This light, summery grilled salmon is the perfect main dish for a warm summer night. Get the grill out, and whip up a sweet and sour marinade for this simple recipe.
Grilled Salmon with Honey and Lime that has the perfect balance of sweet and savory with just five ingredients you likely already have at home. This combination of honey, lime juice, and soy is one of my favorites and I use it with this Honey Garlic Chicken and Asparagus and Honey Lime Tilapia as well.
This simple grilled salmon recipe screams summer. The sun is starting to shine more often, and that means it’s time to get out and grill. I absolutely love cooking on the grill because it’s one of the easiest ways to make tasty, healthy, quick meals -- and it requires little to no cleanup! This salmon recipe is one of my favorite things to grill because it doesn’t require much grilling time. My honey lime salmon starts with a marinade of lime juice, lime zest, soy sauce, and honey. Then, I just marinate the fish, let it sit, and grill it! Grilled salmon pairs well with simple grilled veggies, so I usually throw them on the grill as well. I also love it with an avocado salsa.
If you’re on the fence about this salmon recipe, maybe the health benefits will sway you. Grilled salmon is a source of Omega-3 fats, which are great for your heart and lower your risk for cancer. Limes are great for your skin, and the vitamin C in them helps you fight off infections. Honey, especially darker honey, has a bunch of health benefits, too -- it can help you fight off infections, allergies, and has a bunch of antioxidants. I won’t get into it here, but the antioxidant properties of honey are incredible, so don’t leave it out of this honey lime salmon.
How to Choose Salmon for Grilling
People everywhere will preach the benefits of salmon from their favorite region, so it can be hard to know which fish to pick. Some people go nuts for Atlantic Salmon, but that doesn’t mean you have to reach for it every time. If you have a favorite type of salmon, then use it -- and if you’re a salmon newbie, don’t worry about experimenting. The only thing you’ll have to worry about when you’re grilling salmon is the freshness and the cut.
For grilling, you’ll want salmon cut from the head end of the fish, which is the thicker end. The tail end will be too thin to grill for most (although some people like their fish “well done”). For a perfectly grilled fish, a standard 1-inch fillet should do. Make sure that your fillet has the skin on it, as well. This will ensure that your fish has a buffer between itself and the grill, and the skin can be peeled off after you grill.
Looking to learn more about salmon? Check out our Ultimate Salmon Guide for tips on picking the right salmon, storing it, cooking it, and more.
Avoid These Salmon Grilling Pitfalls
A dirty grill is the cause of sticking, extra charred bits, and generally un-aesthetic dinners. Use a sturdy grill brush, and make sure to get any residual burnt bits and leftover oil. If you haven’t used your grill yet this season, you may want to take out your grates and soak them in some soapy water to get some of the more determined bits off. Don’t forget to clean out the grease collector tray, if you have one, and check your lid for any unwelcome bits of debris.
Rinse your fish before you prepare it, and be sure to remove the bones. Use cold water to rinse off your fish, and then pat it dry. Pull out tiny bones where you see them, and don’t be fooled - the bones are there. If you have trouble finding them, you can run a finger down the seam, or center, of the fish, and you’ll be able to find them. However some store bought fish has already been deboned, so just ask if you aren't sure.
Allow your fish to come to room temperature before you throw it on the grill. Putting a cold fish on the grill is one of the causes of sticking. After you rinse, dry, and debone the fish, place it skin down on your marinating plate or tray. Season it with the marinade, and then let it sit as the grill warms up. This is usually the perfect amount of time for your fish to reach the correct temperature.
The main worry for people grilling fish is sticking. The flesh of fish is so delicate that once it begins to stick it feels like it’s all over -- the delicate meat begins to flake and fall off into the grill or onto the ground. You can avoid this in a number of ways. Place the fish onto a preheated grill. Use a greased grill basket, or if you don’t have one, use a piece of greased foil with some holes sliced in it for drainage. If you don’t want to grill in foil, simply grease your grill before you place the fish on, on put them on skin side down first, to provide a buffer and release the juices in the skin.
How do know if the salmon is fully cooked?
In general, allow for about 4 to 6 minutes for every half inch of salmon, and turn it over once halfway through its grill time. If it sticks, then it’s likely that it needs to grill a little longer first. This works best if you preheat your grill ahead of time. Check your fish for doneness with a fork. Look for the thickest section of the fillet, and test it with the fork for flakey, opaque flesh. Another benchmark for doneness is the visibility of fat -- when the fish begins to release white fat about the texture of mayonnaise, you’ll know it’s ready to be removed from the grill.
This recipe originally appeared in 2015 but has been updated with new photos and tips for grilling salmon. The picture above was originally posted with the recipe.
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Grilled Salmon With Honey & Lime
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- Preheat the grill (or broiler).
- Whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, honey, and lime zest in a small bowl.
- Place the salmon on a baking dish covered with foil. Brush the salmon with the honey lime sauce and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes per side on a prepared grill. If your fish normally sticks, cook it on foil sprayed with cooking spray. To broil, place in the oven and broil for 6-8 minutes or until the salmon is cooked to your liking. Cooking time may vary slightly depending on thickness of the fish.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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