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How to Grill Salmon in 5 Minutes or Barbecue salmon on grill

March 02, 2020

fish market

Salmon on Grill

Barbecue salmon on grill is one of the healthiest, easiest, and most flavorful protein-rich dishes to cook in summer. Lean, low-calorie and heart-healthy grilled salmon steaks are a favorite at our home too, and I’m so excited to share my tips for cooking salmon on a grill with you!


How to grill sockeye salmon

There are two ways to grill salmon steaks – you can either place the fish directly on the hot grill or wrap it in aluminum foil before placing it on the grill. If you have never experimented with salmon steaks grill before and want to play it safe, you can start with grilling salmon in foil. This way, you will get the most delicious flavors without the worry or the mess. The foil keeps the fish tender and moist and also prevents it from sticking to the grill and breaking apart.


Best way to grill salmon fillets

But personally, I believe that the best way to grill salmon fillets is by placing it directly on a hot grill. For this method, however, you will have to prep the grill beforehand for ensuring the best results.


Prepping before cooking salmon steaks on the grill

To start with, the salmon fillet grill should very hot. Before you start cooking the fish, preheat the grill – just like you would if you are using an oven. This step may take 10-20 minutes. Once the grill has reached the right temperature for salmon on grill (more about that later!), clean the grill with a stiff grill brush, and let it come back to a high temperature. At this point, you can start applying oil to the grill.



Oils like grapeseed oil and canola oil, which have a high smoking point, are excellent choices to grill salmon steaks. You can apply the oil on the grill using a special brush or even paper towels. If the grill grates are properly oiled, the salmon won’t stick to them.


You can also directly rub oil on the salmon steaks before seasoning. This will again help prevent the fish from sticking to the grill and also give a nice, crispy crust on the exterior.

Do you grill salmon skin side up or down?

If you are cooking salmon steak on grill, make sure that you keep the skin on. Cooking salmon with skin on grill lets the skin crisp up nicely and makes the finished product delicious as well as appealing to the eye. The skin locks in the flavors and juices, prevents the fish from sticking to the grill, and also provides an additional layer of protection for the fish against rough handling as well as the high temperature of the grill. Always remember to start with the skin side down because it is much easier to slide a spatula under the skin than under the delicate flesh of the salmon.

How long to grill sockeye salmon

While salmon steak grill time will vary, depending on the thickness of your salmon steak, an average-sized salmon fillet at room temperature will take around three to four minutes to cook through on one side. Put the grill lid down as the fish cooks. This will keep the cooking temperature constant and also let the fish “bake” even as it grills.


How To Grill  Halibut  Salmon

You will notice the color of the salmon flesh change from pink to white as it cooks through. Let it cook about 90% through on the skin side, and then flip it using a fish-safe spatula, and let it complete cooking in the residual heat for another one to two minutes.

If you have an especially large salmon steak, cut it into individual serving sizes before seasoning and grilling. This will make it easier to handle the fish without breaking it apart. In my experience, kitchen shears are more useful than knives if you have a skin-on fillet.

What temperature to cook salmon on grill

A high salmon cooking temperature grill will ensure that the fish doesn’t stick to the grates and break apart. The best temperature to grill salmon is 450-500 F. According to the USDA, all seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 F to avoid the risk of food-borne illnesses. However, some people consider this overdone for salmon and advise removing the fish from heat when it is about 137-140 F and then let it rest for five minutes where it “cooks” in the residual heat. 

How long do you grill salmon on a gas grill?

On average, a one-inch salmon steak will take about 9-10 minutes to cook when placed directly on the grill or grilling pan. You can test doneness with a fork. When properly done, the fish will be nice and flaky in the center. Some people also test the doneness by inserting a knife or a metal chopstick in the thickest part of the fish and then removing it and checking the temperature to touch. If the metal feels cold or lukewarm, the fish is not done. If the knife feels hot or medium warm, the salmon is ready.

Grilled salmon in foil

If you plan to cook salmon on gas grill or charcoal grill using the foil method, remember to take off the skin of the fish. Use a large piece of heavy-duty foil, and lay it flat on your counter. If you don’t want your food to touch the aluminum foil because of health concerns, you can place a sheet of parchment paper over the foil.

Most grilled salmon in foil recipes use lemon and herbs like dill and rosemary. If you are using these herbs, place half on the portion on the foil, and arrange the fish on top. Add your favorite seasonings, and of course, some butter before topping it with the remaining herbs and lemon slices. Seal the foil, and grill the fish over medium-high heat at 375-400F. It would take about 15-18 minutes for the salmon to fully cook.

What type of grill - charcoal or gas - is best for salmon?

While gas grills simplify the cooking process and are more convenient to use, I feel that you cannot beat the aroma and smoky flavor that is unique to a salmon charcoal grill. Fortunately for us, charcoal grills have evolved a lot over the years and now come equipped with many useful features, such as an inbuilt thermometer, an LCD timer, and a propane starter.


 How To Grill  Halibut  Salmon

From lump charcoal to hardwood, there are different types of charcoal available in the market today, and each type can bring its own flavor to the final dish. Mild alder, apple, oak, or cherry chips are the best chips to pair with salmon. Strong-flavored woods like hickory and mesquite are usually avoided.

Best sockeye salmon grill recipe

Looking for tried and true recipes for salmon on the grill? You are in the right place. This particular salmon recipe for the grill is popular at our home, and I hope you will enjoy it too!

The grilling process brings a smoky flavor to the fish, so many people like to pair salmon with a sweet sauce or spice. You can also season salmon for grill simply with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to make a classic grilled salmon for dinner with a side of salad. My favorite salmon recipe grill has a few additional ingredients, but it’s so flavorful and will have your guests coming back for seconds!

Best sockeye salmon grill recipe


  • 1/3 cup each of soy sauce, water, and brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 ½ pounds salmon


  • Mix soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and oil in a small bowl. Stir well until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Add the soy sauce mixture and salmon fillets to a Ziploc bag, and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
  • Place the marinated salmon steak on a preheated grill. Throw away the extra marinade. Cook the fish until the desired doneness.

Serve this grilled salmon with a side of roasted vegetables and rice or a noodle salad for a complete, well-balanced meal.

How to make the best cedar plank salmon on the grill?

Another great way to keep the salmon moist and tender while cooking is to grill salmon cedar plank style. This way, the fish will pick up the smoky flavors of the grill and also imbibe the woodsy notes of the cedar and whatever liquid was used to soak the cedar planks.  While you can soak the cedar plans in plain water, soaking the planks in other liquids like sake, wine, or cider can add a whole new dimension to your grilled salmon.

The temperature of the grill is set lower in this method (about 350F). The salmon cook time grill will be slightly longer, usually around 12-15 minutes.

Our final note on cooking salmon on a grill

If you want to become a salmon steak grill expert and impress your family, it is important to start with the best quality of fish you can buy. Global Seafoods sells some of the highest quality salmon portions available in the market today. In addition to great prices, Global Seafoods also offers fast delivery and a money-back guarantee for the best salmon charcoal grill experience.

What are your favorite recipes to cook cedar plank salmon on the grill? Share your tips in the comments below!

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