This Easy Grilled Salmon in Foil is seasoned to perfection using a handful of spices and transforms a simple fish fillet into a tender and flavorful main dish. This foolproof approach is effortless, ensuring moist and perfectly cooked results every time.
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Moisture Retention: Foil creates a sealed cooking environment that helps retain moisture during the grilling process. This is super important for salmon, as it can dry out quickly if overcooked.
- Even Cooking: Foil helps distribute heat evenly around the salmon fillet, promoting uniform cooking.
- Foil Prevents Flare-Ups: The foil acts as a barrier between the salmon and the open flame, reducing the risk of flare-ups. This is important for preventing the fish from overly charring.
- More Flavor: The packets allow the fish to cook in its own juices along with any added herbs, spices, or marinades. This fish absorbs these flavors, resulting in a more flavorful end product.
- Easy Cleanup: Grilling salmon in foil minimizes cleanup. There’s no need to worry about the fish sticking to the grill grates, and the foil can be disposed of, leaving behind a clean grilling surface.
- Easy to Customize: You can use various seasonings, herbs, vegetables, or even citrus slices inside the foil packet, allowing for different flavor profiles.
- Reduced Risk of Overcooking: The foil acts as a protective barrier, reducing the risk of overcooking the salmon. It shields the fish from direct heat, helping to maintain its delicate texture without becoming dry or tough.
What Type of Salmon to Use
The best type to use is a matter of preference. The most common types of salmon include:
- Wild and/or Sockeye: Known for its deep red color and rich, oily flavor. It is considered one of the most flavorful types of salmon.
- Atlantic: It is farm raised and has a milder flavor than wild-caught salmon.
- Pink: It is the smallest of the Pacific salmon and has a mild, delicate flavor.
Ultimately, the best type of fresh salmon to use will depend on your personal taste preferences.
Salmon that is sourced from the Atlantic is usually farmed. Farmed means antibiotics and food coloring (to give it a pink color) are used. This adds harmful chemical additives to the fish. So I usually try to look for wild-caught salmon.
Remove the Skin? Or Leave it on?
Cooking salmon with the skin on can help to add flavor and keep the fish moist. The skin will also protect the flesh of the salmon while it cooks, this helps prevent it from over-cooking or drying out.
Cooking salmon with the skin off will allow the fish to cook more evenly, and the flesh will be exposed to more heat which can be desirable for some cooking methods. Keep in mind the flesh will be more delicate and may dry out more easily without the skin to protect it.
When cooking salmon with the skin on, it’s a good idea to remove it after cooking. It’s super simple to do so, and will usually glide right off. The skin will be crispy and delicious and the flesh will be tender and moist.
Why Use Foil
The foil acts as a barrier between the salmon and the open flame, reducing the risk of flare-ups. This is important for preventing the fish from charring or developing an overly smoky flavor. This method also helps retain moisture to avoid dry fish.
And clean-up is a breeze! No need to scrub those grill grates.
How to Make Grilled Salmon in Foil
Full detailed instructions are below in the recipe card.
- Place the fish on a piece of foil (large enough to cover and seal the fish). Rub both sides of the fish with olive oil and sprinkle the spices onto both sides of the fish.
- Seal the foil around the fish.
Aim for a medium-high heat setting on your grill, which is around 375 to 400 degrees. This temperature range allows for thorough cooking without drying out the salmon.
Charcoal Grill vs Gas Grill
You can use either grill for this recipe. I use a gas grill most often. Gas grills offer precise temperature control, allowing you to easily adjust the heat. This control is beneficial for preventing overcooking and achieving the desired doneness. They generally have a quicker setup time. Once the grill is preheated, you can start cooking.
Cooking salmon over charcoal imparts a distinct smoky flavor to the fish. The natural smokiness from charcoal can add an extra layer of depth to the overall flavor. Charcoal grills require more manual temperature control. The heat level can be adjusted by manipulating the airflow and adjusting the charcoal bed. This may require more attention during the cooking process.
How to Tell When Salmon Has Finished Cooking
- Temperature: Use a meat thermometer and ensure the fish has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Check the temperature in the thickest part of the fish.
- Appearance and Touch: Perfectly cooked salmon will have a light pink color and will be opaque throughout. The flesh will also start to flake when pressed with a fork.
- It’s important to note that salmon can be cooked to varying degrees of doneness, some people prefer it cooked through while others prefer it medium-rare at 135 degrees. Decide what works for you.
Dry and Overcooked Salmon
Overcooked salmon is dry and has little flavor. Fish (along with meat) will continue to cook when you remove it from heat. This is why it’s important to pay attention to how long the fish cooks.
When the fish is done, it will be a translucent pink in the middle. It should also look flaky. You can check out more tips on How to Tell if Salmon is Overcooked here.
More Ways to Season It
- BBQ Rub and Seasoning
- Cajun Seasoning
- Roasted Garlic
- Lemon Pepper
- Chili Powder
- Balsamic Vinegar
How to Store Leftovers
Store the salmon tightly covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Leftovers can be frozen tightly sealed for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge.
How to Reheat
I recommend you use the air fryer or oven. If using the oven, place the salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the salmon with foil and place it in the oven at 275 degrees until warm.
If using the air fryer, reheat it at 200 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until warm.
If you use the microwave, be swift! Don’t leave it in too long. It will dry out the fish.
Pair With These Recipes
More Salmon Recipes
Drizzle this in our Creamy Dill Sauce for Salmon.
Grilled Salmon in Foil
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat, 375 degrees.
- Place the fish on a piece of foil (large enough to cover and seal the fish). Rub both sides of the fish with olive oil and sprinkle the spices onto both sides of the fish. Rub the spices in to ensure the flavor penetrates.
- Seal the foil around the fish.
- Place the fish on the grill.
- Grill the fish for 8 minutes. Unwrap the foil and continue to grill the salmon uncovered for an additional 2-5 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.