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Grilled Salmon Fillets


4 center-cut skin-on salmon fillets, about 6 to 8 ounces (170 to 225g)
Vegetable, canola, or other neutral oil, for oiling the steaks
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper (optional; see note)

Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.

Dry salmon filets well with paper towels and lightly brush them all over with oil.

Just before cooking, season salmon all over with salt and, if desired, pepper. Then set skin-side down over hot side of grill. Cook salmon until skin is browned and crispy and releases from the grill easily, about 4 minutes. If the fish sticks, try to gently lift it from below using a thin metal spatula or the tines of a carving fork inserted down between the grill grates.

Gently flip the fish and cook on the flesh side just long enough to reach your desired internal temperature, 110°F (43°C) in the very center for rare, 120°F (49°C) for medium-rare, or 130°F (54°C) for medium. If at any point the fish threatens to burn before reaching its final internal temperature, move it to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking. Serve.

Special equipment
Grill, charcoal chimney starter, grill brush, grilling spatula, instant-read thermometer

Black pepper is a spice and adds a specific flavor to the food you cook; salt, on the other hand, is an essential seasoning, necessary for food to taste its best. While we always use salt, we use black pepper only when we desire its specific flavor and aroma.