• 1 (6 to 7 pound) whole salmon, gutted and scaled
  • Sea salt
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch of copper fennel fronds or substitute regular fennel fronds
  • 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • All-purpose flour, as needed



  • Fire up the grill with the coals lined up under the fish for direct grilling.
  • Sprinkle sea salt generously in the cavity of the fish and over the skin.
  • Stuff the cavity of the fish with thinly sliced onions, lemon slices, copper fennel fronds (or regular fennel fronds), and fresh thyme sprigs.
  • Tie butcher string around the fish in three or four places to hold the stuffing in.
  • Make deep incisions with a knife through the thickest part of the fish on both sides, all the way down to the spine. This helps the fish cook more quickly and allows the smoke flavor to penetrate the fish.
  • Lightly brush both the fish and the grill with oil.
  • Dust the salmon skin on both sides lightly with flour.
  • Place the salmon on the grill over medium-hot direct heat.
  • Cover the grill with the vents open.
  • When the skin is browned on one side, use two large metal spatulas to loosen the salmon from the grate and carefully turn it over.
  • Continue cooking until the fish is just cooked through. Use an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the fish to check for a temperature of 135 degrees F to 140 degrees F. The total cooking time is approximately 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove the fish from the grill and place it on a large platter.
  • Allow the fish to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the butcher string.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Please note that grilling times may vary depending on the size of the fish and the heat of your grill. It’s essential to monitor the fish closely to ensure it is cooked to your desired level of doneness.


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