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This Grilled Salmon is moist, succulent and perfectly seasoned. Cook it on an outdoor gas or charcoal grill, or indoors on a grill pan.
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When it comes to healthy salmon recipes, this grilled salmon is one of the best! It’s a quick and easy dinner idea that’s perfect for enjoying al fresco on a warm summer evening. The fish is seasoned with my favorite Salmon Seasoning, a sweet and smoky blend of five spices and seasonings that you probably have in your kitchen right now. Using a seasoning rub rather than a salmon marinade makes this recipe especially quick and easy, since you won’t have to plan ahead for a long marinating time. In fact, you can have this delicious grilled salmon on your table in just 30 minutes, start to finish.
When I find a healthy dinner that my family loves, I go with it and keep that meal in frequent rotation in our meal plan. Like our favorite Fish Tacos, this grilled salmon is one such recipe. It meets all of the requirements for a go-to dinner recipe: it’s easy, healthy and incredibly tasty.
Keep reading for all of my best tips for how to grill salmon perfectly, every time!
The Best Salmon for Grilled Salmon
When choosing fresh salmon to cook at home, follow these guidelines:
- Salmon should smell fresh and not too fishy. The skin should look shiny and the flesh should look moist and vibrantly colored.
- When possible, choose wild caught salmon.
- Buy salmon with the skin on for grilling.
- You can ask the seafood counter to cut the salmon into individual fillets if it is a larger piece of fish.
Besides the salmon, the only other ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are olive oil and the salmon seasoning. The seasoning is a mixture of brown sugar, smoked paprika, dried thyme, garlic powder and salt. You’ll love the combination of sweet, smoky and savory flavors!
How to Keep Salmon from Sticking to the Grill
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to flip a piece of salmon on the grill and having it stick or fall apart on you. Here are some tips to keep your salmon from sticking to the grill.
- Cut the salmon into individual pieces before grilling to make it easier to flip. Use a sharp knife to cut the salmon and then kitchen scissors if needed to finish cutting through skin. (Or, ask them to cut it for you when you buy fish at the seafood counter.)
- Always grill salmon on clean grill grates. If there are bits of food stuck to the grill grates from a prior grilling session, they can cause the salmon to stick.
- Oil both the fish and the grill. Rubbing the fish fillets with olive oil both helps the seasoning to stick to the fish, and keeps the salmon from sticking to the grill. Be sure to oil the grill grates, too.
- Preheat the grill before putting the salmon on. Adding the salmon to a hot grill will help to sear the fish and prevent sticking.
- Grill salmon with the skin on, and cook skin side down first. Cook the fish most of way through with the skin side down. Then flip it over to get grill marks on other side, and cook for only a few minutes, until the salmon is cooked through.
How to Grill Salmon
Start by combining the seasonings in a small bowl.
Then drizzle the fish with olive oil and rub the oil over the salmon flesh. Sprinkle on the seasonings and gently rub them over the salmon.
Let the seasoned salmon fillets rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, oil a clean grill pan, gas grill or charcoal grill and preheat to medium heat.
How Long to Grill Salmon
When the grill is hot, put the salmon on the grill or grill pan, skin side down. Cook the salmon with the skin side down for about 6 to 10 minutes, or until it’s almost cooked through. Then flip the salmon and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, until cooked through.
How to Tell when Salmon is Done
The best way to tell if salmon is done is to use an instant read thermometer to measure the salmon temperature. According to the USDA, salmon is done when the internal temperature at the thickest part is 145° F. However, some prefer to take it off the grill when it reaches 130-135° F for a moister, less firm piece of salmon.
If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, you can tell that your salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Press a fork into the lines that run across the salmon. If the fish separates easily along the lines, it is cooked.
Grilled Salmon Recipe Tips
- Let the salmon rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes after rubbing on the seasonings, before cooking. The salmon will marinate in the seasonings, becoming more flavorful. Taking the chill off of the salmon also promotes more even cooking.
- If there is a fatty end on the fish, trim it off or it will cause flare ups on the grill, which can then burn the salmon.
- Grill salmon with the grill lid closed (on an outdoor grill) or with the lid on if using a grill pan. You want the heat to accumulate so that the fish cooks through most of the way when it’s skin side down.
- The cook time will depend on the size and thickness of the salmon fillets. Mine were about 3/4 inch thick.
- Serve the grilled salmon with lemon wedges. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice is so good with the smoky-sweet seasoning rub.
Fire up the grill, moist and flavorful grilled salmon is on the menu tonight! This recipe is one of our favorites; I hope you enjoy it too. If you try it, leave a comment below to let me know how it turned out.
Grilled Salmon with the Best Salmon Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 salmon fillets, skin on, about 6 ounces each
- lemon wedges, for serving
- Combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, dried thyme, kosher salt and garlic powder in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.
- Place the salmon fillets skin side down on a cutting board or in a baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the salmon fillets and rub the oil over the fish. Sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over the tops of the salmon fillets and gently rub onto the fish.
- Let the salmon rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, oil a clean grill pan, gas grill or charcoal grill and preheat to medium heat. When the grill is hot, put the salmon on the grill or grill pan, skin side down.
- Cook with the grill cover on until fish is almost cooked through, about 6 to 10 minutes with the skin side down. Then flip the salmon over and cook 1 to 2 more minutes, until cooked through to your liking. (The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145° F for salmon, but some prefer it cooked to 130-135° F.) Serve with lemon wedges.