Grilled Salmon is a light, nourishing main dish, perfect for serving in the summer. Salmon filets are marinated in a flavorful sesame-soy marinade and grilled until tender and flaky.
Salmon is really easy to cook on the grill and ready in minutes! A good flavorful marinade (which can be made well ahead of time) is my favorite way to prepare it!
How to Prepare Grilled Salmon Marinade
The marinade for this grilled salmon recipe is a cinch. It it has lots of flavor uses ingredients you likely have on hand already like soy sauce, lemon juice, and brown sugar!
Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl (or a freezer bag) and mix well. Marinate for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 8 hours turning occasionally.
Substitutes: You can swap the oil for another mildly flavored oil. Lime juice is great in place of lemon as well!
How to Grill Salmon
If you’ve never cooked fish on the grill before, salmon is a great place to begin.
It’s dense enough to hold together easily, especially if you grill it with the skin on, like a salmon steak. With gentle handling, you can have perfectly good results with skinless fillets too.
While I sometimes make Salmon Foil Packets, with this marinade I like to cook it directly on the grill.
To Cook Salmon on the Grill
- Preheat the grill to medium high.
- Pour a little bit of oil on a paper towel and using tongs, rub the oil on the grate. Add the salmon filets to the grill.
- Grilled salmon is ready to flip when it easily releases from the grill (forcing the spatula under the flesh can cause tearing and crumbling).
- Once cooked, rest a few minutes (this is a good practice for almost all grilled meats from hamburgers to pork tenderloin).
Grilling Salmon with Skin: Grilled salmon skins can become deliciously savory if properly cooked and it’ll help hold your salmon filets together while grilling.
Start with the skin side down, if your salmon has skin as it’s easier to flip.
How Long to Grill Salmon
When grilling thick fillets or salmon steaks, you will want to turn your grill to medium-high. The actual cook time will vary slightly based on how thick the salmon is and how you like it cooked. The following is for a 1″ thick filet, if your salmon is thinner, you might need to reduce the the cooking time.
- Slightly Rare: 5-6 minutes on each side.
- Well Done: 7-8 minutes on each side.
What temperature should grilled salmon be? Grilled salmon should be cooked to 145°F. Be sure you don’t overcook it or your salmon will be dry.
More Yummy Seafood Recipes
- Honey Mustard Salmon – ready in 15 minutes!
- Parmesan Crusted Tilapia – light, crisp and delicately flavored
- Asparagus Salmon Foil Packets – complete meal with no mess
- Broiled Lobster Tail – easy, delicious and simple!
- Herb Crusted Baked Salmon– coated in a zesty herb crust
- 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil toasted
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Combine all ingredients except salmon in a small bowl.
- Pour over salmon and allow to marinate at least 1 hour (or up to 8 hours).
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Place salmon flesh side down and cook salmon for 6-8 minutes. Turn over and cook and an additional 5-7 minutes or until salmon reaches 145°F. Do not overcook.