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How to Grill Salmon

Salmon is the perfect grilling fish for any occasion or season, but the idea makes a lot of people nervous. You’ve probably had dried-out grilled salmon before. It’s… not good.

But grilled the right way over a charcoal or gas grill, salmon fillets make a flavorful and healthy alternative to beef or chicken. To learn how to grill salmon without fear, watch our grill-side video tutorial and follow our steps for perfect grilled salmon fillets.

The Best Salmon for Grilling

Omaha Steaks delivers several delicious varieties of premium salmon, an excellent source of protein, vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Faroe Islands Salmon and Wild Alaskan Skin-On Sockeye Salmon are high-quality and hand-picked fish rich in color and flavor. For grillers looking to skip a few steps, Marinated Salmon Fillets and Lemon Dill Salmon Fillets are pre-marinated fillets that guarantee big flavor.

How to Grill Salmon Fillets

Here’s how to get perfectly seasoned, not-overcooked, juicy grilled salmon in just a few easy steps.

How to Grill Salmon

1. Thaw & Prep Salmon

There are two ways to thaw frozen salmon. To thaw in the refrigerator; remove the salmon from the plastic packaging, then cover and refrigerate. Once thawed, make sure to cook and eat your salmon within two days. To thaw quickly; submerge vacuum-sealed (don’t open the package) salmon fillets in cold water for approximately 30 minutes.

Pat thawed salmon with a paper towel on both sides to dry well. Brush both sides with olive oil or melted butter to prevent fillets from sticking to the grill and season each fillet with coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper. There are endless seasoning possibilities for salmon and can be complemented well with fresh herbs or your favorite spice blend. If you’ve got pre-marinated fillets like Marinated Salmon Fillets or Lemon Dill Salmon Fillets, skip the seasoning.

How to Grill Salmon

2. Preheat Grill to Medium-High

Preheat your gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. To keep salmon from sticking to the grill, make sure the grates are clean and oiled. To oil your grates, dip a folded paper towel into vegetable oil and use tongs to safely rub the paper towel all over the grates.

3. Grill Salmon Fillets Over Direct Heat

It’s time to grill! Place your salmon on the grill diagonal to the grates skin side down, directly over the heat source. In total, salmon grill time will be 7-9 minutes. Grill for 4-5 minutes on the first side (once on the grill, do not move them around until that are ready to turn over. This will help to ensure that they don’t break up).

How to Grill Salmon

4. Know When to Flip

If the fish fillet sticks to the grill grates, it’s not ready to flip. Don’t force it! Cooking seafood can seem tricky at first, but knowing the basic tips and tricks can save your favorite fish from ending up all over the grill. If your salmon is sticking, try to flip it again every 30 seconds until the fish releases freely from the grate. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes after turning.

5. How to Tell When Salmon is Done

Fish is easy to overcook, grill your salmon to 145°F as measured by a meat thermometer. Your salmon should flake easily and be opaque in appearance (no longer translucent). Rest 5 minutes before serving.

How to Grill Salmon

How to Serve Grilled Salmon

Grilled Salmon makes for a sweet and savory experience when served on a bed of rice topped with pineapple salsa. For the salad lovers, add it to a plate of greens such as spinach or kale to spice up your afternoon salad. Add a delicious side dish and end your picture perfect meal by indulging in our made-from-scratch Caramel Apple Tartlets or our premium Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes.

Try These Delicious Salmon Recipes:

More Ways to Cook Salmon:

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been updated for freshness and comprehensiveness.

How to Grill Salmon


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