Salmon Grilled Outdoors, en Papillote

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.

Salmon Grilled Outdoors, en Papillote

This recipe is adapted from Jeanie Rose on the Rebuild from Depression (1) website.  ‘En papillote‘ means cooked in parchment, but for an outdoor grill with flames, it works much better – and safer – to use aluminum foil.  I don’t like to lay the fish directly on the aluminum foil, especially when using lemon juice, to avoid leaching the aluminum into the food.  So I line my foil with oiled parchment paper (or waxed paper in a pinch), and thus it really is ‘en papillote!’

You can also cook this indoors using the same en papillote method, in your oven.

Serves 2.


Ingredients & Equipment

  • 2 each 6 – 8 oz (or one 12 – 16 oz) fresh, wild-caught salmon filet(s), total ¾ – 1 pound salmon filet, with skin
  • unrefined sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black or mixed color pepper
  • chopped fresh garlic, to taste
  • 2 wedges fresh lemon
  • chopped fresh dill weed, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Equipment
  • aluminum foil
  • parchment paper, oiled (or waxed paper)


  1. Tear foil into two large pieces that will totally enclose the pieces of salmon, then cover the foil with similar-sized oiled parchment paper (use butter or olive oil to oil the paper).
  2. Rinse salmon in cold water and pat dry, then cut into two (if not already cut into single serving sizes).  Lay each piece on the prepared foil and oiled paper.
  3. Rub sea salt and ground pepper into the flesh of the fish.  Sprinkle each with the juice of a wedge of lemon, and with chopped garlic.  Sprinkle dill weed over all.
  4. Wrap the foil/paper around the fish, sealing the edges to ensure the juices stay in the packages.
  5. Lay on grill with seam-side down.  Grill about 10 minutes; turn packages over and grill for another 5 – 7 minutes.  Open packages and check for doneness.  Reseal if more cooking time is needed.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve hot with your favorite sauce; can also be served cold
  • Accompany with:



About Cat

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