Elise, Finally a person and recipe that knows how to grill a salmon fillet. I lived in Alaska for 30 years so I’ve grilled literally hundreds of salmon fillets. Most recipes I’ve seen talk about grilling for 6 to 8 minutes per side which almost always leaves you with dry salmon unless you’re cooking a King Salmon fillet that’s 2 inches thick. I particularly like the part about err to undercook as once it’s over cooked all you can do is make sandwich spread. As for my favorite recipe I just make a simple garlic butter and baste the fillets a few times while cooking, just have to watch for flare-ups.
Honey, Soy sauce and a nip of lemon. Mix together and marinade. Perfect
I grill my salmon on stove top in a cast iron skillet with grill marks on The bottom. Add a little canola oil and butter and season salt and ground blk pepper. It’s good and simple
Rub with a little lemon juice, then Catalina dressing, & fresh chopped basil, broil 12 to 15 mins.
I just made this with the baking sheet since I didn’t have a pan large enough and it was AMAZING! My husband isn’t into seafood and even he was raving about it. Plus I like simple recipe and I don’t like my salmon sweet.
My marinades consist of two main ingredients…olive oil and lime or lemon. I throw in a bit of herb or red wine.
I simply rub olive oil on the salmon filet, shake on some seasoning salt and grill it skin side down first, just like this recipe does. I give it a little grind of black pepper on the plate.
I don’t really worry about grill marks. I get my salmon from Little Fish Company at the Sacramento Farmer’s Market on
Sundays and it is incredible. I just grill it skin side down, which provides a little tray for the fish. Then, when it’s done, I use a spatula to take the fish off, leaving the skin on the grill. Once it’s cold, it just peels off the grill.
Great recipe. I love it.
My favorite way to cook/grill salmon is using a cedar plank. Soak plank for 30 min or so, place salmon on top of plank, sprinkle with favorite brand of cajun seasoning, cook med heat for about 20 min. It is delicious. I find that while using the cedar plank infuses an nice flavor it has the added perk of not having to flip the fish!
Hi thanks for this. I like to grill my salmon, & most fish, on a bed of sliced lemons to add flavour & stop it sticking to the grill.
Great recipes. My favorite grilled salmon is adapted from an old Cooks Illustrated recipe. In a blender, pulse together 1/2 cup Apricot preserves (Bonne Maman is the best!), 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 chopped scallions, 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and fine stalks, 1 teaspoon lime zest and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste!). Put the blended mix into a small pan and bubble over a low heat for 2-3 mins. Remove about 1/4 cup from the pan, and use to coat the seasoned (salt and pepper sprinkle) salmon fillets. You can remove the skin if you like to get more sauce to the fish, because the next step will ensure that the salmon behaves itself on the grill! Add 2 tablespoons butter to the remaining pan sauce, and leave on a very low heat.
Now this is the genius part – make a little boat/tray out of NONSTICK foil for each fillet. Vons stocks this foil, made by Reynolds, and it is just brilliant. Cook the salmon in the nonstick foil trays/boats, as Elise describes above. Brush with the buttered sauce after turning. Thanks to the nonstick foil, you can turn the fish easily without it sticking or disintegrating, and the foil conducts heat so well, that you can still get grill marks. Meanwhile the foil stops your grill from getting all sticky and black. Serve with more sauce, either poured over, or on the side. Incredibly delicious and easy cleanup too!
That is brilliant Dawn, thank you for sharing this tip! I love stick-free aluminum foil, especially find it useful in baking.
I hasten to add that the non-stick foil was Cooks Illustrated’s idea, not mine! :)
I use a marinade of lime and tequila. Tastes delicious.
Did this and it’s awesome!
All these sound great! I love trying different recipes for salmon. One of my favorites is Planked Salmon. I usually slide the plank off the grill onto a large cutting board and serve it right off the plank.
I live in Seattle, but I just had the best salmon I’ve ever eaten in Michigan…it was Norwegian salmon. We sprinkled it with garlic salt, black pepper and dill. Though I usually do prefer a good marinade. These filets turned out amazingly well.
One very easy marinade is just some balsamic vinegar. I pour some over the top of the salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper right before cooking.
I know salmon is good for you, I don’t eat fishes often enough period because of their strong fishy taste, I love Chilean sea bass though,I made up this marinate and have eaten more fishes:
1 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinergar
1/3 cup chopped fresh lemon grass
1 whole garlic
put everything in a blender or food processor to coarsely blended, marinate your fish 30 -35 minutes before grilling.
Note: you can get frozen grounded lemon grass in the Asian Markets.
Is it ok to grill or broil (or bake,for that matter) frozen salmon, unthawed?
Not unless you want salmon that is overcooked on the outside and raw or still frozen on the inside. Thaw the fish first. You can do so rather quickly by putting it in a bowl of cold water. ~Elise
I tried the first two marinades and it’s officially my favorite way of cooking salmon; it makes it so juicy & tasty and you can’t get enough of it!
As a young boy growing up on the panhandle of Texas in the ’50’s I thought salmon only came in the fried patties my mom fried up from canned salmon. I would lather them in catsup and thought they were delicious:-(
Years later, while living on the Olympic peninsula in Washington state, I learned about King salmon, fresh off the hook out of the Straits of Juan de Fuca. We have salmon just about weekly now and thoroughly enjoy it.
The recipe we use most often calls for honey, ginger, orange juice, and soy. We love it, and we’ve never fed it to anyone who didn’t also love it. I have it posted on my food blog here: Honey-Ginger Grilled Salmon
Not overly fond of marinades myself, but I like the technique here — it is counter-intuitive to go meat-side first, but it really is the way to go. I will be doing this with the Trinity River chinooks we caught last weekend…
I’ve been grilling salmon lately and so far, my all-time favorite way is to douse the fillets with good olive oil, sprinkle on Montreal Steak seasoning and toss on the grill. You get all the good flavor of the salmon….no marinade take-over.
I love salmon in any form!!
Try mixing whole grain mustard and brown sugar into a paste. Spread on fillet, grill without turning, and enjoy.
I need help however. I have a gas smoker that goes to 250 degrees, (has pan for water & chips).
I want to smoke salmon halves with salt, spices, etc. I need help because my last try was too salty.
Just do not salt it at all. You can always add seasoning before eating.
A local “grill-master” had showed us a way to grill salmon and I have loved making this ever since. First, coat the salmon with dijon or whole grain mustard, then add a thick layer of brown sugar and then top with a lot of chopped fresh dill. Grill skin-side down for 15 mins. yum!
It sounds delicious! I do have a question about salmon though. I enjoy it smoked a great deal but for some reason when I grill or bake salmon at home it always has a strong fishy taste. Is there something I can do to cut down on the strength of that flavor?
Yes, make sure you are getting the freshest fish possible, and cooking it the same day you buy it. If it is fishy tasting, that’s because it isn’t fresh. Never buy fresh fish the day before you intend to cook it. Only cook it the same day, and make sure you get it from a reliable fish monger. That said, cooking any salmon indoors will tend to stink up your kitchen, which is why we usually grill or poach ours. ~Elise
If you are poaching, a bay leaf will tone down the fishy taste. If you are grilling, you just have to be sure it is fresh. That’s harder than you think it is when supermarkets thaw it and pretend it is fresh.
Love it! Love it! love all the flavors you have used here as the marinade.
Once a year I make an apple-butter sauce for salmon based on an Emeril recipe I once found. My variation is to saute a diced apple in apple cider over moderate heat, then add some spiced rum and ignite to burn off the alcohol.
Add a good pour of heavy cream and reduce. Dice 6 tablespoons of cold butter, and keep adding cubes of butter (while constantly whisking so the sauce doesn’t break). Serve over baked or grilled salmon – it sounds like an odd combination, but it’s absolutely delicious!
It doesn’t sound all that good, but my Dad has been grilling salmon this way for years. Very moist as long as you don’t leave it on the grill too long:
Start the grill on low. Brush on a thin layer of Miracle Whip over the meat side of a fillet, and then crack some pepper over that. Clean the grill, and then rub some oil to prevent sticking ( you can also just put the fillet on a double-folded piece of tin foil sprayed with no-stick spray ). Put the fillet on the grill, and leave it until it starts to flake. If it didn’t stick to the grill ( or foil ), the meat comes right off the skin.
Love grilled salmon. I make it a variety of ways but the current favorite is to rub mccormicks grill-mates sweet & smoky rub all over the salmon and grill it. Top with pineapple salsa (or any fruit salsa, I think peach salsa would work well also!) and YUM!
We love grilled salmon. Even though we’re in the great white north, we BBQ during the winter. Our favourite way to grill salmon is with a Cajan rub.
We first rub a little Cajan spice on the fish, then apply a little olive oil. Get the grill nice & hot, clean it. (First with the wire brush and then using a paper towel and tongs rub with vegetable oil) A clean grill will help ensure the salmon doesn’t stick. Grill the salmon as mentioned above. It will smoke a bit, but that is okay. You’re out doors. When done serve a slice of lemon or lemon/mayo sauce.
What a beautiful photo of your salmon! I love salmon, I recently made it with a homemade bbq rub that was out of this world! It gave it a sweet, smoky flavor. You can do so much with salmon! Great post!
Favourite salmon marinade – equal parts maple syrup and light soy sauce.
This is what I use, but with regular soy sauce;
I always use minced garlic, ginger (usually dry) and cinnamon and a bit of olive oil or soy sauce to mix. Try adding cinnamon to the teriyaki sauce above, it is perfect wih salmon.
This looks great! I plan to link to it in an upcoming newsletter.
I usually marinate salmon in a citrus and garlic marinade (some oj and some lemon juice) and then rub it with a brown sugar, chili powder, cumin and cayenne mixture.
hello ms. elise
can I use tuna as a substitute for salmon?
unfortunately, I am allergic to salmon :(
but the recipe looks really yummy
I would love to try it at home
thank you for sharing this!
You can try it. If you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise
Absolutely best grilled salmon:
Coat the salmon liberally with best sesame oil.
Place in flat dish and sprinkle liberally with dark soy sauce. Cover dish with plastic bag and allow to marinate in fridge for about 2 hours. Ensure that all salmon is benefiting from being immersed in this marinade i.e. turn it over at least once during its sojourn in the refrigerator. Grill! You cannot buy swoon!
Was the yakitori marinade one that you have previously used on chicken? The word translates to yaki= fried, tori=chicken. Also, salmon= sake, fish= sakana.
Likely. It’s a favorite of my sister who lived in Japan for several years. ~Elise
Mmm. I have some salmon marinating in maple syrup right now, but my favourite marinade is soy-wasabi – just perfect on the bbq!
I use Mr. Yoshida’s Original Gourmet Sauce. I marinade a 1 lb. fillet with skin on in a gallon Ziplock bag. Then I put it skin side down on a piece of foil on a medium-hot grill, close the lid, and let it cook until the fish is opaque and flaky on top. Easy, peasy! The less I have to go near the grill when it’s 100+ degrees, the better.
Then to serve I just slide a spatula between the skin and fish, put the fish on a plate and the foil/skin in the trash. I serve sides of a simple sunomono (sliced cucumber, TJ’s rice wine vinegar, and a little sesame oil) and steamed rice. Yummo!
Minced garlic with soy sauce is mostly the way I eat salmon. It’s just definitely yummy with the salmon. Try it and you will totally agree! yumyum =p
My favorite is Robert Rothschild Farms Asian Sesame Oven & Grill Sauce.
It contains sugar, honey, ground mustard, toasted seasme oil and seeds, red raspberry vinegar, mustard seed, salt, ground red pepper, ground black pepper and garlic oil.
Also, divine on pork.
I love grilled salmon. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat it. My mom and I came up with a marinade using merlot, fresh ginger, honey, salt & pepper, and fresh garlic. It’s amazing!
Penzey’s has a Thai mix of herbs that can’t be beat on salmon, called “Bangkok Blend”, which consists of dried sweet peppers, garlic, ginger, black pepper, galangal, hot peppers, lemon grass, basil, and cilantro. You could make up a marinade with the blend and some olive oil, lemon juice, a pinch of brown sugar and a few drops of really flavorful dark sesame oil, or you could just coat the fish with the mixed oils and lemon juice and pat on the herb mix before grilling (or indoor broiling). The lemon grass and galangal really make it sublime — if you make up the herb mix, try to get these ingredients, along with as aromatic and “perfumed” a black pepper as you can find.
This salmon looks perfect! I usually marinade salmon in something similar to your Teriyaki marinade, but I with the addition of orange juice and zest.
We just did grilled salmon the other night. We kept it pretty simple – olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. We also grilled some asparagus – again with olive oil, salt and pepper. I made some plain couscous to go along. I’m looking for some easy recipes for side dishes to go along side the grilled meats.
The marinades listed all look good — I think salmon pairs wonderfully with asian flavors. As for reducing the marinade down into a sauce, I confess to doing it. Keeping it at a good simmer for five minutes will kill nearly anything. I won’t officially recommend it, though, since apparently there are some bacteria heat won’t kill bla bla death bla bla.
My favorite salmon marinade begins with a brown sugar and spice rub and then marinates in soy, ginger, etc. for about an hour. Yum! The whole recipe is here: http://shinycooking.com/asian-salmon-on-quinoa.
We have salmon once a week so will be trying many of the suggestions from you and other commenters. My favorite quick way to grill salmon is to simply spoon soy sauce mixed with a bit of melted butter – perhaps a ratio of 4 or 5 to 1 (put both in the microwave for 30 seconds or so) onto the fish before placing on the grill. We continue to baste the fish as it is cooking and then save some of the sauce to spoon on the fish before eating.
I am not a huge seafood lover, but I do like grilled salmon. When I watched Jaden, of White on Rice, on the video for her grilled chicken wings (on Goodbite), the first thing I thought of was “Hmmm..that marinade would also be great grilled on salmon”..I do belive it would. I think Hoisan sauce is such a great quick alternative to using soy sauce because it’s not as salty, already sweetened and condensed so it’s nice an thick and clingy!
I generally grill my salmon in a foil packet. I spray the foil with cooking spray. Lay two large cuts of salmon down, then drizzle lemon juice on it. Sprinkle Adobo (without pepper) seasoning on it, as well as some Mrs. Dash (table blend). Then I cut thin slices from a stick of butter and lay those on top, sprinkle dried parsley (crushed) on top of that, and add thin lemon slices to the pieces). Close the packet up tightly and cook for 12 minutes on the grill on medium-low.
My husband didn’t like any fish till I started serving this!
The best salmon I ever had was fresh caught in the Cascade Mountains… the individual steaks were placed in foil packets with fresh lemon juice, butter and brown sugar; then grilled to perfection.
I think there is nothing better than freshly caught salmon. I have a friend who fishes out beyond Bolinas outside of San Francisco and have been lucky enough to share in a few meals when the boat comes in. Nothing like it. ~Elise
FYI, mirin is sweetened sake, and I’ve seen substitutions in japanese cookbooks that have you add sugar to sake in a 1:3 ratio, (or your preference). Rice vinegar wouldn’t be a good flavor substitute because it’s sour.
Unless you use seasoned rice vinegar, which is what we usually have on hand. Good point. I’ll make that distinction in the recipe. ~Elise
Great marinade variations! I love to grill the salmon coated with olive oil and sprinkled with s&p. Then I make a very simple brown butter and sage sauce on the stove top and ladle it over the cooked salmon. Nutty and delicious!
If you want to check out the recipe, just follow this link:
I like cooking salmon by itself for all its great flavors, but if I glaze it, I like making an apricot glaze with preserves, soy sauce, cinnamon, and something else…
I’ll have to pull that recipe out again sometime. :)
Thanks for all the awesome marinades in this post!
We have cooked salmon in our Brinkman charcoal smoker for so many years now, and haven’t modified the recipe at all, finding this one is loved by everyone who tries it. We use a large filet, one-half of the fish left uncut, and place it skin side down on a tray. Remove any bones (our fishmonger is fantastic at that, so we rarely have any). Blend together 3/4 cup olive oil, 2 large or 3 small garlic cloves crushed, 1 tbsp dill weed, 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley, juice of 2 limes, and a little dry white wine or water to make a total of 1.5 cups of marinade. Whip briskly with a wire wisk until the mixture appears creamy and smooth. Pour over the filet, and lightly sprinkle to taste with a good quality seasoned salt and crushed black pepper (lightly is the key word–don’t overwhelm the fish). Place covered with plastic wrap in refrigerator until grill/smoker is hot (1/2 hour or so). Smoke over hot coals at least 10 inches from fish, using soaked apple wood or pecan wood (the soaked shells of pecans is fantastic and easy) placed directly on coals for a delicate smoked flavor. Ours is usually done within an hour or so depending upon the size of the filet. When filet is firm and flakes easily, remove from grill/smoker allow to stand for 15 minutes. Enjoy! We like to squeeze lime over the fish, or use (sparingly) chipotle tabasco sauce at the table for a different flavor.
Lovely. I bet the salmon smoked that way is just terrific. ~Elise
TLB’s Delish Grilled Salmon:
Use a tin or pan with the surrogated edges on bottom (broiler pan) I cut up onions and lay the salmon on the onions. Salt pepper and then cut up orange slices add on top. Dot with butter and brown sugar. I grow herbs, so I put rosemary, sage, thyme and whatever else I have and then I put tin foil on it and put on the grill. Simple – easy and fast. Delish – the onions keep the salmon up and steams it mostly. EASY / FAST To die for.
At the Seattle World Fair in the ’60’s, there was a Northwest Indian Salmon booth, where they grilled salmon and glazed it with butter, brown sugar, and marjoram — yummy!
My favorite way to grill salmon (I usually do filets not steaks)
Glazed Grilled Salmon
Recipe By: Epicurious.com/Bon Appetit-July 1996
Serving Size: 2
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons prepared Chinese-style hot mustard — or Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 7-to-8 ounce salmon steaks — about 3/4″ thick
Prepare grill (medium-high heat). Combine brown sugar, mustard and soy sauce in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Transfer 1 tablespoon glaze to small bowl; mix in rice vinegar and set aside. Brush 1 side of salmon steaks generously with half of glaze in medium bowl. Place salmon steaks, glazed side down, onto grill grates. Grill until glaze is slightly charred, about 4 minutes. Brush top side of salmon steaks with remaining glaze in medium bowl. Turn salmon over and grill until second side is slightly charred and salmon is just opaque in center, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer salmon to plates. Drizzle reserved glaze in small bowl over salmon and serve.
I’ve made my own teriyaki before, but I actually prefer Trader Joe’s Soyaki (this is coming from someone who normally abhors store-bought sauces). It’s not overly sweet like most teriyaki sauces, and it has a prominent ginger flavor that I love.
We were in the 100s all last week, so I’ve been using the grill almost exclusively. Here’s a good marinade for salmon, tuna, chicken, pork…
1 c. bourbon or Tennessee whiskey
1/2 c. soy sauce
3 T. brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 inch knob ginger root, sliced and smashed
freshly ground pepper
pinch cayenne pepper (or as much as you like)
Kind of an East meets South vibe. Hope you like it!
I do love the Asian marinade you made for this salmon. One of the other favorite ways I love to make salmon is with a pomegranate sauce. It compliments the flavor of the salmon perfectly. I make it with Pomegranate liquor. If you want to look at the recipe, it can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/dx4h3y
I do something similar to this but after I flip the fish I spoon on a paste-like mixture of melted butter and brown sugar while the other side is grilling. It melts into the fish and creates a sweet-salty sensation for the salmon that guests, kids, hubbies, anyone just devours.
Thanks for all the different marinade recipes. I typically grill salmon skin side down and covered in lemon or lime slices & a good twist or two of freshly ground pepper. I tend not to turn it because I don’t cut the piece before grilling. Next time I cook salmon I’m definitely going to try the Teriyaki marinade with mirin.
Sprinkle salmon with salt, pepper and chipotle powder. Grill. Finish off with a glaze of red chili raspberry jam. Garnish with some lime wedges and a few fresh raspberries…….to die for good.
I get the red chili raspberry jam from Heidi in Corrales New Mexico……it is great to have such a treasure in my own backyard. She also makes a ginger raspberry jam that would be equally as good on the grilled salmon.
I’ve never tried red chili raspberry jam, but I love anything with chili in it, sounds great! ~Elise
I make a packet out of parchment paper wrapped in foil for grilling my salmon. I thinly slice a lemon and lay the slices on top of the salmon along with sprigs of fresh dill, slices of garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of olive oil and of white wine, some salt and some pepper. I seal the packet carefully and grill it about 5 -6 mins for every pound (I usually grill a whole side of salmon around 2 lbs). Fool-proof and delicious hot, room temp or cold the next day. You can alter the seasonings/liquids easily and to taste.
I usually mix about a quarter cup peach-mango jam with several tbsp of soy sauce, plus some ginger, and broil the salmon. The grill method looks great! Mmmmm…
“or if using a teriyaki marinade, simmer down to make a finishing glaze” — this should be from a small portion of unused marinade, not a good idea to reuse marinade from a raw protein.
It’s not a problem if you simmer it, the high temperature kills any bacteria. ~Elise
While your fish looks fantastic, I usually cut the ‘tail’ end off each salmon fillet so that it cooks completely evenly. I save the trim to make salmon cakes or to poach to make salmon salad.
One of my fav ways to prepare it is with a soy, brown sugar and rice wine vinegar glaze. Simple but delish. The sugar makes the skin crisp up beautifully.
Great idea on trimming the narrower parts and saving for another use, thanks! ~Elise
The tail part is the best part – why waste it in salmon cakes? I just watch it carefully at the start and as soon as it’s just cooked, I cut it off and e3at it at the grill. Few people in my house have ever tasted the skinny end!
Nice looking fillets. I love Salmon, I just simply marinade them in lemon juice, salt&pepper and grill or bake them but I would love to try new flavors, so it’s now on my list to try very soon.
I LOVE Salmon grilled and basted with a mixture of lime juice, crushed garlic, a dash of soy sauce, and chopped cilantro. I could eat the sauce by itself.
I’ve made something similar but without the cilantro! That sounds like a great addition. I go fishing with my dad on Lake Ontario and catch lots of salmon, but do struggle to make it different and unique. He used to be a Charter Captain. They are big fish but sometimes taste too fishy, the cilantro should help with that.
What can you substitute mirin with? I can’t find it in local asian stores. I heard so many possibilities from white wine vinegar to just white wine. In your opinion what is the best option?
You can substitute seasoned rice vinegar. ~Elise
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