Grilled salmon recipe made with fresh salmon fillets brushed with dill garlic butter and grilled 10 minutes for a juicy, golden finish. Only 5 ingredients and 5-minute prep for this scrumptious grilled salmon!
Salmon might just be the most overcooked, therefore underrated, dinner entree of all time. I suppose boneless chicken breasts can compete for the same title, but that's another story 😂
When I first learned how to properly grill salmon, I realized why I never loved it…or even liked it. It was always so dry and crumbly that even the best sauce couldn't make it pleasant...not even a little. Properly cooked salmon doesn’t need to be hidden under a sauce. If you're trying to like grilled salmon but it's not happening, don't give up! Just remember, practice, and a few simple tips, makes perfectly cooked salmon.
How to grill salmon (an overview)
- See FULL recipe instructions below
- Preheat and prepare the grill.
- Prep the salmon (pat dry, remove any bones).
- Melt garlic butter sauce and brush over the salmon.
- Grill salmon on the first side to sear.
- Flip salmon and reduce heat to finish.
- Transfer to a platter, allow to rest, garnish, and devour.
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How to season salmon for grilling
I love the simple garlic butter brushed over salmon any day of the week! There's no marinating or planning involved. When it comes to seasoning salmon, the sky really is the limit. Here are some examples:
- garlic granules
- onion powder
- chili powder
- cayenne pepper
- Old Bay seasoning
- blackened seasoning
- pesto sauce
- Italian marinade
- Asian marinade
Do you grill salmon on both sides?
I prefer to grill salmon on both sides to get those beautiful grill marks that add color and caramelization to the salmon. This means more flavor. It's certainly not a requirement and, if using whole skinless salmon, it's next to impossible to grill both sides it without it falling apart. This is why I prefer using skin-on salmon fillets.
Which side of salmon do you cook first?
I prefer to cook the fleshy side of salmon first to get those beautiful, caramelized grill marks. Some prefer to grill the skin side first to get crispier skin. It's totally up to you.
How do you keep salmon from sticking to the grill?
When you first lay salmon (or any meat) on a properly heated and oiled grill, “sticking” is totally natural. However, it will release in time, which is also natural. But, that’s the part people often mess up…the waiting and the timing. Ask me how I know 😉
Can I put salmon directly on the grill or should I use foil?
If the idea of grilling salmon without foil intimidates you, by all means, use foil. It's common to use foil on skinless salmon because it's easier to handle, especially if it's a whole side of salmon, even more so if it's skinless. However, if the salmon has skin (my personal favorite) or you're using salmon fillets or steaks, it's easier to keep them intact on the grill as long as they're handled properly.
How long to grill salmon?
Grill salmon 4-6 minutes per 1/2" of thickness for medium and 6-8 minutes for well-done. This is a point of reference and grilling times and outcomes may vary, so don't be afraid to experiment more than once!
How do I know when salmon is cooked?
Grilled salmon is cooked when you can press a utensil in between the white lines of the flesh and it separates easily.
Additionally, the flesh will be semi-translucent (med-rare) in the center of the thickest part of the salmon, or fully opaque for well-done. To each his/her own on this one. I prefer med-rare salmon myself.
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What to serve with grilled salmon
- THE BEST Potato Salad
- Broccoli Bacon Salad
- Garlicky Oven Roasted Mushrooms
- Macaroni Salad
- Loaded Baked Potato Salad
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
- Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
- Tortellini Pasta Salad
More easy entree dinner recipes
- outdoor grill
- paper towels (to pat salmon dry)
- saucepot for garlic butter
- pastry brush
- fish turner (or tongs)
Garlic Butter Grilled Salmon Recipe
- 2 4-oz Salmon Fillets
- Pinch Salt and Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- 3 Garlic cloves minced
- Fresh Dill or parsley
- 1 Lemon zested and sliced
- Preheat grill to MEDIUM-HIGH (about 400°).
- To prep SALMON, remove bones (if any), pat dry, season with SALT and PEPPER, allow to sit at room temp for 15 minutes.
- Melt BUTTER, GARLIC, and DILL in a 2qt sauce pot over medium heat until infused (3-5 minutes).
- Brush garlic butter over salmon (flesh side).
- Place salmon (flesh facing down) on prepped grill surface and brush garlic butter over salmon skin (facing up).
- Close grill lid, turn heat dials to M-O-M (medium-off-medium), and grill salmon until it easily releases from the grill (about 4 minutes).
- Flip salmon over and grill until it flakes easily with a fork (about 3 minutes for medium or 5 minutes for well-done).
- Transfer salmon to a platter, allow to rest, and serve garnished with lemon zest, lemon wedges, and fresh dill. Serve with Cucumber Tomato Salad.