How to Grill Wild Sockeye Salmon: Best Sockeye Salmon Recipe

If you’re looking for the best way to cook sockeye salmon on the pellet grill, then you’ve come to the right place. This complete guide to grilling salmon on a pellet grill will give you all the information you need to make the best baked sockeye salmon you’ve ever had.

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    How to Choose the Perfect Sockeye Salmon

    Choosing the perfect sockeye salmon is easy. Look for a fish with:

    • firm flesh
    • good color with no discoloration
    • a moist appearance
    • flat skin (curled edges is a sign of dryness)

    When you can opt for sockeye salmon instead of Atlantic. Here’s why.

    Sockeye Salmon

    Sockeye Salmon vs. Atlantic Salmon: Differences

    Atlantic salmon is commonly farmed and sold year-round. It appears a pale orange color with oily, thick, and flaky flesh. The flavor is mild, and the fish is large. Atlantic salmon is probably what comes to mind when you think of salmon.

    Sockeye salmon, on the other hand, is usually a wild fish. If you want fresh sockeye salmon, you can only buy it when it’s in season between late spring or summer into fall. It has a more intense flavor, a deeper color, and it’s considerably more expensive.

    So, if you want the good stuff, go for sockeye salmon.

    Equipment and Ingredients for Grilled Sockeye Salmon

    To make the best sockeye salmon recipe you’ve ever had, you’ll need a few things.

    Ingredients for Grilled Sockeye Salmon

    • 4 salmon fillets
    • cooking spray OR cooking oil
    • 1 lemon
    • salt
    • pepper
    • your favorite seasonings, optional

    Equipment for Grilled Sockeye Salmon

    How to Season Sockeye Salmon

    You can’t go wrong when seasoning your sockeye salmon with garlic and lemon. For added flavor, you can also add fresh or dried:

    • parsley
    • thyme
    • rosemary

    For a unique spice blend, try:

    • smoked paprika
    • garlic powder
    • onion powder
    • thyme
    • celery seed
    • cumin
    • allspice
    • salt
    • black pepper

    For marinated salmon with an Asian kick, try soaking it for an hour in a blend of:

    • soy sauce
    • brown sugar or honey
    • green onions
    • black pepper

    How to Grill Sockeye Salmon on a Pellet Grill

    1. Using your pellet smoker is the best way to cook sockeye salmon. To grill sockeye salmon, start by letting your fish rest at room temperature.
    2. Then, prepare your grill as usual: preheat it to medium-high heat and grease the grates.
    3. Once the grill is ready, you can season your salmon. Use one of our seasoning blends above, make your own, or just use good old salt and pepper. Once the salmon is seasoned, slap it on the grill skin side down.
    4. Wait until the internal temperature reaches 145° F and pull it off the grill. Then, let it rest for 5-10 minutes. It’s that easy.

    What to Serve with Grilled Sockeye Salmon

    Serve up your grilled sockeye salmon with some grilled asparagus and white or brown rice for a complete meal.

    Best Wood Pellets and Pellet Grill Choices for Grilled Sockeye Salmon

    To make the best salmon on a pellet grill you’ve ever had, you need to use a Z Grills pellet smoker with Z Grills wood pellets.

    Why a Z Grills Pellet Smoker is Worth it?

    Z Grills pellet smokers are the best because they:

    • Are incredibly versatile.
    • Deliver authentic wood-fired flavor.
    • Provide precise temperature control.
    • Maintain excellent quality at affordable prices.
    • Include a wide range of pellet grills for grillers of all experience levels.

    Grilled Sockeye Salmon Temperature

    For this baked sockeye salmon, we’ll heat our Z Grills pellet smoker to medium-high heat, which is about 350° F to 400° F.

    How Long to Grill Sockeye Salmon

    At 350° F to 400° F, your sockeye salmon will only take about 10 minutes to cook.

    Conclusion: How to Grill the Best Sockeye Salmon on Your Pellet Smoker

    If you want to enjoy perfectly cooked salmon on your pellet grill, then use this bare-bones recipe and customize it with your favorite seasonings.

    Get creative and add your own sauces, garnishes, marinades, and more—the recipe still stays the same.

    To make the best sockeye salmon you’ve ever had, you’ll need a high-quality pellet smoker. Your first choice should always be a Z Grills pellet smoker because our products deliver the best quality for the most affordable prices.

    Enjoy limitless grilled and smoked dishes with your Z Grills pellet smoker and Z Grills wood pellets. Shop now to find the products that are best for you.

    5 from 1 vote

    Grilled Sockeye Salmon

    When grilling sockeye salmon on your Z Grills pellet smoker, there’s no secret recipe. The key to great salmon is knowing exactly how to cook sockeye salmon on the grill—and this recipe will walk you through it step by step.
    Servings 4
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Resting Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes


    • Z Grills Smoker Grill
    • Z Grills Apple Wood Pellet
    • Paper towels
    • Metal tongs


    • 4 salmon fillets
    • cooking spray OR cooking oil
    • 1 lemon
    • salt
    • pepper


    • Allow the salmon filets to rest for 15 minutes outside of the fridge. Allowing your fish to come to room temperature before grilling ensures it cooks evenly and doesn’t dry out.
    • Preheat your Z Grills pellet grill to medium-high heat, around 350° F to 400° F, with your favorite Z Grills wood pellets.
    • Oil the grill grates with cooking spray or a paper towel soaked in oil.
    • Lightly salt and pepper both sides of the salmon. Place the sockeye salmon filets skin side down on the oiled grates. Do not move them once you place them.
    • Grill the salmon until the flesh is opaque and flaky, about ten minutes. Fish should have an internal temperature of 145° F for safe consumption. Use a meat thermometer to gauge an accurate internal temperature. If you like the flesh charred, you can flip the salmon once
    • Allow the salmon to rest for 5-10 minutes.
    • Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice or a lemon wedge.


    This is a bare-bones recipe for salmon. If you want to add your favorite seasonings or modify one of your other favorite salmon recipes for the pellet grill, this guide will help you do it.
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Seafood

    About The Author

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    Z Grills

    Z Grills is a grill manufacturer with over 30 years of experience within the industry. With over 650,000 pellet grills sold and 85 million cooks made, trust us.

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    1. Ruth W. Thomas says:

      5 stars
      This recipe is truly amazing. I tried it and it turned out very nice.

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