The best grilled salmon recipe for summer and beyond! Enjoy juicy filets marinated in a mouthwatering ginger, soy, garlic, and brown sugar salmon marinade, grilled until flaky and tender.

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: Learn how to grill salmon that’s ridiculously juicy and flavorful with an irresistible, garlicky Asian-inspired marinade. You’ll never want to cook salmon any other way.
How long it takes: 40 minutes from marinating to serving.
Equipment you’ll need: you’ll need a dish for marinating and a grill. We use our Traeger grill, but gas or charcoal works too!
Servings: 4

Overhead view of two grilled salmon fillets on parchment paper.
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Perfect Grilled Salmon (With the BEST Marinade!)

We have salmon about every other week in our house. Ben loves it, I like it, it’s healthy (hello, omega-3s) and there are actually so many ways to enjoy it. My lemon salmon with dill is one of my go-to recipes, as is this walnut crusted salmon for special occasions. 

When summer rolls around and grilling season begins, naturally, salmon is on the menu. We’ve officially deemed this the best grilled salmon. This juicy grilled salmon is marinated in a flavorful combination of fresh ginger, garlic, and soy, with a hint of sweetness from brown sugar. The Asian-inspired flavors are totally irresistible, and the filets cook up crazy-juicy and tender on the grill.

Side view of a grilled salmon fillet on parchment paper.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Flavor-packed. The salmon marinade is a flavor powerhouse. You don’t need to let your fish marinate for hours to achieve tons of delicious, sweet-savory flavor. I usually have my salmon marinated in the time it takes to preheat the grill. 
  • Tender and flaky. I’m sharing my easy, fail-proof technique for perfectly grilled salmon that’s moist, flaky, and fall-off-your-fork tender.
  • Great for leftovers. Save your leftover salmon to use in salads, wraps, omelets, or frittatas the next day.
The ingredients for the best grilled salmon and grilled salmon marinade.

Recipe Ingredients

You’ll need about two pounds worth of salmon filets with the skin left on, along with a handful of ingredients for the marinade. This easy salmon marinade is so simple, yet SO mouthwatering. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Soy Sauce: I prefer to use low-sodium soy sauce, but regular soy sauce will work, too.
  • Olive Oil: You’ll want to use a good-quality extra virgin olive oil or another mild-flavored oil with a high smoke point.
  • Brown Sugar: Dark brown sugar offers a richer, more caramelized flavor. If you have light brown sugar, that will work too.
  • Fresh Ginger: Emphasis on fresh! Trust me, you’re going to want to get your hands on some fresh ginger root to grate for this marinade. It makes all the difference.
  • Garlic: What marinade isn’t made better with freshly grated garlic? 

How to Grill Salmon

If you’re new to cooking fish on the grill, salmon recipes are a wonderful place to start. Here’s how easy it is to make this succulent grilled salmon and the zesty brown sugar salmon marinade to go with it.

Marinate the fish. In a large baking dish, whisk together the marinade ingredients. Arrange the salmon filets into the marinade, skin facing upwards, and place the dish into the fridge. You can leave the filets in the marinade anywhere between 15 to 45 minutes.

Grill. Let the grill preheat for 10 to 15 minutes, to get it to 350ºF or medium heat. Once your grill is ready, transfer the salmon filets from the marinade onto the grill, skin-side-up. Cover and leave the fish to cook for 4 minutes, then carefully loosen and flip the filets over. After, cook for another 20 to 25 minutes to get the salmon flaky and tender. 

How to Tell When Salmon Is Done

If you’re unsure whether your salmon is ready to come off the grill, the easiest way to tell is to use an instant-read thermometer. The temperature at the thickest part of the salmon should read between 135ºF and 145ºF, and the flesh will be opaque and easy to flake. See more tips for grilling salmon below.
Overhead view of three grilled salmon fillets on parchment paper.

Tips for the best grilled salmon

Grilling salmon isn’t complicated, but it can be a little tricky. Flaky fish has the tendency to fall apart on the grill if you’re not careful. But I’m here to help! Here are my best tips for cooking salmon on the grill with 100% success:

  • Cook the salmon skin-side-up first. Make sure to get a good sear on the pink flesh in those first 3 to 4 minutes. Not only does this allow you to get those beautiful grill marks, but you’ll also have just enough grilled flavor without your salmon falling through the grates. Afterward, carefully flip and cook your fish skin side down for the remainder of the time. 
  • Halve the recipe. This recipe serves 6, but you can easily scale it down to serve 2 to 3 people. Simply cut the ingredients in half.
  • Discard the used marinade. I know, it hurts to throw all that flavor away. But sadly, leftover marinade that’s touched the fish is a breeding ground for bacteria, and should not be used.

Make This Recipe Your Own

I love how simple this recipe is because it also leaves plenty of room for improvisation. Here are some ideas:

  • Add spice. If you like your ginger soy glaze with a bit of kick, add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes or chili powder.
  • Use honey. In place of brown sugar, use honey or maple syrup to naturally sweeten the marinade.
  • Use foil. Another easy method for grilling salmon is to wrap your marinated filets in a foil packet for easy clean-up. I also love my garlicky grilled salmon for this reason. 
  • Baked salmon. No grill? No worries. I have recipes for baked Salmon and air rryer salmon that you can make with this marinade, too.

What to Serve With Grilled Salmon

Grilled salmon is a flavor-packed and healthy dinner served over a bed of jasmine rice or cauliflower rice with a side of greens. We love ours paired with air fryer broccoli or roasted asparagus.

In warmer weather, nothing beats juicy grilled salmon and a side of dill potato salad or this spring orzo salad with arugula, asparagus, and pine nuts. Or, round out a seafood dinner with seasoned grilled potatoes

Make the occasion festive with a white wine spritzer with berry ice cubes. Homemade strawberry shortcake with freshly whipped cream is a perfect summer dessert. It’s perfect with other in-season fruits, too, like sliced peaches or fresh raspberries.

A fork stuck into flakes of grilled salmon on a white plate.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

This grilled salmon makes fantastic leftovers. I love flaking it over a green salad the following day or freezing it for another meal. Here’s how to store leftover salmon to enjoy cold or reheated:

  • Fridge. Store your grilled and cooled salmon fillets airtight and refrigerate them for up to 2 days. Reheat the salmon in the microwave, in the oven, or in a covered pan on the stovetop until warmed through.
  • Freezer. Once your cooked salmon is completely cooled, store it airtight or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to freeze for up to 2 to 3 months. Thaw the salmon in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving.

More Easy Salmon Recipes


Best Grilled Salmon Recipe and Marinade

4.44 from 205 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
The best grilled salmon recipe for summer and beyond! Salmon filets grilled juicy and tender, dressed in a delectable ginger-soy marinade with brown sugar and garlic.
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  • ½ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 inch section fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 pounds salmon, cut into fillets


  • Mix together marinade ingredients in a baking dish: soy sauce, olive oil, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic. Add salmon fillets skin side up into the marinade and place in the fridge for 15 to 45 minutes.

Grilling with a Pellet Grill

  • When ready to grill, start your pellet grill (I used a Traeger) on Smoke with the lid open until you see smoke appear (takes 3 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350°F and preheat with the lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove salmon from marinade and place skin side up on grill. Cover (close the lid of the grill) and cook for 4 minutes. Flip carefully using a spatula. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes longer until fish is flaky. Serve immediately.

Grilling with a Gas or Charcoal Grill

  • Heat a gas or charcoal grill over medium heat (350°F). Remove salmon from marinade and place skin side up on grill. Cover (close the lid of the grill) and cook for 4 minutes. Flip carefully using a spatula. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes longer until fish is flaky. Serve immediately.


  • You can halve this recipe to serve 2 to 3 people.
  • This salmon is great leftover. I love to flake the cold salmon on a leafy green salad.
  • Nutrition information isn’t entirely accurate since much of the marinade is discarded.



Serving: 5oz, Calories: 324kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 833mg, Potassium: 830mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 61IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.44 from 205 votes (198 ratings without comment)

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  1. Carson Gauthreaux jr says:

    5 stars
    this is my go to recipe for salmon, It’s delicious and easy, but do yourself a favor and don’t take the easy way out, get fresh ginger. It’s a totally different experience.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you like it – and I agree about the ginger!

  2. Tialyn says:

    5 stars
    You have the BEST salmon recipes

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Ahhh thank you so much!!!

  3. Jett Whitfield says:

    5 stars
    This is our “go-to” salmon recipe. We all love the simple ingredients and flavor. Since we rarely have fresh ginger we just use the powdered ginger and it works fine.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thanks for leaving a review, it means a lot! I also often sub ground ginger.

  4. Susan D. says:

    5 stars
    Used this marinade on a copper river salmon on a Big Green Egg and WOW was it fabulous! This recipe is a keeper.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So happy you enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  5. Tony says:

    5 stars
    Grilled it and it is the best salmon (hint, foolproof) I have ever made! Watch the cook time temps – as you need to do with all fish – I came out with a lot shorter cooking time to get it just past medium. I did 10 minutes a side with my grill running a bit hotter than 350. Also added a shot of rice wine to the marinade to complement. Excellent!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked it! Rice wine is a great add! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  6. Anna says:

    5 stars
    I baked it and it was delish!!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad to hear it! Thanks for letting me know!

  7. Maria dem says:

    Can this salmon be baked?

    1. Rachel Gurk says: