Optional Toppings For Salmon
Now that you know how to grill salmon, you can enjoy it on its own or try one of these toppings if you want to take it up a notch:
- Hollandaise sauce This creamy sauce is buttery and citrusy and not just for brunch! This one is made easy in the blender.
- Creamy Avocado Salsa Youll get your dose of healthy fats with this creamy salsa. Its a fresh and zesty topping.
- Pesto Sauce Pesto is delicious on everything. Drizzle a bit on the salmon and finish it with a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Lemon Garlic Aioli Serve a dollop of this garlicky aioli over the salmon if you love lemon and garlic.
- Lemon Butter Sauce For Fish If you prefer a lemon butter sauce, this one is made for fish . Super easy, too.
Here Are Some Of Our Favorite Techniques For Grilling Salmon
Kabobs: Cut your salmon into one to one and a half inch cubes and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Thread marinated salmon and veggies onto skewers and arrange salmon kabobs on hot grill grates. Close the lid and cook for three to four minutes per side until theyre opaque, flaky and tender.
Cedar Plank: Cedar planks insulate delicate fish from the direct heat of the grill, allowing it to steam gently in the heat of the grill, staying incredibly tender and moist. It picks up smoky flavors from the grill and woodsy flavors from the cedar, along with the liquid you soak the planks in.
Grilling Basket: Keep your salmon from falling through the cracks with a non-stick grilling basket that has a locking lid. Place salmon in the basket and set the basket on top of the grates. When its time to flip, you can flip the grilling basket with worrying about your fish falling apart.
Foil: Grilling salmon in foil helps to protect your salmon from the intense flames of the grill while still providing that great chargrilled flavor you want. Place the fish in the center of a sheet of foil and add seasoning. Fold the foil over the top and mold the foil into a sealed packet. Set it on the grill grates and cook over indirect heat for 10-12 minutes. After letting it rest for five minutes, open carefully to avoid hot steam as it escapes the packet.
The Best Grilled Salmon
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You, too, can make the absolute BEST Grilled Salmon in foil on the grill. This salmon has a slightly sweet and smoky flavor and is grilled to perfection in just around 15 minutes!
During cooking, the marinade creates a nice glaze so that the salmon filets end up with a slightly crisp outside and light flakiness inside. This simple grilled salmon is not only delicious, but it is extremely easy to prepare.
The marinade is mixed up right in a ziplock bag and the fish is grilled in little aluminum boats placed right on top of the grill grates making clean up easy!
My family agrees this is the best salmon recipe ever, and I think yours will, too!
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Free: 5 Secrets To Fast Healthy Dinners
This easy grilled salmon recipe is the only one youll ever need! Im sharing all the tips for how to cook salmon on the grill, including what kind of salmon to buy, the best tools, tips to prevent sticking and avoiding dry salmon, and answering all the grilling questions you might have.
Try serving your grilled salmon fillet with a sauce or serve it all on its own. Simple and delicious!
How To Grill Salmon
Choose your charcoal fuel. Because they burn at higher temperature and have none of the questionable fillers or binders, I like all-natural briquettes made form pure hardwoods but shaped in the familiar pillow shape. From hardwood to lump charcoal or briquettes, there are many types of charcoal available these days and each imparts a different flavor and ease in lightingand lasting. Briquettes now come in a variety of flavors that emulate hard wood flavors like cherry or oak, hickory, mesquite, and more.
No lighter fluid required. Avoid using charcoal fluid and its chemical taste. Instead, top the briquettes with a charcoal chimney starter stuffed with a few wadded up pieces of newspaper at the bottom. Light the newspaper, then watch as the fire and heat rise, starting the briquettes naturally. Once the briquettes are lightly covered with white ash, use barbecue mitts to empty the chimney starter and distribute the briquette coals on the bottom rack of the kettle.
TIME TIP: Plan on about 20 minutes for the charcoal to be grill ready.
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Grill Salmon Skin Side Down For Most Of The Time
Grilling salmon skin side down has several benefits. The skin protects the more delicate flesh from the high heat, crisps up better by being direct to the heat for most of the time, and is much easier to flip without sticking.
TIP: Only flip your salmon in the last 1-2 minutes of grilling. It should be 70-80% done before you flip.
How Long Do You Smoke Salmon
Keep the smoker temperature low for a long period of time and your smoked salmon will be moist, flaky, and full of smoky flavor. Set the smoker to 120 degrees F and let the fish roast for about 3 hours. If you are pressed for time though, set the smoker to 220 degrees F for smoked salmon in only 2 hours.
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Salmon Grilling Tips And Techniques
Grilling fish may be challenging, but once you master it, you wont want to cook salmon and other fish any other way. Not only do you get to enjoy smoky, chargrilled flavor you can only get from grilling, you keep the smell and the mess outside.
A clean, lightly oiled grill grate is especially important when grilling fish. Rub the grate with a thin layer of oil and heat the grill to 400° to 500°F. A properly heated grill will help keep the fish from sticking to the grate and falling apart while cooking. Wait for your grill to preheat all the way to your target temperature before loading your salmon.
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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.
How To Grill Salmon Perfectly
- Make grilled salmon marinade. Find the directions and amounts for salmon marinade here.
- Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Place the salmon and marinade into a large zip lock bag or bowl. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- Grill salmon skin side down. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, with the lid closed. Remove salmon from the marinade and place onto grill, skin side down. Close the grill and cook for 6-8 minutes.
TIP: Cook skin side down until salmon is 80% done. Its ready to flip when the salmon color turns lighter pink and doesnt stick when you try to flip it.
- Flip and grill on the other side. Use a fish spatula to carefully flip the salmon. Grill for another few minutes, until cooked to desired level of doneness.
- Rest. Let the salmon rest for 3-5 minutes before serving.
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Should You Marinate The Salmon Simple Is Better
If you want to enjoy salmon for what it is, then keep the recipe simple. The marinade of oil, salt, and pepper is enough to keep your grilled salmon all mouthwateringly delicious. Heavy recipes only overkill the original taste. On the other hand, the simple combo of salt and pepper enhance the real deliciousness of salmon.
Also, use the oil with a higher smoke point for better grilling. Any good quality grapeseed or olive oil can be used for the marinade.
How Do I Know Salmon Is Done
Cooked salmon will always go from a vibrant pink color to more of an opaque color when done.Use an instant-read thermometer is key! If Ive told you once, Ive told you a thousand times. It takes the guess work out of is it done or not. This is the thermometer I use, it has a probe and build in USDA doneness temperatures for every protein, including fish. If you dont have that a simple eye test will work flaking the fish with a fork or the skin will pull away from the flesh as well.
Grilled fish is cooked when it is 145°F, but remember youre food will continue to cook once youve pulled it from the grill or oven. Transfer your salmon from the grill when it reaches 125°-130°F, then let it rest for a few minutes and serve! I love to top mine with a juice of fresh lemon juice to brighten up the fish.
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How Long Does It Take To Grill Salmon
One cant answer the question without mentioning the grill temperature. If you grill salmon at 450°-500° F, six to eight minutes is enough for a one-inch thick piece. Increasing the temperature will reduce the grilling time and vice versa, as the temperature is inversely related to overall cooking time.
So, the best method to ascertain when your salmon is done is to register the internal temperature of the salmon. As per USDA and FDA guidelines, the internal temperature of salmon should be at least 145 °F before you remove the fish from the grill grates.
How Long Does It Take To Smoke Salmon On A Pellet Grill
If you want to smoke salmon instead of grilling it over direct heat, a pellet grill, such as Traegers, is the best option.
To smoke salmon on a pellet grill, prepare salmon based on the recipe youre trying. When youre ready to smoke, preheat your pellet grill for about 15 minutes with its lid closed. For Traegers pellet grills, 180 preheat temperature is ideal.
After this, place salmon skin side down on the grates and smoke for three to four hours or until the internal temperature of salmon registers 140.
What To Season Grilled Salmon With
The awesome thing about this recipe is it is literally just the basics. This salmon is a blank canvas for you to top with whatever your little heart desires. Here are a few of my favorite ways to top it, everything from spice rubs to salsas or sauces.
- Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce
- Fresh Herbs like rosemary, thyme or dill
- Homemade Spice Rubs This post uses them for chicken but Ive definitely used the Lemon Pepper Rub on my salmon before. The other ones are Mediterranean, Buffalo or a Smoky Chipotle. YUM!
How To Tell When Salmon Is Finished Cooking
The eternal question! The greatest of salmon crimes is overcooking. Here are the best tips to tell when your salmon is done.
- You can check for doneness by taking a sharp knife and peeking into the thickest part of your Grilled Salmon in Foil. If it is beginning to flake, but still has a little translucency in the middle, it is done.
- You can also quickly insert a butter knife into the thickest part of the salmon after about 6 minutes of cooking. Then, remove it and check the temperature of the knife by feeling it. If the knife is lukewarm, the salmon needs more time, but if the knife is medium warm, the salmon should be ready to remove .
- If your piece is thinner check several minutes early to ensure your salmon does not overcook. If your piece is very thick , it may need longer.
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What Side Do You Grill Salmon On First
Grill the salmon first skin side down. Whichever variety of salmon you choose, choose a filet or salmon cut with the skin on. The salmon skin provides a layer of safety between the grill grates and the fishs flesh as it cooks.
Keep a lid on it. Maintain a more consistent cooking temperature with the grill lid covering the fish as it cooks, creating the same environment as an oven.
How Long Should Salmon Be Cooked On Each Side
The general rule of thumb is to cook salmon for six to eight minutes at 450-500 degrees F per inch thickness of salmon. If your salmon is one inch thick, you dont need to flip the sides. Just place the fillets on the cooking grates and remember the time mentioned above and the temperature guidelines.
If your salmon is two inches thick, you should flip the sides after six to eight minutes. Place the salmon skin-side down on the cooking grates and grill until golden brown for six to eight minutes. Now flip the salmon using a spatula and cook for another six to eight minutes. If you allow this much time for each side of the fish, it cooks to perfection and detaches easily from the grates.
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How To Cook Simple Charcoal Grilled Salmon
To grill salmon, first rinse the serving-size fillets under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Pull out any obvious bones.
Prepare and measure ingredients to marinate the salmon fillets.
In a small bowl, mix thoroughly all ingredients to marinade the fillets, making sure the brown sugar has all been dissolved.
Add Dijon mustard for extra flavour.
Place the salmon fillets SKIN-SIDE up in a shallow glass or plastic dish.
Pour the marinade over the salmon fillets.
Cover and refrigerate for about 20 to 30 minutes but not more than 1 hour.
Drain the salmon fillets, place on a plate after removing from the refrigerator 20 minutes before grilling to bring to room temperature.
Prepare the charcoal grill for MEDIUM HEAT grilling. Place the charcoal briquettes in the centre of the grill.
Light the charcoal briquettes.
Use a grilling tong to even out the heat. Let the charcoal briquettes burn till they turn into hot coal ashes and glow red.
When charcoal has turned into red coal ashes, carefully put a CLEAN grilling grate over it. Then oiled the HOT grilling grate by dipping onion in cooking oil and brushing the grill grate with it.
Place the drained salmon fillets SKIN-SIDE UP on the grill grate directly above the medium coals to cook over medium heat.
Cover and grill for 6 to 8 minutes or until the fillets begin to FLAKE when tested with a fork.
When the fillets have begin to flake, use a thin-bladed turner to carefully flip the fish over.
- 1/2Tbsp Packed brown sugar
How Long To Grill Salmon In Foil
Wrapping foil around a piece in packet style is the best method to grill a fish. Foil traps the moisture inside, so your salmon comes out juicy and flaky, not dry.
Grilling salmon in foil is also better because of indirect infrared cooking. If you grill salmon on a gas grill without foil, most cooking is done by convection Indirect infrared grilling doesnt release the sealed juice inside the salmon, resulting in a perfect, fishy taste.
Salmon in foil should be grilled over medium heat at around 375 to 400 degrees for a perfect taste. Once you set the burners or charcoal to medium heat, close the lid and let the salmon cook for 14-18 minutes. The estimated cooking time works if your pieces are one inch thick, and if theyre half an inch, reduce the time to half. Similarly, for a two-inch thick piece of salmon, you would have to grill for another 14-18 minutes on the other side of the salmon. You can make adjustments to your grilling time by remembering the one-inch thickness as the yardstick.
Before taking salmon out, always ensure that its internal temperature is at least 137-140 degrees Fahrenheit.
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