Perfect Recipe for Sockeye Salmon on the Grill | Rock the Grill

Perfect Recipe for Sockeye Salmon on the Grill

AustinPublished: August 19, 2023
Perfect Recipe for Sockeye Salmon on the Grill

This recipe for sockeye salmon on the grill is a culinary journey that promises to delight your senses and transform your outdoor cooking experience. We think you're going to love this one.

We are not just sharing a recipe, but a celebration of fresh, simple ingredients coming together to create a dish that is flavorful, healthful, and unpretentious.

Whether you are a grilling novice or a seasoned pro, you'll find these step-by-step instructions easy to follow. We've also recommended some delectable sides to perfectly complement your grilled salmon. So, get ready to fire up your grill and embark on this exciting gastronomic adventure.

Why you're going to love sockeye salmon on the grill.

We can't wait for you to experience the thrill of grilling sockeye salmon. This vibrant, wild-caught fish is a feast for your palate and your eyes with its stunning, deep-red hue. Grilling this gem of the sea will be an absolute delight.


Sockeye salmon boasts a rich, full-bodied taste that's simply unparalleled. It's a touch sweeter than other salmon varieties and has a unique, robust flavor profile that will make your taste buds dance with delight. The smoky, charred notes from the grill intertwine beautifully with the natural flavors of the sockeye, creating a gastronomic symphony you're bound to fall in love with.


Sockeye salmon has a firm, meaty texture that holds up wonderfully on the grill. No flaking, no falling apart - just perfect, succulent fish pieces every single time. Plus, the thin layer of fat under the skin crisps to perfection, adding a delightful crunch that contrasts beautifully with the tender flesh. You don't get that with just any fish.


Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, it's food that not only tastes good but also does good for your body. And when you grill it, you're keeping all those nutrients intact while adding minimal extra calories.


  • Sockeye salmon. The main attraction is a fresh, wild-caught sockeye salmon fillet. It's known for its robust flavor and eye-catching red hue.
  • Olive oil. This is the perfect partner for our salmon. It prevents sticking and adds a subtle, earthy flavor. A must-have in your kitchen.
  • Kosher salt. This classic seasoning enhances the natural taste of the salmon without overpowering it. Simple yet effective.
  • Black pepper. Another classic, black pepper adds a little bit of heat and further enhances the flavors.
  • Fresh lemon juice. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds a refreshing tanginess that cuts through the richness of the salmon.
  • Fresh herbs. We're using dill and parsley here. They add a fresh, vibrant touch that beautifully complements the smoky grill flavors.

These stars will come together to create your grilled sockeye salmon masterpiece.

First, we have the star of our show, the sockeye salmon. We recommend a fresh, wild-caught sockeye salmon fillet known for its rich, robust flavor and stunning red hue. Next, we need olive oil, the perfect companion for our salmon. It not only prevents sticking but also adds a subtle, earthy flavor.

We're keeping seasonings classic yet flavorful with kosher salt, black pepper, and fresh lemon juice. These three simple ingredients enhance the natural taste of the salmon without overpowering it. And last but not least, we'll need fresh herbs. Dill and parsley work wonders here, adding a new, vibrant touch that complements the smoky grill flavors.

Simple, fresh ingredients that promise a grilling experience like no other.


Preparing Sockeye Salmon for the Grill

Putting it all together, here's a step-by-step guide that will transform these star ingredients into a culinary delight on your grill.

  1. Prep your grill. Get your grill ready! Fire it up to medium heat. We want a steady flame, not too hot or cold, just right for our precious sockeye salmon. Some even like to put a layer of aluminum foil on the grates for easy cleanup. Don't worry, it won't affect the outcome of your sockeye salmon.
  2. Season the salmon. Now, let's get to the hero of our show, the sockeye salmon fillet. Sprinkle it generously with kosher salt and black pepper. This dynamic duo will enhance the salmon's natural flavors, giving it an irresistible edge.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil. Remember our kitchen superstar, olive oil? Drizzle it over the seasoned salmon. It will add a subtle earthy flavor while preventing our salmon from sticking to the grill. We like to use around 1 tablespoon per fillet.
  4. Grill time. Place your salmon on the grill, skin side down. Let it sizzle and cook to perfection for about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Spritz lemon juice. Here comes the refreshing twist. Squeeze fresh lemon juice all over the grilled salmon. It's like a splash of sunshine, cutting through the richness and adding a tangy zing.
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs. As we near the finish line, sprinkle fresh dill and parsley over the salmon. They're the final touch, adding a fresh and vibrant dimension to our smoky, grilled masterpiece.

And there you have it. A simple yet mind-blowingly delicious grilled sockeye salmon recipe.

Recommended sides for sockeye salmon.

While the salmon is delicious on its own, we always have a few sides we recommend. These sides compliment the flavor of the fish and don't take away from the main course. If you have some sides you'd recommend, we'd love to hear about them in the comments below.

A Zesty Lemon Rice.

This light and fluffy rice dish, bursting with the tangy goodness of fresh lemon juice, makes a perfect companion to our grilled sockeye salmon. Its refreshing citrus flavor and delicate aroma balance the rich, smoky taste of the salmon.

Crunchy Grilled Asparagus.

Want to add some texture to your salmon? Give crunchy grilled asparagus a shot. Grilled to perfection, these asparagus spears bring a delightful crunch to your plate. Their earthy notes and subtle sweetness are a match made in heaven with our salmon's robust flavor. Plus, they're quick and easy to prepare on the grill alongside your fish.

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

And for those who love comfort food, we recommend our Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Smooth, buttery, and packed with a gentle garlic punch, this side dish adds a comforting warmth to your meal. It pairs beautifully with our salmon, creating an utterly irresistible combination.

Fresh Summer Salad.

Crisp Summer Salad

Summer salad is a refreshing palate cleanser packed with crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette. It enhances the overall dining experience, making each bite of our grilled sockeye salmon even more enjoyable.

Tips for taking your grilled sockeye salmon to the next level.

We're all about elevating your cooking experience, and these seven tips are sure to take your grilled sockeye salmon game to the next level.

  1. Selecting the star: When it comes to salmon, quality matters. Look for fresh, wild-caught sockeye salmon. It's known for its robust flavor and vibrant red hue that screams deliciousness.
  2. Grill choice. Your grill can make a world of difference. If you're after a smoky flavor, charcoal grills are your best bet. For consistent heat and easy temperature control, gas grills are ideal. And if you're a fan of wood-fired flavors, pellet grills are the way to go.
  3. Lid on or off? Keep the lid on. This traps the heat, ensuring an even cook and imparting that signature grilled flavor. Your salmon will thank you.
  4. To flip or not to flip? Let's settle this once and for all - no flipping required. Grill your salmon skin-side down for the entire cook. This makes the skin crispy while the fish stays moist and tender.
  5. Watch the heat. Medium heat is your friend here. Too high, and you risk burning the exterior before the inside is cooked. Too low, and you'll lack the desired sear.
  6. Season simply. Don't overwhelm the natural flavor of the salmon. A sprinkle of kosher salt, a dash of black pepper, a squeeze of lemon, and you're golden. Usually, we recommend heavy seasoning, but not with sockeye.
  7. Rest before serving. Some don't believe fish need to rest, we do. Give your grilled masterpiece a moment to rest before diving in. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a moist, flavorful bite every time.

Armed with these tips, you're all set to create a grilled sockeye salmon dish that's nothing short of spectacular.

Ready to sink your teeth into fresh sockeye salmon off the grill?

Grilled Sockeye Salmon Ready for Eating

Grilling sockeye salmon is a straightforward yet rewarding culinary experience. From the simplicity of the ingredients to the flavorful and healthy outcome, this recipe is a testament to the joys of outdoor cooking.

Whether you pair it with zesty lemon rice, crunchy grilled asparagus, creamy garlic mashed potatoes, or a fresh summer salad, the result is a delightful meal that celebrates the versatility of salmon.

We'd love to hear about your experience in the comments below. Have you tried grilling sockeye salmon? What seasonings did you use and what sides did you make?



Professional Backyard Chef

Austin, a trained chef and graduate of the The Art Institute of Washington, has a deep passion for locally sourced ingredients. He spent several years working in farm-to-table restaurants, forging relationships with local farmers and learning about the benefits of fresh, local produce. As a regular contributor to various food and lifestyle magazines, Austin specializes in creating delicious, seasonal recipes for the backyard bistro. His dedication to local ingredients helps readers discover new flavors while supporting their local economy.