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.

Ingredients

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!

raw salmon fillet on a baking sheet with salt and pepper arranged around it

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 TypeGeneral Cook Time
Wild Caught (thin)5–6 minutes
Farm-raised (1 to 1¼” thick)10–12 minutes
large salmon fillet on a baking sheet with salt and pepper sprinkled over top

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 recommend checking for doneness with an instant-red thermometer. We prefer the Thermapen ONE, but the ThermoPop is also a wonderful (more affordable) option.

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.

browned salmon fillet on a baking sheet

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!

Salads

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.

Sandwiches

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.

If you have leftover broiled salmon, use it to make Quick Salmon Patties then serve them with our Miso Pesto Noodles.

More Salmon Recipes to Try

FAQs

What are good sides for broiled salmon?

Our Fennel Salad is the perfect pairing for broiled salmon, we also like to serve salmon with this Savory Citrus Salad, Simple Celery Salad, Greek Orzo Pasta Salad, and Arugula Salad.

How can you cook salmon when the cut is uneven?

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.

How do you make salmon patties from scratch?

Use broiled salmon in place of canned salmon in this salmon patties recipe.

Are you supposed to wash salmon fillets before cooking them?

We do not recommend washing salmon fillets before cooking them. Instead, pat the salmon dry with a paper towel prior to cooking.

How pink should salmon be in the middle when cooked?

Salmon should be an opaque-pink color in the middle when it’s cooked through.

What is a good seasoning for salmon?

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

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Category Fish and seafood
Cuisine American
Author Lauren Grant

Description

Your go-to recipe for broiled salmon—a foolproof cooking method for the king of fish.

Ingredients

  • 1 (1-pound, 1-inch thick) skin-on center-cut salmon fillet
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • 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.

Equipment

Notes

We develop our recipes with Morton kosher salt. If you’re using Diamond Crystal kosher salt, use ¾ teaspoon. 
For the best results, use a thick salmon fillet, preferably center-cut, at least 1-inch thick. You will likely need to buy farm-raised instead of wild-caught for this recipe. In that case, look for USA farm-raised salmon with no added coloring. 
The USDA recommends cooking salmon to an internal temperature of 145ºF (63ºC). We prefer to under-cook it a bit and remove salmon from the heat when it reaches an internal temperature of 125ºF (52ºC).

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 poundCalories: 150kcalProtein: 22gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 340mg
Keywords Broiled Salmon, How to Broil Salmon
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!
broiled salmon fillet on a baking sheet

Pin This Recipe

Love this recipe and want to save it? Pin this recipe!

Pin This Recipe
Dinner's on Me Tonight!
Subscribe now and unlock the exclusive 15-minute recipe I make every week!
chicken salad on lettuce on a white plate

Share it with the world

Pin

About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

Learn More

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?