Put the griddle on the grill from room temp. If you put a hot grate or wire rack in the grill and then place the fish on it, you will get sticking.


              Originally posted by Jerod Broussard View Post
              I have read about and used mayo for grilled cheese sandwiches in a frying pan. It does brown beautifully !

              It makes wonder if in addition to not sticking, I could get the salmon skin to come out crispy ? Like on the flat side of the grill grates in the Traeger.


              • Jerod Broussard
                Jerod Broussard commented
                Editing a comment
                It should, it's oil based, hence the nonstick properties.

              • latenight71
                latenight71 commented
                Editing a comment
                I cook fresh trout on the 'q smeared with a mix of mayo and bbq sauce. as long as you give it time to cook before flipping it comes out excellent and doesn't stick.

              Originally posted by Spinaker View Post
              I like to use paper from a grocery bag. Put the fish on the piece of paper and place it on the grill. When you are done cooking, the fish slides right off the skin and you are good to go. No mess in your grill and no racks to clean.

              If you want to save the skin, use a griddle with plenty of oil. Put the griddle on the grill from room temp. If you put a hot grate or wire rack in the grill and then place the fish on it, you will get sticking.
              Thanks Spin, I think I get it. Just would need a big enough griddle to fit those long pieces of fish.

              Cook them on top of that, inside the smoker grill, rather than on a rack for grates.

              Wondering it the flat side of the grill grates might work ?

              Here be a picture of the flat side:

              Attached Files


              • Spinaker
                Spinaker commented
                Editing a comment
                Yep, that is the side I use.

              • Hulagn1971
                Hulagn1971 commented
                Editing a comment
                Those are THE cleanest Grill Grates I have ever seen.

              Originally posted by scottranda View Post
              Yeah, Frog Mats work really well. I agree with Troutman.
              Do you guys use the brand-name Frog Mats ? Are they the original? I saw some reviews, there is a brand called Kona the supposedly can be used up to 600F, more heavy duty.

              There are a million brands out there, I hate it when there are too many choices ! ! !


              • scottranda
                scottranda commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes, I used Brand name frog mats. I can’t speak to other brands.

              I clicked on this post because I thought you had made some salmon skin sticks and I thought that sounded pretty tasty. crispy salmon skin is good.


              • tmaan235
                tmaan235 commented
                Editing a comment
                Funny thing, that's why I clicked too. I was at the local fishmonger with restaurant attached to get a fish fry and while waiting I saw a basket of "Salmon crack". Looked like some type of fry, skin only. Very interesting.
                Hmmmmm........ Might have to return on a mission.

              • zzdocxx
                zzdocxx commented
                Editing a comment
                "Do you like fish sticks?"

                Lol I didn't realize that till the next day.

              • Red Man
                Red Man commented
                Editing a comment
                zzdocxx I’m not a gay fish!

              OK getting on to the subject of crispy salmon sticks and salmon crack.

              A friend buys fresh "salmon skins" at a big asian grocery store. I guess they have about 1/4" of salmon inside the skin.

              He puts them in the microwave. The skin gets crispy. Then he likes to go a step further and nuke it a little more till it turns into salmon jerky. He loves the stuff.

              I haven't tried it but I think it works.


              • tmaan235
                tmaan235 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for the confirmation! Next time I'm there I'm going to ask for a sample and find out for myself


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