Gas-Grilled Salmon or Firm White Fish Fillets

Easy method to grill thick, firm fleshed fish, including salmon, red snapper, grouper, halibut, and sea bass. 
Based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated, J. Kenji Alt, May & June 2009, p 15.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: <= 30 Min to Table, Grill, Main Course - Seafood
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • skin-on salmon fillets, 3/4 to 1 inch thick approximately 6 - 8 oz per person
  • olive oil
  • ground black pepper
  • lemon wedges for garnish (optional)


  • Turn grill on high, about 10 - 15 minutes. Scrape grates clean with grill brush.
  • Pat fish dry with paper towel. Brush both sides of fish with small amount of oil; sprinkle with pepper.
  • Pour some oil on paper towels, use tongs to wipe grate. Repeat until grate is black and glossy.
  • Place fish skin-side down and diagonal to grates. Reduce heat to medium, cover grill. Cook without moving, 3 - 5 minutes, until skin is crisp, brown, and well marked. Fish should lift cleanly with spatula, if not, continue cooking and check at 30 second intervals. Quickly brush top of fish with a small amount of oil. Use 2 spatulas to flip fish to second side. Cook with grill covered until center of fillet is opaque and registers 125 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 2 - 6 minutes longer. Serve immediately. Can also be served cold with salad.