How to Grill Salmon: Step-by-Step Guide - IMARKU
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How to Grill Salmon: Step-by-Step Guide

23 Nov 2021 0 Comments

There's no tastier fish dish than grilled salmon. You just grab a few fillets and throw them in a grill. And you don't need fancy marinades or seasoning - only quality ingredients. In this post, we'll discuss how to grill salmon for a healthy and flavorful feast. 

Read on to learn more. 


What is the Best Salmon for Grilling?

The best salmon for grilling is wild-caught. It tends to be leaner and has a more fish-like taste. It's also believed to have less fat and few calories. 

Those who want a mellow flavor can go for farm-raised salmon. It's something you should consider if the wild-caught salmon is not available. If it's your first time grilling a salmon, it's hard to overcook the farmed variety. But it all boils down to your taste and preference.

Most people go for king salmon. It has a sturdy fresh taste that goes well with the smoky flavor of a charcoal grill. But being a rare species, you should be ready to dig deeper into your pockets. 

One thing to look out for when choosing a salmon is the skin. It's important when grilling as it gives a more complex flavor. This is what holds the fillet together when on the grill. However, if you don't like it, you can scape it off. 


How to Grill Salmon

Prepare the salmon

Before you buy a salmon to grill, you should pay attention to the cuts. Smaller cuts are easy to prepare and readily available in supermarkets. 

The most popular cut is the salmon fillet. A salmon steak is also good for grilling – the only challenge is removing the bones. If you have a pair of tweezers, you can do the task in a few minutes. 



The secret to a tasty grilled fish is marinating. It's ridiculously easy to do and may become your favorite way to prepare salmon. You can go for a premade marinade or make your own. Some of the flavors that pair well with your salmon are citrus herb and teriyaki. If you're looking for a simpler way to marinade, you can soak the fish in a mixture of olive oil, soy sauce, kosher salt, and garlic as the base. 

Another creative way to marinate your salmon is by combining lime juice with butter and chili pepper. When marinating your salmon, you should follow a simple formula. Expert chefs recommend that you maintain the ratio of fat to acid as 3:1. If you want to bring a hint of sweetness, you can use honey or brown sugar. 

After you marinate the salmon, you should throw it to a refrigerator for 30 minutes up to two hours. 



If you want to give your salmon an incredible flavor, you can use fresh herbs. First, you can rub your fish with some olive oil to give the herbs a place to stick. Most people like to use chopped rosemary herbs or lemon zest. Keep in mind that minced garlic can also be a great aromatic addition to your salmon. 


Grill your salmon

While you can use gas to cook your salmon, a charcoal grill helps preserve that natural flavor. Expert chefs recommend natural briquettes made from hardwood as they burn at higher temperatures. You can use hardwood flavors like hickory, oak, mesquite, cherry, and more. 

After you light the bricks, avoid using any fluid as this can give a chemical taste to your salmon. Instead, use a newspaper and watch the heat rise. And once the briquettes are covered with ash, you can distribute them at the bottom. It can take up to 20 minutes for the grill to be ready. 

The ideal temperature to grill your fish is 375 to 400 degrees F. But again, you should be careful when wiping the grill grate since the fish is more delicate than the steak. You can use a paper towel to coat the hot grill. 

Another way to keep the grilled salmon intact is flipping carefully. A kitchen spatula will do the job. In every turn, you should close the rid for a few minutes until the salmon maintains an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. If the fresh is light and flaky, you should remove it from the grill. Another sign that your salmon is ready is lifting easily rather than sticking on the grate. 


Grill foiling method

If you're learning how to grill salmon, you should wrap it with heavy-duty foil. For the best results, you can create a base for citrus spices and any herb of your choice. The fresh herbs infuse the flavor into the fish. 

One advantage of this method is that you don't have to worry about flipping the salmon fillet or cleaning the grill later. 


Serve while hot

As you serve your grilled salmon, you can use lemon or rosemary sprigs as the garnish. It's okay to flavor with some pepper or salt. 

You can pair your salmon with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, homemade focaccia, soft dinner bread, or a French baguette. You could also add some veggies to serve as a side dish. 


Frequently Asked Questions about Grilling Salmon

How do you know your salmon is one grilling?

Your salmon will change from red to pink after cooking. Make sure you check the doneness every few minutes. If it begins to flake in the middle, then it's ready.


Should you grill the salmon with the lid open or closed?

You should place your fillet skin side up and grill for a few minutes with the rid closed. Check every 1-2 minutes and then close the rid. 


Should you flip the salmon on the grill?

If the skin side is down on the grill, you don't have to flip. The flesh of the salmon is likely to stick if you have a cheap grill. To avoid this, you can season your cast iron grill.


The Best Knives for Cutting Salmon

Deba knife 7"

This is a thick knife commonly used for cutting fish heads and filleting with precision. It features a smooth slicing surface to minimize the damage to the fish while preserving flavor. And because it's manufactured with high carbon steel, it's incredibly hard and corrosion-resistant. Plus, it's stunning to bring the wow factor as you dissect your salmon at dinner parties. 


Sushi Knife 10"

This is a quality knife that allows you to cut the fillet in one or two movements. The 10-inch blade is made of high-quality stainless steel and comes with a non-slip handle. It's maneuverable and precise more than anything you've handled before. Even better, there are no crevices where bacteria can accumulate. 


Wrap up

Salmon is arguably one of the most delicious fish ever. If you're looking to hone your fish grilling skills, you need to cut as much flesh as possible from the bones. To achieve this, you should get a good knife. The above knives have an ultra-sharp blade, an ergonomic handle and are more efficient than their traditional counterparts. 

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