How to Grill Salmon Perfectly

The Fourth of July is a great time for grilling salmon. Copper river salmon is in the stores, and there’s nothing more delightful than spending an evening outside with friends, family, and the grill. Here are a few tips we’ve picked up for making sure your salmon turns out perfectly.

Copper River Salmon, Before the Grill
Copper River Salmon, Before the Grill

First, make sure you buy a fillet with the skin on.

When it’s time to grill, take the fillet out of the fridge and set it on the counter. Lay it out on a dish and season it with salt and pepper, letting it come up to room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Heat your grill to medium-high and put the fish skin-side down. Leave the grill at medium-high for five minutes and close the lid. Then turn the heat down to medium-low. Don’t flip the fish just leave it at the lower temperature for about another ten minutes. Check the fish often, poking it a little bit. Once the fat starts welling up (see the photo below), then the fish is almost done.

Pull the fish when it’s still a little underdone in the center, thickest part of the fillet. The skin may stick to the grill at this point (which is perfect). Leave the skin on the grill. Set the salmon on a dish and tent it with aluminum foil for five to ten minutes. The fish will finish cooking while it rests.

Copper River Salmon and Blasted Broccoli
Copper River Salmon and Blasted Broccoli


  • salmon fillet, skin on

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Seattle Foodshed

Gardening, foraging, exploring and cooking. Time for a delicious adventure.

7 thoughts on “How to Grill Salmon Perfectly”

  1. We get so spoiled by fantastic salmon in the NW….love that you gals are taking a moment to recognize it for its awesomeness….bravo!

  2. Beyond the yucky farm-raised version, it’s difficult to find wild salmon from local sources here in Maine. When we do splurge on some from your part of the country, it’s always a delightful treat. Thanks for the grilling tips to ensure we do it justice!

    1. Wow, you’re finding all kinds of tips on here! Yes, we do that with all of our fish now. That, plus the grilling skin side on, plus tenting and letting it rest for a few minutes after it comes off the grill makes for some really great fish.

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