Ingredients For Grilled Salmon Marinade
- Salmon: Read below for tips on buying salmon. I prefer to use wild salmon, which has more flavor and is leaner in comparison to farm-raised. Sockeye, King, Coho, Spring, etc. are all types of salmon you can look out for.
For those who arent massive fish fans, farmed salmon may actually be preferred as it tends to be slightly more mellow in flavor. Though its often more fatty too!
The grilled salmon marinade Ingredients:
- Oil: I recommend using a neutral cooking oil like avocado oil or olive oil .
- Seasonings: I used a really simple combination of smoked paprika , garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
- Acid: You can use lemon/lime juice or apple cider vinegar.
I love how smoked paprika boosts the color and smokiness added to the grilled salmon from the grill and is a spice I use often with grilled salmon. However, the grill will add smokiness too, so get creative with the spices and use what you have!
How To Grill Salmon On A Pellet Grill
Theres no one recipe you should use to grill your salmon, but those tested by us are likely to get you the best results. After your pellet grill has reached optimal temperature, place the salmon skin-side down directly on the grill grates.
Some people like their grilled salmon without grill marks or may choose to brush the fish with a butter sauce before cooking. In these cases, putting the fish on a baking sheet before grilling like in this Garlic Salmon recipe works best. If you dont have a skin to keep the fish together, the baking sheet is a good idea to keep the fish from falling through the grate as it cooks.
How Do You Make Grilled Salmon
This recipe starts with a simple marinade that includes olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, herbs and spices. Whisk all the ingredients together, then add the salmon to the bowl. The salmon should marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours. The salmon can then be removed from the marinade and placed on the grill. Grill your fish until its done, then serve with lemon wedges and enjoy.
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Why This Recipe Works
Grilled salmon Salmon is so good in just about all the ways but grilled is hands-down my favorite way to eat it. It gets a little of that smoky flavor into it as it grills and cooks up quickly, and perfectly, every time.
Easy It doesnt get much easier than this grilled salmon with lemon recipe. Prep, cook, and on your plate in less than 30 minutes? So easy!
All the herbs Dont worry too much if you dont have the right herbs. Any combo of 3-4 herbs is great. Trust me on this, you can combine herbs in all sorts of groups and it will taste delish on this salmon with garlic.
Lemon Lemon and salmon go together like salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, salt and chocolatewell, you get my gist. I cannot have salmon without at least a little squeeze of lemon at the end. It makes the flavors so bright and a tad citrusy and thats just what you want in a grilled salmon in the summer .
Essential Tools We Recommend
For starters, youll need to decide the right type of grill for your cooking stylegas or charcoal. You cant go wrong with the Napoleon 18-inch Charcoal Kettle grill if cooking over briquettes or lump charcoal is in your future. If you decided to go for gas grills, look to the Weber Spirit II E-310. Short on patio space? Go portable with the Weber Q 1200 portable gas grill.
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Making This Recipe In Advance
Make ahead: You can leave the fillets covered, in the refrigerator before grilling.
Storing: Allow the grilled salmon to cool down, then refrigerate, covered, for up to 4 days. The leftovers are great for enjoying cold in a salad, sandwich, or wrap!
Freeze: Transfer the salmon to a freezer-safe airtight container and store for up to 3 months. Try to do this within a couple of hours of cooking them to prevent bacteria growth. Thaw in the refrigerator before re-serving.
How To Take Salmon From Skillet To Oven
Can’t decide between stovetop or oven-roasted salmon? Do both. Oven finishing is a technique many restaurants use to achieve salmon with a golden and crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside every time.
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Atlantic Vs Sockeye Salmon
The two main types of salmon you are going to find at the grocery store are Atlantic and Sockeye.
Atlantic salmon is almost always farmed in ocean nets in either Chile or Norway. The majority of farm raised Atlantic salmon is rated Avoid by SeafoodWatch.org due to unstainable farming practices including the heavy use of antibiotics and parasiticides.
Farmed Atlantic salmon are fed commercial food pellets that contain significant amounts of beta carotene to give the meat an orangish color. The forced diet makes Atlantic salmon high in calories, fat and cholesterol.
Sockeye salmon is almost always wild caught in Alaska. These salmon have eaten natural diets their whole lives and have a natural red color along with a more authentic salmon flavor.
The natural diet of wild caught Sockeye salmon means it has fewer calories, fat and cholesterol per serving than Farmed Atlantic salmon.
Or Try Marinated Salmon
Another option? Try ! This infuses big savory, moist flavor into the salmon fillets and is one of our favorite ways to make this recipe. Here are the pros and cons:
- The marinade adds complex, savory flavor to the fish fillets.
- It takes at least 30 minutes to marinade, but half of this is your preheat time. You can also marinate for up to 3 hours refrigerated .
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Best Grilled Salmon Recipe And Marinade
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This is the best grilled salmon recipe! The marinade makes the fish so flavorful and its ridiculously easy to make! Its going to become your go-to salmon recipe!
Im a creature of habitI get stuck in ruts. Many people, after they find out about Rachel Cooks, have made comments about how well we must eatgourmet food every night!
Its not exactly the case. I have my go-to recipes and more often than not, Im whipping up something weve had before and something that takes 30 minutes or less to make. Sure, I love to develop new recipes to share with you guys, but our life is just as busy as anyone elses, so sometimes its just a matter of speed and making something everyone likes. Well, everyone except N because that kid still likes NOTHING.
We have salmon about every other week and my lemon salmon with dill recipe is my go-to. Ben loves it, I like it, its healthy and its so easy. We both LOVE the walnut crusted salmon and Parmesan and almond crusted salmon but since the kids are allergic to tree nuts, thats obviously not a recipe thats in regular rotation.
Ive been wanting to try out a new salmon recipe on the grill, so when Traeger sent me one of their beautiful grills , salmon had to happen.
Now, I will say, you dont need a Traeger grill to make this salmon recipe, but it will take the flavor to the next level.
When Is Grilled Salmon Done
A common recommendation for fish is that its done when it flakes easily with a fork, but its also easy to overcook it this way. For best results, use a meat thermometer to ensure perfectly cooked salmon and check the internal temperature every couple of minutes after you flip it:
- Medium rare 125 degrees F
- Medium 130 degrees F
- Medium well 140 degrees F
Let the salmon rest for 3-5 minutes before serving, as the internal temperature will rise 3-5 more degrees while resting.
If you dont have a meat thermometer, though, you can use my time estimates above and flake the edge of the fish with a fork to test for doneness.
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Tips For The Best Grilled Salmon Recipe
- Keep a close eye on the salmon while it cooks, since the total cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your fillet, as well as the temperature of your grill. You’ll know that the fish is done when the flesh flakes easily with a fork. You don’t want to overcook it or the salmon will become dry.
- While the FDA recommends cooking fish to 145°F, for a flakier, more moist and tender salmon filet, many chefs find that it’s best enjoyed when it’s cooked to medium 125°F. We don’t usually use a thermometer, but instead look to see that the texture of the fillet flakes easily with a fork and the inside changes from translucent to opaque .
- Grilling the salmon over medium heat gives it that delicious, charred exterior while keeping the inside moist and tender.
- Leave the skin on the salmon when grilling. This adds flavor and moisture, and helps hold the fillets together. It will peel off easily before serving.
Common Varieties Of Salmon
The type or variety of salmon makes a difference in grilling because different varieties contain different oil content levels and are of different thicknesses.
- King Salmon and Atlantic Salmon are rich, oily varieties that are pink-fleshed and are thicker by nature, making them harder to overcook. The oil content will keep them from getting dried out. Hands down my favorite salmon to grill is Wild King Salmon- also the most expensive. See below on how to source sustainably raised, antibiotic-free Atlantic Salmon.
- Sockeye Salmon and Coho Salmon have beautiful bright red flesh, are generally thinner than King salmon or Atlantic, and have a low oil content. They have a really clean fresh ocean taste, which I love, but when grilled need to be watched like a hawk so they dont overcook- as they cook quickly. The prized Copper River Salmon falls into this category.
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Leftover Smoked Salmon Recipes
We are all about using up leftovers to make easy, economical meals and leftover salmon is no exception!
Jalapeno Salmon Poppers Take the seeds out of a jalapeno pepper, add some leftover salmon along with cream cheese and smoke until the peppers are tender. This is a really tasty appetizer!
Smoked Salmon Salad Make up this delicious salmon salad and serve in lettuce wraps for an incredibly healthy weeknight meal.
Spaghetti Squash with Creamy Salmon Use your leftover salmon in this creamy sauce and serve over a bed of spaghetti squash. It is worth making extra salmon just so you can have the leftovers available for this recipe!
Smoked Salmon Tacos with Mango Salsa You have to love tacos! Oryou can call these salmon wrapsdoesnt matter what you call them because all that matters is that they are tasty!
Ways To Prevent Sticking To The Grill
Some people complain about salmon sticking to the grill. The biggest contributor to that problem? Dont try to turn it too soon! When the salmon is cooked just enough, it releases from the grill grates, making it easy to flip. But if you touch it before that time, it can stick and break apart. You dont need to oil the grill grates. Just lightly oil the fish, and when cooking wait until the salmon is easy to release . Then its easy to flip!
Another tip: make sure to cook with skin on salmon. This helps it to stay together on the grill. Salmon with the skin off easily sticks to the grill. We dont recommend using it here.
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Grill The Salmon On A Good And Hot Fire
Fry the salmon for 2-2.5 minutes, meat side first.
Put your salmon meat side down first to make them pretty little rascals. This is a pretty quick method, cause these aint as thick as what some of yall might see. This is pretty thin, so Im gonna shut that lid and leave it just for a minute.
When the salmon is about ¾ -inch thick grill it about 2 1/2 each side. If you ever begin to see the white fat bubble up and make spots of color in there, youve cooked that salmon too long. Make sure you dont overcook it.
Get to basting the salmon with the glaze.
When you flip it youll want to give it some glaze on the tops.
Now, we gonna shut the lid for 30 seconds. Start the countdown!
Before you serve it, give it another good basting and enjoy this good fish!
How To Clean And Heat The Grill For Salmon
Start with a clean grill while it’s still cold, brush any food residue from the grates. Then lightly coat a bunched-up paper towel with olive oil. Using tongs, wipe the oil onto the grill grates. Dont use too muchdripping oil can cause flare-ups and excess smoke.
Make two cooking zones: a hot zone for searing and another for lower, gentle cooking. For a gas grill, turn the burners on one side to high and the other side to low. If you’re cooking with charcoal, push the hot coals onto one-half of the grill. The two zones will allow you to sear the salmon on the high-heat side, then transfer it to the cooler side to finish cooking. Close the lid and preheat for 15 minutes. This will burn off the oil and make the grill nonstick and very hot, about 500 degrees. For a charcoal grill, keep the lid vents open for air circulation.
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Choosing The Right Salmon
Its not quite as easy as it seems to pick the right piece of salmon. How will you know which piece of salmon is right for you? Theres wild, farmed, fresh, frozen, and different species of salmon as well as various cuts of the fish. What happened to a simple fish fillet?
Heres our guide to the different aspects that affect which piece of salmon is right for you.
Fresh Vs Frozen Salmon
Whether you are dealing with farm raised Atlantic salmon or wild caught Sockeye salmon there is a real risk that the meat is infected with parasites such as worms. Parasitic infection in fish is extremely common and is not unique to salmon.
There are two ways to make sure that any parasites in the salmon you smoke have been fully destroyed:
I prefer to use a double dose of safety and smoke salmon that has been frozen to a minimum internal temperature of 145F.
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The Secret To Perfectly Grilling Salmon
Grilling salmon is super easy, but it does have its tricks. First, I like to buy salmon with the skin on for grilling as the skin helps keep the flesh intact. You dont want to lose your salmon because it fell through the grates.
Second, get the grill good and hot. Then rub or brush the grates with oil so the salmon doesnt stick to the grill. Fish is flakier than meat and chicken, so we have to be more careful with grilling.
And, of course, a good marinade makes the best grilled salmon. My recipe calls for simple ingredients, such as soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and onion powder, yet it oozes with delectable goodness.
How Do You Know When Grilled Salmon Is Cooked
There are a few ways to tell if your salmon is fully cooked or not, and once you get the hang of cooking and grilling salmon youll become more and more comfortable with judging it based on the look.
As I mentioned, its better to undercook rather than overcook your salmon, and remember that it will continue to cook as it rests after you grill it!
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How Do You Know When Salmon Is Done
Perfectly grilled salmon is moist, flavorful, and succulent. When overcooked, it dries out and becomes tough. To grill salmon perfectly, remove it from the grill when cooked to medium while there is still some translucency in the middle. Either use a thermometer or a sharp knife and use it to peek into the thickest part. If the fish is flaky, but still has some translucency in the middle, it is done.