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.
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
How To Grill Perfect Salmon: Two Simple Methods
Method 1: directly on your grill
The traditional way to grill salmon is just like you would with any of your favorite proteins. Youll add the filets directly to your grill, cook them, then flip and cook them again:
Step 1: marinate your salmon. Pour or generously brush your favorite marinade over the salmon. You can also marinate it in the fridge in a bowl or shallow dish for a few hours before cooking.
Step 2: prep your grill. Preheat a gas grill over medium-high heat, around 375 to 400 degrees F. Use a grill brush to scrape off anything left over from previous cooking. Brush the grill with oil to prevent sticking.
Step 3: place your salmon. Youll start by grilling your salmon skin-side up for about 6-8 minutes. This helps to seal in all of the flavors and makes it easier to flip. No peeking under the lid while its cooking!
Step 4: flip & finish. Flip the salmon with a fish spatula and cook for another 6-8 minutes until the salmon is just cooked through and flakes easily. Feel free to brush with more of the marinade here, too. Its best to slightly undercook rather than overcook your salmon filets. Salmon is done typically when it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
Step 5: let it rest. Once youve removed your salmon from the grill be sure to let it rest for a couple of minutes to seal in the flavor and juices. The salmon will also cook more as you let it rest, so its okay if you removed it a little bit early.
Method 2: grill salmon in foil packs
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Grill Temperature For Salmon
From 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit is the right temperature to grill salmon for most recipes. Set your Traeger Grill to 350 degrees and allow it to warm up for 15 minutes with the lid closed, as in our grilled blackened Saskatchewan salmon recipe.
If you cook salmon at a temperature that is too low, youll lengthen cooking times and cause your salmon to dry out.
Helpful Tips For Grilling Salmon Fillets
Weve talked about how to grill salmon steaks, but we also want to give you some pointers to help you make the perfect grilled salmon steak every time:
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How To Find The Best Fresh Salmon Steaks For Grilling
First, lets define what steak is when it comes to fish. Many types of fish get cut into steaks, which is somewhat like a fish cutlet. Youll also hear them referred to as a filet, but filets are different from steaks. While salmon filets are usually boneless and thin, a salmon steak has more meat and can be either boneless or bone-in. In short, a fish steak will often be a thicker cut of fish, making the salmon steak an excellent choice for grilling without getting dry.
You can grill farm-raised or wild-caught salmon either one tastes delicious on the grill, but you might find wild-caught salmon more flavorful. If youre going for the lowest fat content, choose wild-caught salmon, which tends to be lower in fat. This is also good news for the hot grill, which can flare up when fat hits the flames and cause your smoky flavor to turn to a burnt taste.
If youre browsing the grocery store or butcher for your fish, here are a few tips to find the best salmon cuts:
Cooking Salmon On A Gas Grill
To grill a tasty salmon, you need to purchase firm, fresh fillets. In addition to being firm and crisp, ensure that the salmon is light pink in color and has smooth cuts to it.
Avoid buying fillets that have a fishy smell and steaks that indicate old cuts. To ensure that the fillets dont stick to the grill when barbecuing, dont forget to ask the fishmonger for skin-on fillets. Once you have made the purchase, sprinkle kosher salt on the salmon as an added protective layer doing this will ensure that the fillet does not stick or break apart while cooking.
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Tips For How To Grill Salmon: The Easy Way
Some people swear by cooking grilled salmon in foil. But we think the very best way is right on the grill grates. This way, you get all that smoky flavor and a crispy exterior. Here are our tips for how to grill salmon:
- Brine the salmon first! Brining is simply placing the salmon in a salt water solution while the grill preheats. It makes for perfectly moist salmon, and also helps the salmon come to room temperature which makes it cook more evenly. You can also marinate the salmon as an alternate option: go to .
- The temperature for grilled salmon? Medium high heat, or 375 to 450 degrees. Medium high heat makes for a perfectly cooked piece of salmon. While you can cook at high heat and then finish at lower heat, we like the ease of grilling at one temperature.
- How long to cook grilled salmon? 3 to 5 minutes skin side up until grill marks form and it releases from the grates, then 2 to 5 minutes skin side down, depending on the thickness! The best way to measure whether its done is using an internal thermometer. Stick it in the thickest part of the fish and it should read 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
How To Tell When Salmon Is Finished Cooking
The eternal question! The greatest of salmon crimes is overcooking.
- As this Salmon Temperature Guide outlines, the best way to tell if salmon is done is to use an instant read thermometer like this one. Remove the salmon at 135 degrees F, then let it rest.
- The FDA recommends cooking salmon to 145 degrees F, but its temperature will continue to rise as it rests.
- If you dont have a meat thermometer, you can check for doneness by taking a sharp knife and peeking into the thickest part of your salmon. If it is beginning to flake, but still has a little translucency in the middle, it is done.
- 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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Ways To Season Grilled Asparagus
- Grilled Asparagus with Garlic. Toss the asparagus with 3 cloves of minced garlic prior to grilling.
- Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top of your grilled asparagus.
- Grilled Asparagus with Lemon. Juice half a lemon over the top of your grilled asparagus.
- Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar over your grilled asparagus.
- Grilled Asparagus with Bacon. Sprinkle bacon bits over the top . Be sure to check out this Bacon Wrapped Asparagus too.
- Grilled Asparagus with Herbs. Finish your grilled asparagus with a handful of chopped parsley or basil.
- Spicy Grilled Asparagus. Sprinkle the grilled asparagus with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Dressy Grilled Asparagus. Combine minced shallot, lemon juice, and oil. Spoon over the grilled asparagus.
- Nutty Grilled Asparagus. Sprinkle your grilled asparagus with toasted almonds or pine nuts.
- Choose Your Own. Try a combination of a few of these! Lemon, Parmesan, basil, and pine nuts is one of our favorites.
Dishes To Serve With Salmon
Salmon is great on its own, but that doesnt mean you cant complement it with a great sauce or side dish. Try making a tangy dill sauce to serve over the salmon, or top it with an easy flavored butter. For a bolder option, look to this chorizo-olive sauce.
As far as side dishes go, you cant go wrong with grilled vegetables. Try whipping up some foil-pack vegetables, or make your favorite potato salad recipe. For something a little different, try serving salmon with Mediterranean lentils or quinoa with peas and onions.
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Can You Grill Salmon Indoors
If you dont have a grill, you can still cook a grill-like salmon indoors. Cook the salmon in a preheated cast-iron skillet to get a similar sear to what youll find on the grill. Or take advantage of your broiler. Its essentially a reverse grill, where the heating element is on top of the food instead of the bottom. After preheating the broiler to high, position the salmon four inches below the element. Then, cook it according to the recipe above, flipping it halfway through.
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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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 To Grill Salmon On A Charcoal Grill
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Grilled food and summertime feasts go hand in hand. From juicy red meat to healthy seafood and veggie bites, you never go short of food options when its about grilling. If we particularly talk about seafood grilling, then salmon is probably the most agreed upon fish to grill. Besides its unfailing taste and easy cooking, it is one of the healthiest seafood options.
While fulfilling your daily dietary protein requirements, salmon also offers a great value of omega 3 fatty acids to make sure your grilling consumptions remain free of cholesterol overdoses. Cooking experts agree that grilling salmon is more about the method than recipes. In other words, its the selection of salmon cut, grilling details and post-grilled seasoning that matter more.
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Which Side Of Salmon Do You Cook First
When cooking salmon we recommend you place the fillet skin side down into the pan or onto the grill. The BBQ is no exception. Cooking the skin side first helps to ensure that the salmon cooks gently, and doesnât overcook.The skin side of the salmon will take longer to cook than the ânakedâ side. This is because the heat takes longer to penetrate the skin. The skin side is also more forgiving if the temperature of the grill temperature is too high or low. It will protect the fish from burning if the grill is too hot and less likely to stick if the temperature is too low. So cooking the skin side first will allow you time to adjust the temperature of the BBQ.
Cooking the skin side first will allow you to cook the skin to your preferred crispness. For a lovely crispy skin start by patting the skin dry and then rub with oil salt.
Elisa Roche, GoodtoKnow Food Director, points out that âPeople often wrongly assume that salmon without the skin is healthier. However, the skin is useful in keeping the salmon firm and together when cooking.â
How To Prevent Salmon From Sticking To The Grill
There are a few things you can do to prevent the salmon from sticking:
- Preheat the grill well. A hot grill will create a sear on the salmon flesh so that you can flip it without tearing.
- Keep your grill clean. Always scrape down and keep your grill clean so that what your cooking doesnt stick to burnt on food.
- Oil the salmon well. Just like if youre cooking salmon in a pan, youll want to put plenty of the oil on the salmon.
- Cook skin side down first. Its easier to flip the skin side of the salmon and get the spatula in between.
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Try Grilling Salmon With A Charcoal Grill
After buying the right salmon for grilling, its time to prepare your charcoal grill for the task. Although gas grills have become more common in the last couple of years for their ease of use, you cant get the authentic smoky grilling flavor from it. Only a charcoal grill can give you the desired results to get distinctive smoke characteristic in the grilled food.
If you are looking to buy a quality charcoal grill, then you can certainly get confused in the market brimming with options. We have reviewed some of the best budget charcoal grills in this section to ease out this buying process.
How To Prepare Salmon For The Grill
Salmon is typically sold ready to cook, but if you bought the fish from a fresh market or ordered it through some of the online suppliers, your salmon may come with skin and pin bones.
The pin bones can be found by running your fingers along the surface of the fish. Youll feel tiny little bones sticking up that you can pull out using a pair of pliers or a special pin-bone puller found at a specialty kitchen store.
Your salmon may have skin on it, which youll want to leave on if you’re going to grill. The skin makes it easier to hold the fish together, and it adds some moisture to it as well. If your salmon didn’t come with skin, you can remove it, but you’ll need to cook it with extra reinforcement in the next steps.
Do not rinse salmon. As the USDA cautions, washing raw fish could lead to cross-contamination across your kitchen appliances and surfaces, spreading bacteria. You can pat it dry with a paper towel.
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Setting Up Your Grill For Success
Before youre ready to start grilling, you should know how to prepare your grill to cook the very best salmon it can. You can use either a charcoal or gas grill, but its challenging to replicate the smoky flavor you get when you grill salmon on a charcoal grill. Still, its your choice.
Before starting, read this article on the most common grilling mistakes to avoid.
Whatever grill you choose, youll want to prep the grill by making sure the grates are cleaned well from your last grilling adventure. Then, add some olive oil to the grates to prevent sticking. You can even salt and pepper them for seasoning if youd like. Then, fire up the grill and allow it to reach at least 450 degrees for a couple of minutes before putting your salmon on the grates.
Some people choose to cook salmon on a wood plank to both get extra flavor infused into the fish and keep it up off the grates to avoid sticking. This isnt necessary, especially if you season the fish well before cooking and oil your grates and salmon. However, if you have an old grill with worn-down grates that have become nearly impossible to keep clean, it might be best to try a cedar plank salmon or a salmon in foil recipe, both of which well talk more about below.