How to Grill Salmon
- by Omaha Steaks
With its firm texture and fatty flesh, salmon is the perfect grilling fish. It is delicious simply grilled over charcoal or on a gas grill; it just depends how smoky you like it (grilling over charcoal will yield a smokier end product.) World Port Seafood experts are here to teach you how to grill salmon with some great tips for grilling our salmon perfectly every single time without any sticking to the grill and falling apart.
As a general rule, salmon should be cooked until it is still pink and juicy on the inside: 3 to 6 minutes for every 1/2 inch of thickness is a good starting point. While the salmon is on the grill, it is important to check it frequently for doneness. Using a fork, check the flesh at the thickest part of the fillet. Once it is slightly pink in the center and flakes easily with a fork, the salmon is cooked.
Preparing the Grill
When grilling salmon, you should always start with a hot, clean grill. The best way to ensure your salmon doesn’t stick to the grill is to grease the grates well. Heat the grill to high to burn off any residual grease and bits of food from previous use. Dip a wad of folded paper towel into vegetable oil and, using tongs, rub the paper towel all over the grates. Close the lid and heat the grill for 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat a few times until the grates are black and glossy.
Grilling the Salmon
- Once the grill is prepared, set it to medium-high heat.
- Pat thawed salmon fillets with paper towel to dry well. Brush both sides with olive oil or melted butter to prevent fillets from sticking.
- Season each fillet generously with coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. The seasoning possibilities for salmon fillets are endless, so feel free to sprinkle with fresh herbs or your favorite spice blend.
- Place salmon on the grill diagonal to the grates; this will make flipping the fillets easier and give the salmon a high-end, restaurant-like presentation with grill marks.
- Cover grill and cook salmon for 2 to 3 minutes or until well marked. (Once the fillets are on the grill, do not move them around until they are ready to turn over. Allowing them to cook undisturbed will help ensure that they don’t break up).
- Use a thin metal fish spatula to loosen each fillet from the grill before flipping. If the flesh sticks to the grill, it is not ready to be flipped. Close the lid and try again every 30 seconds until the fillet releases freely from the grate. Flip fish.
- Cover and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested and is opaque in appearance (no longer translucent).
- Transfer to a serving platter; serve simply with lemon wedges or dress it up with a fresh accompaniment like Grilled Pineapple and Chipotle Salsa.
Grilled salmon is divine served on a bed of charred or wilted greens, such as kale, spinach or chard. Add it to tacos or serve in lettuce cups drizzled with hoisin sauce. Refrigerate leftover grilled salmon and fold it into egg salad or add it to your favorite pasta or rice dishes.