Intimidated by the thought of grilling salmon at home? You really shouldn’t be! It’s actually quite simple (with the right recipe, of course). This top-rated grilled salmon recipe will quickly become a staple in your summertime dinner rotation.
Grilled Salmon Marinade
There are plenty of delicious ways to marinate fish for grilling, but we’re partial to this sweet and savory salmon marinade: Salmon filets are seasoned with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt, then marinated in a delicious combination of the following ingredients: soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil. Make sure to let the filets marinate in the fridge for at least two hours to reach their full flavor potential.
How to Grill Salmon
Grilling the perfect salmon is probably easier than you think. You’ll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here’s a brief overview of what you can expect:
Season and marinate the salmon for at least two hours in the refrigerator. Preheat a grill and lightly oil the grate. Place the salmon on the grill and discard the marinade. Cook on each side until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
Grill Temperature for Salmon
The best temperature to grill salmon depends on a number of factors, including whether or not you’re grilling the fish in foil. In this recipe, we grill the salmon directly on the grate without foil. For perfectly flaky salmon every time, we recommend grilling over medium heat.
How Long to Grill Salmon
If you follow this recipe, your salmon should be perfectly grilled after about six to eight minutes on each side. Fish should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C) before consuming, according to the USDA. Insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the fish to make sure it’s safe to eat.
Nicole’s Top Grilled Salmon Tips
Culinary producer Nicole McLaughlin (a.k.a. Nicole McMom) calls this grilled salmon “the perfect summer meal that comes together in a matter of minutes.” Here are a few of her best tips and tricks for making this simple, seasonal staple:
- You might be tempted to stir the seasonings (lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt) into the marinade instead of sprinkling it over the fish — but don’t give into this temptation! Seasoning the salmon directly before adding it to the marinade is the key to a crispy crust.
- Salmon has a tendency to stick to the grill grates. To prevent sticking: Use a grill brush to make sure the grates are completely clean, make sure the grill is “screamin’ hot” (Nicole’s words) so that the fish is able to naturally release, and use tongs and a paper towel to make sure the grates are thoroughly oiled before adding the salmon.
- Brown sugar adds irresistible sweetness and helps with perfect caramelization, but it cooks extremely quickly. Make sure you shake off any excess marinade before grilling to prevent burning.
- To achieve magazine-worthy grill marks, start grilling with the salmon’s flesh side down. Flip it to finish cooking and use a fish spatula to easily remove it from the grate.
Finish the grilled salmon with a squeeze of lemon juice and a garnish of green onions for a burst of flavor and color.
What to Serve With Grilled Salmon
Looking for mouthwatering serving inspiration? We’ve got you covered. Check out our collection of 20 Best Side Dishes for Salmon. Here’s a preview of the tasty ideas you’ll find:
How to Store Grilled Salmon
Store your leftover cooked salmon in a shallow, airtight storage container or wrapped tightly in foil in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat gently in the oven or enjoy it cold in a salad.
Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise
“It was a hit,” raves jbreed. “Everyone went back for seconds. In fact, it was completely eaten up! I made no changes. I will make more next time!”
“Fantastic,” according to greykitty. “I don’t give out 5 stars lightly, but this marinade is truly great. Caramelized outside, tender inside. I served it on a bed of spinach, with honey-lime dressing and gingered carrots.
“Good for all the right reasons: Quick, easy, inexpensive, delicious and stirs the imagination for many variations,” says JUDY. “This salmon is also perfect as it is!”
Editorial contributions by Corey Williams
- 1 ½ pounds salmon fillets
- lemon pepper to taste
- garlic powder to taste
- salt to taste
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
Stir soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil together in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag; add soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate.
Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook salmon until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 6 to 8 minutes per side.Tips
The nutrition data for this recipe includes information for the full amount of the marinade ingredients. Depending on marinating time, ingredients, cooking method, etc., the actual amount of the marinade consumed will vary.