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BBQ Seafood Recipes

April 18, 2020


BBQ and seafood

You might be surprised to hear that you can BBQ seafood right at home. BBQ seafood recipes incorporate flavors and spices that complement and brighten up ordinary fish and turn them into beautiful and delicious grilled meals. Once you let go of traditional food ideas and realize that BBQ and seafood go together, you open yourself up to many more possibilities for throwing a backyard BBQ with the fresh and delicious flavors of the sea. 


Follow along while we share our favorite seafood BBQ ideas along with the best ways to BBQ salmon on the grill!

Don't forget that we offer a wide variety of wild-caught seafood that ships directly to you so that you can start planning your next backyard seafood BBQ today! 


Best Fish for the BBQ Grill:

You can grill many different types of seafood on the BBQ grill. The key to choosing what kind of fish to BBQ on the grill is choosing a firmer fish with higher oil content to withstand the harsher high heat from the grill. More delicate and leaner fish may fall apart on the BBQ grill. A simple solution to BBQ grilling more delicate cuts of seafood would be using tinfoil as a barrier between the grilling racks and the fish. Fish with thicker fillets such as swordfish, salmon, or Ahi tuna are great for the grill. Fish with higher oil content are an excellent choice for BBQ fish recipes because the oil content helps to keep the fish moist while grilling. For leaner or more delicate cuts of fish, you can marinate and BBQ those fish recipes in foil to help effortlessly transition the fish on and off the grill. 


Another great way to create the best BBQ fish recipes is to grill your fish with the skin intact. The skin can withstand the heat intensity of the surface of the grill and preserve the moistness of your BBQed fish. 

Here is a list of our best fish to BBQ on the grill:


This list is not exhaustive and doesn't cover all of the best fish for the BBQ grill, but we offer all of these great choices for the grill. Place an order with us, and you will be well on your way to having some of the best BBQ seafood recipes using our freshly caught and flash-frozen wild-caught seafood. 

Why BBQ Fish?

Seafood BBQ is not a new concept. Many cultures, especially island and coastal communities, enjoy grilling all kinds of seafood. Korean seafood BBQs, for example, are famous Korean celebrations where nothing but seafood and shellfish go on the grill. 


BBQ seafood recipes explore untraditional flavors not typical to the characteristics associated with southern or midwestern BBQ. Seafood BBQ incorporates flavors such as citrus, ginger, and chilis into BBQ fish grilled recipes. 


Using BBQ sauce recipes for your seafood can help you escape the boredom of ordinary fish recipes by enjoying new flavor combinations and exciting ways to eat seafood. From BBQ fish tacos and BBQ fish baskets to cedar plank salmon on the BBQ, our BBQ fish recipes will keep you grilling seafood all season long. 


Cooking salmon on the BBQ grill is one of our favorite ways to enjoy seafood BBQ. Not only is BBQ sauce an excellent marinade for salmon, but you can explore a wide range of flavors since many flavor profiles complement salmon. 


Cooking Salmon on the BBQ

Salmon is high in omega-3 oils and you can BBQ salmon with the skin on making it a perfect contender against the intensity of the grill. The flavors imparted by the flames and charcoal of the grill can't usually be replicated by BBQ salmon baked in the oven, but you can use bbq sauce to flavor your baked salmon. 


 BBQ sauce for Salmon: 

We will share with you a few varieties of BBQ sauces and BBQ salmon recipes for you to build up your BBQ grilled salmon repertoire.  

Honey BBQ Salmon: 

This recipe uses your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce and spruces it up a bit to make it perfect for using on seafood. While we recommend this recipe for honey BBQ salmon, this sauce would go great with other types of seafood, such as shrimp or black cod.  

For the Sauce:


  • 1/3 cup of store-bought BBQ sauce. Try a local favorite or any high-quality BBQ sauce. 
  • 1/3 cup of honey. 
  • Two tablespoons of minced garlic, 3-4 cloves. 
  • One tablespoon of garlic chili sauce (optional for some added heat)
  • Two tablespoons of high-quality extra virgin olive oil. 
  • 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice (orange juice would also be fantastic) 
  • 1/4 cup of freshly chopped cilantro leaves. 

Directions: For BBQ Sauce

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. 
  2. Season BBQ sauce with salt and pepper to taste. 

Honey BBQ Salmon: 


  • Honey BBQ sauce made from recipe above
  • Basting Brush for brushing onto salmon during grilling
  • 4-6 Fillets of Salmon (Variety of salmon is your choice) 


  1. Rinse and pat dry your salmon fillets 
  2. Brush both sides of your salmon fillets with the Honey BBQ sauce. 
  3. Let your salmon fillets marinate in the honey BBQ sauce for 10-15 minutes in the fridge. 
  4. Pre-heat your grill to medium heat or a medium flame. 
  5. Create a pan using two pieces of tin foil placed together and fold up the sides. Spray your tin foil pan with non-stick cooking spray and put it on your grill. The BBQ salmon foil helps to prevent the salmon fillets from sticking while trying to flip your salmon on the grill. 
  6. Place your salmon fillets on the tin foil pan, making sure that your fillets are not touching. 
  7. Grill your salmon fillets for 5-6 minutes per side. Make sure to baste your salmon with more BBQ sauce on both sides when flipping your salmon fillets
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

You can use this same recipe to BBQ a whole salmon by using fresh lemon slices and basting the inside and outside of your entire salmon during grilling. BBQing the salmon with the skin on helps to protect the salmon from drying out while it cooks. Feel free to remove the skin after grilling. 

BBQ Grilled salmon is fresh and delicious, especially in the summer when you can mingle on your back patio while your salmon grills. Serve your BBQ salmon fillets with fresh lemon wedges, a side of extra Honey BBQ sauce, and some steamed sweet corn for an amazing outdoor BBQ. 

Best BBQ Salmon Recipe: 

This recipe uses homemade BBQ sauce made from scratch, which allows you more control over the flavors, sweetness, and spice of your BBQ recipes. This BBQ sauce cooks up quickly and serves as both a marinade and a sauce to drizzle over your salmon after it's finished on the BBQ grill. Once you try BBQ sauce on salmon, it just might become one of your favorite ways to eat salmon. 

If you're looking for a healthy meal, serve this salmon BBQ over a bed of freshly steamed broccoli or with a simple salad of greens, sliced red onions, drizzles with balsamic vinegar. 


Salmon BBQ Sauce:


  • One can of tomato paste
  • Apple Cider Vinegar about 1/2 a cup, but the taste of this sauce is more important than precise measurements with this recipe. 
  • Sweetener: You can use honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup, but for salmon, we prefer the taste of brown sugar in the BBQ sauce. 1/2 to 1 cup of brown sugar.
  • Molasses (1-2 tablespoons of dark molasses) 
  • Worcestershire sauce (2-3 teaspoons) 
  • Ketchup about 1/4-1/2 cup
  • 2 Teaspoons of yellow mustard (optional, but delicious) 
  • Two tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • One tablespoon of garlic powder
  • Two teaspoons of onion powder
  • One teaspoon of black pepper
  • One teaspoon of salt


*Please note that these measurements are just to give you a starting place. You can use more or less of any of the above ingredients to adjust the salmon BBQ recipes to your taste preference. These ingredients are the foundation of our BBQ sauce recipe, and you can customize it to make it your own. 

  1. Combine all of the ingredients over low heat in a medium-sized saucepan. 
  2. Stirring continuously as your heat your BBQ sauce to a simmer. 
  3. Let your BBQ sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes while stirring often. Be sure to taste your sauce as its simmering to adjust the flavors to your liking. Be careful not to burn your tongue! 
  4. Remove from heat once thickened and cool it to room temperature. You don't want to use the sauce on your salmon while it's still hot. 

Use this BBQ sauce as a marinade or seasoning for your favorite salmon recipes. This recipe is not limited to grilled salmon. You can use this recipe on BBQ salmon baked in the oven or sautéed BBQ salmon. When making this recipe, be sure to reserve some BBQ sauce for basting your salmon while it cooks. The BBQ sauce caramelizes on the surface of your salmon and creates and delicious smoky flavor in your salmon. 

Pinot Noir BBQ Sauce for Salmon:

Pinot Noir is a classic wine pairing for a strong-flavored salmon such as copper river salmon or king salmon. This BBQ sauce recipe is an exciting twist on this wine pairing by creating a BBQ sauce using Pinot Noir to complement grilled salmon. 


  • One tablespoon of high-quality olive oil 
  • 1/3 cup of diced red onion
  • Two cloves of minced garlic
  • Two tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried mustard (or one teaspoon of yellow mustard if you don't have dry mustard on hand)
  • One Cup of Ketchup
  • One cup of Pinot Noir (be sure to reserve a glass for the chef)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne powder (Optional for some heat)


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. 
  2. Add red onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until translucent.
  3. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. 
  4. Add your dry spices and cook while stirring for 30 seconds.
  5. Add your Pinot Noir and ketchup and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. 
  6. Simmer your sauce for 15-20 minutes to thicken and reduce the wine for the best flavor. Be sure you're frequently stirring to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan. 

For a slightly sweeter Pinot Noir BBQ sauce, add two tablespoons of brown sugar during step five.  

Use this sauce with your favorite cut of salmon for an interesting twist on BBQ salmon that pairs beautifully with fresh grilled asparagus and rice pilaf. Use this recipe on grilled, sauteed, or baked salmon for a deliciously cooked salmon.  

BBQ Seafood Frequently Asked Questions: 

While we focused on salmon for many of our recipes here, you are not limited when it comes to BBQing seafood. When it comes to seafood, if you can grill it, you can BBQ it. BBQ isn't just for beef, ribs, or chicken anymore. Step outside of your comfort zone and try a little BBQ zing with your seafood! 

We want to address some of the questions we get most often when it comes to BBQ seafood recipes.


  1. How to BBQ seafood: For seafood, your BBQ sauce is going to serve as your primary seasoning or marinade for your fish. Apply the BBQ sauce or seasonings about 10-15 minutes before you plan to cook your fish, so the flavors have time to permeate your fish. BBQ sauce does have some acidic elements, so be sure not to marinate your fish too soon. You don't want the BBQ sauce on your fish more than 30 minutes before grilling. 
  2. How to Make BBQ Sauce: BBQ sauce for seafood is as easy as buying your favorite homemade BBQ sauce and adding a few things to create a customized seafood BBQ sauce. Something as simple as lemon or orange, along with some cilantro and garlic, can elevate a store-bought BBQ sauce to the next level. Try tweaking your favorite BBQ sauce with a few extra ingredients and marinate some shrimp for some delicious shrimp BBQ skewers. 
  3. How to BBQ Salmon: BBQing salmon doesn't have to be complicated. If you're not ready to tackle homemade BBQ sauce, simply purchase a store-bought BBQ sauce that seems like it would complement salmon. The varieties of store-bought BBQ sauce are endless, and you're bound to find something that compliments your BBQ salmon wishes easily. 
  4. How to Make Homemade BBQ Sauce: The beauty of BBQ sauce is that the measurements of ingredients are never precise. You can use more or less of any of the ingredients to adjust the taste to your liking. The foundation of BBQ sauce begins with a tomato base, an acid such as vinegar, something sweet such as honey or brown sugar, and then your proprietary blend of paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. From that foundation, you can add unique flavors to enhance your BBQ sauce to match your meal. Fruity flavors compliment white fish beautifully, but so do spices such as chilis or even jalapeno. BBQ is more about experimenting with flavors and letting go of precision in your cooking. The downside to that is you may never get the same homemade BBQ sauce twice. 
  5. How to Clean your BBQ Grill: It's no shock that grilling seafood can sometimes leave behind bits of charred fish on your grill. To avoid those leftover flavors interfering with your next meal, you can clean your BBQ grill with a simple vinegar solution. Vinegar not only cleans your grills but can help eliminate any residual fishiness left behind on your rack. 

 Vinegar-based grill cleaner:


  • One clean and empty spray bottle, large enough to fit four cups of liquid. 
  • Two cups of white vinegar
  • Two cups of distilled water


  1. Combine the vinegar and distilled water in the spray bottle. 
  2. Place lid on the spray bottle and shake to combine the ingredients. 
  3. Spray your grill with the vinegar and water solution and saturate your grill racks. Be sure your grill is turned off and cool before spraying. 
  4. Leave the solution on your grill for about 10 minutes. 
  5. After ten minutes, clean your grill racks with a wire grill brush or balled up piece of tin foil.  

Final Note:

When spring and summer start to roll around, many people get the urge to fire up their BBQ grills again. Don't limit yourself to hotdogs and hamburgers or even the occasional chicken breast. BBQ seafood is quick, easy, and healthy. You can BBQ shellfish and shrimp for a delicious backyard seafood medley as well as halibut or mahi mahi for some fantastic BBQ fish tacos. 

We offer several options for seafood samplers, so you can plan your next Seafood BBQ with us! Our seafood is wild-caught and flash-frozen to ensure the best flavor and texture possible. We ship directly to you over dry ice and guarantee that your fish will arrive still frozen. Order with us, and you will be well on your way to throwing yourself the best backyard seafood BBQ around. 

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