How to Grill Salmon (Best Grilled Salmon)

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Get perfectly grilled salmon every single time with this easy and fool-proof step-by-step tutorial on How to Grill Salmon!

This grilled salmon recipe comes out so tender and flakey. It’s a quick and healthy protein to make on the grill.

This is grilled salmon on a plate with broccoli and rice.

Grilled Salmon = Easy Grilling!

When it comes to grilling, salmon is one of the quickest and easiest (and most delicious!) proteins to grill as long as you follow a few simple steps.

Our grilled salmon recipe is made flavored with the basics (salt and pepper) so that you can serve your salmon in many different ways. Try eating it next to your favorite grilled veggies, in a rice bowl, or in a breakfast scramble!

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! Here’s 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.

Raw salmon on a plate being seasoned with salt and pepper and brushed with olive oil

How to Grill Salmon

We’ll walk you through how to grill salmon, so you can grill ’em up with confidence and pair with your favorite grilled sides (ahem, we’ve got some recommendations below) tonight!

Preheat and Prep

Preheat a gas grill or charcoal grill to 450°F – 475°F. High heat is crucial to getting that perfect sear on your salmon without overcooking it!

Then, pat the salmon filets with a paper towel to remove moisture. Once your salmon has been patted dry, use a brush to brush olive oil onto all sides of each salmon fillet (yes, even the skin side!).

Finally, generously season salmon fillets with salt and pepper.

salmon marinade

Grill that Salmon

Once your grill has fully preheated, place salmon fillets directly on the grill, skin-side down, and close the grill. Grill your filets skin-side down for 6 minutes (yes, only 6 minutes!).

Then, flip the fillets and grill for an additional 2 minutes skin side up. This will give your salmon those perfectly seared grill marks. 

Do you have to flip salmon on the grill? If you are grilling salmon directly on the grates, we suggest starting skin-side down and flipping after 6 minutes to sear the flesh for a few minutes to get gorgeous grill marks.

how long to grill salmon

Grill salmon at 450ºF for 8 total minutes starting with 6 minute skin-side down. Flip and grill for an additional 2 minutes.

salmon fillet on a gas grill

Check the Temp

Salmon needs to cook to an internal temperature of 140°F – 145ºF before removing it from the grill.

If your salmon needs additional time to reach an internal temperature of 140°F (which is common if your fillets are especially thick!), flip back to skin-side down and grill for an additional 1 minute at a time.

meat thermometer

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Let it Rest

Remove the salmon from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes. This will allow the internal temperature of your salmon to increase by 5ºF to 145°F.

Do I have to let me salmon rest?

We always recommend letting meat and fish rest after grilling. We do this especially so that the internal temperature can continue to rise to a safe eating temp.

How do I know my salmon is done?

The best way to tell if your salmon is done or not is to measure the temperature. It should read at least 145ºF. Your salmon should turn from a bright pink to a soft, light pink. It should be flakey and firm to touch. Check the flakey-ness of the salmon by gently pulling at the salmon with a fork.

Serve and Enjoy!

Remove the skin by peeling it back away from the fillet. The skin should peel off easily on cooked salmon. Then serve with your favorite grilling sides. We recommend any of the following 😀

grilled salmon on a plate with broccoli and rice

Tips

Be sure your grill grates are clean. One thing you can do to make sure the salmon doesn’t stick to the grill is make sure your grill grates are clean. Clean the grates with a metal grill cleaner and you’ll be all set

Make sure you have your grill tools ready to go. We recommend having a grill spatula and a grill tongs at the ready for when you have to flip the salmon.

Don’t put your salmon on the grill cold. If you put cold salmon on a hot grill there is bound to be some salmon that sticks to the grill. Let your salmon sit out for a bit before grilling it.

Grilled Salmon FAQ

How do you keep salmon moist when grilling?

The best way to make grilled salmon is at a higher heat. This will cook it quickly, which helps prevent it from drying out. We suggest heating your grill to 450ºF to 475ºF.

What is an easy salmon marinade I can make to give salmon flavor?

This salmon marinade is a great option for a marinade.

Otherwise, a go-to easy and flavorful marinade for salmon is 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, a few minced cloves of garlic and 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar. Mix the marinade together and pour it over the flesh side of the salmon. Let the salmon marinate for a few hours before grilling.

What to Serve with Salmon

While you’re grilling up your salmon, consider making any of the following side dishes that pair perfectly with salmon!

Vegetables

Grains

Drinks

grilled salmon on plate

How to Grill Salmon (BEST Grilled Salmon Recipe)

Get perfect, flakey grilled salmon every single time with this easy and fool-proof step-by-step tutorial on how to grill salmon!

Prep: 10 minutesCook: 8 minutesTotal: 18 minutes

Fat 21

Carbs 0

Protein 43

Yield 2 servings 1x


Ingredients

  • 2 6-oz. skin-on salmon fillets
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • optional: lemon juice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat gas or charcoal grill to 450°F – 475°F.
  2. Remove moisture from salmon fillets by patting with a paper towel. Then, use a brush to brush olive oil onto all sides of each salmon fillet.
  3. Generously season salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
  4. Once your grill has fully preheated, place salmon fillets directly on the grill, skin side down, and close the grill.
  5. Grill skin-side down for 6 minutes.
  6. Then, flip the fillets and grill for an additional 2 minutes skin-side up. Ensure the salmon is cooked to an internal temperature of 140°F before removing from the grill. If salmon needs additional time to reach an internal temperature of 140°F, flip back to skin side down and grill for an additional 1 minute at a time.
  7. Remove salmon from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes (internal temperature will continue to increase to 145°F even after being removed from heat).
  8. Remove skin and serve with optional fresh lemon juice.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/2
Calories: 366
Sugar: 0
Sodium: 95
Fat: 21
Carbohydrates: 0
Fiber: 0
Protein: 43
Cholesterol: 98

Author: Lee FunkeCategory: SeafoodMethod: GrillCuisine: AmericanDiet: Gluten Free

Keywords: how to grill salmon, grilled salmon, grilled salmon recipe

Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.





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