The spice rub serves two purposes here: it tenderizes the fish as well as infuses it with classic barbecue flavors. It makes more than you need for this recipe but is great on shrimp or chicken. Grilling the salmon on a cedar plank removes the worry of the fish sticking to the grates. If you don't have a grill, you can roast the salmon in a 350°F oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
¼ cup light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 portions salmon (about 1½ pounds total), pin bones removed Available In Our Premium Subscription Box
Neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed oil for brushing
½ cup fruit preserves such as apricot, blueberry, or cherry
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Coleslaw for serving
Prep the Salmon and Planks
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Lightly brush the salmon with oil. Sprinkle the flesh side of each fillet with 1 tablespoon of the spice rub and transfer to a plate (reserve the remaining spice rub for another use). Let sit at room temperature for up to 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Meanwhile, soak a cedar plank large enough to hold both pieces of salmon in warm water for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Make the BBQ Sauce
While the planks are soaking, make the barbecue sauce. In a blender or mini chopper combine the fruit preserves, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of water and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a small bowl.
Grill the Salmon and Serve
Prepare a grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350°F). Place the fish on the planks skin side down and brush generously with some of the sauce. Place the planks on the grill and close the lid. Grill, brushing with the glaze halfway through, until the fish is cooked through to your liking and the glaze is lightly caramelized, 20 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet. Alternatively, roast the salmon in a 350°F oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
Transfer to plates and serve with coleslaw.
Pair It Up
Pour something crisp and dry, with slight acidity to balance the richness and sweetness of this barbecue-glazed salmon such as grüner veltliner or sauvignon blanc.
Level It Up
Make a double batch of the spice rub and store it in an airtight jar for your next grill session
Change it Up
Serve leftover salmon and barbecue sauce on a soft roll, with bread and butter pickles and coleslaw for a pescatarian riff on the classic pulled pork sandwich.