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The best way to get dinner on the table…fast? Broiled salmon! It’s flaky and full of savory flavor, and it takes only 10 minutes to cook.

Broiled salmon
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Here’s a new secret that’s revolutionized our dinners. One of the best ways to cook salmon is broiled! Do away with your old baked salmon recipes. With broiled salmon, you don’t even need to preheat your oven! Let it come to room temp, then broil it for 7 to 10 minutes until cooked through. Easy as that! While it broils, we highly recommend making up our lemon caper sauce. It makes the fish sing with tangy and briny flavor! Alex and I exchanged glances of surprise when we first tasted this fish: it was so flaky and moist, we couldn’t stop eating it. Here’s how to make the best broiled salmon around!

Broiler basics to know!

If you only read one thing in this article, read this part! Here are a few things to know about broiling before you start:

  • Broilers vary, so watch the cook time carefully! A thermometer is helpful. The exact timing for this broiled salmon depends on your specific broiler and the thickness of the fish. It will be different every time: so watch closely! A food thermometer is nice for judging whether it’s done.
  • Most broilers are about 3 to 5 inches from the heating element. If yours is closer, take care and watch the salmon during the cook time.
  • Do you need to preheat a broiler? Yes and no. You don’t need to preheat it, but turn it on about 5 minutes before you want to cook. This gives it time to heat up!
How to broil salmon

How to broil salmon salmon: basic steps

There are just a few steps to understand about broiled salmon before you start. You can skip to the recipe below if you like, but here’s some of the why behind the what:

  • Brine the salmon (or let it come to room temp). The first step is optional but it makes the best crispy on the outside, moist on the inside piece of salmon without white stuff (see below). Place the salmon in a salt water solution for 15 minutes; this also allows the salmon to come to room temperature. Even if you don’t brine it, let the salmon come to room temperature before broiling it. Don’t cook it cold because it runs the risk of not cooking through.
  • Pat it dry and season. All you need is olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • The time to broil will depend on the thickness (watch closely). The timing on when it’s done depends on the thickness of the piece of salmon and your broiler, so use your best judgement. It should be just tender and pink at the center. Estimate 4 to 5 minutes for very thin salmon or 7 to 10 minutes for 1-inch thick salmon. It’s helpful to use a food thermometer: it should be about 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Serve with lemon caper sauce

This broiled salmon tastes great on its own, with just a few spritzes of lemon juice. But our favorite way to serve it? With Lemon Caper Sauce! This sauce is full of incredible rich, savory and briny flavor: you’ll find it makes any type of baked fish irresistible.

Trust us: capers are some sort of kitchen magic. Capers are a berry of the caper bush that’s native to the Mediterranean. They’re round and dark green gray, about the size of a peppercorn. You’ll find them in Italian and Mediterranean recipes. Capers taste tangy, briny and salty, and add an irresistibly savory flavor to any dish. You can find them in long, thin jars by the condiments and olives in the grocery store.

Salmon with capers

Sauce variations for broiled salmon!

Of course, if you’re not into the lemon caper sauce idea…there are so many more! Here are our top sauces to serve with salmon:

Broiled salmon

What type of salmon to buy

There are lots of options when it comes to salmon at the grocery store! If you’re looking for a great piece of salmon, here are some pointers:

  • Buy wild caught salmon. Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.
  • Coho is a good choice. We tend to like Coho salmon for its mild flavor: it’s a good middle of the road option in terms of price. Of course, King salmon is incredible but it’s on the expensive end. Avoid Atlantic salmon as it is typically farmed salmon.
  • Make sure to buy skin on. You’ll need skin-on salmon for this recipe.
Fish with butter sauce

A few sides that go with broiled salmon

Looking for side dishes for broiled salmon? It’s one of our go-to’s for a quick and easy healthy dinner. Here are a few ideas that work for easy weeknights, and then some for entertaining:

This broiled salmon recipe is…

Pescatarian, gluten-free and dairy-free (without the lemon butter sauce).

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Broiled salmon

Quick Broiled Salmon

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


The best way to get dinner on the table…fast? Broiled salmon! It’s flaky and full of savory flavor, and it takes only 10 minutes to cook.


  • 1 pound wild caught salmon fillets, skin on
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for brining
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: Lemon Caper Sauce, for serving


  1. Brine the salmon* (optional): In a shallow dish whisk together 4 cups room temperature water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt until it dissolves. Place the salmon in the water and wait for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the broiler to high.
  3. Place a large sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and brush it with olive oil. Pat each piece of salmon dry and place it on the foil skin side down. Brush salmon with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt (evenly divided among the fillets) and fresh ground pepper.
  4. Broil 4 to 5 minutes for very thin salmon or 7 to 10 minutes for 1-inch thick salmon, until it’s just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the center). Serve spritzed with lemon wedges or with Lemon Caper Sauce (recommended).


*Brining is optional: it’s most important for lower quality salmon. Either way, you’ll need to bring your salmon to room temperature before cooking, so it’s just as easy to do the brining step (it helps with seasoning and moistness).

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Broiled
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Gluten Free

More easy salmon recipes

Outside of this broiled salmon, here are a few more easy salmon recipes we make on the regular:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Amazing! I love this recipe. The salmon was cooked perfectly and just delicious. Thank you!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!