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You, too, can make the absolute BEST Grilled Salmon in foil on the grill. This salmon has a slightly sweet and smoky flavor and is grilled to perfection in just around 15 minutes!

During cooking, the marinade creates a nice glaze so that the salmon filets end up with a slightly crisp outside and light flakiness inside. This simple grilled salmon is not only delicious, but it is extremely easy to prepare.

The marinade is mixed up right in a ziplock bag and the fish is grilled in little aluminum boats placed right on top of the grill grates making clean up easy!

My family agrees this is the best salmon recipe ever, and I think yours will, too!

Best Grilled Salmon in foil recipe

How to make the best grilled salmon

Place grilled salmon marinade in ziplock bag for at least one hour
Best Grilled Salmon marinates in ziplock bag for easy clean-up!

STEP 1 | Marinade the salmon

Combine the grilled salmon marinade ingredients in a single gallon-size zip lock bag (no need to dirty up a bowl). Add the salmon, and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to penetrate the fish.

Cooking salmon filets on the grill in aluminum foil boats with marinade

STEP 2 | Make aluminum foil boats

After soaking up all that flavorful marinade, the salmon fillets are grilled in little aluminum foil “boats”. I use heavy duty non-stick aluminum foil and just fold up the sides a couple of times to make a lip.

STEP 3 | Grill the fish

Place the filets on the foil skin side down, then pour some of the marinade over the top. The best part is that after grilling, you just toss the foil!

The salmon is perfectly cooked after just 15-18 minutes on the grill with the lid down. Be careful that you avoid overcooking or the salmon will become too dry. The salmon should lift away from the skin easily with a flat spatula.

Grilled salmon on a white plate with baked sweet potato

Frequently asked questions

How do you know when fish is done?

Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork in the thickest part of the filet. The color should change from red to pink, but may still look a little translucent.

Which side do you cook first?

Always start cooking with the skin side down (for any recipe) as the fish will be easier to flip. Otherwise, the fish may stick to the grill grates and flake away.

Can you eat the skin?

Yes, you absolutely can eat the skin. With this recipe, however, I usually serve the salmon without the skin because it does not get crispy with this particular cooking method and I eating the skin if it has been pan-fried.

Should you wash fish before cooking?

It’s always a good idea to rinse any meat under cool running water and dry with paper towels before cooking. Always remember to sanitize your sink and counter tops after this process, though, to avoid any splattered bacteria.


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Serving suggestions

I like to serve this healthy grilled salmon with a baked sweet potato and my 20-minute oven roasted Brussels sprouts. Other options include:

This salmon recipe is by far the best I’ve had! 5 stars for sure!

— Lynn

Related recipes

Cooking dinner on the grill gets everyone involved in preparing the meal at our house. We love being outdoors and grill as often as the weather cooperates — sometimes even three or four times a week.

Here are a few of our favorite grilling recipes:

Best Grilled Salmon on a white plate with baked sweet potato

Grilled Salmon in Foil: behind the recipe

Grilling is practically a year-round thing at our house. Early Spring until late Fall, you’ll find John flipping burgers, chops, steaks—well, just about anything, really—at least two or three times a week.  

Lately, we’ve been adding this salmon recipe to our regular grilling rotation. What’s surprising about that is for the longest time John believed he didn’t even like salmon. Until we tried this delicious grilled salmon recipe!

That’s a big win for me because I love salmon. Now my hubby’s the one who suggests we pick up salmon for the grill. You know what they say, “happy wife, happy life”! We first made this recipe over two years ago and my family whole-heartedly agrees that this truly is the BEST salmon they’ve ever eaten.

I seriously can’t even count how many times we’ve used this recipe to grill salmon. The marinade is so flavorful, the salmon is tender and flaky, and clean up is a breeze. This recipe is always a winner with our crowd and has become one of our go-to options because it is SO easy and SO tasty!

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Best Grilled Salmon on a white plate with baked sweet potato

Best Grilled Salmon

Perfectly grilled salmon with a slightly sweet and smoky flavor.
4.25 from 339 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Additional Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Fish & Seafood
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 643 kcal

Ingredients
  

Marinade

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lite soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 6-oz. Salmon filets

Instructions
 

  • Place all marinade ingredients into a gallon size zip lock bag and seal. Squeeze gently to combine ingredients, then add salmon fillets. Seal and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours to allow flavors to penetrate the fish.
  • Preheat grill to medium high heat. For each salmon fillet, take a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and fold into a "dish" with sides. Place a salmon fillet into each dish skin side down. Add a little of the marinade on top and place the entire dish on the grill.
  • Grill for 15-18 minutes with the lid closed. Flip the salmon onto the grill to sear the top, about 1-2 minutes. Carefully scrape off the skin (it should lift right off) and serve.

Video

Notes

Original recipe by Honey Bear Lane 

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 643kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 52gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 1549mgSugar: 11g
Keyword grilled, salmon
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

62 Comments

    1. Hi, Paula. You can grill the salmon without the skin, but I think leaving it on helps to hold the fish together. Adjust cooking times, with or without the skin, depending on your preference for the fish temperature/doneness. I always test with a fork to make sure it flakes easily.

    2. This marinade makes delicious grilled salmon. I grill the salmon pieces directly on the grill, skin side down for 18 minutes. Flip it. Pour marinade over it and grill it for 2 minutes more. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  1. Could you bake the salmon and turn on the broiler at the end to “sear” the top? If so, what temperature would you bake it and how long?

    1. Terri, I would try baking the salmon at 425 – 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes and very carefully turn on the broiler at the end of cooking, but personally I think grilling is best.

    2. 5 stars
      This is a restaurant quality dish and my fiancé loved it. I should have oiled the grill before flipping the fish onto it because the fish stuck a little to the grill. The flavors were perfect and I have tried many salmon marinades. Will be my “go to” recipe for grilled salmon.

  2. 4 stars
    Hi! My husband also loved this, thanks! I was hoping for it to turn out with more of a glaze on it… it was still great, but any advice to help achieve that? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Kate. Because of this cooking method, I think it would be difficult to get a really thick glaze going on. You could try preparing a little extra marinade to use as a basting sauce. Brush it on just before you flip the salmon during the last step when you sear the fish. Let me know if you try that – thanks!

  3. When placing the salmon into the foil “dish” what side goes down? Skin side or the fish side?

  4. Pingback: Healthy Foods Friday….Mmm Grilled Salmon – Discovering Health and Wellness
  5. 5 stars
    I just tried this recipe but instead I baked it for 13 mins and then grilled them on medium/high heat for 40-50 secs using a grill pan It was AWESOME!

  6. 4 stars
    We just tried this recipe. We subbed coconut aminos in place of soy. It came out perfect. Best i have done so far. Thank you for posting your recipe.

  7. Pingback: Your Grilled Salmon Pairs Best with These Sides! - FamilyNano
    1. Brandi, with fish it’s not necessary to marinate all day. If time after work is an issue, it would be ok to reduce the marinating to just 30 minutes instead.

      1. Thank you! I am going to fix this tomorrow evening! We love salmon and are always wanting to try new recipes!

  8. 5 stars
    This was really good! We make salmon often and I’ve used a soy-maple marinade in the past, but really liked this combination of soy-brown sugar-lemon. Will use again. We grilled this time but we bake often. I used a dark soy sauce and didn’t add salt.

  9. 5 stars
    Me and my wife are in love with this salmon recipe. We can’t have it any other way now!
    My daughter even loves it and she has never been that much of a salmon lover. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Debbie. I haven’t tried thawing the salmon in the marinade before, so I can’t be positive on what results you will get. That being said, it makes sense to me that this would work.

  10. 5 stars
    This is my FAVORITE marinade for salmon! I’d rather stay home and make this than pay for salmon at a restaurant with this recipe. Bookmarked!

  11. 5 stars
    We just started eating salmon because of this recipe. I make it once a week. We love it!!!

  12. 5 stars
    This is a very easy delicious recipe. I made it for my in-laws and they couldn’t stop talking about it. Even my very fussy 2 year old loved it.

  13. Love this marinade…just one question. I see that is says to marinade 1-3 hours. I’m no expert chef by any means, but I had been told that marinating over 1 hour when using salt in any form starts to “cook” the fish. Is this true? I generally like to marinate my meats on the longer side, so I’d love to do the 3 hours, but not at risk of ruining the fish. Thanks!

    1. Zachary, I’ve used this particular marinade for that amount of time with good results. Truthfully, though, I think the salmon tastes just as good by marinating for only one hour.

  14. It took me 45 minutes to make this dish for the first time.
    My daughter really liked it.
    This dish is delicious and good for health.
    thank you.

  15. 5 stars
    I made this salmon today for a birthday dinner. It was absolutely delicious and very easy. Everyone loved it. The marinade was not overpowering or too sweet. Thanks for the recipe. *****

  16. 5 stars
    The best grilled salmon! I actually put/poured more marinade over the fish! My husband loved it and so did my almost 5 year old.
    Thank you!

  17. I cooked this a few days ago and loved it. I took it out of the aluminum foil about 2 minutes before it was done and turned it upside down above the flames to sear it. The salmon was so tender it basically melted in my mouth. I will cook this again.

  18. Oh.my.goodness…I too am a salmon hater. My husband loves it and was stuck with only getting to have it when we ate out. I loved this recipe and him even more so. Thank you so much for sharing.

  19. I’ve used this recipe several times and it’s absolutely delicious and favorite. We grill it and never fails!
    Thanks for sharing.

  20. Question…..im preparing to make the Salmon today. When you flip the salmon, are you flipping it out of the “dish” and onto the grill grates or does it stay in the “dish” after you flip it?

    Thanks…

    1. Hi, Tracy. If you do flip for the grill marks, place the salmon directly on an oiled fish rack on the grill. Recently, we’ve skipped this step and the salmon is still great! Enjoy!

  21. No grill here, live in a condo. Can it be baked in foil? Temp and length of time? Spouse would be happy to have new salmon recipe.

    1. Try baking the salmon at 425 degrees for 12-13 minutes and very carefully turn on the broiler at the end of cooking to sear the top.

  22. 4 stars
    One of our favorites! Has anyone cooked this on a pellet grill? Temp?
    Love how it comes out on the grill

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