Healthy grilled salmon is ready in just 15 minutes. Simply brush with olive oil, sprinkle with spices, and grill for 10 minutes. Easy!
Out of all my salmon recipes, this one is easily one of my favorites. I make it often – at least every other week.
When accompanied by an easy, make-ahead side dish such as broccoli salad, it’s one of the easiest dinners I make for my family. And it’s healthy and delicious!
Advantages of grilled salmon
When using skin-on fillets (as you should!), nothing gets the skin crispier than grilling. And crispy salmon skin is a delicacy.
In addition to making a truly crispy skin, grilling also keeps the fish exceptionally juicy. That is, as long as you don’t overcook it (and we’ll get to that soon).
The disadvantages of grilling
My main concern whenever I make grill recipes is that charred food is considered unhealthy. The solution is to grill without charring. As you can see in the photos, the outside of the fish is nicely grilled, but it’s not charred.
One of the ways to achieve that is to use medium heat and to avoid overcooking the fish. Another way is to avoid using herbs that would char easily. I only use kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to season the fish.
The ingredients you’ll need
The ingredients list for this recipe is delightfully short! The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need (exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
- Skin-on salmon fillets
- Olive oil
- To season: kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder
How to grill salmon
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- Start by heating up your grill on medium and greasing it. You can use an outdoor grill, an indoor grill, or a grill pan.
- Brush the salmon fillets with olive oil and sprinkle with the seasonings.
- Place the fillets on the grill, skin side down.
- Cover and grill until the outside is crispy and the inside is fully cooked. This should take about five minutes per side.
How long does it take salmon to cook on the grill?
Salmon cooks very fast. Generally speaking, a 1-inch-thick fillet only needs about 10 minutes (5 minutes per side) to be fully cooked.
What is a good seasoning for salmon?
I like to season this dish simply, with olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Sage is also very good, but it will char on the grill. So in this particular recipe, I don’t use it. But I do use it when making pan-fried salmon.
What temperature should the grilled salmon be?
The USDA recommends cooking fish to an internal temperature of medium (145°F). I sometimes choose to ignore the USDA recommendations, especially when cooking whole cuts of fresh beef such as ribeye roast.
I do this with the understanding that eating medium-rare beef slightly increases my risk of foodborne illnesses. But in the case of salmon, I always follow the USDA recommendation.
Salmon can contain parasites. So unless your fish was previously frozen (and properly so in order to kill parasites), it’s important to make sure it’s fully cooked.
Should I choose wild salmon over farmed salmon?
I’ll admit it – I like the taste of farmed salmon better because it’s fattier. But while farmed salmon is nutritious too, there are more concerns about its healthfulness. So if possible, it’s best to choose wild.
What to serve with grilled salmon?
Salmon is very versatile. You can serve it with any side dish you like. I often serve it, as mentioned above, with broccoli salad.
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftover grilled salmon in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. Reheat the leftovers very gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
You can also freeze leftovers, wrapped in foil and sealed in freezer bags, for up to 3 months.
More salmon recipes you might enjoy
Baked salmon is really good. If you don’t own a grill, it’s a great option for making tasty, juicy salmon. And these pan-fried salmon steaks are amazing. They are my husband’s favorite salmon dish, and for good reason.
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Easy Grilled Salmon
- Oil for the grill
- 4 (6 oz) salmon fillets, 1-inch thick, skin on
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (not fine salt)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Heat grill or grill pan on medium. Oil it if needed.
- Brush each salmon fillet all over with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
- Place the salmon fillets on the grill, skin side down. Cover (you can loosely cover with foil if you don’t have a lid) and grill until the outside is crispy and the inside is fully cooked, about 5 minutes per side.