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Grilled Salmon Recipes & Marinades

Grilled Salmon Recipes & 2 Marinades

Grilled Salmon Recipes & Marinades

by Cheryl Campbell

In today’s post, Grilled Salmon Recipes & Marinades, we will take a look at a few different ways that you can prepare Salmon for outdoor cooking.

My absolute favorite way to have salmon is smoked. I love to serve a large filet as the centerpiece of an appetizer table. I promise to share my husbands recipe for smoking it in another post, but for today we are sticking to simple and delicious grilled salmon.  I’ll share a few different ways to prepare it for the grill and give you a couple of Grilled Salmon Recipes & Marinades that will bring out the best flavor of this delicious fish.

Before we do that, I thought we should discuss the different varieties available because each species really does have its own distinct flavor. First we are going to take a look at Pacific Salmon. There are 5 species that are readily available. Keep in mind that each one has a different level of ‘oil’ content and this will directly affect the taste of the fish. The higher the oil content, the more flavorful, buttery and moist the fish is. For me, this also means it has more of stronger fish taste, so I personally prefer salmon with a lower oil content.

Pacific Salmon is actually a general term used to describe salmon that is harvested from wild fisheries in the Pacific Ocean. The 5 species are: sockeye, chinook, coho, chum and pink salmon. Below we’ll discuss them in order of their oil content starting with the highest first.

Chinook Salmon
Commonly referred to as King salmon because they can grow quite large in the wild, Chinook has the highest oil content and is deep red in color. The texture is on the delicate side and has a rich buttery flavor.

Sockeye Salmon
Also known as bluebacks or red salmon, it is also relatively high in oil content and has a lot of the same qualities as King Salmon. The one exception is the texture, you will find it to be firmer.

Coho Salmon (also known as Silvers)
A lot lower in oil content than Chinook or Sockeye, the Coho salmon still manages to have a rich buttery taste. The color is a pale, ranging in color from orange to deep red and I would call its texture medium firm.

Pink Salmon (also known as humpbacks, or humpies)
This is the most abundant of the Pacific salmons, is usually found in canned form, and is fairly inexpensive. They also sell it fresh or smoked. The flesh is light pink in color and generally contains a low oil content so the flavor is not as rich as the more oily salmons.

Chum Salmon
Chums are known by several different names, two of the common names are Keta salmon or Dog salmon, but usually it is marketed under the name Silverbrite. The flesh of this fish is usually very low in oil content so it has a very delicate flavor. It is pale in color and has a firm texture.

Note: There is also Atlantic salmon, but we won’t be discussing that. Why? Because it’s primarily farmed raised and I have a very strong opinion about farm raised fish. I don’t like it! We’ll save my reasons for another conversation that I’ll post another day… back to pacific salmon.

Now to the Grilled Salmon Recipes & Marinades

We are keeping it simple! Pick a salmon from the list above, choose a marinade, grill and enjoy!

Allow 6 oz for each serving. Choose individual filets or showcase one large filet and serve family style.

A note about marinating fish: the meat can develop an unpleasant taste and texture if it stays in the marinade for too long. Be sure to keep the salmon in the marinade for no more than 30 minutes.  In this case less is more!

Grilled Salmon With a Variety of Marinades


  • 2 – 3 pounds salmon fillet, skin on

a red wine marinade for grilled salmon

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon old bay
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

a fresh herb marinade for grilled salmon

  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-1/4 pounds salmon fillets

 a touch of asia marinade for grilled salmon

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Tamari
  • 6 tablespoons fruity olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

Whisk together all ingredients except the salmon in a small bowl. Marinate the Salmon for 15 – 20 minutes.

Heat the grill to medium high.

Place the salmon on the grill, skin side down, and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, about 3-6 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the fish.

Hint: take the salmon off the grill when it still looks slightly raw in the center. Residual heat will continue to cook it as it sits off the grill.

If you enjoyed learning about the different kinds of salmon in our Grilled Salmon Recipes & Marinades post you may enjoy reading a little bit more about the five species here:

Meet the Species by SalmonNation


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