Blackened Salmon on the Schwank Infrared Grill

I don’t know what it is, but the salmon from Costco seems so different from what we get from other stores. The freshness and quality is always top-notch and never disappoints. We have cooked salmon for years in a traditional oven, but it can be hard to get a good crust. I recently received my new Schwank Infrared “Steak” Grill, so I’ve been excited to cook some proteins.

This was my first seafood cook on my Schwank Infrared Grill, so I wasn’t sure how it would go. We also had some small shrimp we added to the cook, and I was trying to decide how I wanted to render them out. Let’s take a look at how well the Schwank Grill did at cooking a simple salmon and shrimp dinner.

Cook Details

Schwank Infrared "Steak" Grill
Schwank Infrared “Steak” Grill
  • 1 large salmon filet from Costco
  • sprinkled with Sucklebuster’s Lemon Pepper Garlic
  • butter, onion, garlic, olive oil for drip pan
  • small shrimp
  • Schwank Infrared Grill
  • 120F-145F internal on salmon depending on how you like it
  • 15-20min cook time

I posted a picture above of what my new Schwank Infrared Grill looks like, in case you were wondering. I will be doing a full review of this unit once I get more cooks under my belt. So far, I have enjoyed the heck out of it cooking steaks, burgers, and seafood. And yes, I will post an article of a steak cook on my Schwank Grill.

Butter, Garlic, Onion, and Olive Oil in Drip Tray

Butter, garlic, onion, and olive oil in Schwank Infrared Grill drip tray.
Butter, garlic, onion, and olive oil in Schwank Infrared Grill drip tray.

One of the best features of the Schwank Infrared Grill is the drip tray. This is the tray that sits below your proteins to catch all those precious juices that render out, which allows you to add them back to your meal at the end of your cook. You can also use this area to cook down some butter or make a sauce if you choose. We started off by adding butter, garlic, onion, and olive oil to the drip dray, so it could melt down and simmer.

Shrimp on Schwank Infrared Grill

Searing shrimp on Schwank Infrared Grill
Searing shrimp on Schwank Infrared Grill

Because this was my first cook, I wasn’t sure how to render out the shrimp. I put the shrimp on the cooking grate first and seared them for one minute. As you can see the butter in the drip tray is rendering down very nice creating a beautiful sauce for seafood. After the one minute, I moved the shrimp down into the butter mixture.

The shrimp received a light sear, which gave them great color. Because they are so delicate, I will probably just throw them in the bottom drip tray from the start of the next cook and let them render out in the butter. Or, you could throw them in the butter mixture in the drip tray halfway through the salmon cook, so they don’t overcook and get tough. Everything is a learning experience, and experimenting is half the fun.

Raw Salmon Filets on Schwank Infrared Grill

Meaty salmon filets from Costco on Schwank Infrared Grill
Meaty salmon filets from Costco on Schwank Infrared Grill

As you can see, the salmon filet we got from Costco was very thick. It was a gorgeous piece of salmon that we cut in half, so we could fit it on the Schwank Grill. The bottom of the salmon filet still had the skin on, and that side was placed directly on the scorching hot stainless-steel grill grate.

Salmon Searing on Schwank Infrared Grill

When I first put the salmon on the grill, I moved it up to the highest setting to get a good sear on the filet. This being my first salmon cook on the Schwank Grill, I really didn’t have any direction. After about a minute, I moved the salmon down to the lowest setting and let it finish cooking there.

Lowered Salmon to Finish Cooking

Salmon filets cooking at lowest setting in the Schwank Infrared Grill.

Once I got a good sear on the salmon, I lowered it down to the lowest setting to finish cooking. The internal temp had a long way to go in the thicker parts. As you can see in the photo, the salmon is starting to change color as it renders through the filet. The overhead Schwank burners do a great job cooking the fish while continuing to blacken the top for an incredible crust.

Salmon Can Take Some Heat

Salmon cooking at lowest height setting on Schwank Infrared Grill.
Salmon cooking at lowest height setting on Schwank Infrared Grill.

I don’t normally cook the salmon in our household, so I was amazed at how much heat it can actually handle. I always thought of fish as being very delicate, but this salmon rendered out beautifully on the inside. Through the cook, I was worried it was burning, but it wasn’t. Instead, it was building a crust.

At the lowest setting, the salmon cooked a good 15 minutes until the inside reached an internal temp of 120F. Even at the lowest setting, the salmon sizzled like crazy while it was cooking. I was worried about overcooking the filet, but the end product ended up coming out almost perfect. There isn’t much you can do about the thinner parts of a filet. They will always render out first before the thick part reaches your desired doneness.

Even thought the thinner parts finished cooking well before the thicker part reached temp, they were still great. We ended up eating every last piece. On the next cook, I may start cooking the salmon at the lowest setting first until it reaches a desired internal temp close to my target. Once it gets close, I will try moving it up at the end of the cook for the final sear. Once again, experimenting is half the fun.

Black Crusted Salmon on Schwank Grill

Here is a photo of the final product off the Schwank Infrared Grill, with the butter and garlic mixture poured back on top of the salmon. We were more than thrilled with how the salmon rendered, as we have never been able to truly “sear” salmon at home with so much control over the cook. The final product looked outstanding.

Plated Salmon with Salad

Here is a photo of our final plate with our blackened salmon from the Schwank Infrared Grill and our simple salad. I can honestly say this was the best salmon I have ever cooked at home. The black crust on the outside had remarkable texture without tasting burnt. The flavors from the butter and garlic mixture that rendered out in the drip tray were better than we expected.


I wasn’t expecting this cook to come out as good as it did. Being able to walk outside and fire up the Schwank Grill in 5 minutes makes quick work of restaurant quality meals. Having the overhead infrared burner allows you to adjust your protein on the fly in relation to the heat source to control the render.

Flareups are non-existent since you’re cooking from above. The drip tray makes quick work of toppings and sauces, which eliminates an additional stovetop cook. Overall, we couldn’t be happier with our blackened salmon cook on the Schwank Grill and look forward to future infrared experiments.

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