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How to Cook Salmon on the Grill

Want to cook salmon on the grill? These fabulous and flavorful grilled salmon recipes will help you make a great meal.

Salmon filets are shown on a lit grill with the words "how to cook salmon on a grill" superimposed over the image.

You’ve probably heard it before: salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which means it’s super good for you. Plus, according to a Good Housekeeping story, “Why Salmon Needs to Become Part of Your Diet ASAP,” it helps burn fat, protect your heart, control blood sugar and even reduce inflammation.

Yep, salmon is definitely a healthy choice.

And there are so many ways to cook it. Have you broiled salmon? That’s how I cook it most often during the colder months when my grill is often buried in snow. But in the spring, summer and fall, I take my cooking outside.

Fortunately, it’s easy and tasty to cook salmon on the grill. Wondering how? Here’s what you need to know.

How to season grilled salmon

Salmon is a fish that can be wonderful when it’s seasoned simply. But it’s also delightful with a little more flavor.

In terms of how to season grilled salmon, you have three basic options:

  • Dry seasoning — This is the method I use most often because it doesn’t require any prep work. Just sprinkle the salmon with whatever seasoning you want. The seasoning could be as simple as salt and pepper (my favorite!) or a more complex blend you make yourself or purchase. To use dry seasoning, just sprinkle it on.
  • Marinade — Marinades are another great option for seasoning grilled salmon, but they do take some extra work. You’ll need to immerse the salmon in the marinade ahead of time (a good rule of thumb is at least 30 minutes before grilling, though an hour is usually better). Hint: When marinating, place the salmon in skin side up. That way the portion of the fish that’s most immersed will be the part you eat.
  • Glaze — One more option! If you don’t have time to marinate and want something bolder than a dry seasoning, try glazing the salmon. With this method you simply brush on your glaze once or twice while cooking. It will give the outside of the salmon great flavor.

How long to grill salmon

Salmon cooks pretty quickly! Place it on the grill skin side down, and don’t disturb it for at least six minutes. It’s ready to flip once it releases easily. Cook it for a few more minutes — four to eight, depending on how well done you want it and when it releases easily. And then it’s ready to serve.

Do you have to flip it?

You don’t have to flip the salmon. It can be cooked well without doing so. But just because you don’t have to doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Flipping the salmon will give you those beautiful grill marks. And, personally, I like the flavor that’s imparted by the flesh facing the fire.

Grilled Salmon Recipes

Want to cook salmon on the grill? These fabulous and flavorful grilled salmon recipes will help you make a great meal.