- 1 or more fillets of boneless, center-cut salmon, with or without skin (see notes)
- Olive or avocado oil
- Kosher or flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the broiler and set oven rack to 6 inches below broiler element (or as close to that as possible).
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. If your fillets have the skin on and you want to remove it, don’t oil the foil. The skin will stick to it, and you can slide your spatula in between the skin and the flesh as you are removing the cooked fish to a plate for serving. Then the skin can be crumpled up in the foil and discarded. Prefer to keep the skin on? Spray or grease the foil to prevent it from sticking.
Meanwhile, brush the top and side of the fillets with the oil, and season all over with salt and pepper. Place the salmon on the prepared baking sheet.
Broil the salmon until golden brown on top and just short of cooked through the center, about 5-6 minutes for most farmed Atlantic salmon and fattier wild (like King/Chinook) and 4 to 5 minutes for leaner wild salmon (like Coho and Sockeye). Wild salmon is most tender when cooked to 120℉, while farmed salmon is at its best when cooked to 125℉.
Helpful hint: If the fillets become sufficiently browned on top before they are cooked to your liking in the center, either move the baking sheet down a rack or drape a piece of foil over the top of the fish. This shouldn’t take more than 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Transfer the salmon to a plate and serve as is or with a sauce or salsa of choice. Broiled salmon also makes an excellent protein topper on a salad or bowl meal.
Single serve fillets versus larger cut of salmon: You can broil a whole side of salmon or a larger fillet that you will cut after cooking. You may need to extend cooking time by a minute or three. Do keep in mind that, once cooked, a large piece of salmon won’t cut cleanly.
Skin or no skin? This recipe works equally well with skin-on and skinned salmon. It’s really a matter of personal preference.
Spice it up: Feel free to sprinkle the salmon with spices of choice along with the salt and pepper. Complementary options include curry powder, cumin and smoked paprika, and blackened or Creole seasoning. Or experiment with other spices you enjoy. Do be careful of anything that may burn under the broiler, like minced garlic.
A thin layer of mayonnaise may be used instead of the olive or avocado oil. In this case, you may stick with the simple seasoning of salt and pepper, or any of the spices mentioned above. You could also stir in a small amount of Dijon, harissa paste, or curry paste.