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Published August 11, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Follow my foolproof steps for this easy grilled salmon recipe for a delicious dish that comes together in minutes and, more importantly, intact. These cooking techniques repeatedly prove how well they work.
I love salmon, but sometimes it’s just hard to remember to put it into my weekly recipes. If you love it and want to try out some new dishes, then definitely make my Salmon Burgers or Cedar Plank Salmon.
Grilled salmon is plainly salmon that is grilled on a gas, charcoal, or wood-burning grill at high heat until grill marks have formed, and the desired internal temperature is achieved. This procedure is a great way to quickly cook the salmon as well as give it some light charring for flavor.
Cooking salmon on the grill can be tricky due to its high moisture content, which can cause it to stick. Be sure to watch the video and follow along using my foolproof steps to ensure it comes out perfectly every single time.
- Salmon – I used wild-caught salmon fillets for this. You can also use salmon steaks.
- Oil – I prefer to use olive or avocado oil. You can use your favorite oil for this.
- Butter – I always use unsalted butter in my cooking and baking to control the sodium content.
- Lemon – Little bit of lemon juice is used to finish off the cooked cedar plank salmon.
- Seasonings – I used only coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper.
How to Grill Salmon
Portion the salmon fillets to the size of your liking.
Pat the fish down well on all sides with a paper towel.
Next, drizzle on the oil and rub it in to coat it on all sides.
Season the fish well with coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper on both sides.
Preheat the grill to high heat, which is about 450° to 550°.
Once hot, be sure the grill is clean using a grill brush.
Oil the grill using a kitchen towel that is saturated with oil and rubbed on using a pair of long tongs.
Place the salmon flesh side down and cook for 4 minutes. Close the door and do not touch it.
Gently flip the salmon over, using a spatula or tongs, or both, and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes or until it reaches about 125° internally.
Remove the salmon from the grill and add melted butter and lemon juice and let it rest for 2 to 3 minutes.
Try serving the salmon with my cilantro lime sauce.
Types of Salmon
- Atlantic – Also known as Salmo Salar, this is a primarily farm-raised plant-based fed fish. It’s cheaper, has less salmon flavor, but has a good amount of fat.
- King – This is commonly referred to as Chinook and is the best of all the salmon. It has a good amount of fat and is jam-packed with omega-3s. This is usually wild-caught.
- Sockeye – Sometimes called Red salmon, this is a smaller fish and tends to be cheaper. It has deep salmon flavors and low-fat content.
- Pink – This is also known as Humpback due to the hump on the back. This salmon is lighter in color and flavor and is commonly processed for packs and cans.
- Coho – Also referred to as Silver salmon, have a light salmon flavor and a mediocre amount of fat. They are great to cook whole and are usually cheaper.
- Chum – This also goes by the name of Silverbrite, Keta, or Dog salmon. It’s usually the smallest of the salmon and has a lower fat amount. Pink salmon is usually processed and sold in cans, packs, or fillets in the frozen food aisle.
Tricks so Salmon Does Not Stick to the Grill
- Make sure your salmon is patted dry well.
- Oil and season the fish.
- Be sure your grill is hot, clean, and oiled up.
- Let the salmon cook.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: The salmon is meant to be eaten as soon as it is done cooking.
How to Store: The best way to store this salmon is in a plastic container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can also be stored in a plastic container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
How to Reheat: Place the salmon on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper or in a pan and cook in the oven at 350° for 6 to 8 minutes or until warm.
Chef Notes + Tips
- An easy way to clean your grill is by crumpling up a 12”x12” piece of foil and scrubbing the grill to remove any unwanted leftover charred food.
- Frozen and thawed salmon will work for this.
- If you like crisp cooked salmon skin and want to serve it up that way, then you want to put it skin side down first.
- Salmon does not need to be served well done, and it shouldn’t. It should be served medium to medium well. I’ll pull the salmon at around 125. Now, if you think there is no way I need my salmon cooked through, pull it at around 135-140.
- Pre-seasoning the salmon while the grill heats up will help the salt to penetrate the salmon making every bite delicious.
- If you like the skin and want to serve it that way, you want to put its skin side down first.
More Salmon Recipes
Easy Grilled Salmon Recipe
- 2 8- ounce salmon fillets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
- Portion the salmon fillets to the size of your liking.
- Pat the fish down well on all sides with a paper towel.
- Next, drizzle on the oil and rub it in to coat it on all sides.
- Season the fish well with coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper on both sides.
- Preheat the grill to high heat, about 450° to 550°.
- Once hot, be sure the grill is clean using a grill brush.
- Oil the grill using a kitchen towel saturated with oil and rubbed on using a pair of long tongs.
- Place the salmon flesh side down and cook for 4 minutes. Do not touch it.
- Gently flip the salmon over, using a spatula, tongs, or both, and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes or until it reaches about 125° internally.
- Remove the salmon from the grill and add melted butter and lemon juice and let it rest for 2 to 3 minutes.