- 1 wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillet
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Rub With Love salmon seasoning
- Matches or lighter
- Standard kitchen knife
- Fish spatula or similar utensil
- Optional: Sheet of tin foil layered with parchment paper on top
At Pride of Bristol Bay, we believe two things: your protein should always be wild-caught/sourced, and one of the best ways to enjoy a wild salmon meal is as a campfire dinner.
If you’ve ever met a member of the Kurian family (who owns and operates Pride of Bristol Bay), you know that these two lines could be considered their family mantra. With Captain Steve fishing for wild sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska each summer and Co-Captain Jenn’s natural ability to make effortlessly delicious & gourmet meals with the bare minimum, we can confirm that everyone here at Pride of Bristol Bay is just a little bit jealous of the flavorful childhood their kids, Ava and Tommy, are living!
From hunting trips in Idaho to the casual weeknight campfire in their backyard, the Kurians know how to take an intimidating feat - like a wild salmon campfire cookout - and make it something every member of the family can easily take part in and enjoy.
If you’re looking for the perfect campfire cooking recipe, this is it. The recipe is so simple and has an ingredients list so short, you’ll still have plenty of room in your tote bag or camping backpack for any side dishes or beverages you’d like to bring along to complete the meal. Be sure to include the kids in the steps they feel comfortable with!
Follow the steps below, as demonstrated by the Kurian family, and be sure to share how your own Classic Salmon Campfire Cooks go with us on social media!
Thawing Note: Depending on the location of your campfire, you can thaw the salmon in advance for your campfire dinner. If backpacking or hiking, let the salmon thaw overnight in the fridge and keep chilled during the hike so it is ready to eat at the campfire. Be sure to keep it in a protected place during transport so it does not bruise. For backyard campfires, you can thaw the fillet overnight in the fridge or give it a cool water bath with the corner of the package snipped off about an hour before you’re ready to cook. Read more on our thawing tips and safety here. Equipment Note: This recipe is extremely versatile and can be done with your own preferred tools or ingredients (for example, while Steve has used a meat cleaver for a campfire cookout as an ode to his butchering background, it is certainly not a necessary item! The Kurians usually portion their fillets with a standard kitchen knife).
1) If necessary, cut up firewood to fit within the fire ring or fire pit in use and begin a campfire with matches and/or lighter. Make sure to check current fire regulations in your area, and that you are using approved firewood in order to avoid transporting invasive species or tree diseases! With a history in Forestry, this is an important step to Captain Steve.
2) Prepare the thawed salmon fillet by drizzling the tablespoon of olive oil evenly across the fillet.
3) Sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of Rub with Love salmon seasoning evenly over the oiled fillet. Optional: Portion the fillet into the desired number of pieces for your campfire guests.
4) Transport the salmon to the campfire, with the red flesh side down first, and cook for 2 minutes. You can use the foil & parchment paper to create a barrier for the salmon to sit on safely (make sure the foil side is down, and parchment paper sits on top of that). Or, cook the salmon directly on the grate of the campfire for the classic blackened markings (here, the Kurians prefer to avoid using tinfoil due to its aluminum content and instead cook directly on the grate. This also helps to keep the skin side crunchy, for those who enjoy it as a snack like the Kurian kids do!).
5) Flip the salmon to the skin side and cook for another 7 minutes, or until cooked through. It is important to finish by cooking on the skin side for longer because the skin acts as a barrier, holding in the moisture and oils for a delicious final flavor. This would be a great time to throw any side dishes you’ve brought along onto the fire as well!
6) Serve up and enjoy!