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The Best Grilled Salmon

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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 that this is the salmon recipe ever, and I think yours will, too!

Best Grilled Salmon in foil recipe

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 thisbgrilled 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 recipe!

That’s a big win for me because I love salmon. Now he’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.

Step-by-step instructions

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

It starts with the marinade

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

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.

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!

Grilled salmon on a white plate with baked sweet potato

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.

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How do you know when it’s 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.

Side dish 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:

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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

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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Yield: 4 servings

Best Grilled Salmon

Best Grilled Salmon on a white plate with baked sweet potato

Perfectly grilled salmon with a slightly sweet and smoky flavor.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

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 Salmon filets

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Notes

Original recipe by Honey Bear Lane 

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 643Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 1549mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 52g

Did you make this recipe?

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ABOUT SHEILA
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and 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. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTubePinterestInstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

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Tamila

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

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!

Susan

Sunday 17th of May 2020

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. *****

Jessica Luther

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

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.

Zachary

Tuesday 24th of December 2019

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!

Sheila Thigpen

Wednesday 25th of December 2019

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.

Devin Sanchez

Thursday 17th of October 2019

Very delicious and nutritious recipe. My parents enjoyed it.

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