Broiled/Grilled Salmon with Butter & Honey

Chinook Salmon

Chinook Salmon

By Cat, July 2009 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

See also: 1. Fish and Seafood Menu; 2. Sauces Menu (for list of sauces to accompany salmon)

Salmon is my favorite fish, and cooking it on my stovetop in a cast iron grill pan, or on my outdoor grill, is my favorite way to cook it.

Wild salmon is far superior to farmed salmon, both in flavor and nutrient content.  It costs more, but is well worth it. King salmon has the thickest meat and is best for an outdoor grill. But when I was a kid, we had landlocked kokanee salmon in Flathead Lake (and in our rivers during spawning season), which is also delicious but smaller so needs less cooking time.

I do not recommend Atlantic salmon because that wild fishery is mostly gone and what you can find at the fish market or your local grocer is farmed Atlantic salmon. And now, as I move this recipe to my new blog in 2016, we also have farmed GMO Atlantic salmon that I avoid like the plague.

I like to serve my salmon with steamed wild rice, and steamed asparagus (al dente).  And I garnish with thinly sliced cucumbers and a slice of lemon.

Broiled Salmon with Butter & Honey

This recipe is adapted from the Daily InterLake, December 23, 2009 edition (originally by Bonnie S. Benwick and published in the Washington Post (1). Serves 2.

from Amazon

Lodge square cast iron grill pan

This recipe is best if using fresh, wild-caught King salmon from the Pacific, but I also like fresh, wild-caught Chinook or sockeye salmon. The latter is generally smaller and thinner, so takes less cooking time.

I prefer to cook the fish in my cast iron skillet or grill pan (with ridges; see image, left), rather than the broiler, because I hate cleaning my broiler and pan. Or you could use an outdoor grill.

Ingredients & Equipment

  •  2 each 6 – 8 oz (or one 12 – 16 oz) fresh, wild-caught salmon filet(s), total ¾ – 1 pound
  • 1 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • ½ fresh lemon
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 -2 tsp local raw honey
  • Equipment:
  • Broiler pan (for broiler), or
  • Cast iron grill pan or skillet (for stovetop)
  • small saucepan
  • brush

Preparation (in Broiler)

See below for grilling on stove top

  1. Position broiling rack 4 – 6 inches from the flame; preheat the broiling pan.
  2. Place fish on broiling pan. Sprinkle sea salt over fish, pressing the crystals into the surface.
  3. Squeeze juice of lemon half (about 1 Tbsp) into a small saucepan. Add wine and butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring until the butter melts, then add the honey and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat and brush all of the honey mixture on the fillets.
  4. Broil 6 – 9 minutes or longer to taste, until slightly caramelized on top, and just done.
  5. Remove from broiler and serve.

Preparation (grilling on stove-top)

  1. Salt the fish and brush with the honey sauce.
  2. Heat 1 – 2 Tbsp oil in pan/skillet over medium-high heat; place filets in pan, skin side down, and cook until done, about 5 – 8 minutes, depending on thickness.
  3. Cover pan with a lid for the last few minutes of cooking. Fish should be slightly rare in the center, as it will continue to cook after removed from the heat.


  1. Daily InterLake, December 23, 2009 edition (originally by Bonnie S. Benwick and published in the Washington Post (

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