Grilled Salmon on a Pellet Grill (4 Easy Steps!)

TheGrillingDad Answer: Grilling salmon on a pellet grill is a piece of cake! Simply turn the grill on to 350°F, prepare the salmon, and put it on foil on the pellet grill for 15 minutes. The salmon will be medium to medium-well. 

It’s no secret that we love our pellet grill here at But many people are hesitant to buy one because they think it can only be used for smoking large cuts of meat.

This is far from the truth, and a pellet grill can be used for regular grilling, searing, smoking, and even baking!

So if you’re looking to make some delicious salmon in just 15 minutes, read on!

Preparing Salmon for the Pellet Grill

In our house, we like to keep salmon simple. When we prepared it for the pellet grill will simply score each piece about 3x, and top it with lemon juice, a little butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 

Then just place the two pieces on a piece of doubled foil–this will keep the salmon from falling apart. If you are more confident in your salmon flipping abilities, then you can try cooking it directly on your grill grate.

raw salmon on foil with toppings

Ingredients for Salmon in a Pellet Grill

  • Fresh salmon cut into serving-size pieces 
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Aluminum foil
  • Wood pellets–we used cherry for our recipe, but lemon could also work well! 

How to Make Salmon in a Pellet Grill

Step 1: Preheat the Grill

Start by preheating your pellet grill to 350°F. While it’s preheating, dress the salmon as directed above. 

Step 2: Put the Salmon on the Grill

Put the salmon on aluminum foil on the grill and close the lid. Set a timer for 15 minutes. 

salmon on a pellet grill

Step 3: Check the Salmon

Check on the salmon using a thermometer, or slice a corner. After 15 minutes the salmon should be medium or medium well. For well-done salmon, wait 3-5 more minutes. 

Step 4: Remove and Enjoy

And just like that your salmon is done! Remove it from the pellet grill using tongs and place it on your dish and enjoy! 

As you can see, making salmon on a pellet grill is incredibly easy–giving you a great but impressive dish to enjoy on those days when you don’t have time for a long smoke session. 

salmon on a plate with asparagus

Salmon Temperature Guide

RareLess than 120°FNot recommended
Medium Rare125°-130°FNot recommended for everyone
Medium135°F-140°FAbsolutely recommended!
Medium Well-Well Done145°+Not recommended–the salmon will be a bit dry!

Do You Have to Brine Salmon Before Putting It on a Pellet Grill?

There is no brine or pre-prep required for our salmon recipe. It is quick and easy for any occasion. 

Is it Safe to Eat Undercooked Grilled Salmon?

Salmon which has been purchased for the purpose of grilling should not be eaten raw. That’s because it doesn’t go through the same curing process as sushi salmon or smoked salmon which makes it safe to eat raw. 

Instead, you should cook salmon to at least medium or 135°F. While this doesn’t kill all bacteria like well-done salmon will, we think it creates a good balance of low risk (most bacteria are dead by now) while still allowing you to have fresh and moist salmon. 

If you are pregnant or a guest coming to your BBQ is, note that it is recommended to only consume well-done salmon

How Long Should You Cook Salmon on a Pellet Grill?

With a Pit Boss pellet grill set to 350°F your salmon should only take 15-20 minutes to cook. If you are using a lower temperature, however, it will take longer. Always use a temperature probe to check your salmon before removing it from the grill. 

What Are the Best Wood Pellets for Grilling Salmon

We used cherry for our recipe, but lemon or cedar would also work well. Just stay away from the really strong woods like hickory and mesquite as they may overpower the flavor of the fish. 

Is Cooking Your Salmon on a Pellet Grill Considered Smoking Salmon?

No, searing your salmon on a pellet grill is much different than smoking salmon. Smoking salmon often requires a brine as well as a cook time of longer than an hour. Simply grilling salmon on your pellet grill only takes 15-20 minutes. 

Tips for Grilling Salmon on a Pellet Grill

  • Placing foil beneath the salmon keeps it from falling apart and makes it easy to remove from the grill (it also keeps the grill cleaner).
  • Always check your salmon with a temperature probe before removing it from the grill. 
  • Feel free to experiment with the spices you put on before grilling your salmon. Additionally, leave off anything you want if it doesn’t suit your tastes. 
  • Keep the lid closed–we know it is tempting but this is the only way to ensure the salmon cooks evenly! 

What to Serve With Pellet Grill Salmon

In our house, we always serve pellet grilled salmon with a vegetable, like asparagus or green beans, and a starch. For a higher-end dinner, this starch could be a baked potato, or if it’s more casual, french fries or potato salad is delicious as well! 

Photo of author

Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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