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.
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?
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.
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Try Surrender Salmon!
Our all-time favorite salmon is Surrender Salmon. They catch wild-Alaskan salmon off of Bristol Bay in Alaska. The salmon is bright orange, so flakey and delicious, and truly the best.
Surrender Salmon is a family-run company based here in Minneapolis and they are good friends of ours! Support a local business if you can.
How to Grill Salmon
Grilling salmon is so easy! 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.
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.
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.
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 😀
Tips for Perfect Salmon on the Grill
Be sure your grill grates are clean: One thing you can do to make sure the salmon doesn’t stick to the grill is to 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 grill tongs at 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 FAQs
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 sauces can I serve over grilled salmon?
Can I smoke salmon?
Yes, you can smoke salmon. We recommend smoking salmon at 225ºF for about 1 hour. Check out this easy and delicious smoked salmon recipe.
What salads can I make to go with salmon?
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 Grilled Salmon
While you’re grilling salmon, consider making any of the following side dishes that pair perfectly with salmon!
- Spicy Grapefruit Margarita
- Rosemary Vodka Collins
- Strawberry Peach Rose Sangria
- Honey Greyhound Cocktail
Perfect Grilled Salmon Recipe
- Preheat gas or charcoal grill to 450°F – 475°F.
- 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.
- Generously season salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
- Once your grill has fully preheated, place salmon fillets directly on the grill, skin side down, and close the grill.
- Grill skin-side down for 6 minutes.
- 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.
- 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).
- Remove skin and serve with optional fresh lemon juice.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.