This BEST Grilled Salmon recipe 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 and 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 that this is the salmon recipe ever, and I think yours will, too!
The BEST Grilled Salmon
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 recipe for slightly sweet and smoky Best Grilled Salmon to our regular grilling rotation.
What’s surprising about that is that John believed that he didn’t like salmon until we tried this recipe! That’s a big win for me because I love salmon and now he’s the one who suggests we pick up salmon for the grill…happy wife, happy life!
We first made this recipe over two years ago (thanks to Honey Bear Lane for the original post!) and my family whole-heartedly agrees that this truly is the BEST salmon they’ve ever eaten.
That’s quite the compliment, especially coming from my hubby who thought that he didn’t like salmon. Who knew that after 30-plus years of marriage I could finally convince him to grill salmon? And guess what? He loves salmon now! In fact, it’s usually John who suggests grilling salmon for dinner—haha!
How to Grill Salmon
Start by combining 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.
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. 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.
How do you know when the salmon 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 of the salmon 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 salmon 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 salmon 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.
What goes with salmon?
I like to serve this healthy grilled salmon with a baked sweet potato and my 20-minute oven roasted Brussels sprouts. Other options include:
- Pasta or rice pilaf
- Steamed broccoli
- Roasted asparagus
To make this recipe you may need…
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More Grilling 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:
- Easy Grilled Steak Fajitas for Two — A red curry paste marinade and fresh avocado crema make for tasty and easy grilled steak fajitas at home!
- Country-Style Ribs and Grilled Sweet Potatoes & Chow Chow — Tender, juicy country-style pork ribs are grilled up with sliced sweet potatoes and garnished with a slightly sweet chow chow mix of corn, onion, sweet bell peppers, and jalapeño.
- Mongolian Glazed Grilled Steak — This steak has a light, crispy coating and a tangy barbecue glaze. It’s so unexpected and so phenomenal!
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Blueberry Salsa — Easy enough for weeknight grilling or fancy enough for your next Summer dinner party!
- Grilled Steak Salad with French Vinaigrette — A lite French Vinaigrette works perfectly with the tender grilled steak, juicy pears, and blue cheese on this entrée salad.
- Chili-Orange Glazed Pork Tenderloin — Easy preparation and simple ingredients combine to create a flavorful meal of Chili-Orange Glazed Pork Tenderloin with roasted sweet potato wedges.
BEST Grilled Salmon Recipe
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!
If you like this recipe, please do me a favor and give it a 5-star rating!
- 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 Salmon filets
- 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.
Original recipe by Honey Bear Lane
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 643 Total Fat: 42g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 31g Cholesterol: 143mg Sodium: 1549mg Carbohydrates: 13g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 11g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 52g
Sheila Thigpen, author of The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. A Southern girl living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters, are active in their church, love to travel, and are over-the-moon excited about becoming grandparents last year. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!