Easy Grilled Salmon Recipe

This grilled salmon recipe might seem like a delicacy, and indeed, when prepared properly, it's a delicate, delicious meal. But complicated? No. It's so easy to prepare this fish perfectly that you'll make it a menu regular at your house. "The only mistake you can probably make with this simple salmon recipe is overcooking the fish," says cook and food writer behind Eating Works, Maren Epstein. "Unlike with white fish like cod and catfish, it's easy to overcook salmon. And once you overcook it, there's no bringing it back. Make sure to check the inside of the filet often after ten minutes to ensure it's not cooking too much."

And while Epstein adds that "the prep for this recipe couldn't be any easier," she does have two quick tips. "If you want to make this meal super-fast, microwave the butter to melt it quickly. You can buy the salmon filets and have the fish monger pre-cut them for you to the exact size portion you would like to serve."

Aside from that, don't skip the brining step! It makes all the difference.

Gather your ingredients for this grilled salmon recipe

There is some flexibility here in terms of the garnishes you choose, but the core ingredients of this grilled salmon recipe are sacrosanct. That's because you really can't beat butter, lemon, garlic, and a bit of parsley as the grace note.

You'll also need a pound of salmon, filleted, about a quarter cup of salt, two cups of warm water, four garlic cloves, pressed, two tablespoons of melted butter, the juice of two lemons, with a few thin lemon slices removed prior to juicing, one teaspoon of dried parsley, and if you want to add something extra, you can also include fresh chopped mango and/or a mild salsa.

Brine the salmon for this grilled salmon recipe

Yes, it might seem a bit ironic to put a fillet of a saltwater fish in salt water, but brining a prepped cut of salmon in salt water adds a perfect bit of flavor and ensures the cooked fillet will be juicy and tender for your grilled salmon recipe instead of dried-out and tough. Don't skip this step!

Pour the salt into a bowl filled with enough water to easily cover your fish, then stir until the salt dissolves. Now place your salmon fillet (or fillets) into the water and let it sit for ten minutes as you move on with the prep. This is also a good time to fire up the grill — you'll want it to hit a good 400 degrees Fahrenheit for ideal cooking.

Prepare the sauce for this grilled salmon recipe

This is arguably the easiest step of this whole grilled salmon recipe, but as it's where the flavor comes from, it's remarkably important. Make sure the butter is completely melted, whether you use a sauce pan or the microwave, then, using a small bowl, combine the melted butter, the juice of two lemons, garlic, and the dried parsley. 

Thoroughly whisk everything together, then set the sauce aside at easy reach. You'll want those flavors mingling together as you prep the rest of the recipe.

Prepare the fillets for this grilled salmon recipe

The next step in this grilled salmon recipe is removing the salmon fillets from the brine and placing them on pieces of aluminum foil large enough to fully enclose the fish. Now, drizzle half of the sauce you prepared over the fillets, then lay a few lemon slices down atop each and sprinkle on a bit more dried parsley.

Gently wrap the foil around the salmon so that it's completely closed, but don't crumple or fold the foil too much, as you'll want to be able to open it to check on the fish during the cooking process.

Get your salmon on the grill

Place the wrapped salmon on the grill and plan to cook it for about 12 to 14 minutes, but check the fish after ten minutes. Make sure the salmon is done by slicing it with a butter knife. If it flakes and is opaque throughout, it's done. If it's still at all translucent and resists easy cutting, keep on cooking.

When it's finished, remove the cooked salmon from the grill, slice it into two pieces, and season with the leftover sauce and, if you wish, mango and salsa. (Definitely try mango with salmon at least once to see if you like it. As Maren Epstein says: "Mango and salmon together is a game changer.")

Easy Grilled Salmon Recipe
4.9 from 14 ratings
This grilled salmon recipe might seem like a delicacy, and indeed, when prepared properly, it's a delicate, delicious meal. But complicated? No.
Prep Time
Cook Time
grilled salmon recipe ready to eat
Total time: 22 minutes
  • 1-pound salmon filet
  • ¼ cup kosher sea salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, dried
Optional Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fresh mango, chopped
  • ⅓ cup mild tomato salsa
  1. Brine salmon by combining the salt and water in a bowl and mix until the salt is dissolved. Place salmon in the bowl and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Turn on the gas grill and heat to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Make sauce by combing the garlic, butter, lemon juice, and parsley in a bowl.
  4. Remove the salmon from the brine, then place onto a piece of tinfoil large enough to completely enclose the fish and drizzle with about half of the sauce. Top with sliced lemons and extra dried parsley.
  5. Place on the grill for 12 to 14 minutes. Make sure the salmon is done by slicing it with a butter knife. If it flakes and is opaque throughout, it's done.
  6. Remove from the grill, slice into two pieces, and season with the leftover sauce as well as mango and salsa, if you wish. Enjoy!
Calories per Serving 600
Total Fat 42.2 g
Saturated Fat 14.2 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 155.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7.4 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Total Sugars 1.5 g
Sodium 1,261.9 mg
Protein 47.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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