candied bacon salmon

Candied Bacon Crusted Salmon

You can’t go wrong with grilled salmon. The only thing that tastes better is adding candied bacon to it! Try this candied bacon crusted salmon for dinner.

This recipe was made and written for SABER Grills by Chris Grove of Nibble Me This.

If you are looking for a recipe to impress your guests with your grilling prowess, try this recipe for Candied Bacon Crusted Salmon.

Not only is the taste “to die for,” the grilling technique will capture their interest.  Plank grilling fish is a Native American cooking method originating from the Northwest, but the technique has spread across the continent.  This approach grills the salmon on top of cedar or alder wood planks that have been soaked in water. The plank serves as a cooking vessel, but it also imparts smokiness as it begins to smolder.

That would be cool enough, but a grilled lemon butter and candied bacon crust make this salmon jump off the plate with flavor like a salmon jumping upstream.

Candied Bacon Crusted Salmon


  • 2 pounds salmon fillet
  • For the candied bacon

  • 5 strips bacon
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon BBQ seasoning (optional)
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • For the lemon butter

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • Other equipment needed

  • 2 cedar grilling planks, soaked for 2 hours
  • quarter sheet pan or other shallow edge, grill safe pan for roasting bacon


  • Preheat your SABER® grill with burners on low.
  • Prepare candied bacon. Place bacon strips in a plastic bag and sprinkle in brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and BBQ seasoning. Shake the bag and move the bacon around to coat the bacon all over. Wrap a quarter sheet pan with foil and top with a cooling rack (rack optional but preferred). Lay the bacon strips evenly across the rack/pan.
  • Cook the bacon. Place the quarter sheet pan on the upper rack of your grill, close the lid and let cook for 10 minutes. Flip the bacon and cook until almost cooked through, about another 10 minutes. Remove from grill.
  • Make the lemon butter. Cut the lemon in half and grill, cut side down, until dark grill marks form. Remove from grill. Squeeze out the lemon juice and discard the rinds. Add butter, salt, pepper, and parsley and cook over low heat until melted, stirring to combine.
  • Place the bacon into a small food processor or mini blender and pulse until the bacon is fine crumbs. Mix with the panko bread crumbs.
  • Prepare the salmon. Place the salmon fillet on the soaked planks and brush liberally with butter. Sprinkle the bacon mixture over the top of the salmon. Drizzle the remaining butter over the fillet.
  • Cook the salmon. Place the salmon planks onto the grill, close the lid and allow to cook until the fish becomes flaky and reaches an internal temperature of 120°f to 140°f. This should take right about 20 minutes. Remove from grill.
  • To serve, use a thin spatula to lift the salmon flesh off of the plank. The skin should stick mostly to the planks.


Here are a few things to consider when cooking this meal or any fish.

  1. Keep it cold – Don’t leave your fish out at room temperature like you would a steak. Keep your fish very cold until you are ready to put it on the grill.
  2. It’s sensitive – Fish proteins are sensitive to heat.  So your window between being undercooked and overcooked is narrow.
  3. Slow to start, fast to finish – The internal temperature of fish cooking starts to rise slowly, but as it approaches doneness (120°f-140°f), it accelerates.  Keep a close eye on the fish towards the end.
  4. No rest for the wicked – Fish flesh is uniform and does not require rest as other proteins do.  Serve it right away.

The resting rack isn’t necessary but it sure makes it easier to cook and remove the bacon.candied-bacon-crusted-salmon-saber-dsc_1618

You can grill the lemon while the bacon cooks.  We were serving a roasted corn rice pilaf as a side dish, so we grilled the corn at the same time.


Remove the bacon from the rack or pan as soon as it comes off of the grill.  Once it cools, it will become sticky and be hard to get it off.

Another tip – make twice as much as you need for the recipe because candied bacon tastes so good that you will probably lose half of it to “quality control testing.


Slightly press down on the bacon mixture once you sprinkle it on.  This will help the crust adhere to the fish.


You can do this recipe several different ways.  You can serve it family style with large pieces of salmon taking up a long plank.  Or you can grill fillet on individual square planks as shown on the right.


The zonal cooking and dual side burner make the Saber® a flexible grilling station.  It lets you enjoy the outdoors while cooking your entire meal out on the grill.


It won’t look like much is happening the first 5 or so minutes, and you might wonder why you bothered with the planks.

But then, the planks will start to char on the bottom, releasing their fragrant smoke. You will hear sizzling and maybe even popping.  It is possible that the planks will begin to bow.  Don’t worry, this is normal.


While that was going on, we cooked a roasted corn rice pilaf.  We sautéed a half cup of sweet onion in oil for about 5 minutes and then added the rice, to toast it for 1-2 minutes. Then we added in carrots, peas, the roasted corn and chicken stock to simmer while covered for 16-18  minutes.


Fish with dense flesh, such as tuna and salmon, can be finished cooking as low as 120°f.


Using grilled lemon in the butter gives it a bright but subtle smoke flavor.


Serve your guests candied bacon crusted salmon and watch it disappear!

candied bacon salmon

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