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Recipe for the Best Grilled Salmon

Grilled salmon, sesame seeds and marjoram on a black plate

If you’re looking for a light and healthy yet deliciously satiating summer recipe – or simply want to eat better all year round – the grilled salmon recipe is the one to try. You might have gotten used to eating salmon raw if you take pleasure in Japanese cuisine such as sushi, but simple grilled salmon is hard to beat. Now, you don’t need to be a master chef to prepare this meal, but you should pay attention to some of the essentials when it comes to the grill and prep process.

Choose the Best Salmon

Forget about complex marinades that require a whole other cooking and preparation experience. In order for your grilled salmon to be truly delicious, you just need to make sure that you pick up a good piece.

Salmon is not the same all across the board. When you go to buy your fish, consider the people who’ll be enjoying this meal. For instance, those who prefer a stronger flavor would definitely like wild-caught salmon. On the other hand, people who like the mild fish flavor more will probably find farm-raised salmon more likable. Most importantly, always buy your fish from a reputable distributor.

Prepare the Salmon and Grill

When it comes to the salmon recipe for the grill, you don’t really need too many ingredients. Basically, the essentials that you need to prepare include the following:

  • Your salmon filets
  • Oil of your choice, but grapeseed and extra virgin olive oils are preferable
  • Salt and pepper

When the grill is concerned, you can easily manage this recipe on a gas grill, but nothing can truly replace the taste and experience of a charcoal grill. If you plan to use a charcoal grill, make sure that you have everything ready.

For starters, you’ll have to choose the charcoal fuel you’re going to use. In the case of salmon grilling, it’s safe to say that all-natural hardwood briquettes are a fine option. Of course, you can pick any wood flavors that you like, such as hickory, oak, cherry, etc.

Keep in mind that you won’t need any lighter fluid. It adds a chemical taste to the grill. The best tip we can give you is to use charcoal chimney starter for the briquettes as well as wadded-up newspapers stuffed here and there. You can then light the newspapers first and simply wait for the fire to catch the briquettes. And once there’s a light covering of ash, empty the chimney starter and organize the briquettes at the bottom.  

It’s important to preheat the grill properly, which usually takes about 10 minutes. You’ll need about 80-100 briquettes for an hour of grilling. To check the heat, don’t wait for the gauge to tell you the temperature and under no circumstances touch the grill grates. Simply hover your hand 3-4 inches above the grates and if you can’t hold it there for more than a couple of seconds, you’re good to go.

The Grilling Process

The best grilled salmon recipe ever involves a very hot grill at about 450°-500° F – so, smoking hot. Remember, you should never oil the grates! Oiling the salmon (or any other protein you’re grilling) will yield much better results.

Now, when you prepare your salmon for the grilling, make sure to leave the skin on. You’ll be placing the filet skin-first, which adds an extra safety layer between the flesh and the grates.

As the fish cooks, keep the lid on. That way, you’ll be creating a similar environment to the oven, which allows for a consistent temperature.

You’ll need to flip the salmon once. But to prevent the fish from falling apart, remember, it should be grilled on the skin side 90% of the entire grilling time. So, leave only 10% for grilling once it’s turned over. That way, salmon won’t stick to the grates either.

But how long to grill salmon you might ask? In general, it’s enough to grill it on the skin side for about 6-8 minutes, and then for about 1-2 more minutes once you flip it.

In case you want to guide yourself by the temperature, remember that the fish is typically done grilling when it’s about 145°F. However, you should also consider the carry-over cooking as the fish will continue to cook for a while even after you remove it from the grill. That said, it would be best to remove the fish at 125°-130°F and then let it sit for a couple of minutes before removing the skin and serving it.

Grilled salmon steaks on the flaming

Serving the Grilled Salmon

If you want to match grilled salmon restaurant experience, aside from proper grilling technique, you should also put some effort into the serving. Essentially, grilled salmon tastes the best when it’s served with sauces and salads. You have plenty of choices there, too.

Most popular sauces for grilled salmon:

  • Tartar sauce
  • Cucumber and dill sauce
  • Mango fruit salsa
  • Dilly crème Fraiche sauce
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Basil pesto sauce
  • Tomato and avocado salsa

Most popular salads for grilled salmon:

  • Mediterranean chickpea salad
  • Potato salad
  • Avocado and tomato salad
  • Grilled asparagus
  • Lemon and rice
  • Corn salad with avocado and tomato
  • Macaroni salad

Grilled salmon served with asparagus and tomatoes salad

Grilled Salmon Recipe for 4 Servings

To put it simply, here are the necessary steps and essentials for your restaurant-worthy grilled salmon.

Ingredients:

  • 4 salmon filets (6-8 oz each)
  • 2 tbs of grapeseed oil
  • 2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 2 tsp of black pepper (grounded)
  • 1 lemon (cut in wedges)
  • Sauce and salad of choice

Make sure that your grill and grill grates are perfectly clean before you take out the coal and start the preheating process. Coat the salmon filet in oil on its skin side and season with salt and pepper evenly. Place the filet on a previously prepared and heated grill. Close the lid while grilling. Wait for about 6-8 minutes for the first side of the filet to be grilled properly, open the lid, flip the filet, and then close it again. Grill for about 2 minutes more and remove from the grill. Let the fillets rest on a plate for a couple of minutes more before proceeding to remove the skin and serve. Serve with lemon wedges, together with your sauce and salad of choice.

With everything taken into consideration, the entire prep and cooking time of grilled salmon is about 40 minutes. And the brilliant thing is that you can enjoy the entire process with friends and family next to you. Those of you who are conscious about your diet will be glad to know that each serving of grilled salmon has only 73 calories.  

Now, if you’re unsure of your own love of grilled salmon or simply don’t think yourself skillful enough to prepare a deliciously pleasing fish meal, you can always pay us a visit at Glass & Vine. Regardless of whether you want to enjoy a mindful meal on your own or bring a whole party with you, you can be 100% certain that our restaurant will welcome you wholeheartedly. Our amazing location by the sea in Peacock Park settled at Miami’s Coconut Grove will make for a truly unforgettable experience. Delicious bites and refreshing drinks away from the city’s hubbub is our recipe for pure enjoyment. 

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