How To Grill Salmon? – Simple And Perfect Every Time

Are you in search of grill salmon recipes to spoil your loved ones with nutritious and delicious meals? If so, you are at the right place. We will walk you from A to Z through how to grill salmon before whetting your appetite with the most scrumptious recipes. 

how to grill salmon featured
Table of Contents

    How To Grill Salmon To Get A Healthy And Flavorful Doneness? 

    Your grilled salmon has been stuck to the grates and broken apart all the time, making you feel frustrated. The instructions below provide you with effortless steps that will end your mess.

    How To Prepare? 

    Preparation is the basic premise for all success. It will help if you choose the best salmon and select all essential ingredients for mixing marinade.

    Step 1: Choose The Best Salmon

    The quality of the salmon greatly influences the taste of the dish. So, to enjoy the best-grilled salmon, you want to buy high-quality salmon first.

    It’s highly advisable to get the whole anise or the thickest part of the fish fillet. Besides, you want to buy clean and moist fillets instead of those with a strong flavor.

    high quality salmon
    The Best Salmon Should Be Clear And Bright In Color

    There are various salmon: King salmon, Sockeye salmon, Coho salmon, and Pink salmon. You can cook all kinds, yet, the nutritional value of each type of salmon will be different.

    King salmon contains the greatest levels of Omega-3 and oil of all fish. It’s usually the most costly salmon on the market.

    Salmon sold in the supermarket usually has its skin on to keep its freshness and moisture. The reason is that the skin layer helps to keep the salmon together, preventing it from breaking apart or falling through the grates during the cooking process.

    The best size of each salmon fillet will be about 6 oz. Before cooking, double-check whether your fillets have pin bones left or not. If any, remove all of them.

    Remove All Pin Bones From The Flesh
    Remove All Pin Bones From The Flesh

    Step 2: Mix The Marinade With All-Natural Ingredients

    We recommend these must-have ingredients to make a perfect marinade.

    • Avocado oil or olive-extracted oil to brush the salmon. It is not only about the taste but also to prevent salmon from sticking to the grates.
    • Lemon juice: The acid in the lemon juice tenderizes the salmon.
    • Maple syrup: It’s sweet and sugar-free, adding sweetness to your dishes.
    • Fresh herbs: It’s best to look for fresh herbs that are green and leafy like parsley and dill.
    • Garlic: It’s most often used as a flavoring agent. You can make use of fresh minced garlic or jarred garlic to save time.
    • Sea salt: Salt promotes the penetrability of the marinade into the flesh of fish.
    • Black pepper: It’s common to spice meat and fish with this ingredient.

    Following these steps to create the mouth-watering marinade for your grill salmon recipe

    • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
    • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice 
    • 4-5 crushed cloves of fresh garlic or garlic powder
    • 2-4 tablespoons of brown sugar marinade
    • Pepper flakes or chili pepper
    • A little blend of herbs 
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt and House seasoning or Italian seasoning

    Mix these ingredients and stir them in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved. You can add your favorite seasonings if you want. 

    Boil The Blend For Increasing Permeability Of The Marinade
    Boil The Blend For Increasing Permeability Of The Marinade

    Step 3: Marinate Your Fillets

    When you complete the mixture, you need to marinate salmon in a large casserole dish or bowl. Wait for 30 minutes to absorb.  

    A tip is to dry your salmon with paper towels before seasoning. This action removes excess water from the fillet, allowing it to absorb more of the sauce.

    Bear in mind that the flesh will get mushy if you marinate it too long. The ideal duration is 30 minutes, not over one hour. Remember to take the fillets out from the marinade before grilling.

    Marinate Salmon In A Large Casserole Dish
    Marinate Salmon In A Large Casserole Dish

    Step 4: Set Up The Grill

    Set the grill for direct cooking over high heat. The ideal temperature to start your grilling must be from 375°F to 400°F. Moreover, make sure the cooking grates are clean and close the lid to heat.

    If you prefer eating grilled salmon in foil, you will need to prepare some. After that, get your salmon fillets in a piece of foil big enough to make an enclosed packet. 

    Remember to brush some vegetable oil on the sheet of foil before packing. Put some slices of lemon on the fillets and wrap it up.

    Preheat The Grill
    Preheat The Grill Up To 375°F

    How To Grill Salmon in foil? (Or Direct)

    Grilled properly will help you get a delicious and beautiful plate of grilled salmon. In this part, we would like to provide you with a grilled salmon tutorial. 

    You may consider grilling outdoors to avoid the fishy lingering smell in your house. There are two methods to grill salmon: 

    • Foil pack method
    • Direct grilling method

    So how long to grill salmon in foil? After you complete the mentioned preparation stage, follow the step-by-step instructions below. 

    Step 1: Place Salmon On The Grill

    Without Foil:

    Place the fillets with the skin side up over medium heat and cover tightly. Grill for about 6-8 minutes until the fish turns light and the flesh is firm. At that point, you can easily flip it without fear of sticking.

    Another popular way to grill salmon is to place the flesh side up first. It takes 5-7 minutes to get the crispy skin. It’s time to turn the heat down and very carefully flip the fillet to let it finish cooking for just a few seconds on the other side. 

    By cooking the salmon with the skin side down for most of the time, the direct heat is focused on the more insulated side of the fillet. That’s how the flesh will remain moist and be tender.  

    Grill Salmon Over Medium Heat
    Grill Salmon Over Medium Heat

    With Foil:

    Put your wrapped salmon foil packages on the grill and cover the lid. If you wonder how long to grill salmon in foil, the answer is from 10 to 12 minutes. That’s all you need to achieve a delicious grilled salmon dish.

    wrapped salmon
    Wrap Salmon In Foil And Place The Package On The Grill

    Step 2: Flip The Fillets

    Turn the other side over with metal tongs or angled fish spatula and wait for 1-3 minutes or until desired doneness. Remember not to overcook because the fillet will lose its juiciness. 

    Flip The Grilled Salmon With A Spatula
    Flip The Grilled Salmon With A Spatula

    Step 3: Plate The Grilled Salmon

    It’s time to remove your fillets from the grill when the internal heat reaches a temperature ranging from 125°F to 145°F. Let the end-product rest on a grill for 1-2 minutes before serving. 

    Remove the skin of the salmon fillet and serve with lemon and tartar sauce or dill cucumber sauce.

    Place The End-product On A Plate
    Place The End-product On A Plate

    How To Garnish grilled salmon?

    It is a smart choice if you serve grilled salmon with a white plate. The white background will make the fillet stand out. 

    Furthermore, you can serve grilled salmon with lemon slices, parsley, and asparagus. They are fresh and easy to find.

    If you want a healthy salmon dish, you can try to combine it with these ingredients: 

    • Vegetables, such as sauteed asparagus or roasted broccoli.
    • Various kinds of salad recipes like creamy cucumber salad, Greek salad, or pasta salad. 
    • Rice or potatoes.

    All in all, every family member will find something that suits their palate.

    Mistakes You May Have When Grilling Salmon At Home 

    It’s not uncommon to make mistakes when you grill salmon for the first time. But you can always consult the 5 typical mistakes shared below to minimize the chance of messing up.

    Mistake 1: Marinate Frozen Salmon

    Freezing water molecules prevent the marinade from penetrating all parts of the fillets. Therefore, frozen seasoning fish can lead to inconsistency in taste after cooking.

    It’s best to marinate the fish after it thaws completely. How you defrost significantly affects the taste of grilled salmon.

    We do not recommend unfreezing fish at room temperature or in hot water as that way will allow bacteria to multiply. The best tip is to place the fish in a zip-lock bag and seal it before submerging the whole bag in cold water for the slow thaw.

    frozen salmon
    Do Not Marinate Frozen Salmon

    Mistake 2: Not Removing Pin Bones From A Salmon Fillet

    Many people believe that the salmon fillets at the supermarket are free of pin bones. It’s a common misconception. If you don’t ask the seller to remove the bones, you will have to do that yourself at home.

    This task is quite simple to perform with a pair of tweezers or needlenose and a little skill. You need to use those tools to grasp the end of the bone.

    Gently wiggle the pin bone until you feel you can pull it out freely, then gently and slowly remove the bone. Repeat that process until you are sure there are no pin bones left on the fillets.

    Mistake 3: Start Grilling Salmon Too Soon

    You can’t have a delicate fish if you don’t choose the temperature perfectly. It’s best to grill the salmon on a hot grill set at 375-400 °F. A blazing hot grill is the number one technique to assure success when grilling fish.

    Grillers are equipped with a thermometer that allows you to see the grill’s temperature, helping you determine the right time to start grilling. If you do not have such a product at home, you can use a kitchen thermometer instead.

    Salmon Temperatures From Raw To Overcooked
    Salmon Temperatures From Raw To Overcooked

    Mistake 4: Flip The Fillet Too Soon

    Place salmon fillets on the grill, flesh side down (skin side up). So the fillets may get excellent grill marks from the hot grill while the fish is still firm. Close the grill lid.

    Cook the flesh for 6-8 minutes over hot grates to ensure it doesn’t adhere to the grates and lifts readily away once done.

    Once the fish fillets are on the grill, don’t move them until you’re ready to flip them. Otherwise, they risk collapsing.

    Mistake 5: Marinate Fish For More Than An Hour

    Marinating salmon for too long will cause the fish to become mushy. The acidic ingredients in marinades tend to cook the fish while marinating. The best duration of seasoning is 30 minutes.

    30 Minutes Is The Best Duration For Marinating Salmon
    30 Minutes Is The Best Duration For Marinating Salmon

    Recommended Recipes To Make With Grilled Salmon 

    It’s fantastic to serve grilled salmon with some slices of lemon and a little garlic butter sauce. But why limit yourself? You may enrich the weekly menu with a few of our new recipes below.

    #1 Lemony Grilled Salmon

    The first recipe we want to recommend is Lemony Grilled Salmon. It is a suitable dish for summer and straightforward to make. Let’s see what to prepare for this eating!

    #2 Grilled Salmon With Pineapple Salsa

    You may often see Grilled Salmon with Pineapple Salsa in deluxe restaurants at a high cost. But you can easily bring this luxurious, restaurant-quality experience home with this recipe.

     #3 Sandwiches With Grilled Salmon 

    Do you want to bring your grilled salmon to your work for a quick lunch? We introduce the Sandwiches With Grilled Salmon recipe.
    It takes you about 45 mins to cook with easy-find ingredients. You can recreate this delicious Salmon Sandwiches for your picnic at the weekend.

    #4 Cuban-Style Grilled Salmon

    If you have got grilled salmon on hand, the delicious meal is not out of reach. Cuban-Style Grilled Salmon is an easy salmon recipe you may want to add to your cookbook. It contains a lot of nutrients from perfect salmon and fresh vegetables.


    We hope that you have now learned how to grill salmon at home. By following our tutorial and avoiding five common mistakes for beginners, you will get the juiciest and healthy grilled salmon.

    Our four recipes at the end of the article help diversify your weekly menu; do not hesitate to step out of your comfort food zone!

    If you already have your favorite recipes, please share them with us in the comment section. Thanks for reading, and keep following other cooking ideas on our site.

    Roger Lee
    Roger Lee

    Thanks for visiting my website. My name is Roger Lee, and I am a 30-year-old man with a hybrid blood of Chinese and Russian. I decided to set up this site to share with everyone my love and passion for open-air cuisine. It all started when my parents opened a restaurant and I had the chance of getting exposed to the art of outdoor cooking.
    This website aims at sharing about my hobby, recipes, and tips for cooking to everyone. Try them out and tell me about your experience.