How to Grill Salmon: A Step-by-Step Guide

Grilling perfect salmon is easy with these simple steps.

The best cuts of salmon for grilling are steaks (photo on left, top) or fillets (bottom). Buy wild for flavor and sustainability.

Step 1: Buy Skin-On Salmon

Step 1: Buy Skin-On Salmon
The skin helps hold the fish together and prevents sticking on the grill. Check the fish for pin bones, then pat the salmon dry and season with salt and pepper. Tip: A sprinkling of kosher salt on fish helps prevent it from sticking to the grill.

Step 2: Get Grilling

Step 2: Get Grilling
Place salmon on an oiled grill that has been preheated to medium-high. For fillets, put them down skinless side first, unless you like crispy skin — if so, put the skin side down first. Space the pieces of fish out a bit so that they cook evenly. Now, don't touch the salmon.

Step 3: Flip

Step 3: Flip
The salmon will release itself from the grill when it's ready. Use a flat spatula to flip the salmon over when it's 60 percent cooked. A 1-inch-thick piece will cook in about 6 to 10 minutes. After 6 minutes, it will be a little pink in the middle. After 10 minutes, it will be cooked through. 
Tip: When white beads appear on the surface and sides of the fish, it's a sign that it's overcooking.

Step 4: Rest Time
Like any other protein, when the fish is done, remove it from the grill and let it rest. The fish will keep cooking for a few minutes after you take it off the grill.

Step 5: Serve

Step 5: Serve
For a simple presentation, serve with a little lemon.

Step-by-step photos

How To: Grill Salmon 02:19

Avoid fish-grilling pitfalls with our essential salmon-grilling tips.

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