How to Grill Salmon in Foil – Quick Tips

Today, I want to show you how to grill salmon in foil and keep all that tasty juiciness right where you want it – inside the meat!

With summer in full swing, so comes another great passion, the beloved cookout / BBQ days with friends and family.

As with most BBQ sessions, the main type of food being grilled is usually some variation of red meat – burgers, sausages, hot dogs, steaks, chicken, you name it.

Occasionally, you’ll find some grilled vegetables, and even more rarely, grilled fish.

It’s this underrated grill item that we want to talk about with you today!

Grilled fish (salmon in particular) is both easy to prepare and easy on the stomach. And grilling it in foil ensures that the meat won’t be dry.

Grilling in Foil

You’ve probably wrapped food up in aluminum foil a few times, maybe even to cook fish in your home oven, but did you know this method of cooking, also called en papillote, can be used to prepare fish, vegetables, lamb, etc.

It’s a versatile cooking method where parchment paper or foil has been folded around food, keeping in all the moisture while both grilling and steaming the food at the same time.

Since our food of choice for today is salmon, let’s see how to grill salmon in foil!

How to Grill Salmon in Foil

It’s always great to have some audiovisual help when following along with a recipe, so we found a great video you can throw a glance at while preparing your grilled salmon.

Prepare Your Seasoning

Picking herbs and spices to season your salmon is a matter of personal preference. In the video we linked for you, the herbs of choice are fresh dill, basil, and oregano. The cook also uses garlic powder.

Preparing for Grilling Salmon in Foil

After you’ve picked your herbs (fresh or dried), you can start preparing the meal.

Rip off a large piece of aluminum foil. The size of the foil needs to be large enough to fold it over the fish, leaving no empty spaces.

At this point, you can do two things – either place the fish on the foil or, if you prefer, cut up some vegetables and place them on the foil, and lay the fish on top of them.

Go-to vegetables are potatoes, carrots, asparagus, and onion of course, but you can get creative and put whatever vegetable you like and think is best with the fish you’re preparing.

Grilled salmon in foil with asparagus

After you place your fish on the foil, it’s time to season it with salt, pepper, and other spices, if necessary. Then, cover the fish with fresh herbs.

Some cooks like to make a paste out of the herbs and spread it over the fish fillets. Simply use a pestle and mortar, add your fresh herbs, a bit of salt and a splash of olive oil then pound away.

However, you could make a dry rub and cook it that way. Be warned – this could lead to an overpowering spice taste afterwards! If that is not your cup of tea, just lightly cover the fish with fresh or dried herbs.

Once all the spices and herbs have been put on the fish, take half a lemon, and squeeze it on top of the salmon fillets, you can even lay some rings of lemon on top.

When this is done, fold the aluminum foil in such a way that it covers the salmon completely allowing no air to escape.

If the original piece of foil you were using isn’t enough, rip off another piece of foil and cover any remaining empty spaces.

It’s important to make it as airtight as possible because that’s what will keep your fish moist and provide you with a nice sauce at the end.

Grilling the Fish

Grilled salmon in foil with lemon herbs and garlic

It’s okay to put the salmon on medium heat (if your grill allows for such a level of fine-tuning). If you’re doing it the old-fashioned way, just make sure that the coals are not too hot. Even better to use indirect heat if possible.

If your grill has a lid, then you can cover the grill while the salmon is cooking. After 10 minutes, check on the salmon and see if it’s done according to your preference.

Be careful when removing the foil-wrapped fish from the grill – even though it’s tightly wrapped, accidents do happen and you don’t want the salmon to unwrap itself just as you’re trying to plate it.

The best bet is to use 1 or 2 spatulas or some other flat tool with a wide surface to remove the salmon from the grill.

When the salmon has been unwrapped and put on a plate, you can use the juice that accumulated in the foil and finish off the fish, adding an additional layer of flavor to it.

Step-by-Step – how to Grill Salmon in Foil

  1. Clean and light your grill.
  2. Prepare herbs, seasoning, and aluminum foil.
  3. Place the salmon on the aluminum foil.
  4. Cover the fish with your seasoning of choice.
  5. Do the same with your herbs of choice.
  6. Wrap the salmon tightly with the aluminum foil, leaving no gaps.
  7. Place it on a medium-heat grill.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes.

Summing Up

If you followed the whole article up to this point, then congratulations – you now know how to grill salmon in foil!

And not only that, but you also know that you’re free to experiment and play around with different flavor combinations to make your salmon taste just the way you like it!

Even more importantly, cooking in foil is not limited to fish. You can cook all sorts of different foods this way, and every time you do, you’ll end up with a tasty meal and an accompanying sauce with it!

Be the difference maker at your next get-together and spoil everyone with this easy-on-the-stomach way of preparing salmon!

Also, take a look at some more of our BBQ tips and tricks, to diversify your game even further!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I grill salmon in foil?

Yes, absolutely! Grilling salmon in foil is not only possible but also a popular and delicious way to cook it.

Why should I use foil to grill salmon?

Using foil helps to keep the salmon moist and prevents it from sticking to the grill grates. It also allows for easy cleanup afterwards.

Do I need any special kind of foil to grill salmon?

Regular aluminum foil works just fine for grilling salmon. However, if you prefer heavy-duty or non-stick foil, those options are available too.

Should I season the salmon before wrapping it in foil?

Definitely! Seasoning your salmon with spices, herbs, and a squeeze of lemon before wrapping it in foil will enhance its flavor and make it even more delicious.

How long should I cook the salmon in foil on the grill?

The cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of your salmon fillet or steak. As a general guideline, aim for about 12-15 minutes for every inch of thickness at medium-high heat.

Can I add vegetables or other ingredients to the foil packet with the salmon?

Absolutely! Adding some sliced onions, bell peppers, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes alongside your salmon in the foil packet can infuse extra flavor into your meal and make it more nutritious.

How do I know when my grilled salmon in foil is done?

A good indicator that your salmon is cooked through is when it easily flakes apart when tested with a fork. The flesh should be opaque and firm but still moist.

Can I open the foil packet while grilling to check on the doneness of the fish?

While it’s best to avoid opening the foil packet too frequently during grilling (to prevent heat loss), you can carefully open it once towards the end of cooking to check if your fish is cooked to perfection

Written By


Hi there, I'm Greg (also known as Herbie) and like most Aussies enjoy a good BBQ. I want to share with you some tips and recipes, along with gear that I like, to help you with your backyard barbecue and grilling hobbie.Anyway, have a look around and let me know what you think and happy BBQing. Cheers Herbie.

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