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How to Grill a Salmon Fillet With the Skin

by
author image Meg Campbell
Based just outside Chicago, Meg Campbell has worked in the fitness industry since 1997. She’s been writing health-related articles since 2010, focusing primarily on diet and nutrition. Campbell divides her time between her hometown and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
How to Grill a Salmon Fillet With the Skin
How to Grill a Salmon Fillet With the Skin Photo Credit Nicolas Agustin Cabrera/Demand Media

Grilling a salmon fillet — or steak — with the skin on is preferable to grilling skinless cuts because the skin helps hold them together as they cook in high, dry heat. Compared with other methods of salmon preparation, including baking, poaching and pan-frying, grilling can seem a bit difficult due to its increased capacity for disaster. The salmon could stick to the grill and become a charred mess, or it might more easily overcook before you can remove it from the heat. To avoid the potential pitfalls of grilling salmon, choose thicker fillets or steaks, which generally grill better than lighter portions, and always use a clean grill.

Step 1

How to Grill a Salmon Fillet With the Skin
Photo Credit Nicolas Agustin Cabrera/Demand Media

Preheat a gas grill to medium-high, or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.

Step 2

How to Grill a Salmon Fillet With the Skin
Photo Credit Nicolas Agustin Cabrera/Demand Media

Rub 1 tbsp. of olive oil on each fillet, covering both sides. Lightly season both sides of each portion with salt and pepper.

Step 3

How to Grill a Salmon Fillet With the Skin
Photo Credit Nicolas Agustin Cabrera/Demand Media

Brush the grill grate with a liberal amount of vegetable oil once the grill reaches its full cooking heat and you’re ready to cook.

Step 4

How to Grill a Salmon Fillet With the Skin
Photo Credit Nicolas Agustin Cabrera/Demand Media

Place the fillets directly over the fire, skin side up. Cover the grill and cook the salmon for about four minutes, or until grill marks appear.

Step 5

How to Grill a Salmon Fillet With the Skin
Photo Credit Nicolas Agustin Cabrera/Demand Media

Turn the fillets over with a large spatula. Cover and cook for about five more minutes, or until the salmon is almost opaque. An instant-read thermometer should read between 125 and 130 degrees F when inserted into the center.

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