Quick and Easy Jerk Salmon
Quick and Easy Jerk Salmon

Salmon under the grill makes for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Simply mix together the jerk seasoning and brush it onto the salmon for a flavorful kick. A few minutes later, you’ll have a satisfying, healthy, flavorful dinner.

When the weather is bad outside – cold or wet or both – I like to fire up my BBQ and make fish for dinner. This Grilled Jerk Salmon packs an invigorating burst of bold flavors to liven up your dining routine on non-barbecue nights.

What is jerk seasoning?

True jerk seasoning is a flavorful Jamaican marinade most commonly used on grilled chicken. Its flavor is immediately earthy (from pimento and soy sauce) and spicy light (from fresh citrus fruits and Habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers).

The jerk rub I use here is thicker than a marinade. Let’s call it a jerk-inspired rub because we won’t be marinating the salmon. While the Caribbean is teeming with edible fish, salmon is not one of them. But the rich meat of the full-bodied salmon holds up well to the jolt here.

How to set the heat

Jerk rub can taste flat without some heat, so peppers are important here.

  • Who likes it hot: Use habaneros. They’re available at most grocery stores, and their floral and citrusy notes work well to balance out the other ingredients.
  • If you prefer the mild side: Use chopped jalapenos instead. Try a sip of jalapeno first before adding the whole thing! I find they vary quite a bit in intensity. If your jalapeno is milder than you’d like, add the seeds and ribs, which will carry more of the heat.

I’m usually very picky about salmon. I like wild-caught Pacific salmon because the texture is firmer and meatier than farmed Atlantic salmon. However, I have made this recipe with many types of salmon and am always happy with it. One salmon I would avoid for this is pink salmon (as opposed to red salmon) because it has a tender texture that doesn’t hold up well after cooking.

The main thing is to get salmon fillets that are five to six ounces, if possible, for easy portioning. They may be skinned or still have the skin.

How to roast salmon

Roast is absolutely the easiest way to cook salmon, but there’s a catch: you need a decent roast chicken. Broilers vary from oven to oven.

Grilling is different from baking because you place the food very close to the heating element, which is set as hot as possible. Most ovens have a broil setting that coats your food in around 550°F of heat. Some get even hotter.

Place your fillets on a foil-lined baking sheet and grease the foil (don’t use parchment paper, which will burn). Position the oven rack about three inches from the heating element. The grill takes less time to preheat than the oven to bake; Five minutes of preheating should be enough.

How do you know when the salmon is cooked?

Check your salmon every minute after the first three minutes of cooking. Some broilers are turbo broilers while others seem to last forever.

When the salmon is fully cooked, you can tell by doing the following:

  • The rub will have some nice crust patches, but won’t get burnt.
  • Then look at the exposed salmon meat. It should split into clearly visible segments.
  • If you press it lightly, the fish will peel apart.

Salmon fillets vary in thickness. The thinner ones closer to the tail will grill faster. The variables of varying heat, the distance of the food from the grill’s heating element, and the thickness of the fillets mean you need to use good judgment to find out when the salmon is done grilling.

I like my medium-rare salmon, which falls apart when touched but isn’t quite firm either. If you don’t like your salmon on the rare side, grill it in 1-minute increments until you’re sure it’s done. When in doubt, cut a fillet at the thickest part and take a look. The flesh should be opaque, not translucent.

If your salmon still has skin after cooking, you can insert a metal spatula between the skin and the meat. Simply lift the cooked meat off the fillet and the skin remains on the foil.

What to serve with Jerk Salmon

For an easy meal, I like this with a side of quinoa, mashed potatoes, or steamed rice. If you want to be more elaborate, try coconut beans and rice. Thinly sliced ​​kale or kale quickly sautéed with minced garlic finishes off nicely.

can you do this in advance

You can make the rub a day ahead and keep it covered in the bowl you mixed it in, but don’t add it to the fish until just before cooking. The acidity in the citrus fruits will firm up the protein in the fish, making for a rubbery, cooked salmon.

Alternatively, you can put the jerk rub on the salmon fillets and freeze it. Place the grated fillets on a tray so they’re not touching and freeze for an hour or two (this will freeze the rub on top of the fish so it doesn’t smear when you wrap it), then tuck them in place in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to a month. Allow the salmon to thaw on the counter for 3 to 4 hours or in the refrigerator overnight.

Need more salmon in your life?

  • Poached salmon in the slow cooker
  • Grilled salmon with cucumber mango salsa
  • Slow roasted salmon with a sweet chili glaze
  • Salmon foil packets for two
  • Smoked salmon dip
  • Sheet pan salmon for broccoli and miso butter

Quick and easy jerk salmon

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
10 mins

total time
20 minutes

4 servings


  • 1 1/2 lb salmon filletsabout 4 (5 or 6 ounce) servings

For the jerk rub:

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon orange juice

  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped

  • 1 habanero or jalapeño peppercored and chopped

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon lightly packed Orange peel

  • 1 teaspoon lightly packed lime zest

  • 3/4 teaspoon Brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinammon

  • 1/2 teaspoon pimento

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. make rubs:

    Mix together all of the rub ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

  2. Prepare and season the salmon:

    Position an oven rack as close to the grill as possible (3 inches from the heating element is good). Line a baking sheet with foil.

    Spread the rub evenly over the top and sides of the salmon fillets. Place on the baking sheet so the fillets are not touching.

  3. Grill the salmon:

    Slide the tray under the grill. Watch the salmon closely as it cooks. After the first 3 minutes of roasting, look in the oven to check each minute and lightly press the salmon with your fingertip to check if it’s done. Grill for 4 to 8 minutes, or until the salmon falls apart when you touch it gently.

    The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your salmon. Thinner pieces will cook faster than thicker pieces.


Leftover salmon will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. It doesn’t freeze well, but you can make salmon cakes and freeze these. I like to flake it in fried rice, noodles or scrambled eggs.

nutritional information (per serving)
377 calories
22g Fat
4g carbohydrates
38g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!