Among the many ways to cook salmon, broiling stands out as an easy and efficient way to get tenderness and caramelized goodness on the outside in a matter of minutes. This broiled salmon recipe is full of flavor, totally foolproof, and a perfect addition to your salmon recipes collection!
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Broiled Salmon vs. Baked Salmon
Broiling involves cooking the salmon at high heat from above, using direct heat. This method quickly caramelizes the surface of the fish, resulting in a slightly crispy exterior while keeping the inside tender and moist.
Baking, on the other hand, utilizes indirect heat in an enclosed space, making it a slower cooking process. When I make baked salmon, I prefer to wrap it in foil or parchment (see these salmon foil packets )–this keeps in the moisture so it’s as tender as this broiled salmon.
How to Broil Salmon
- Prepare the Salmon: Preheat your broiler and place the oven rack close to the heat source. Line a baking sheet with foil (not parchment paper, it will burn) for easy cleanup. Pat the salmon fillets dry and sprinkle with salmon seasoning. You can get as fancy as you like here, try a bit of dijon, or even this miso glazed salmon.
- Broiling Process: Place the seasoned salmon fillets on the prepared baking sheet. Slide the sheet into the preheated oven and broil. It’s crucial to keep a close eye on the salmon to prevent overcooking.
How do you know when the salmon is done?
Properly cooked salmon will flake easily with a fork and have an internal temperature of 145 F (63 C). The flesh should be opaque and moist. Avoid overcooking, as it can result in dry and less flavorful salmon. I like to pull salmon just before it has reached 145 F and allow it to come to temp while it rests to prevent overcooking.
How Long to Broil Salmon
Determining the ideal broiling time depends on the thickness of the salmon fillet, as well as the heat of your broiler, and distance from the broiler. As a general rule, broil salmon for about 6-8 minutes per inch of thickness. For thinner fillets, adjust the time accordingly to avoid overcooking.
- Skin or No Skin? Broiling works well for both skin-on and skinless salmon fillets. If the salmon has skin, place it skin-side down.
- Do you have to thaw salmon before broiling? You don’t have to, but I strongly recommend it. Thawed salmon cooks more evenly and quickly. If you’re short on time, thaw your filets in a bowl of water for 30 minutes.
- What temperature is salmon when it’s done? Salmon is perfectly cooked when its internal temperature reaches 145 F (63 C). Invest in a reliable food thermometer to ensure accuracy and avoid under or overcooking.
- Do I need to flip the salmon? There’s no need to flip the salmon while broiling. The high heat from the broiler cooks the fish evenly from the top, resulting in a beautifully caramelized top layer.
What to Serve with Broiled Salmon
Pair your broiled salmon with an array of delectable sides, or a combination of all of them for easy salmon bowls. You can also top each filet with an easy sauce, or serve as is:
- Roasted vegetables: Roasted broccoli, roasted asparagus, or roasted green beans complement the salmon’s flavors perfectly.
- Starches and grains: Crispy roasted potatoes seasoned with herbs are an excellent accompaniment, as well as a bed of healthy grains like brown rice or fluffy quinoa.
- Fresh salad: A side salad like this arugula salad, this kale salad, or this fennel salad. You can also add this broiled salmon to a salmon salad.
- Sauce: We absolutely love chimichurri salmon.
More Simple Salmon Recipes
Broiled SalmonPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 4 6-8 ounce salmon filets skin on
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Optional Seasoning (This is my go-to combination):
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Position top rack in oven so it’s 6″ from the bottom of the broiler at the top of your oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (no parchment paper when broiling).
- Place salmon filets skin side down in a single, non-touching layer. Brush filets with oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any seasoning you're using.
- Broil on the top rack until the salmon flakes easily with a fork, and appears almost opaque in the center, and has a temp of 140 F about 7-9 minutes (although this will vary depending on how thick your filets are and the heat of your broiler). If you prefer your salmon well done, wait until it reaches an internal temp of 145 F. If the top starts to burn, loosely tent with foil
- Let salmon rest for 5 minutes before serving and enjoy!
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- Previously frozen (defrosted) salmon typically has more water in it, which “jumps” when heated, causing the broiler to flare (not good). I found that placing the salmon lower in the oven is the best way to prevent this.