Day 27: How to Barbecue Salmon on the Grill

Thanks for joining me in my “30 Days of Summer Entertaining” series. (Scroll down to the bottom for previous posts in this series) :)

When it comes to summer cookouts, nothing is simpler or more satisfying than salmon on the grill.

To me, it’s the easiest meat to grill and takes little preparation. It can feed a crowd, and the presentation is beautiful, too!

How to make a “tray” for barbecuing salmon on the grill
1. Set 2 pieces of foil on top of each other on the counter (usually about 12-14 inches long)
2. Fold the ends up on each side to make a “tray”
3. Place salmon filet on the “tray” right before you are ready to barbecue

I love this method because you don’t have to flip the salmon. It cooks slowly on the grill, and as soon as you press down with the back of a spatula handle, and the meat is NO LONGER SPONGY feeling, the salmon is done.

The secret to delicious salmon is to NOT overcook it.

I have a really good recipe in my book (Savory Oregon Salmon), but if you’re wanting a last-minute idea, you can purchase Costco’s Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Sauce.

Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Salmon

1. Cut salmon pieces to about 8-10 inches long.

2. Place the salmon filets in a Ziploc bag.

3. Add 1-2 cups of the Roasted Pineapple Sauce.

4. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 3-4 hours.

5. Place the fillets on the ready-made “tray,” for barbecuing. (You may need 2 or 3 of these, depending on how much salmon you are cooking.)

5. Salt heavily with sea salt and white pepper.

We still use charcoal. We just love the flavor. It does take more time, for sure, but when it comes to barbecuing, we need to slow down and enjoy what we’re cooking, and the end results of waiting for the delicious fruits of our labor.

Waiting for our food is good.

Do you use charcoal or gas for grilling?

BBQ TIP: To prevent food buildup on the grill, coat the metal parts with light cooking oil before each barbecue.

If you’ve missed the last 26 days of this series, you can catch up now:

Day 1: Summer Entertaining is About the People
Day 2: When Perfect Robs You of Something Good
Day 3: Who To Invite to Dinner
Day 4: Planning the Menu for Outdoor Entertaining
Day 5: Setting the Table Using What You Have
Day 6: Using One Classic Water Glass
Day 7: Napkin Options for Summer Entertaining
Day 8: When You Feel Like Canceling the Party
Day 9: Leave Your Technology at the Front Door
Day 10: Candles That Enhance Good Conversation
Day 11: Serving Flavored Herb and Fruit Water
Day 12: Leafy Greens and a Tiny Bit of Agave
Day 13: Keeping Nut and Fruits and Cheeses on Hand for Easy Appetizers
Day 14: Move Your Table to a Different Space
Day 15: Greek Salad on a Stick and Getting the Kids Involved
Day 16: Three Lies of Perfectionism that Ruin Entertaining Moments
Day 17: Be Creative When You Run Out of Linens for Your Dinner Party
Day 18: Gather Around a Fire for Intimate Summer Entertaining
Day 19: Last Minute Father’s Day Invite and Pork Chops with Glazed Apricots
Day 20: Summer Entertaining GIVEAWAY from National Pork Board
Day 21: Create a Simple Appetizer Basket for Last-Minute Guests
Day 22: How to Change the Menu When Guests Cancel & Sweet Summer Salad
Day 23: Keeping the Conversation Strong with Summer Berry Crisp
Day 24: Music at a Summer Dinner Party
Day 25: Adding Dried Rosemary to your Barbecue
Day 26: Using Accent Dishes to Compliment Your Table Setting

Feel free to grab my button and share it with your readers :).

30 days of Summer Entertaining


  1. ummm. so good! i agree, salmon is delicious, and easy. even just with a crust of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper it’s incredible! thanks for the recipe :)

  2. oh my goodness, I can’t wait to try this. I have really gotten where I love salmon and this just looks and sounds delish!! Thank you for the recipe

  3. We have been grilling out a lot. This recipe is perfect for summer!

  4. YES!!! We just can’t get into all these outdoor kitchens with gas grills. I’ve got a gas stove inside, why would I want to cook outside for the same flavor? Agreed, slow down and it tastes great!

  5. Hi Sandy! I can’t believe the “30 Days of Summer” are almost over! I was so excited for them to start and now it’s so close to the end. How about “The 30 Days AFTER the 30 Days”??? Sounds like a great idea to me! We, too, love grilled salmon and enjoy it weekly. My husband usually uses the gas grill and cooks it just right. Charcoal sounds delicious too. We’ll have to try it. Right now though, I’m running to Costco to find that Pineapple Habanero Salsa. I sure hope our store carries it. Thanks again for sharing your great ideas and tips. Blessings! Rebecca

  6. I absolutely love grilling salmon! It is one of my favorites to grill too! I love finding new ways to grill it as well! YUMMY!! Oh, and we use gas grilling

  7. yummy on the habanero! WE usually squeeze a tangelo over the top of the salmon.. pretty yummy too. we have both a gas and a charcoal grill. We even take our cast iron skillet to the charcoal grill and cook our chicken fried steaks outside! Thanks so much for the 30 days series.. loving it.

  8. We love salmon…I’ll be purchasing that sauce on our next trip to Costco. Thanks for another wonderful post!

  9. Sandy, we have a charcoal grill too, just love the flavor it adds to food. I will be running off to Costco to pick up a few items and will add this to our list. I hope all your readers leave some sauce for me! I have a beautiful ripe pineapple sitting in my kitchen that I will be grilling also…mmmmmmm! Hope you and yours have a wonderful long week-end!

  10. We have never used anything but charcoal for grilling. Mr G honey will not be swayed. It does take longer. It’s definitely a ritual. :) We grill a lot of salmon. I love this tray idea!

  11. I can’t wait to try this with the salmon my sweetheart caught in the Columbia River! We just got home from a week of vacation at two lakes in the Cascade Mountains. My sweetheart fished – while I read (and devoured) your book! When we moved to the second lake we were joined by friends who camped near our site. He taught us to do Kokanee (a small type of salmon) on the grill, using the foil tray. Here’s what he did – you might enjoy it, too: a bit of butter on the tray to keep the fish from sticking (especially if it’s trout of a small fish with skin still on), lemon pepper and top with thin slices of lemon. Absolutely delicious.

    At home we use a Traeger pellet grill that can roast, grill or smoke. We have a small gas-powered, portable grill that goes when we take our travel trailer. We are longing to own a charcoal barbecue grill again. I think you’ve convinced me!

  12. Pingback: 30 Days to Summer Entertaining - Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  13. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you’re talking about!

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