Like tuna, raw salmon has enough fat to form a burger. Chop the salmon by hand rather than in a food processor, which can give you mushy results if you accidentally process it a few seconds too long. The smoky flavor of these burgers comes from the addition of smoked salmon. A wide range of smoked salmon products are available, costing from $5 a pound to more than $40. We recommend using smoked salmon ends (available in any deli that hand-slices salmon), which will cost a fraction of the price of sliced salmon. Since you will be mincing it anyway, this will give you a higher-quality product for less money.
Prep: 10 minutes
Grill: 7 minutes.
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.
BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled spatula.
– Add chopped fresh dill to the burger mixture.
– Serve the burgers with minced red onion and capers on top.
– Serve on thinly sliced bagels smeared with cream cheese..
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 6 SERVINGS)
1½ pounds skinned and boned salmon fillet, cut into small chunks
8 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Four ¼-inch-thick lemon slices
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Oil for coating grill grate.
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Chop the salmon finely enough so that when you press some between your fingers it clings to itself, but not so finely that it becomes mushy.
3. Remove the fish to a bowl and mix in the smoked salmon, onion, garlic, and chives until well blended; do not overmix. Using a light touch, form into 4 patties no more than 1 inch thick. Refrigerate the burgers until the grill is ready.
4. Coat the lemon slices with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil; set aside.
5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Coat the burgers with 2½ teaspoons of the olive oil and put them on the grill. Cover and cook for about 7 minutes for medium-rare, flipping after 4 minutes; do not cover the grill after flipping. Add a minute per side for medium-done (165°F).
6. When you flip the burgers, start grilling the lemon slices until browned on both sides, slightly softened, and oozing juice, about 1 minute per side.
7. Serve the burgers drizzled with the remaining 2½ teaspoons olive oil, with the lemon slices on the side for squeezing.