How to Grill Salmon (with Best Easy Marinade)
How to Grill Salmon – Cook perfectly flaky, succulent salmon on the grill all summer long with our foolproof tips and the easiest marinade recipe! You won’t believe how simple it is to make this impressive dish at your next cookout.
To say that our family and friends enjoy the fact that I’m a professional recipe developer is an understatement. They absolutely love to test my latest creations, and I cannot tell you how often I get a quick text or call asking for tips. Honestly, I’m honored that they love my ideas and insight!
One of the most popular cooking questions we get is how in the world do you grill salmon?
It’s easier than you think to perfectly grill salmon at home, that’s flaky and flavorful. You just need a perky marinade and a few simple key steps!
Grilled Salmon with the Best Marinade
As you might have noticed on the blog, salmon is one of our favorite summer proteins to cook. The rich taste and hearty texture make it terrific for preparing with nearly any flavors, sweet or savory and/or spicy!
This Sweet and Sour Grilled Salmon with Pineapple Salsa is always a big hit at barbecues, and my Garlic Lime Oven Baked Salmon recipe is a beloved go-to summer weeknight dinner.
But for an incredibly quick and easy, sure to please, perfect every time grilled salmon, you’ve got to check out our essential tips and deliciously tangy grilled salmon marinade recipe.
What Ingredients You Need
For the best texture and flavor, we highly recommend using wild caught salmon, fresh or previously frozen.
To make the best easy marinade you need:
- Olive oil
- Dijon mustard – for a fabulous tangy flavor
- Lemon juice – to add bright, summery citrus
- Brown sugar – balances the tart and zesty ingredients with a hint of sweetness
- Liquid smoke – just the right touch of smokiness to bring out the grilled flavor
- Salt and pepper
Tips for How to Perfectly Grill Salmon
There are a just a few basic, but absolutely necessary, steps for making the best grilled salmon.
- Don’t let your salmon get stuck: Use grill spray so the salmon doesn’t stick to the grate, OR pour oil on a folded paper towel, then use a long pair of tongs to rub the oil on the grates.
- Control the heat: You want the grill to be at Medium Heat, right around 350 degrees F.
- Portion control: Cut the salmon into portions before grilling for easier flipping.
- Char first, then flip: Quickly grill the top (flesh side) of the salmon first, to make those beautiful char marks while the grates are oiled. Then flip onto the skin and finish cooking.
- Let the grill take the skin off for you: Once the salmon is grilled, the skin peels right off. And in many cases, it will stick to the grill and separate as you lift the fillet off.
It should be noted that perfectly cooked salmon is just barely cooked through. The fish should be opaque but moist on the inside.
How to Make Grilled Salmon with the Best Marinade
This easy grilled salmon marinade and grilled salmon recipe only takes about 20 minutes to make start to finish. It’s excellent for whipping-up at your next cookout or adding to your family’s summer weeknight dinner rotation.
Here’s how to grill the best salmon with foolproof simple steps:
Firstly, if you purchased one whole salmon fillet, go ahead and cut it into 6 individual portions. Gently pat each dry with a paper towel.
Then make the marinade: In a small bowl combine the olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, brown sugar, liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Whisk well until smooth.
Generously brush the salmon marinade over the top and sides of each piece.
Preheat the grill to medium heat. Once hot, carefully spray the grates with a nonstick grill spray. Or pour oil on a folded paper towel and use a long pair of tongs to rub the oil on the grates.
Place the salmon fillets on the grill, flesh side down. Grill for just a couple of minutes to form grill marks.
Carefully, use a spatula to flip the salmon fillets onto the skin side. Grill another several minutes.
When you touch the thickest part it should feel slightly firm, but not hard.
Once done, lift the salmon off of the grill. If the skin sticks, use the edge of the spatula to separate the skin from the meat and gently lift it off.
Place the filets on a platter, and allow the salmon to rest 5 minutes before serving.
I hope you give this recipe a try soon, and love it as much as we do!
Get the Complete (Printable) Grilled Salmon with Best Easy Marinade Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Looking for More Delicious Recipes for Grilling?
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri and Roasted Vegetables
- 4-Ingredient Magic Grilled Chicken Breasts
- Grilled Artichokes with Miso Butter
- Habanero Peach Grilled Chicken Wings
- Grilled Vegetable Kebabs with Fajita Butter
How to Grill Salmon (with the Best Marinade Recipe)
- If you purchased one whole salmon fillet, cut it into 6 individual portions. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
- In a small bowl, mix the oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, brown sugar, liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Whisk well until smooth.
- Brush the salmon marinade over the top and sides of each piece.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat. Try to keep it right around 350-360 degrees. Once hot, spray the grates with nonstick grill spray. (Or pour oil on a folded paper towel, then use a long pair of tongs to rub the oil on the grates.)
- Place the salmon fillets on the grill, top side down. Grill for 2 minutes to form grill marks.
- Carefully flip the salmon fillets onto the skin side. Grill another 4 to 8 minutes. (6 minutes total for fillets under ½ inch thick, and 9-10 minutes total for fillets around 1 inch thick.) When you touch the thickest part it should feel slightly firm, but not hard.
- Use a wide metal spatula to lift the salmon off the grill. If the skin sticks, use the edge of the spatula to separate the skin from the meat and lift it off.
- Allow the salmon to rest 5 minutes before serving.
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