Grilling Tips

How to Grill a Salmon Fillet

Are you looking for the wow factor for your next neighborhood cookout? Knowing how to grill salmon is the key.

Grilled salmon is a great addition to any barbecue event, and these easy to follow tips separate the chefs from the cooks.

How to Grill a Salmon Fillet: The Selection

The most important thing is to pick the right salmon fillet, and the best cut of fillet comes from the head end of the salmon; tail-end fillets tend to be too thin and don’t work well on the grill. Though thick cuts are best (about 1 inch), don’t feel like you have to slice off the thinner end of the tapered fillet; some guests may prefer their salmon more done than others, and the thinner end fits the bill as it will cook through more quickly.

You can pick fillets with either the skin on or the skin off, depending on the recipe you use. Once you are confident that you know how to grill salmon fillet, you can experiment with different types of salmon and different cuts.

How to Grill a Salmon Fillet: The Preparation

Once you’ve decided whether you are going to leave the skins on or remove them, make sure all the bones are out; no one likes to get a bone in an otherwise tasty bite and then have to fish it out of his mouth. Rinse the fillets and pat them dry.

Apply any lemon juice, seasonings, and/or rubs to the fillets and let them sit for about 15-20 minutes before placing them on the grill; it is best to grill meat at room temperature to keep them from cooking too quickly on the outside.

How to Grill a Salmon Fillet: The Grilling

You want the grill to be hot, hot, hot—about 500 degrees—before placing the salmon fillets on the grill. You also want to the grill to be clean, so take time to scrub away the remains of your last cookout and then apply a thin layer of oil, such as a cooking spray or oil rubbed on using tongs and a cloth.

You may even want to try your hand at using different flavored wood chips for a nice smoky taste. If you are using fillets that still have their skins on, start out cooking them skin side up for about 5 minutes over direct heat; then carefully flip the fillets using a spatula that is large enough to accommodate the entire fillet and cook another 5 minutes.

When the fish is pink and flaky, use the spatula to separate the fillet from the skin. Serve it up with your favorite side and you will prove to everyone that you know how to grill salmon.

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