Broiling salmon is one of the quickest, most efficient and reliable ways to cook salmon. The outer layer gets crispy while the inside stays melt-in-your-mouth flakey and buttery. In addition, adding a glaze or rub on top and broiling the fish, rather than baking, gives you that gorgeous caramelized crust on top of your perfectly cooked salmon.
If you’re nervous about cooking salmon, learn how to broil salmon first! It’s the easiest and most foolproof way to get perfect salmon every time. We also recommend getting really familiar with what to look for when buying salmon and how to know it’s fresh.
Salmon: For the best results, seek out fillets that are at least 1 inch thick—this gives you a little more wiggle room and is likely to not overcook as quickly. Because thicker fillets are usually farm-raised, seek out farm-raised salmon fillets from a reputable source and make sure there’s no added coloring.
Flavorings: Our base recipe just uses kosher salt and black pepper. Feel free to add spices (garlic powder, onion powder, dried rosemary, etc.), herbs (dill, chives, parsley), butter or olive oil, and citrus. Glazes are also a great addition, try our Miso Glazed Salmon!
How to Broil Salmon
Step 1: Heat the broiler
Preheat broiler to high with rack set 6-inches from element.
Step 2: Prep the salmon
Arrange salmon fillet skin-side down on baking sheet; pat dry and season with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Broil the salmon
Broil the salmon fillet until mostly opaque but center still looks undercooked, tops are charred, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the centers registers 125ºF (48–52ºC), 10–12 minutes.
Broiler Temperature & Rack Position
For the best broiled salmon, heat your oven’s broiler to high with the oven rack set 6-inches from the heating element (or in the upper third of the oven). Most ovens have a low and high broiler setting, if it only has one setting, assume it’s a high setting.
Keep in mind, not all broilers are created equal. Some broilers run hotter than others; if you aren’t sure where yours lands, be sure to keep a close eye on the fish as it cooks (and rotate the sheet pan as needed).
And finally, while the information above is an excellent guide on how to broil salmon, other factors may influence the outcome. If your range doesn’t have a “Broil” setting, don’t fret! Setting your oven at a high temperature, around 500ºF, will yield similar results.
How Long to Broil Salmon
The quick answer is 10–12 minutes. BUT understanding how long to broil salmon depends entirely on the thickness of the fillet and how far from the heating element your oven rack is placed.
Cook time is largely determined by the thickness of your salmon fillet. Wild-caught salmon is typically thinner, therefore it would need to be cooked for less time, around 6 minutes. Farm-raised salmon can be much thicker, 1 to 1 ¼ inches thick or more, and can take up to 12 minutes to cook through.
|Fillet Type||General Cook Time|
|Wild Caught (thin)||5–6 minutes|
|Farm-raised (1 to 1¼” thick)||10–12 minutes|
What Temperature is Salmon When It’s Done?
The easiest way to make sure your salmon is cooked fully under the broiler is by using a thermometer. Notably, the USDA recommends internal salmon temperature be 145ºF (62ºC), though we prefer to cook it to an internal temperature of 125ºF.
If you like your salmon medium-rare, pull it out of the oven when the internal temperature is 125ºF. If you like it well-done, let it cook to an internal temperature for 145ºF.
How to Know When Salmon Is Cooked
We prefer to cook our salmon to an internal temperature of 125ºF, which is medium-rare doneness. If you prefer salmon medium-well, cook it to an internal temperature of 145ºF (which is recommended by the USDA).
In addition to using a thermometer, keep an eye on how the salmon looks. Check the thickest part of the salmon when checking for doneness. The flesh of the salmon should have turned from translucent to opaque. Additionally, the edges of the fillet should be crisp or starting to crisp when the salmon is almost done.
When salmon is fully cooked, it will change from its raw state of translucent orange to a more opaque pink color. It should also flake easily with a fork.
Test Kitchen Tips
- For the best results, seek out fillets that are at least 1 inch thick—this gives you a little more wiggle room and is likely to not overcook as quickly.
- If your fillets have really thin ends, consider tucking them under the fillet to promote oven cooking.
- If you’re using a sweet glaze or brown sugar, consider broiling the salmon on the middle rack instead of the upper-middle (which is generally 6-inches from the element) to avoid burning. Or, alternatively, add the glaze in the last 4 or so minutes.
- We don’t recommend marinating salmon in general, but if you are, avoid marinating it for more than 30 minutes or the texture will start to change.
- For easy cleanup, line the baking sheet with foil before arranging the salmon on top.
- We like to use skin-on salmon for just about everything, but especially when we are pan-searing or broiling. The skin keeps the fish nice and moist. It also usually sticks to an ungreased baking sheet or layer of foil, which makes for easy serving.
What’s the Difference Between Broiled and Baked Salmon?
Using the broiling setting, in its simplest form, means that the oven is only engaging the top heating element. It also means you’ll be using the open flame to cook and brown the food. Baking salmon is a slower cooking process and heats the salmon from all sides.
Broiled salmon has a nice golden-brown top, crispy edges and juicy flesh. Baked salmon tends to be a bit more pale and features the same texture throughout.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store leftover cooked salmon in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to use it, gently reheat it either under the broiler for a minute or so, or in the microwave for 15–30 seconds. Avoid over-cooking it! When it doubt you can always heat it a but more.
How to Use Broiled Salmon
With this recipe, we are positive you will elevate your salmon game! We use the broiling method for our Broiled Honey-Glazed Salmon & Snap Pea Sheet Pan Dinner. You can’t beat this one-pan salmon dinner!
Broiling is a great method for cooking salmon for our Salmon Caesar Salad. We also like to use broiled salmon for Nicoise Salads and in our French Lentil Salad. It’s also right at home in our Sushi Salad. If you aren’t keen on using raw salmon in Poke bowls, use broiled salmon instead.
Layer the golden and crispy broiled salmon with salty bacon to make our Salmon BLT Sandwiches. Use broiled salmon to make fish tacos or open-faced sandwiches. Flake the salmon and use it to make our Salmon Burger recipe.
Quick Meals & Pasta
Instead of grilling our Balsamic Glazed Salmon, try broiling it! Then serve it with broiled asparagus for a quick weeknight meal. We’ve also got a Broiled Miso Glazed Salmon that is sweet, salty and so satisfying!
Top the salmon with a slather of pesto and serve it with our Pesto Pasta and Zoodles.
More Salmon Recipes to Try
- Our Pan-Seared Salmon is one of our most popular recipes to date. And for a good reason—it’s absolutely foolproof!
- This Salmon Chowder is a fun and flavorful way to enjoy salmon.
- If you’re looking for an elegant salmon dinner, pair a thick fillet of salmon with our Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce and make our Lemon Butter Salmon with Dill Peas.
- Another must-try recipe is our Salmon Curry. It’s loaded with vegetables and can be served over rice, cauliflower rice, or rice noodles.
- Then enjoy salmon for brunch with our stunning (and romantic) Smoked Salmon Platter with Blini.
- Looking for a baked salmon recipe? Try this 5-ingredient, 20-minute oven-baked Lemon Dill Salmon.
It’s common for salmon fillets to be a bit thinner on one end and a bit thicker on another end. To ensure even cooking, tuck the thin end underneath itself.
Use broiled salmon in place of canned salmon in this salmon patties recipe.
We do not recommend washing salmon fillets before cooking them. Instead, pat the salmon dry with a paper towel prior to cooking.
Salmon should be an opaque-pink color in the middle when it’s cooked through.
There are so many great spice blends that work with salmon, but here are a few of our favorite spice combinations!
– Cumin, coriander, lime zest
– Smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper
– Sesame seeds, dried oregano, sumac
– Lemon zest, honey, thyme
Broiled Salmon Recipe
- 1 (1-pound, 1-inch thick) skin-on center-cut salmon fillet
- Kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper
- Heat broiler to high with rack set 6-inches from element.
- Arrange salmon fillet skin-side down on baking sheet. Pat salmon dry with paper towels then season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Broil salmon until mostly opaque but center still looks undercooked, tops are charred, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the centers registers 125ºF (48–52ºC), 10–12 minutes.