Perfect Grilled Salmon

Here’s how to make the absolute best grilled salmon! It’s perfectly tender and flavored with a magic seasoning blend that takes it to new heights.

Grilled salmon

Want to grill salmon to perfection? It’s not an easy feat. Salmon is easy to over cook and under-season. Over here we’ve had our share of sub-par salmon experiences, so we set about to find a no-fail way to grill salmon. Meet our Perfect Grilled Salmon! It’s an easy method and comes out tender with a lightly crisp crust. Even better, we created a tasty magical seasoning blend to go with it. This salmon seasoning tastes so good, you’ll want to put it on everything…you might never make salmon without it again.

Ingredients for grilled salmon

Let’s break down the ingredients for grilled salmon, shall we? You only need a few quality ingredients to make the very best grilled salmon:

  • Skin-on salmon fillets: Try to find wild-caught if you can: it tastes better and is most sustainable. Skin on is important because it acts as a barrier between the fish and the grill while cooking.
  • Olive oil & salt: You’ll just need a bit for rubbing and sprinkling.
  • Seafood seasoning: Here’s where the magic comes in. Keep reading…
Grilled salmon

Here’s the best seasoning for salmon…period.

Salmon is beautiful with just salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. But want to take it over the top? (We know you do.) The very best way to season grilled salmon is our homemade Seafood Seasoning! It brings unreal savory flavor to this fish. There’s a little smoky, savory, and salty, with a hint of celery seed and allspice for some intrigue. It’s so good that we can’t help but use it on all our grilled vegetables, too. Here’s what’s in this magic seasoning blend:

  • Smoked paprika (or sweet paprika)
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Thyme
  • Celery seed
  • Cumin
  • Allspice
  • Salt
How to grill salmon
How to g

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.
  • 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? 5 minutes skin side down, then 2 minutes skin side up! The best way to measure whether it’s done is using an internal thermometer. Stick it in the thickest part of the fish and it should read 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ways to prevent sticking to the grill!

Some people complain about salmon sticking to the grill. The biggest contributor to that problem? Don’t try to turn it too soon! When the salmon is cooked just enough, it releases from the grill grates, making it easy to flip. But if you touch it before that time, it can stick and break apart. You don’t need to oil the grill grates. Just lightly oil the fish, and when cooking wait until the salmon is easy to release (about 5 minutes). Then it’s easy to flip!

Another tip: make sure to cook with skin on salmon. This helps it to stay together on the grill. Salmon with the skin off easily sticks to the grill. We don’t recommend using it here.

Grilled salmon
Serve it up with Grilled Potatoes in Foil

More ways to season salmon

There are lots of ways to season salmon! Once you’ve tried it with this Seafood Seasoning, you might want to change it up a bit. Here are some more ideas on seasoning:

How to grill salmon

Sides to serve with grilled salmon

Enough about cooking it: let’s talk about eating! What to serve with grilled salmon? Try using the rest of the grill grates for some grilled veggies, or pair with a summer salad. Here are some recs:

Want more grilled seafood? Try our Grilled Scallops, Grilled Cod, or Grilled Ahi Tuna.

Grilled salmon

This grilled salmon recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free and pescatarian.

Print
Grilled salmon

Perfect Grilled Salmon


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (13 votes, average: 4.92 out of 5)

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

Description

Here’s how to make the absolute best grilled salmon! It’s perfectly tender and flavored with a magic seasoning blend that takes it to new heights.


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees).
  2. Brine the salmon: While the grill preheats, in a shallow dish mix together 4 cups room temperature water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Place the salmon in the water and wait for 15 minutes (this should be about the time it takes to preheat).
  3. Pat the salmon dry with a clean towel. Rub it generously with oil and sprinkle it with the kosher salt and seasoning blend (or simply salt and pepper).
  4. Grill the salmon over indirect heat skin side down for 5 minutes, until it releases from the grates. Flip and cook another 2 minutes, until the internal temperature is 125 to 130 degrees. Allow to rest for a few minutes, then serve.

Notes

*We highly recommend making this homemade seafood seasoning! To make a quick version just for the salmon, mix 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon cumin.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Grilled Salmon

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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