How To Grill Salmon: Perfect Grilled Salmon Recipe
Learn how to grill salmon perfectly with this easy grilled salmon recipe! Get all the best tips and tricks for buttery, flaky salmon fillets that won’t stick.
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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!
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.
Honey Soy Grilled Salmon With Edamame
The natural richness of salmon and it’s high amount of Omega-3’s makes it a great choice for a healthy meal that doesn’t need much added fat. By stuffing a mixture of fresh herbs into the fillets, through a pocket, the fish is infused with bright flavors. A light glaze during the cooking process is the final touch.
Get the Recipe: Honey Soy Grilled Salmon with Edamame
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Add Butter Garlic And Seasonings
- For grilled salmon, Ive been loving the flavor of melted butter. Two tablespoons are all you need for a full 1 ½ pounds of fish. Worth it!
- If you prefer not to use butter or need the grilled salmon in foil dairy free, you can use olive oil or another cooking oil of choice.
- For seasonings, I like minced fresh garlic, along with plenty of kosher salt and black pepper.
- Be generous with the salt and pepper! The more fish you have, the more you need.
- Place more herbs and citrus on top.
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.
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Types Of Salmon To Choose From
- Wild or farmed? You can choose wild or farmed, its up to you. Farm-raised salmon tends to be milder in flavor and more fatty/buttery in texture, while on the other hand wild salmon can be a little more spendy, but is leaner, pinker, and higher in minerals such as zinc and iron. Both are delicious!
- Skin on or off? Choose a salmon with the skin still on it. This will help keep the salmon extra flavorful, plus its easier to grill.
- Different varieties of salmon. The most common types of salmon youll find at the grocery store are King/Chinook, which is large with a high fat content, Sockeye, which is more red/orange in color, Coho/Silver salmon, which has bright red flesh, and Atlantic Salmon, which is always farmed.
What To Serve With Grilled Salmon In Foil
- Grilled Portobello Mushrooms. Grilled mushrooms are a delicious, easy side dish that offers a meaty flavor. Try my Grilled Portobello Mushrooms recipe.
- Grilled Sweet Potato Fries. Serve your Grilled Salmon in Foil with these Grilled Sweet Potato Fries for a fun and easy summer dinner!
- Grilled Asparagus. Most often, we do Grilled Salmon in Foil with asparagus. You can cook it right alongside the salmon. See this Grilled Asparagus for a recipe.
- Broccoli. Grilled Broccoli and Roasted Broccoli are stellar ways to make it.
- Carbohydrates. Serve your Grilled Salmon in Foil on top of a bed of rice like Lemon Rice, alongside Healthy Potato Salad or Grilled Potatoes, or with Grilled Corn.
- Roasted Vegetables. Roast a hearty side dish of vegetables in the oven to serve with your Grilled Salmon in Foil. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Roasted Zucchini would all pair nicely. Or a a mix of Oven Roasted Vegetables.
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Make Sure Salmon Is Coated With Oil
It may be intuitive to coat your grill grates with oil, but its actually not necessary and much more effective to have your fish covered in oil instead.
The salmon marinade I use has plenty of oil and is perfect for this purpose, but if youre not marinating, be sure to coat your fish generously in oil before grilling.
Our Fav Salmon Marinades & Seasonings
The key to flavorful grilled salmon is of course adding a delicious marinade or seasoning. Our fav and seasonings have three necessary components:
Ready to try one? Here are the best marinades for salmon:
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The Only Grilled Salmon Recipe Youll Ever Need
The only grilled salmon recipe youll ever need! Crispy and tender perfectly cooked grilled salmon with a grilled zucchini and tomato salsa.
Okay, okay, so maybe this isnt the oooooonly grilled salmon recipe youll ever need, but its a pretty great go-to.
Because Im savagely into salmon in general and grilled salmon in particular, I figured I would devote this entire post to providing resources for achieving the ultimate grilled salmon.
Im giving you my go-to recipe that works each and every time, bombarding you with grilling tips and tricks, and also providing suggestions for how you can spruce up your grilled salmon so that it never ever becomes a snooze fest.
Way I see it, grilling should be easy peasy, and always produce succulently delicious results. Having a good quality cut of meat or fish fillet is essential to winning at the BBQ thing. Really what youre going for is choosing animal protein that speaks for itself and really only requires a dash of salt and pepper, and/or minimal spices for flavor.
Lets dive right in..
How To Make The Best Grilled Salmon Recipe
This is by far the best grilled salmon youll ever make. Make the best marinate that complements with the salmon letting the flavors blend together!
5 minutes 10 minutes 25 minutes
- 1½tspgarlic, minced
- cupolive oil,plus more for brushing grill
- 1tbspparsley,minced, optional for looks
Lay salmon skin side down on a cutting board.
Cut salmon crosswise into 6 equal portions.
Transfer to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish skin side down.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, mustard, garlic and olive oil until mixture is emulsified .
Set aside about 2 tablespoons of the marinade mixture then spoon and spread remaining mixture over salmon.
Let rest at room temperature 10 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat grill over medium-high heat to about 400 degrees F.
Clean grill grates and brush with oil.
Place salmon on grill skin side down and cook about 4 minutes, then carefully flip.
Continue to cook another 4 minutes or to desired doneness.
Remove skin from salmon then plate and brush remaining 2 tbsp marinade mixture over salmon.
Serve warm garnished with parsley if desired.
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What To Serve With Grilled Salmon
Do you have a favorite grilling recipe, or a tip youd like to add? Leave a comment in the section and share below.
This post is sponsored by Weber Grills. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. There are affiliate links in this post of which I receive a small commission. All opinions are always my own.
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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!
Another Method: Grilled Salmon In Foil
Another great way to prevent sticking to the grill? Make Grill Salmon in Foil! Here are the pros and cons to this method:
- Grilled salmon in foil eliminates the need to flip the fish on the grill.
- The tradeoffs? The top doesnt get crispy like in this method, and the fish doesnt pick up as much of the charred grill flavor. If it seems worth it to you, head to our Grilled Salmon in Foil recipe.
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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Fall In Love With Grilled Salmon
Salmon is one of our favorite proteins to grill all summer long because its:
- Fast & easy. Youll have flavorful grilled salmon in under 30 minutes with just a few super simple steps. Dinner win!
- Delicious. There are so many different ways to season and flavor salmon that youre guaranteed to never get bored. Have fun experimenting!
- Packed with nutrition. We love having salmon for lunches and dinners and get excited that Sidney loves it, too, because its packed with lean protein, healthy fats and omega-3s. Amazing for growing kiddos and adults!
Make The Grill Hot For Grilled Salmon
Preheat the grill. Once the coals are in place, top with the lid to preheat the grill grates, similar to preheating an oven. This takes about 10 minutes.
How long will charcoal briquettes last? Plan on a batch of 80 to 100 briquettes to last about an hour, adding more briquettes as needed to increase the heat as you cook.
MY HUSBANDS TIP: Carefully place your hand 3-4 inches above the grill grates. When you can hold your hand in place for one-one thousand counts, the grill is the right temperature to start grilling. Be very careful, you never want to touch a grate to see if its hot! Or, be like me and just look at the temperature gauge on the lid, looking for it to read 450°F.
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Safe Internal Temperature For Salmon
According to the USDA, fish and shellfish should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F . However, the internal temperature will continue to rise after cooking, so if you prefer, you can cook your salmon to 130 degrees F and allow it to rest for several minutes. The best way to check the internal temperature is to use a meat thermometer.
How Long To Cook Salmon
Salmon is not only a great source of protein, it’s also super quick and easy to cook. Even thicker fillets cook quickly, making it a great option for busy weeknights. Wondering how long to cook salmon? Here we’ll break down cooking times and temperatures for cooking salmon in the oven, on the grill, in the air fryer, and more.
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Why This Grilled Salmon Recipe Works
- This method for grilled salmon yields tender, flaky, juicy salmon every single time!
- It uses just a handful of pantry basics for a simple, flavorful seasoning!
- Skip the hours of marinating time! All you need for this grilled salmon recipe is the time it takes for the grill to pre-heat!
- This grilled salmon is the ultimate blank canvasperfect for serving with all your favorite dishes or adapting to personal taste with other herbs, seasonings, and marinades!
- You can have this fish from your kitchen, then grill, to the table in under 30 minutes, with under 15 minutes grill time!
- You can swap the outdoor grill for a non-stick grill pan during the winter months and enjoy this flakey salmon year-round! .
Best Grilled Salmon Recipes
All of these easy salmon recipes will show you the best ways to cook salmon on the grill and inspire you to plan the ultimate summer menu at home. A few of my personal favorites are: Baked Salmon Foil Packets, Grilled Salmon with Dill Butter, Grilled Chipotle Orange Salmon, Mexican Grilled Salmon Salad and more.
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How To Grill Salmon:
Most of the time when I barbecue, I do the lazy thing and dont even brush the grill with a wire brush before plunking down the food. Id avoid taking that approach when you go to grill fish. Take a wire grill brush and get all the leftover food particles from your last grilling experience off.
- Brush or spray the grill generously with olive oil .
- Preheat your grill to a medium-high setting and be sure the grill is all the way hot before placing the fillet on the grill
- Place the fish skin-side down on the grill, just over the flame. Cook for 3 to 6 minutes with the cover down without touching the fish. Use a spatula to carefully flip the salmon and cook an additional 2 to 4 minutes, or until the fish reaches desired done-ness. For a 1-inch salmon fillet that is rare on the inside, cook for a total of 6 to 8 minutes. For a 1-inch salmon fillet that is perfectly cooked all the way through, cook for a total of 8 to 10 minutes. For salmon that is thicker than 1-inch, youll likely need to adjust the grill time to be closer to 10 to 12 minutes total. Only leave the fish raw on the inside if its sushi-grade and can safely be eaten raw.
More Ways To Season Grilled Salmon
In addition to the dill and lemon grilled salmon below, here are more tasty suggestions to keep the recipe feeling fresh:
- Grill Salmon in Foil with Capers. For a bright, slightly Italian spin, use a few sprigs of thyme in place of the dill and reduce the salt to ½ teaspoon. Sprinkle the finished fish with 1 to 2 tablespoons of drained capers.
- Grilled Salmon in Foil with Lime. Use lime for the lemon and cilantro in place of dill. Enjoy alongside a Skinny Margarita.
- Grilled BBQ Salmon in Foil. Instead of the melted butter and garlic, brush 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce on the salmon before grilling. Top with lemon slices as directed.
- Grilled Salmon in Foil with Soy Sauce. For an Asian spin on your Grilled Salmon in Foil, swap out the melted butter for 1/4 cup of soy sauce. Drizzle the soy sauce over the salmon and top with garlic as directed before placing on the grill. Because of the high sodium content in soy sauce, you can also omit or reduce the added salt. This version would be delicious served with Asian Noodle Salad.
- Grilled Salmon in Foil with Brown Sugar. A sweet twist on this Grilled Salmon in Foil! Stir 1/4 cup brown sugar into 1/4 cup melted butter, and brush evenly over the salmon. Top with the garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon as directed.
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