How To Grill Salmon Fillet

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How To Perfectly Grill Salmon On The Bbq

How to Grill Salmon Steaks and Fillets | Food Network

If you love having backyard barbeques with friends and family, then a meal of grilled salmon should be on your list. Its healthy, nutritious, versatile, and super easy to make!

In this article, well cover everything you need to know about cooking salmon on your Napoleon grill. From the best salmon cuts for grilling, the most creative ways to season your fish, how to get an accurate salmon cooking temperature, to why you should leave the salmon skin on, and more!

Why Make Grilled Salmon

When it comes to picking a protein, we know you have choices. You can make grilled chicken, grilled steak, grilled pork, etc. But, grilled salmon trumps them all! Heres why:

Quick: this grilled salmon recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes.

Easy Prep: no fancy gadgets or ingredients are needed for this grilled salmon recipe.

Healthy: salmon is high protein and packed with omega-3 fatty acids making it a healthy protein option.

Best Leftovers: leftover salmon is so delicious. Try our yummy salmon patties to mix things up on day 2.

What Flavors Work With Salmon

Just about all flavors work with salmon. Because salmon is high in fat content and a firm fish, it has its own flavor that can hold up to strong flavors like garlic, ginger, hot pepper, and others.

But like all fish, salmon is a little delicate, and also works well with more subtle flavors like fresh herbs and citrus.

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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.

Grill Temperature For Salmon

Simple Grilled 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.

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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 .

Prep The Salmon Fillets

While your grill is preheating, you can prep your fish. It’s important to dry the salmon well on both sides using paper towelsminimizing surface moisture helps speed the searing process and reduces the chances of the salmon sticking to the grill.

To that end, I also like to lightly rub the fillets with a neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil after drying them. It’s just one more bit of insurance against sticking.

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Grilled Salmon Marinade Ingredients

To marinate salmon for grilling, make my easy salmon marinade:

  • Olive oil I chose extra virgin olive oil for flavor, but avocado oil is suitable here too.
  • Lemon juice The acid helps to tenderize the salmon, plus the tang of citrus pairs very well with fish.
  • Maple syrup I use Wholesome Yum Keto Maple Syrup, which is naturally sweetened, sugar-free, and tastes just like real maple syrup. But you can use regular too if that works for you.
  • Fresh herbs I used dill and parsley, as these summer herbs work well on fish. Look for bright, leafy herbs that arent turning yellow. Dark green will have the most flavor. You could use dried herbs in a pinch , but for salmon fresh herbs work best.
  • Garlic Use fresh minced garlic, or jarred to save a few minutes.
  • Sea salt Salt helps the marinade penetrate into the fish.
  • Black pepper

The Recipe: Simple Grilled Salmon Steaks

How to grill a sockeye salmon fillet

What you need: as always a great sea salt, and if cooking indoors you will need a grill pan.

  • 4salmon steaks, about 1″ thick
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2tablespoonsolive oil
  • 1tablespoonbutter
  • lemon wedges for garnish
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season both sides of salmon steaks with generous sea salt and pepper

  • Heat a grill pan on high heat for 90 seconds. Turn heat down to medium, add olive oil and butter, swirl and then add steaks

  • Cook each side for 3-4 minutes until seared and golden. Place in the oven for five minutes. Remove from oven, allow to rest for a few minutes, serve with lemon wedges if desired.

  • Preheat grill to 400 degrees.

  • Brush both sides of salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with desired amount of sea salt and pepper. Place on grill, close lid and cook for 4-5 minutes turn and cook for 4-5 more minutes. Remove from heat and drizzle with melted butter or ghee. Serve!

  • Read Also: How To Cook Beef Ribs On Grill

    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.

    Its also helpful to have a thin, long-handled spatula and a pair of long grill tongs for greasing the grill grates.

    More Easy Salmon Recipes To Try

    • Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

    Prepare the Salmon:

    • Rub each piece of salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with house seasoning, to taste .

    Grill the Salmon:

    • Heat coals, gas grill, or grill pan to medium heat. Place salmon on the grill. Cover and grill over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side . The salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

    Read Also: Charcoal Pellets For Pellet Grill

    What Is The Best Salmon For Grilling

    • The best salmon for grilling are fillets with the skin on one side. The skin protects the fish while cooking and naturally releases fat onto the grate making the fish easier to flip.
    • You can chose between wild-caught varieties, with a stronger salmony taste, and farmed, often labeled Atlantic salmon, which has the mildest taste. Both are healthy. Keep in mind, wild-caught is less fatty and tends to cook more quickly.

    How Do You Make Grilled Salmon

    Lemony Grilled Salmon Fillets with Dill Sauce Recipe

    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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    When Do I Know My Salmon Is Ready To Come Off The Grill

    Your salmon steaks should be pink and somewhat translucent before you attempt to take them off the grill. You can also put a spatula underneath one steak and lift it slightly. Is it holding itself together well? If so, its a sign that its ready to come off. If the fish is still falling apart, then its probably not cooked enough yet.

    Salmon will continue cooking for a few minutes after you pull it from the grill, just like steak does. Youll want to take it off the grill before its completely done to avoid cooking it too much. The final cooked temperature of salmon and other fish, according to the United States Department of Agriculture , is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. So, you should remove the grilled salmon when it reaches about 125-130-degrees. Allow it to rest for another five minutes before rechecking the temperature with a digital meat thermometer to see if it reaches 145 degrees.

    Let The Grilling Begin

    As soon as you feel that the gas grill is ready, adjust the heating to a low-heat setting. To get the best grilled salmon, start placing the marinated fillets with the skin side up. Close the lid of the gas grill for cooking. The cooking time for each side of the fillet is mentioned above. Once you feel that one side of the fillet is cooked perfectly, remove the lid and flip the fillets with a thin spatula. Repeat the same procedure for the skin side.

    If you want to add another layer of taste, rub both sides with olive oil or butter. Also, dont forget to place the salmon pieces at an equal distance so that they cook evenly. If set at the right heating temperature, a one-inch thick piece takes 10 minutes to cook thoroughly.

    The appearance of white beads on the salmons surface and sides indicate that the fish is now overcooking. Remove the fish immediately upon noticing these signs.

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    Is Smoked Salmon Better Than Grilled Salmon

    There are a lot of debates when it comes to smoked salmon vs. grilled salmon. Some people say that smoked salmon is better because the fish is soaked in brine , making it salty and a smoky flavor.

    Others say that grilled salmon is better because the flavor of the char on the grill adds a nice complexity to the taste. In the end, its up to personal preference.

    What Side Do You Grill Salmon On First

    How to Grill Salmon Fillets | Weber Grills

    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.

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    More Ways To Cook Salmon

    Yes, we adore baked or grilled salmon in foil, but there are also many other healthy salmon recipes that dont use foil.

    Have you made a simple grilled salmon fillet before?

    If you try this recipe or have other salmon grilling tips, Id love to hear from you in the comments.

    How To Make The Best Grilled Salmon

    Follow these easy grilling tips for THE BEST, easy grilled salmon recipe thats about to become your new favorite healthy summertime dinner.

    This recipe is brought to you by Weber Grills

    There may not be another summertime recipe that hits our grill more often than this one, and that alone has made my husband the master of his domaine: cooking salmon on the grill.

    My main man GDawg has years of experience perfecting the recipe for grilling a simple, bare-bones salmon. Although to be honest, it isnt as much a recipe as it is method. Either which way, this salmon truly is the best because its easy, fast, healthy and flavorful.

    No matter what skill level of griller you claim to be, my mans tips make it easy to take command of the charcoal and serve up a moist and silky salmon dinner that wont turn chalky and overcooked or leave half your fillet stuck to the grill.

    Heres how he does it.

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    Best Seasoning For Salmon

    Salmon is a rich and slightly oily fish that can take a variety of seasonings and marinades very well. First, be sure to dry the salmon well and season with kosher salt, from there, you can your seasoning or marinade of choice. Here are a few options to season your salmon fillet:

    Here Are A Few Fun Facts To Keep In Mind When You Go To Make It At The Cottage Or At Home:

    Grilled Salmon Fillet

    GO FISH!

    Although we crafted this recipe using salmon, feel free to make it using other favourite firm-fleshed fresh fish say that 5 times fast! We tested the recipe using halibut, sea bass, tuna, swordfish and monkfish. Each and all worked like a charm.

    One thing to note goes to process. Because the fish is cooked skin side down at a high heat, dont worry if the skin sticks to the foil when you go to lift it from the barbecue basket. Simply scoot your spatula under the flesh, leaving the skin behind to be discarded.


    Setting your grill at a high heat will ensure the fish cooks quickly and evenly. I suggest a grill temperature of 500°F. Keep that temperature consistent during the cooking process, so no lid lifting! Just trust us, the 10-minute undisturbed cook time works every time.


    The flavours of the salmon are enhanced by the finishing sauce. Feel free to experiment with different fresh-chopped herbs and enjoy your own unique flavour combinations. Weve used the following with great success: mint, tarragon, thyme, parsley, basil, dill and chives.

    Since first posting this story, weve also learned another tasty trick. Right before serving the BARBECUED SALMON, sprinkle a handful of freshly chopped herbs on top for even more fresh flavour. It is this main courses wow moment.

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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.

    Sauce And Other Ingredients That Pair Well With Grilled Salmon

    When it comes to a sauce for salmon, light and buttery is usually best. While a rich, creamy sauce can overwhelm your dish, a buttery, thin sauce can elevate it just enough for delicious flavor without outshining the salmon.

    Think unsalted butter mixed with a little minced garlic or a sweet brown sugar and honey sauce drizzled over your salmon steaks. Honey mustard drizzle, lemon butter sauce, or a spicy lime chipotle sauce are perfect choices for grilled salmon steak.

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    Salmon Steak Recipe: How To Make The Perfect Grilled Salmon Steak

    Not sure how to grill salmon steaks without ruining them? Dont worry were going to walk you through the process of making salmon on the grill from start to finish. Its not as complicated as you might think, but knowing the best techniques will help you get that perfect grilled salmon look and flavor.

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