The Best Way to Cook Salmon


Olde Hornet

Well-Known Member

The most common mistake when it comes to salmon is overcooking. In fact, we bet that many people haven’t ever really cooked their salmon to a true, melt-in-your-mouth state. What you probably think of as done is probably overdone. Salmon, like steak, can be served on a spectrum from rare to well-done inside. Fillets, especially a lean one like sockeye (which home chefs are more likely to encounter than king), can go from perfectly cooked to dried out in a matter of moments. As long as a salmon fillet reaches 145°F (or 120°F for medium-rare), even if it looks quite underdone, it is good to go.

Popular methods for cooking salmon vary wildly from pan-seared crispness to low-and-slow roasting. Now, it must be said that there are many solid, weeknight-friendly ways of cooking salmon that we rely upon. The two easiest and most common ways of cooking salmon are in the oven on a sheet tray at 425°F (like this one) and on the stovetop with a little oil (like this one).

How I Tested Salmon-Cooking Methods​

All tests were conducted using 6-ounce fillets of Copper River Wild Sockeye Salmon, patted dry, plus extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. When it came to rating each method, I was looking for a few things. First, I knew that I wanted that meltingly soft salmon. But an evenly cooked, perfectly flaky fillet wasn’t enough; I also wanted flavor and ease, with a method that required little time, effort, or expertise.
 

BulldogM.Ed.23

Bulldog Fan/Supporter

The most common mistake when it comes to salmon is overcooking. In fact, we bet that many people haven’t ever really cooked their salmon to a true, melt-in-your-mouth state. What you probably think of as done is probably overdone. Salmon, like steak, can be served on a spectrum from rare to well-done inside. Fillets, especially a lean one like sockeye (which home chefs are more likely to encounter than king), can go from perfectly cooked to dried out in a matter of moments. As long as a salmon fillet reaches 145°F (or 120°F for medium-rare), even if it looks quite underdone, it is good to go.

Popular methods for cooking salmon vary wildly from pan-seared crispness to low-and-slow roasting. Now, it must be said that there are many solid, weeknight-friendly ways of cooking salmon that we rely upon. The two easiest and most common ways of cooking salmon are in the oven on a sheet tray at 425°F (like this one) and on the stovetop with a little oil (like this one).

How I Tested Salmon-Cooking Methods​

All tests were conducted using 6-ounce fillets of Copper River Wild Sockeye Salmon, patted dry, plus extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. When it came to rating each method, I was looking for a few things. First, I knew that I wanted that meltingly soft salmon. But an evenly cooked, perfectly flaky fillet wasn’t enough; I also wanted flavor and ease, with a method that required little time, effort, or expertise.
For health reasons, Salmon has become my preferred fish as I approach my mid-years. I've been surprised with how easy it has been to cook. Aside from grilling, I simply fry it skinned faced down in olive oil, throw on the lemon pepper and a few choice seasoning, all in a matter of 7 minutes and I am done just like that, served up with some rice and broccoli.
 
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