How to Grill Juicy Salmon with Crispy Skin

grilled salmon recipe

This grilled salmon recipe saved my marriage!  Ok, we would probably still be together, but this recipe is my wife’s favorite, out of anything I have ever made… and I think this salmon is a flat out winner as well.  It is super easy and can be prepared in 30 minutes from start to finish, which is a bonus.  

When you are done you will have a large tender juicy piece of salmon that has crispy skin on one side and a sweet and salty flavor crust on the other.  Follow this guide below, and you will have somethings special to share with your family and friends. 

Basic Steps for Perfectly Grill Salmon

  1. Pick out a thick 1-1.5 lb piece of salmon for each couple you are serving.  I buy about 8 oz of salmon per person. 
  2. Rinse and dry your fish, as you want a nice clean piece of fish to absorb our BBQ Spice Rub
  3. Season the skin side lightly with BBQ Rub and the flesh side liberally.  You do not want the rub “cakey” but you want a fairly thick coating
  4. Slather the salmon with Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, or another vegetable oil.  Marinate for 20-60 minutes. 
  5. Heat your grill to medium high.  Clean thoroughly.  Then place your Salmon flesh side down for 3 minutes.  
  6. Flip after those 3 minutes with a big spatula.  Turn the grill down to medium low and cook for another 3-10 minutes until the internal temperature in the middle is 125°F.  

Salmon Rub Recipe

One of the absolute keys for an amazing grilled salmon is a BBQ rub that is full of flavor, but is not overpowering.  Luckily, I have a perfect rub that will give you a balanced sweet and salty bite, with a little heat on the end.  Make a big batch of this and you can use it on Salmon, Chicken, and Pork of all types. 

  • 2 Tablespoons Celery Salt
  • 6 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 12 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, Turbinado Sugar, or Coconut Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Ancho Chile
  • 1 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Paprika
  • 1/2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

How do you Know When Salmon is Done?

So, the easiest way to know when salmon is done is to use a quality temperature probe to measure internal temperature.  I like to take my salmon off the grill when it reaches 125-130°F in the middle.  If you like salmon more rare, you can take it off at 110°F. 

Another key to look for if you do not have a temperature probe, is how the salmon will start to open up on the flesh side, and you will see the texture of the fish appear.  You can see the fissures in the salmon below… that is one way to tell when it is getting closer to done. 

Tips to Flipping Salmon on the Grill

There are several keys to flipping salmon with out losing a bunch of fish in the process. 

  1. First, you cannot be scared.  You have to slip the spatula under the fish quickly and aggressively.  Go slow and you are finished for sure. 
  2. Second, when you grill the flesh side down, make sure the thick part of the fish is facing toward you. It gives the spatula a better chance of getting under the fish clean. 
  3. Finally, get a proper big ass stainless steel spatula.  Something like this one, which should get the job done. 
  4. Also, make sure that the cut of salmon is not much wider than your spatula.  Cut your fish to size if needed.  

Check out the video below to see my techniques in action for more confidence grilling better salmon: 

You will LOVE this recipe… its been a fan favorite on YouTube… so give it a try with confidence.  Leave me a comment if you try it… and hit me up with questions if you have any. Cheers – Keegan

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Contact Keegan

Hi, my name is Keegan Lare. I love to create delicious grilled and smoked food, bursting with bold flavors. I also love to see my friends and family try something tasty and new. It is in this spirit that I created Seared & Smoked. Leave me a message and i’ll get back to you as soon as I can.