How To Cook Salmon On Charcoal Grill

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Delicious and easy to make. As far as BBQ seafood goes, these salmon fillets served with fresh herbs and vegetables are the perfect accompaniment to your meal. Salmon is a hearty fish that can withstand the intense heat of a charcoal grill thanks to its flavorful smoke.  

Sear marks can be achieved by cooking it directly on the grids. Stack the plate high with perfectly grilled vegetables and perhaps some aromatic rice on the side for a complete meal. You can also serve this meal with homemade bread, like naan or a hearty loaf. 

How To Cook Salmon On Charcoal Grill

  • PREP TIME: 15 Min
  • COOK TIME: 20 Min  
  • YIELD: 2 
  • DIFFICULTY: Medium 



  • 2 salmon fillets, skin on
  • 2 tbsp.lemon and herb seasoning
  • 2 sweet bell peppers, any color
  • ½ Spanish onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced 
  • 8 cocktail tomatoes (little tomatoes on the vine)
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 tbsp.butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil for garnish 


Step 1: 

  • Begin by lighting and preheating your charcoal grill—Scrunch newspaper or paper towel into a tube. Distribute evenly throughout the bottom of your charcoal starter.  
  • If a hole occurs in the center, wad another piece into a loose ball and fill the hole. Fill the chimney halfway with high-grade lump charcoal, such as Napoleon’s Blackstone or Coconut charcoal. To ignite the paper in the bottom of the charcoal starter, use a BBQ lighter. 
  • Allow it to burn off naturally. This will produce a cloud of white smoke. Your bottom charcoal should be lit, and you’ll know you’ve succeeded if you can feel the heat emanating from the top of the charcoal starter when you carefully hold your hand over top – please avoid touching the metal or coal. 
  • It will take approximately 15 minutes for the entire amount of charcoal to ignite. Open the bottom vents of your charcoal grill to about 12 percent of their capacity. 
  • Once the charcoal is lit, pour it into one grill side—lower the grill’s cooking grids. Allow the BBQ to preheat to between 400 and 450°F by closing the lid. 

Step 2:  

  • While the grill is heating up, thinly slice the vegetables and generously season the salmon fillets.
  • Leave the tomatoes on the vine; wash them before transferring them to the cooking grids. 

Step 3: 

  • Arrange the vegetables in a grill-safe baking tray and dot with butter—season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the vegetables over direct heat, then the salmon, skin side down.  
  • Place the tomatoes close to, but not directly over, direct heat; you want to blister and warm them.
  • Grill the salmon for 6–8 minutes, cover, or until it easily releases from the cooking grids. 
  • Cook for an additional 3–4 minutes flesh side down. At this point, the salmon should be medium-rare, so move it to the side of the grill without the charcoal to finish cooking – an instant-read BBQ thermometer should read approximately 145°F.
  • Additionally, when relocating the salmon, you can move the tomatoes to the “cool” side of the grill. Remind yourself to rotate the vegetables every time you move or flip the fish. You want a charred bottom, but not to burn it. 

Step 4: 

  • Please remove it from the grill once the salmon is cooked through and served.
  • Serve alongside freshly prepared flavored rice, grilled naan bread, or homemade bread. Don’t forget to garnish with fresh basil and citrus slices. 

How To Cook Salmon On Charcoal Grill - FAQs

To begin, skin is delectable! Therefore, leave the skin on when cooking salmon: It provides a safety layer between your fish’s flesh and a hot pan or grill. Begin by placing the skin-side down and allowing it to crisp up. It is far easier to slide a fish spatula beneath the salmon’s skin than to slide it beneath its delicate flesh. 

Brush oil on the grill to prevent it from sticking. Close the grill lid and place the salmon skin-side up. Grill salmon for 6-8 minutes on each side. Cook for an additional 6-8 minutes, or until the salmon is just cooked through and easily flakes. 

Tuna, salmon, halibut, and swordfish, which have a more beef- or pork-like texture, should be grilled directly on the grate. (Delicate fish such as tilapia, sole, and flounder may benefit from examining in a foil packet or grill basket.) … If the fish is wet, it steams rather than sears. 

Grill the salmon skin side down. There is no reason to reverse. The salmon flesh will almost certainly stick unless you have a well-seasoned cast-iron grill or one of the highly inexpensive portable grills with thin grates. Cook salmon skin side down without flipping to avoid the “sticking panic.” 

While you can grill salmon without using foil, I find that grilling salmon with foil is the simplest and most effective method. By enclosing the salmon in foil, moisture is trapped. It ensures that the salmon is perfectly tender and flaky rather than dry. 

Elevate to a medium-high heat setting. In a large sauté pan, place the salmon skin side up. Cook for approximately 4 minutes until one side is golden brown. Turn the fish over with a spatula and continue cooking for about 3 minutes longer, or until the flesh feels firm to the touch and the skin is crisp, if desired. 

Gently pressing down on the top of the fillet with a fork or your finger will reveal whether your salmon has finished cooking thoroughly. As soon as you can see white strips of fish fat running across the fillet’s surface, the salmon is done cooking. Remove it from the heat source! 


Whether it’s spring, summer, or winter, these charcoal-grilled salmon fillets with fresh herbs and grilled vegetables make a delectable and fresh meal that evokes cottage living and the simple, newest things in life.

Have you ever attempted directly grilling your fish on the cooking grids? Share your fishy grilling tales with us by commenting. 

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