Iowa Whiskey Salmon

I don’t know about you, but lately I have been craving salmon.  And usually, my go-to salmon recipe is “Dilled Salmon“…but on Wednesday night I wanted to try something that would accommodate a GFCF diet.  So…instead of my go-to…I whipped up a whiskey bbq sauce, seasoned some salmon, then accompanied it all with green beans and potatoes!  I know I know…right now you are probably saying, “Robin…are you crazy?!  Whiskey contains barley.  This does not accommodate a GFCF lifestyle.”  My answer to you my friends…I did my homework…and this is what I found:

“Although whisky comes from barley initially, the distilling process involved in its production means it is suitable for celiacs to drink, as there is not gluten present in the end product. Of course, as with everyone, celiacs should only consume alcohol in moderation!”   and   “The new standards set in this publication conform more closely with current international standards. Included on their safe list are items that have been on’s safe list for over five years, including: amaranth, buckwheat, distilled vinegar (no matter what its source), distilled alcoholic beverages (including rum, gin, whiskey and vodka), millet, quinoa and teff.”  All of this comes to you from the BBC site on living a gluten-free life.  (

With that tidbit of information…CHEERS!

I am not going to lie, Ryan was a little hesitant to “allow” me to cook with his beloved and hard-to-find Templeton Rye Whiskey…but it was well worth it! 


4 Servings

  • 4 Salmon Filets
  • 2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Mustard
  • 1/4 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon

Whiskey BBQ Sauce

  • 3/4 Templeton Rye Whiskey (or whiskey of your choice)
  • 1/3 cup Pineapple Juice
  • 3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Adobo Sauce (can of chiles in adobo sauce – discard chiles)
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1.5 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1.5 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Shallot, minced
  • Butter (or butter substitute – dairy free margarine)


  • 1 Lb Green Beans
  • Baby Gukon Gold Potatoes
  • EVOO
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Fresh Chives, chopped

To begin, prep all of your ingredients so they are ready to use.  Fill 2 pots with water (one for beans and one for potatoes).  Bring one pot to a boil immediately.  Preheat grill to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, ground mustard, crushed red pepper, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Whisk and set aside.

In mixing bowl, combine whiskey, pineapple juice, brown sugar, crushed red pepper, adobo sauce, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire, honey, tomato paste, garlic, and shallots.  Whisk well. 

Once you have all the ingredients prepped, one pot of water boiling, your salmon rub mixed, and your whiskey bbq sauce whipped up…it’s time to start piecing together the meal!

Start by adding the potatoes to the boiling water.  Potatoes should boil for 10-15 minutes or until easily punctured with a fork.  While the potatoes are boiling, brush the salmon with olive oil on both sides and lay it skin-side down on the grill.  Watch the salmon closely so it doesn’t burn.  Leave the salmon on the grill for 5  minutes.

While the salmon is grilling, pour the whiskey bbq sauce into a small saucepan and bring to a boil and reduce by half until the sauce is thickened.  Turn heat to low and stir in butter (butter substitute).  Set aside.

At 5 minutes, check on the salmon.  Open the grill and generously sprinkle the salmon rub on top of the salmon filet.  If the salmon is almost heated through and pink in color, move to the upper rack or off of direct heat.  If still rare, leave on direct heat and check often.  Close cover and leave salmon on the grill for another 5-10 minutes, depending on desired “done-ness”.

When the potatoes are done, strain and add back to pot with a tbsp of  (butter substitute), salt, pepper, chives, and crushed red pepper.  Sautee on medium-low heat until slightly browned.

While potatoes are sauteeing, add green beans to a second pot of boiling water.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Strain.  Add back to the pot with a drizzle of EVOO, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Toss well.

Now…you are ready to dish up!  Beans are done.  Potatoes are done.  BBQ Whiskey Sauce is done…and the salmon is ready to come off the grill!

Feel free to drizzle a little extra whiskey bbq sauce on top of the salmon as well.  Tangy…with a zip!

Dig in…and savour bite after bite after bite! 

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

3 thoughts on “Iowa Whiskey Salmon

  1. I highly recommend you INDULGE in the Templeton Rye by drinking instead of cooking with it 🙂 I let you get away with it this time Buddy… but next time… you’ll be using Old Crow!!

  2. Pingback: How to Get Up to No Good–The Proper Way « Let's Get Up To No Good!

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