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Grilled Chipotle-Orange Salmon

Grilled Chipotle-Orange Salmon is sweet and smoky and beautifully spiced. This easy grilled salmon recipe promises to become a grilling season obsession!

Grilled Chipotle-Orange Salmon on a cedar plank

I’ve already told you what an awesome job my husband does with a fillet of salmon on the grill. His sweet and smoky grilled salmon is one of the grilling requests he hears most often from me. The salmon’s smoky flavor, gorgeously thin crust of caramelized sugars, and ease of preparation make this a stand-out recipe.

If you haven’t yet tried that salmon recipe, I encourage you to do so. The recipe has even convinced non-fish lovers (our daughters), to add some to their plates. I’m not even kidding.

Another recipe I want you to try is this Grilled Chipotle-Orange Salmon.

First of all, isn’t this grilled salmon gorgeous?! We eat with our eyes first, and this dish is most certainly a looker.

It’s also big on flavor. And for those who don’t particularly enjoy the heat of chipotle pepper, the recipe can easily be altered.

*Here are a few more seafood grilling recipes I’m loving right now: Grilled Shrimp Ceviche and Cheesy Grilled Crab Quesadillas are both very fun recipes. And for a special treat, you just can’t go wrong with Grilled Lobster Tails with Sriracha Butter. For those who aren’t keen on fish and seafood (our daughters!), give this ultra tender and flavorful Beer Can Chicken a try!

Grilled salmon with orange slices and chipotle

grilled salmon recipe inspiration

Years ago, our friend Annmarie shared her favorite lemon salmon recipe with me, one that she bakes in the oven. Blake and I liked the recipe, and then proceeded to play around with it, adapting it for the grill.

We like to use cedar planks when we grill, especially when it comes to fish. (Stuffed mushrooms are also a favorite for grilling on a plank, check out this recipe!) It didn’t take us long to fall in love with the combination of smoky salmon with citrus.

And that was our jumping-off point, our inspiration, to creating this gorgeous meal of grilled salmon with orange.

Grilled Chipotle-Orange Salmon

How to grill salmon

When we grill salmon, we ultimately prefer to let it cook on a cedar plank that we’ve soaked in beer and/or water for a few hours. The plank not only makes itself useful by providing a pan-like flat surface on the grill grates, but it also imparts wonderful smokiness into the fish.

For a thicker piece of salmon, it takes about 25 minutes or so to grill the salmon to perfect doneness. And there’s no need to flip the fish. Just let it cook skin-side down on the plank. Transfer the cooked salmon on the plank to a pan, and serve it right from the plank. It makes for a fun presentation.

I must also mention what the cedar plank does for the orange slices on this salmon. The grill’s heat infuses that wonderful cedar smokiness right into the citrus. It’s like the best kind of dinner candy. When I’m done eating this meal, all you’ll see are thin, charred orange rinds left on my plate.

Smoked citrus is downright addictive, and this grilled chipotle-orange salmon recipe will make a believer out of you!

Grilled salmon with a forkful taken out

This orange salmon recipe is simple but powerful

Do you save the very best bites for last?

I do.

And in the case of this orange salmon recipe, I’d be saving the crispy outer edges of the salmon for my last bites. The salmon is flavored simply but powerfully, with chipotle, cumin, orange, and brown sugar. And the heat from the grill makes that sugar caramelize and crispify, creating the most magical edges.

You’re going to love this recipe, I just know it!

What to serve with orange salmon

I like to serve fresh veggies or a salad with this grilled orange salmon recipe. Whether it’s a simple salad using my mom’s Sweet Onion Coleslaw Dressing or this Summer Quinoa and Veggies Salad with Honey-Shallot Vinaigrette, you simply cannot go wrong. If you feel like grilling some vegetables, these Grilled Mini Sweet Peppers with Goat Cheese are a family favorite.

Grilled salmon with orange slices on a charred plank

If you like this grilled chipotle-orange salmon, you might like:

*Here are a few more grilled fish and seafood recipes I’d like to try: Grilled Pesto Salmon in Foil from Cookin’ Canuck, Prosciutto Wrapped Grilled Shrimp Skewers from foodie crush, and Grilled Shrimp and Sausage Kabobs from Taste and Tell.

Like this grilled salmon? Save it to Pinterest!

pinterest image of Grilled Chipotle-Orange Salmon
Grilled salmon with orange slices on a charred plank

Grilled Chipotle-Orange Salmon

Yield: 6 servings
prep time: 25 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
total time: 55 minutes
Sweet and smoky and beautifully spiced – and so very pretty – this recipe promises to become a grilling season obsession!
4.6 Stars (29 Reviews)


  • 1.5 lb. salmon fillet skin on
  • zest and juice from 1 large orange navel, Cara Cara, whatever you like
  • ½ T. olive oil
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 6 thin slices from another large orange

also needed:


  • At least 4 hours prior to grilling, place a cedar plank inside a large rimmed pan. Pour in the beer, plus two beer cans of water to cover the plank. Add more water if needed. Place a couple heavy mugs on top of the plank to push the plank into the liquid. Let soak until ready to grill. If you don’t want to use beer, just use all water. When possible, soak plank overnight.
  • When preparing to grill, take salmon out of the refrigerator. In a small bowl, whisk together orange zest and juice, olive oil, brown sugar, chipotle powder, and cumin. Set aside.
  • Drain liquid from pan with cedar plank, leaving the plank inside. Add salmon fillet, skin side down, to plank. Rub chipotle-orange mixture all over the top and sides of the salmon. Sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Top with fresh orange slices.
  • Heat grill to medium-high, about 415° F. Place plank with salmon on grill grates and cook for about 25 to 30 minutes for a thicker piece of salmon. Salmon thickness will vary, so thinner fillets will take less time to cook. The salmon is done when the thickest part of the fillet is beautifully pink but no longer has a translucent appearance. It should flake a bit when prodded with a fork. Have a spray bottle of water handy for any flare-ups on the wood plank. The wood will smoke and smolder, and slowly start to char and burn, becoming more fragile and brittle at the end of the cooking process. Your goal is to keep the wood smoking, and not burning up. Just use the spray bottle to keep adding moisture to the exposed wood (don’t directly spray the salmon). To remove the grill plank, use a large grill turner to get under the plank to lift it onto a rimmed pan. Serve the salmon right from the plank inside the pan for a fun and fuss-free presentation.


from a farmgirl’s dabbles

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 341kcal Carbohydrates: 16g Protein: 26g Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 3g Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 71mg Sodium: 201mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 9g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

(This post was originally published in 2015, and remains one of my favorite grilling recipes. Photos and some of the text were updated in 2018.)

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33 comments on “Grilled Chipotle-Orange Salmon”

  1. Elina @UseHealthTips

    I and my friend has made this recipe and we both loved it. This recipe is so yummy and delicious. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. I’ve been experimenting with simple, super-tasty glazes for salmon now that it’s in season. This looks fantastic!

  3. Anna @ Garnish with Lemon

    Obsessed with these pictures, Brenda! Can’t wait to spoil the family with this gorgeous recipe!

  4. kelley {mountain mama cooks}

    Love these flavor profiles! We don’t eat a lot of salmon but you make me want to! My husband would love this.

  5. Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet

    This salmon dish is gorgeous! Definitely trying this the next time I am craving salmon!

  6. LoveCompassionateLee

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’m always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy salmon.

    Happy Tuesday, Brenda :)

  7. allie @ Through Her Looking Glass

    What a gorgeous dish this is, love the grilling plank. I knew next to nothing about a grilling plank, so thanks for the education. Can’t wait to try this!

  8. Tieghan Gerard

    YEAH! It’s grilling time again…ahhh wait than why is it still snowing like crazy here?? UGH. Anyway, this salmon looks amazing. I’ll grill in the snow anyway! :)

  9. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    We just had grilled salmon last night and it was magnificent. Chipotle is always a hit in our household and I just love the smokey/sweet/citrus combo.