Grill salmon for a super easy and delicious meal in minutes. No board or wrap necessary, grill it right on the grates.
Cooking Salmon on the Grill Like a Pro
Grilled salmon is a delicious change from all of the burgers and hot dogs you’re used to. When you know how to cook salmon on the grill, you open yourself up to a lot of new possibilities!
Trust me when I say that it isn’t too difficult to cook a salmon fillet over an open flame. It does require some attention to detail though. No one likes a dry fish, am I right?
But, don’t worry. This easy grilled salmon recipe is exactly what you need to take that next step. Once you’ve mastered grilled fish, you can move on to other unique grilled foods and have no fear!
This recipe will have you cooking salmon on the grill like a pro in no time flat, but what makes it better is the recipe itself.
This basic salmon recipe is perfect for so many reasons. The biggest one being that there aren’t too many overpowering flavors from seasonings.
What that means is that you can use your grilled salmon for pretty much anything and still have it taste great. Grilled salmon over a green leaf salad, next to a bed of wild rice, or serving it alongside some grilled asparagus or summer squash.
Ingredients to Grill Salmon
- Olive oil
- Salmon fillets with skin
- Fresh quartered lemons
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to Prep Salmon for Grilling
- Allow the salmon to come to room temperature or to rest for about 10 minutes before prepping. The closer the salmon is to room temp before grilling, the better.
- Clean the grill grates, if needed, and then brush them well with olive oil to help prevent your fish from sticking when it cooks.
- Preheat the grill to about 400 degrees F (medium-high) heat.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over the salmon fillet side that does not have skin.
- Leave the skin on the salmon, this helps it to not stick during the grilling process.
How to Grill Salmon
- Preheat your grill to medium high heat. (The temperature should be about 400ºF).
- Brush the grill grates with olive oil. This helps to keep the salmon from sticking.
- Season the salmon fillets with some salt and pepper.
- Place the salmon, skin side down, on the grill.
- Close the lid of the grill and then let the salmon cook for about 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF. This may vary depending on the size of the salmon fillets.
- Garnish by squeezing some fresh lemons over the top of the salmon before serving.
Do you grill salmon with skin up or down?
Grill salmon skin side down. This keeps the salmon together and prevents it from falling apart. For this reason, you won’t flip the salmon in this recipe.
How to Make the Skin Crispy
The skin will naturally get crispy as it grills because you aren’t going to flip the salmon during the cooking time.
Salmon Cook Temp
Salmon should be cooked at a medium-high temperature, so somewhere between 375 degrees F and 400 degrees F. This will help to seal in the juicy fish meat while creating a slight crust at the bottom of the fish (where it touches the grates). This also helps to prevent the fish from sticking to the grates because it practically sears itself the moment it touches the grill.
Do you grill salmon with lid open or closed?
When grilling your salmon, unless otherwise noted in the recipe, leave the lid down. Leaving the lid of the grill open changes the temperature of the grill. Keeping the grill closed will ensure an even cooking temperature.
How do you grill salmon in aluminum foil?
- Place your salmon fillets, skin side down into a piece of foil.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper before topping with lemon wedges.
- Grab the sides of the foil and bring them together, sealing them shut around the salmon.
- Place the wrapped salmon packets onto the grill.
- Cook as directed.
- Remove from heat and open the foil packet.
How Long to Grill Salmon with Skin
Fresh salmon doesn’t take long to cook no matter which cooking method you choose. With grilling, it’s about 10-15 minutes for a 1 inch thick salmon fillet, but there are variables (such as how big of a fillet you have).
You can tell that your salmon is finished cooking when it reaches 145 degrees on an instant read thermometer and when a knife can be inserted into the thickest part of the salmon and show an inside that is slightly translucent and pink.
How do you know when salmon is done on the grill?
The easiest way to tell if your fish is ready is to take the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Salmon is done on the grill when it reaches 145ºF.
You can also tell if your salmon is finished when it flakes with a fork, but a meat thermometer is the most accurate way.
What temperature should salmon be cooked to?
Your salmon will be safe to consume when it reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF.
How do you keep salmon from drying out on the grill?
The combination of the cooking temperature and time on the recipe card will help keep the salmon from drying out. Additionally, the skin on the salmon will also keep it from drying out.
Do You Have to Flip Salmon on The Grill?
Nope. There is no reason to flip a salmon that you cook on the grill unless you want to showcase grill marks on both sides.
Flipping a cooked salmon fillet will breaking apart and falling between the grill grates. With salmon being a pricier fish, reducing the risk of loss is always something you should consider when grilling.
Not only that, but you also risk the salmon sticking to the grill grates, which can lead to a big mess to have to clean up after you’re done cooking.
Storing and Reheating Grilled Salmon
The shelf life of cooked and uncooked fish is about 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Reheating your leftover fish is easy as you can use the microwave or the oven.
How to reheat salmon in the oven
Wrap salmon in foil and place on a baking sheet.
Bake at 275º F for about 15 minutes or until the fish is warmed through.
How long to reheat salmon in the microwave
For a faster process, you can place your fish onto a plate and microwave for 2-3 minutes.
Adding a tablespoon or so of water to the plate and placing a paper towel over the top of the plate as it cooks can help to rehydrate the fish a little thanks to the strapped steam.
How to Grill Salmon with Skin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 salmon fillets skin on one side
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 lemons quartered
- Preheat the grill on medium high heat, the temperature should be about 400ºF.
- Brush the grill grates with olive oil.
- Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
- Place the salmon, skin side down, on the grill.
- Close the grill and let the salmon cook for about 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145ºF. This may vary depending on the size of the salmon fillets.
- Garnish by squeezing the fresh lemons over the salmon before serving.