This Grilled Salmon Recipe is so simple you can whip it together any night of the week! Make a big batch of BBQ Spice Rub so it's ready to go anytime you need it. It's the perfect seasoning for just about anything you want to throw on the grill.
With this recipe you will master salmon on the grill! If you want to master other salmon cooking techniques check out my recipes for Crispy Pan Seared Salmon and Roasted Salmon. Or check out these Grilled Chicken Thighs and BBQ Grilled Pork Chops for more grilling inspiration.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Easy to make: The simplicity of the recipe makes it a perfect choice for any skill level or if you have any time constraints.
- Perfect for entertaining: If you're having dinner guests this recipe can be an impressive choice leaving you time to hang out with your friends.
- Healthy option: Salmon is a nutritious protein choice, and grilling helps minimize the need for excessive oil or butter. It can be an ideal dish if you are looking for a balanced and healthy diet.
- It's quick to prepare: Salmon cooks quickly on the grill. This makes it an excellent choice for weeknight dinners or when you want a delicious meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.
🥘Ingredients and Substitutions
- Salmon fillets - You can use skinless salmon if you prefer. This recipe works with any firm fleshed fish that is fit for grilling such as halibut, trout, red snapper and mahi-mahi.
- BBQ spice rub - you can switch up the spices quite a bit to suit your liking. Make it sweeter by adding more sugar, reduce the spiciness by omitting the cayenne or add more to kick it up! You can also add dried herbs like thyme or basil. Play around with it and make it your own!
- Garlic and Herb Sauce - I like to use a combination of plain yogurt and mayonnaise for most of my creamy dressings and sauces but you can replace those with sour cream or a non-dairy alternative. You can also omit the mayonnaise and go with 100% yogurt.
- Fresh Herbs - Switch up the herbs to suit your own taste. Do a combination or use only one. You can even omit the herbs, add a bit more lemon juice for a lemon garlic sauce. Don't have fresh herbs? No problem! Replace 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs for 1 teaspoon dried.
For full ingredient list and quantities see the recipe card below.
🔪How to Make This Recipe
Step 1 - Sprinkle spice rub on salmon and rub in with your fingers.
Step 2 - Preheat the grill and wipe the hot grill twice with paper towel dipped in oil.
Step 3 - Place salmon on hot grill flesh side down and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 4 - Flip the salmon and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until it flakes when pinched with fingers or temperature reaches 125 degrees F.
For more detailed instructions please follow the recipe card below.
Oiling the hot grill with wadded up, oil soaked, paper towel will prevent sticking. Doing it 2 or 3 times is the trick. If I have time I will oil it twice, close the lid for 5 more minutes and oil it again.
A good quality quick-read thermometer is the way to go for perfectly cooked salmon every time! If you don't have one yet I recommend this handy ThermoPop by Thermoworks.
Salmon should be seasoned right before cooking so the salt doesn't start to break down the flesh of the fish.
Salmon will cook quickly on the grill so be sure to keep an eye on it. Depending on the thickness, salmon will take 8 to 12 minutes on a hot grill.
To prevent salmon from sticking oil the grill well. Do this by folding up one or two pieces of paper towel. Using tongs, dip the paper towel in oil an rub it on the hot grill two or three times.
What to serve with grilled salmon
Here are some of my favourite side dishes that pair well with barbecued salmon.
Simple Grilled Salmon Recipe with Spice Rub
BBQ Spice Rub - makes 1 cup
- ¼ cup paprika
- 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Garlic and Herb Sauce - makes approx. 1 cup
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs parsley, dill, tarragon, basil, or cilantro
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Grilled Salmon
- 4 salmon filets 160g/5-6 oz each
- 4 to 6 teaspoons spice rub
- 2 teaspoons olive oil for fish
- Avocado or vegetable oil for the grill
- In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight container in the cupboard away from heat and light. Makes about ¾ cup.
- In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Pat salmon dry with paper towel. Rub fillets evenly with olive oil and sprinkle with spice rub. Rub the spice mixture into the fish to coat evenly.
- Preheat your outdoor grill for 15 minutes on high heat. Fold paper towels into a thick pad. Holding paper towel with tongs, dip it in the avocado or vegetable oil, and wipe the hot grill. Dip again and oil grill again. Close lid and let heat back up for 5 minutes before cooking the salmon.
- Place the salmon flesh side down. Close the lid and cook (reduce heat to medium if your grill runs very hot), without moving filets, until the flesh side has grill marks and the flesh releases easily, 4-5 minutes.
- Using tongs and a spatula, gently flip the fish and continue cooking, covered, until centers are translucent when checked with a fork or paring knife or the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F for medium-rare (the salmon will continue cooking once removed from the heat). 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.