If your New Year’s resolution is to eat more fish, you’ll need to bookmark this tasty Honey Butter Salmon. It’s wood-fired, giving the fish notes of oak in every bite. It’s topped with a silky honey glaze that features one of my favorite rubs. A hint of citrus and a little heat on the back end complete this delicious dish. This salmon recipe proves that good BBQ is more than just brisket and chicken. If you’re looking for a mouth-watering change of pace, give my Honey Butter Salmon a try. I know it’ll quickly become one of your new favorites.
Honey Butter Salmon on the Alfa Oven
Sometimes, you want a gourmet dinner that doesn’t require much prep work. This salmon is as easy as they come but tastes like you’ve spent all day in the kitchen. It cooks hot and fast yet remains moist and flaky.
This fabulous fish comes together without any fancy ingredients. You won’t believe the magic that happens with simple kitchen staples! Here’s what you need to add to your shopping cart.
- Salmon filet. This recipe calls for a whole salmon filet. I purchased my fish from Costco, but you can find it at most well-stocked grocery stores. My filet was a little over 3 pounds, so keep in mind that your cooking time may vary if your fish differs in size. No matter what, you don’t want to leave this fish unattended. It cooks very fast at a high temperature.
- Sriracha sauce. Instead of a traditional binder like mayonnaise, olive oil, or mustard, we used sriracha. This ingredient added a great burst of flavor and a little heat. A lot of the fire burns off during the cooking process, leaving just a trace of sriracha.
- Lemon. Laying lemon slices over top of fish is one of my favorite chef’s hacks. The fish absorbs the flavor of the lemon, giving it a sprinkling of citrus flavor. The citrus complements the natural flavors of the salmon without making it overly bitter. It’s a match made in heaven.
- Heath Riles BBQ Honey Chipotle Rub. My Honey Chipotle Rub keeps things interesting by combining sweet honey with high-quality chipotle peppers. Backyard chefs and BBQ champions alike always keep a bottle on hand. Try it once, and you’ll be a fan, too. I sprinkled a little on my salmon and added a bit to my honey glaze.
- Butter. Butter is a key ingredient in my glaze. It browns in the oven, giving the salmon a full-bodied flavor. Honey butter is a classic combination that’s a favorite on biscuits, cakes, cornbread, and fish.
- Honey. A little honey thickens the glaze and gives it an authentic flavor. When the glaze soaks into the fish, it caramelizes, making the salmon look gorgeous. I've got you covered if you want a recipe that tastes great and has a beautiful presentation!
The Smoker Setup
Here’s a rundown of the primary equipment I used for this cook. You can find more of my grilling favorites in the Equipment and Tools section.
- Pizza oven. For this cook, I used the Alfa pizza oven. This oven is handsome, durable, and easy to use. You can use it for pizza, fish, steak, meat, potatoes, and flatbreads. I’ve been having a blast creating recipes with the Alfa and have had great results every time.
- Wood splits. For this cook, I used oak wood splits. The wood splits are the perfect size for this oven. Remember that you’ll be moving the wood to the grate, so you want a manageable pile. I also added a few Royal Oak Tumbleweeds to get the fire roaring.
The Process for Making Honey Butter Salmon
You can find a detailed demonstration of this recipe in my recipe card and video at the bottom of this post. The video features my good buddy Bob Trudnak, AKA “Bobby T,” and is packed with great information. Here’s a brief rundown of how I pulled this salmon together.
- Fire up the Alfa. Bobby stoked the Alfa with wood splits using a criss-cross pattern and added a couple of Royal Oak tumbleweeds. Using a lighter, he lit the tumbleweed and created a nice, hot fire.
- Move the fire. After about 15 minutes, Bobby used a shovel to move the wood to the left side of the oven, where the grate is. He added one more wood split, then closed the door. We let the Alfa heat until the floor reached 650℉.
- Trim the salmon. To prep the salmon, I trimmed the tail meat off the fish, along with a bit of belly meat. My end goal was to have even edges resembling a slab of ribs. This helps the fish cook evenly. No one likes bones in their salmon, so I ran my hands over the fish to ensure it was entirely smooth. I didn’t want to waste food, so I saved my leftover pieces to cook separately.
- Add binder and seasoning. I transferred the salmon to my cast iron skillet and added a drizzle of sriracha sauce. Then, I laid down a thick coat of Honey Chipotle Rub. To finish off the salmon, I placed lemon slices over the top.
- Make the glaze. I wanted to balance the spiciness with a sweet topping. I added butter, Honey Chipotle Rub, and honey to a small cast-iron pan to make my honey glaze. I melted the honey glaze in the oven about 7 minutes into the cook.Cook the fish. I placed the salmon in the Alfa, lining it up with the fire, then shut the door.
- Glaze and finish. I let the fish cook for about 10 minutes, then basted it with honey glaze. I cooked the salmon for 5 more minutes, giving it a total cook time of 15 minutes. I removed the salmon from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before digging in.
My Honey Butter Salmon was crisp on the outside but flaky on the inside. The unique blend of seasonings and glaze gave the fish a well-rounded flavor in every bite. The fish absorbed the wood notes, giving it gourmet flair. I guarantee this will be one of the best salmon recipes you’ve ever tried!
Serving Suggestions for Honey Butter Salmon
Pair this delicious salmon with a glass of wine (or beer), a side salad, and a baguette. The perfect date night dinner in less than an hour!
Storing Honey Butter Salmon
If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months.