How to Cook Salmon: The Complete Guide

Try poaching a piece of salmon for dinner tonight and pan-frying some for lunch next week with these simple recipes.
Image Credit: gbh007/iStock/GettyImages

Salmon can be cooked in many delicious ways — all while offering impressive health benefits.

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Salmon has nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower inflammation, per the Mayo Clinic. Inflammation can damage your blood vessels, which increases your risk of stroke and heart disease. Omega-3s are also linked to lower triglycerides, a decreased risk of blood clots and lower blood pressure.

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Because of this, the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon at least twice weekly. The way you cook salmon can make a big difference in how much you enjoy it — and there are plenty of ways to cook salmon to perfection.

Types of Salmon

The type of salmon you buy will affect the flavor of your final dish. Here are three common types you need to know about before putting on your chef's hat.

  • Sockeye Salmon:​ Sockeye is higher in protein than other salmon types, both wild-caught and farmed, per Oregon State University's Seafood Network Information Center. It has the fishiest scent and flavor of all salmon types, culinary scientist Jessica Gavin writes on her blog.
  • Atlantic Salmon:​ Wild Atlantic salmon is an endangered species, and so fishing for it is prohibited — that means the Atlantic salmon at your local grocer's is farm-raised, per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It's higher in fat than other types, so it has a richer flavor, per Gavin. No matter the cooking method, Atlantic salmon is typically moist and flavorful.
  • Steelhead Salmon: ​What is known as "steelhead salmon" is actually an ocean-going species of trout, but it's often referred to as salmon by markets and restaurants, per Inland Seafood. Steelhead has pink meat and a milder flavor than most salmon.

Food Safety

Follow these food-safety tips to prepare a nutritious fish dish.

  • Keep the salmon chilled until just before you are about to cook it. Doing so helps prevent foodborne illness, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Thaw, store and marinate the salmon in the refrigerator.
  • To avoid cross-contamination, make sure the fish doesn't touch other food, and wash the knife, cutting board and countertops with soapy hot water after cutting raw proteins, per the USDA.
  • If you want to add toppings to the salmon, cook them separately and add them after the fish is done. Piling toppings on the salmon before cooking it creates an insulation layer for the fish and increases the chances of parts of the fish being undercooked.
  • To help prevent bacterial growth, cook your salmon within 2 days of purchase or freeze it to make at a later date, according to the FDA.
  • Always cook salmon to a safe internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (until the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork) to avoid food poisoning, per the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. An instant-read food thermometer can help you make sure your salmon is safe to serve.
  • Keep salmon at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler while stored in a refrigerator. If you aren't going to eat your fresh fish right away, it can be frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 to 8 months, according to the USDA.
  • Eat leftover fish within 3 to 4 days to help prevent food spoilage. Or freeze leftovers in an airtight container at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and they will keep for up to 3 months.
  • After eating, discard any leftover fish that has been at room temperature for more than 2 hours (or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit), per Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

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Tip

You can opt for skinless salmon. Although the skin on salmon helps retain moisture while the fillet cooks, it can be bothersome to remove once the fish is ready. Skinless salmon is also less likely to contain contaminants, per the Washington State Department of Health.

How to Flavor Salmon

Salmon Brine

A brining solution keeps the salmon tender and moist, and the salt component enhances the fish's flavor.

Making your own salmon brine begins with coating the fish with a concentrated salt solution, per the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Then, baking the brine-infused salmon on cedar planks enhances the flavor.

Try this salmon brine recipe from the James Beard Foundation below.

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Things You'll Need

  • salmon

  • 2 parts light brown sugar

  • 1 part kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup water

  • soaked cedar planks

  • medium bowl

Step 1:​ Soak your cedar planks for several hours. To prevent them from burning, use wood that is at least 3/4 inch thick.

Step 2:​ Combine 2 parts light brown sugar, 1 part kosher salt and 1/2 cup water in a medium bowl. Stir until completely dissolved.

Step 3:​ Coat both sides of the salmon fillets with the brine solution.

Step 4:​ Allow the brine solution to air dry. When the brine solution feels tacky (about 2 hours), it's dry enough. Never leave fish at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

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Step 5:​ Rinse the salmon fillets to remove much of the brine solution. Pat the fillets dry.

Step 6​: Arrange the salmon fillets, skin side down, on thoroughly soaked cedar planks. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7:​ Place the cedar planks in the oven, and bake the salmon for 10 to 12 minutes. When the salmon's center is barely translucent, the fish is done. Make sure it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Salmon Rub

Making a smoked salmon rub is a quick way to add deep flavor, and it works well for grilled and baked fish. Try it with this smoked salmon rub recipe from Traeger Grills.

Things You'll Need

  • salmon fillets

  • 1/4 cup paprika

  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder

  • 1 tbsp. sea salt

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

  • small bowl

Step 1:​ In a small bowl, mix paprika, garlic powder, sea salt and brown sugar.

Step 2:​ Sprinkle the rub evenly over the flesh side of salmon fillets. Gently pat into the fillets and shake off excess rub and allow to rest before cooking.

How to Cook Frozen Salmon

Oven-Baked Salmon

Next time you realize the salmon you planned to cook for dinner never made it out of the freezer, know that you can still cook frozen salmon in the oven by following these steps from Wild Alaska Seafood.

Things You'll Need

  • frozen salmon

  • vegetable oil

  • aluminum foil

  • baking sheet

  • seasoning

  • brush

Step 1:​ Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2:​ Brush the salmon with vegetable oil such as olive oil or canola oil. Avoid butter, sunflower or corn oil, as they burn at high heat.

Step 3:​ Place salmon on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Step 4:​ Cook on the middle rack for 5 minutes.

Step 5:​ Season and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tip

You can also add sauces after the salmon comes out of the oven or pan. Combine minced ginger, chopped scallions and soy sauce and place the mixture on top of the cooked fish.

Stove-Top Salmon

Keeping a package of individually wrapped frozen salmon fillets in your freezer is a handy trick that can redefine the concept of a last-minute dinner.

Chef Brittany Rastelli, director of culinary for Egg Harbor Seafood by Rastelli's, shares this recipe for frozen salmon on the stove with LIVESTRONG.com.

Things You'll Need

  • frozen salmon

  • paper towels

  • vegetable oil

  • nonstick skillet and cover

  • seasoning

Step 1:​ Pat the salmon dry with paper towels.

Step 2:​ Heat vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the salmon skin-side up in the skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the salmon is browned.

Step 3:​ Flip the salmon with a spatula and season as desired. Cover the skillet and cook until the salmon becomes opaque and reaches a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, usually within 7 to 9 minutes (depending on the size of the piece).

In Parchment Paper

You can cook salmon in a parchment pouch, even if it's frozen. Rastelli shares this frozen salmon in parchment recipe.

Things You'll Need

  • frozen salmon

  • parchment paper

  • oil

  • seasonings

  • oven-safe dish

Step 1:​ Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2:​ Place your frozen salmon on parchment paper, foil or even a banana leaf. Add oil and seasonings.

Step 3:​ Fold and wrap your salmon in the parchment paper (or alternative) and place it into an oven-safe dish. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the center reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Freezer-Burned Salmon

Salmon is usually safe in the freezer for up to 3 months, but then it may become freezer burned — the common term for the dehydration and oxidation that occurs when cold air contacts the fish — from improper packaging. But good news: You can save freezer-burned fish.

Though the dried-out fish may have an undesirable taste or texture, it's safe to eat, and proper preparation and cooking can save the overall flavor.

Try this recipe to save freezer-burned salmon from the fishery Skipper Otto.

Things You'll Need

  • frozen salmon

  • whisky

  • olive oil

  • soy sauce

  • crushed garlic

  • medium bowl

Step 1:​ Mix equal parts whisky and olive oil in a medium bowl.

Step 2:​ Add soy sauce and crushed garlic in a ratio of 1:3.

Step 3:​ Marinate the salmon for 1 hour before grilling. Be careful if you cook your fish on the barbecue, as whisky can cause flare-ups.

Tip

When freezing salmon, package it in vacuum-sealed bags to decrease the amount of oxygen the fish is exposed to in order to avoid freezer burn, per the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.

Poached Salmon

You can also poach frozen salmon in a few quick steps. Try this poached frozen salmon recipe from Seafresh Quality Foods.

Things You'll Need

  • frozen salmon

  • shallow pan

  • fish stock or vegetable stock

Step 1:​ Place frozen salmon portions in a shallow pan.

Step 2:​ Fill the pan with liquid such as fish stock or vegetable stock until the salmon portions are almost covered.

Step 3:​ Poach salmon on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Cook Salmon in the Oven

Cooking salmon in the oven is one of the easiest ways to prepare fish for dinner. It makes an excellent main course for lunch or dinner when served with a crisp green salad or sautéed green vegetables, and leftover portions can easily be reheated or used to make a cold salad the next day.

That said, it can involve more than just a pan and oil.

Here are the various ways you can cook salmon in the oven, whether your go-to is skinless or whole salmon.

Warning

Salmon should always be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (until the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork) to avoid food poisoning, per the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Skin-Side Down

A basic baked salmon recipe contains nothing more than salmon, vegetable oil and your favorite seasonings.

Learn how to bake salmon with skin with this recipe from Bristol Bay.

Things You'll Need

  • salmon

  • baking dish

  • foil

  • vegetable oil

  • seasoning

Step 1:​ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2:​ Line a baking dish with foil. Use vegetable oil to coat salmon on both sides and season to your preference.

Step 3:​ Put salmon, skin-side down, in a baking dish. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly cooked or until the internal temperature is at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tip

You can marinate the salmon for about an hour before baking it. Put the salmon in a bowl with a lid and pour your favorite marinade over it and let it sit in the refrigerator while marinating.

Salmon With Foil

Try cooking baked salmon in foil for a quick, delicious weekday dinner. Wrapping the fish in foil will lock in the moisture and boost its flavor.

Try this salmon in foil recipe from the American Heart Association.

Things You'll Need

  • salmon

  • foil

  • 1 lb. potatoes

  • 2 tsp. minced garlic

  • 1 lb. green beans

  • 2 tbsp. oil

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

  • lemon slices

  • baking sheet

  • microwave-safe bowl (with lid or paper towel)

  • large bowl

Step 1:​ Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Fold four sheets of aluminum foil in half widthwise.

Step 2:​ Put 1 pound of sliced potatoes and garlic in a microwaveable bowl and mix. Microwave, covered with a lid or paper towel, for 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in green beans, oil, salt and pepper.

Step 3:​ Divide the potato mixture amongst the foil squares. Place one fillet of fish over the potato mixture in each square and sprinkle with the garlic powder. Top with 2 lemon slices.

Step 4:​ Wrap the foil loosely and seal the edges tightly. Transfer the packets to a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until fish is thoroughly cooked. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tip

You can marinate the fish fillets before cooking. Our delicious Baked Salmon recipe, for example, calls for soy sauce, minced garlic, honey, ginger, salt, pepper and sesame oil. Mix the ingredients in a small bowl, pour the sauce into a resealable bag, add the salmon fillets and marinate for 15 minutes.

For extra crunch, you can also try our Baked Salmon With a Pecan Herb Crust.

En Papillote

Baking fish "en papillote," which means enclosing it in parchment (or plastic) and steaming or simmering sous vide-style, retains moisture and creates a delectable dish.

This is an effective way to make your dinner if you're trying to cook salmon in the oven without foil.

As the salmon bakes in its parchment paper packet, steam keeps moisture around the fish. To make perfect salmon en papillote, try this recipe from chef Christopher Arturo, a chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education.

Things You'll Need

  • skinless salmon

  • cooked vegetables

  • olive oil

  • salt

  • pepper

  • wine

  • parchment paper

Step 1:​ Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2:​ Add cooked vegetables like mushrooms to a piece of parchment paper.

Step 3:​ Season skinless salmon with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place over the vegetables. Top with herbs or thinly layered julienned vegetables, such as pre-cooked carrots and leeks.

Step 4:​ Pour a small amount of wine into the parchment packet. This will create steam to cook the salmon. Fold the parchment paper to create an airtight seal.

Step 5:​ For a 2-inch wide piece of salmon, cook for 9 minutes. After 9 minutes, cut a small slit in the parchment paper and bake for another minute before serving. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Salmon Belly

Salmon store most of their fat in their undersides, which makes salmon bellies some of the most flavorful meat on the whole fish.

Lori Bogedin, a chef and culinary expert who runs TwigsCafe, a restaurant and blog, shares this salmon belly recipe with LIVESTRONG.com.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 lb. salmon bellies

  • paper towels

  • 1/8 tsp. salt

  • oven tray

  • mixing bowl

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil

  • plate

  • sliced green onions

  • sesame seeds

Step 1:​ Use a paper towel to dry the salmon.

Step 2:​ Sprinkle salt on the salmon bellies.

Step 3:​ Place the salmon belly on an oven tray and cook at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 minutes. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4:​ In a mixing bowl, add soy sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil.

Step 5:​ Once the salmon bellies are cooked, take them out and put them on a plate. Add sliced green onions, sesame seeds and your preferred sauce on top.

Whole Side of the Salmon

Roasted salmon is a classic, simple dish that can be cooked for a large group or for a single person with little change in preparation methods.

But the thicker the cut of fish, the longer it takes to cook. If you have a large cut, it's probably a filleted side of salmon, typically sold in slabs weighing a pound or more.

Try roasting the whole side of a salmon in the oven with this recipe from the supermarket Tesco.

Things You'll Need

  • whole side of salmon

  • foil

  • large baking tray

  • butter

  • lemon slices

  • dill

  • bay leaves

  • white wine

Step 1:​ Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2:​ Put a large sheet of tin foil on a large baking tray and wipe with softened butter. Add lemon slices in a single layer in the middle of the foil and top with dill.

Step 3:​ Place salmon, skin-side down, over the lemons. Season and top with more lemon slices, bay leaves and dill. Dot more butter over the fish.

Step 4:​ Pull the sides of the foil around the fish and pour white wine around the salmon. Tightly seal the foil into a parcel, leaving a gap at the top.

Step 5:​ Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily and the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6:​ Remove from the oven and open the parcel right away (otherwise the salmon will continue to cook). Slice and serve.

Tip

"When baking a large side of salmon, I season and wrap it in foil then place it in a baking dish," chef Brittany Rastelli says. "Once the center reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit, I open the foil and let the fish cook until it reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit to give it that nice brown crust."

Whole Salmon

Oven-baked whole salmon is a quick dish that's perfect for meal prepping and festive enough for a holiday feast. You can remove the head or leave the head in place when following a whole salmon recipe.

Season and bake this hefty piece as you would smaller fillets. It'll then be easier to cut into individual servings once it's cooked.

Try this whole salmon recipe from chef Christopher Arturo, a chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education.

Things You'll Need

  • salmon

  • herbs

  • citrus

  • pan

Step 1:​ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place salmon over a bed of herbs and citrus (such as thyme, tarragon, dill and lemon) on a pan.

Step 2:​ Cook the salmon for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the internal temp reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. The total cooking time will depend on the size of the salmon.

Tip

If you’re baking a side of salmon or a whole salmon, plan 7 to 9 minutes per pound at 425 degrees Fahrenheit or until the center reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit, chef Rastelli says.

Prepared Stuffed Salmon

For diners who avoid processed foods but don't have the time to work entirely from scratch, many retailers offer quality entrees that are already prepared and just need to be cooked.

These can be either whole fish or boneless fillets tied together to make a roast, and the stuffing can be as simple as fresh herbs or as elaborate as a crab mousse. In each case, cooking the salmon is usually as straightforward as popping it into your oven to bake.

Cook stuffed salmon for dinner tonight with the help of this recipe from the grocery story H-E-B.

Things You'll Need

  • stuffed salmon

  • baking sheet

  • foil

Step 1:​ Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place an oven rack in the upper third of the oven.

Step 2:​ Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place stuffed fish on the pan in a single layer and avoid crowding.

Step 3:​ Bake fish for 15 to 18 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Grill Salmon

Fish can be unforgiving when you're cooking it on the grill compared to steaks or burgers. Here's how to grill salmon for a delicious meal, even if it's your first time doing so.

Try this grilled salmon recipe from the Salmon Restoration Association.

Things You'll Need

  • salmon

  • outdoor grill

  • baking dish with cover (or plastic wrap)

  • basting sauce

  • brush

Step 1:​ Preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat.

Step 2:​ Place salmon in a baking dish and pour basting sauce over it. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate covered (with a lid or plastic wrap) for up to 4 hours.

Step 3:​ Put salmon on the grill, skin-side down. Grill until cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush with basting sauce while grilling.

Warning

Never spray nonstick cooking spray onto a grill with the heat source turned on.

On a George Foreman Grill

George Foreman grills cook flavorful, wholesome meals in a short amount of time. The design helps cut back on fat, and the nonstick grilling plates prevent the need for butter or cooking spray, which may add calories, sodium and fat.

These handy grills come in a variety of sizes for both indoor and outdoor use and can cook fish, beef, poultry, vegetables and more.

Making grilled salmon indoors doesn't have to be complicated, and it's a convenient way to enjoy the flavor and nutrition of grilled salmon year-round. Keep in mind that you can grill several types of salmon, including salmon belly.

Try this George Foreman Grill salmon recipe from Foreman Grill Recipes.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 salmon fillets

  • 3 parts olive oil

  • 3 parts herbs

  • 1 1/2 parts lemon juice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

  • mixing bowl

Step 1:​ Whisk together olive oil, herbs (like basil, thyme and dill), lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.

Step 2:​ Coat both sides of salmon fillets, skin removed, with the oil and herb mixture.

Step 3:​ Preheat the grill for 5 minutes with the top closed.

Step 4:​ Place the salmon on the grill, close it and grill for 3 to 5 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

In Foil

Summer is the perfect time to cook salmon on the grill in foil, but you need to know the right temperature and how long to do so for the best flavor and texture. Try this grilled salmon in foil recipe from Betty Crocker.

Things You'll Need

  • skinless salmon fillets

  • outdoor grill

  • vegetable oil

  • salt

  • pepper

  • lemon

  • fresh parsley

  • heavy-duty foil

  • brush

Step 1:​ Heat gas or charcoal grill and cut four 18-by-12-inch sheets of heavy-duty foil.

Step 2:​ Place a salmon fillet on the center of each sheet and brush with oil. Sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper and top with lemon slices.

Step 3:​ Wrap the salmon in the foil and seal the edges.

Step 4:​ Place packets on grill over medium-low heat. Cover grill and cook for 13 to 16 minutes, rotating packets after about 7 minutes.

Step 5:​ Fold back foil to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle with parsley.

Warning

Be careful opening packets. Moisture creates steam during cooking and can lead to burning if you quickly tear open the foil.

How to Broil Salmon

The tender flakiness of broiled salmon is a treat for the taste buds and a nutritious diet staple for the rest of your body.

With Skin

Broiling salmon with the skin intact keeps the fish moister than cooking it with the skin already removed. Try this broiled salmon sheet pan meal recipe from Vital Choice, a seafood company.

Things You'll Need

  • salmon with skin

  • olive oil

  • heavy broiler pan or medium cast-iron skillet

  • salt

  • pepper

  • lemon juice

Step 1:​ Preheat the oven to broil.

Step 2:​ Drizzle olive oil into a heavy broiler pan or medium-sized cast-iron skillet.

Step 3:​ Place salmon skin-side down and gently rub olive oil on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Step 4:​ Broil for 6 to 8 minutes per inch of thickness. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5:​ Let rest for 2 minutes. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over salmon to serve.

In the Toaster Oven

Most modern toaster ovens work by convection heat, just like larger convection ovens. Cooking salmon in a toaster oven is a convenient way to prepare this fish when you only need one or two portions.

When cooking with toaster ovens, consider the following:

  • Toaster ovens are small. You won't be able to cook more than three or four salmon fillets at a time.
  • Because toaster ovens are smaller than your average oven, they preheat faster and cook your food faster than a regular oven.

Devan Cameron, chef and owner of Braised & Deglazed, shares this recipe for salmon in a toaster oven with LIVESTRONG.com.

Things You'll Need

  • descaled salmon fillet with skin

  • flour

  • salt

  • olive oil

  • pan

Step 1:​ Dust the skin side of the salmon with flour to create extra-crispy skin and prevent it from sticking to the pan.

Step 2:​ Season the fish gently with salt and sear the flour-dusted salmon fillet in a generous amount of olive oil in a pan over low-to-medium heat on the stove.

Step 3:​ Continue cooking on low heat until the skin is crispy.

Step 4:​ Transfer the salmon, skin side up, to a toaster oven heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tip

Salmon goes best with a bit of citrus. When your salmon comes out of the toaster oven, squeeze a bit of fresh lemon on it and serve it on top of a Citrusy Green Salad or a Crunchy Kale Salad.

How to Poach Salmon

A poached, skinless salmon recipe gives you delicate fish that goes perfectly with rich sauces. Use leftover poached salmon in a salad, such as our Arugula Salad With Salmon and Avocado, or as an ingredient in our Salmon Croquettes recipe.

Poaching involves simmering in water or another liquid. It's usually used for delicate foods such as fish or eggs, per the Utah State University Extension, so it's a great way to cook salmon without the skin.

Try this simple poached salmon in milk recipe from the American Culinary Federation to get started. Milk gives fish a silky-smooth texture and a bit of sweetness, and it's a welcome change from grilled or broiled salmon.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 salmon fillets

  • pan

  • olive oil

  • shallots

  • 1 1/2 parts milk

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • 3/4 tsp. pepper

Step 1:​ Heat 1 part olive oil in a pan and add 2 parts shallots. Sauté until soft.

Step 2:​ Add milk, salt and pepper to pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium or low heat.

Step 3:​ Add salmon fillets skin side up, then turn over after 30 seconds.

Step 4:​ Poach until the salmon is opaque, about 10 to 12 minutes. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5:​ To serve, carefully lift the salmon out of the poaching liquid. Pour a few spoonfuls of the poaching liquid over top.

Tip

Serve poached salmon with our Sauteed Spinach, alongside steamed green beans in a vinaigrette or over a butter lettuce salad. Poached salmon is also delicious cold and with a creamy dill sauce.

Salmon Belly

Poach salmon belly for dinner tonight and have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Try this delicious poached salmon belly recipe from chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, Christopher Arturo.

Things You'll Need

  • salmon belly

  • 2 parts water

  • 1 thinly sliced onion

  • 2 chopped shallots

  • 2 leeks

  • 2 tbsp. herbs

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • vinegar

  • pot

Step 1:​ Create your poaching liquid by adding water, onion, shallots, leeks, herbs, salt and a touch of vinegar to a pot.

Step 2:​ Heat the poaching liquid to 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit on the stove. At this temperature, the liquid will be hot enough to cook the protein but there won't be too much movement (like bubbles from boiling) that will cause the salmon to break apart. Add the salmon belly, making sure you have enough liquid to fully cover it.

Step 3:​ For a 2-inch piece of salmon belly, cook for about 5 to 6 minutes in the liquid or until cooked thoroughly and internal temp is at least 145 F. Do not touch or stir the salmon while it's cooking.

Tip

If you try a quick-cooking method with salmon belly, the final result could be tasteless and oily — slow-cooking works best with this cut. Keep the temperature low while poaching to prevent the fish from falling apart in the turbulence of a rolling boil.

How to Pressure Cook Salmon

Pressure cookers can be used to prepare a variety of grains, meats and vegetables quickly, without frying or adding fat. Salmon fillets can be cooked in a pressure cooker in a matter of minutes for a hassle-free meal.

Try this simple recipe to pressure cook salmon from chef and owner of the blog Braised & Deglazed Devan Cameron.

Things You'll Need

  • descaled salmon fillet

  • 3 small peeled potatoes

  • 1/2 sliced leek

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 sprig dill

  • 1 tbsp. capers

  • 1 lemon slice

  • butter

  • salt

  • fish stock, chicken stock or water

  • small pan

  • plate

  • serving dish with high sides

Step 1:​ Mix small peeled and quartered potatoes, sliced leek, capers, lemon slice, peeled garlic cloves and a sprig of dill in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Season well with salt.

Step 2:​ Add liquid such as fish stock, chicken stock or water.

Step 3:​ Place the descaled salmon fillet over the vegetables. Season with salt.

Step 4:​ Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Depressurize immediately.

Step 5:​ If the salmon is still not cooked, put the lid back on and continue cooking for 1 more minute on high pressure. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6:​ Carefully remove the salmon and set it aside on a plate. Remove the skin (it should pull away easily in one piece).

Step 7:​ Lift out the cooked vegetables and place them in a serving dish with high sides. Add the cooked fish on top and spoon over some of the cooking liquid from the pressure cooker.

Step 8:​ In a small pan, heat the butter until it smells nutty and aromatic — this creates what's known as brown butter.

Step 9:​ Garnish the salmon dish with sprigs of fresh dill and warm brown butter.

Warning

When cooking salmon or any other food in a pressure cooker, it's important to take care when releasing pressure from the pot so that the escaping steam doesn't burn you.

Even if you are using a new pressure cooker, be sure to follow all manufacturer's instructions to avoid any accidents.

How to Cook Salmon on a Griddle

Griddles are handy for pancakes and toasted sandwiches, but they also work well for fish.

Salmon is both firm and tender and doesn't release a lot of juices when cooking, so it's perfect for the grill. You can cook salmon on a flat griddle or in an electric skillet for a flawlessly pink exterior, or use a ridged griddle to create savory dark grill stripes across the top of the fish.

To get started, try this recipe for how to cook salmon on a griddle from chef and owner of TwigsCafe, Lori Bogedin.

Things You'll Need

  • salmon

  • oil

  • salt

  • pepper

  • spatula

  • griddle

  • flavorings (lemon juice, dried herbs, etc.)

Step 1:​ Add a little oil to the griddle and pre-heat to medium-high.

Step 2:​ Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper. Gently rub the seasoning into the flesh of the salmon.

Step 3:​ Place the skin-free side of the salmon on the oiled griddle, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 4:​ Use a spatula to flip the salmon to the other side and cook it for the same amount of time. Add extra flavorings such as lemon juice and dried herbs as desired. Cook until the internal temperature is at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tip

Do not turn salmon with a fork because it tends to fall apart when cooked through.

How to Cook Salmon Burgers

Garlic-Dill Burgers

Homemade salmon fillet burgers are a much more nutritious alternative to fast-food burgers.

For the best way to cook salmon burgers on the stove — aka pan-fry them — try this salmon burger recipe from Bristol Bay. You can also cook premade salmon burgers by skipping to step 3.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 lb. chopped salmon

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp. dill

  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

  • salt to taste

  • pepper to taste

  • 1/3 cup panko

  • cast-iron skillet

  • 2 tbsp. butter

  • 1/2 tsp. garlic

  • lemon zest

Step 1:​ Mix lemon juice with chopped salmon and sprinkle with garlic powder, dill, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Combine with your hands and fold in panko. Form into four evenly sized patties.

Step 2:​ Place a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add butter, garlic and lemon zest. Cook for 1 minute. Push garlic to the side and place salmon patties in the pan.

Step 3:​ Cook salmon patties for 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes until the internal temp reaches at least 145 F.

Step 4:​ Remove patties and serve with lemon wedges and your favorite burger fixings.

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Grilled Salmon Burgers

Unlike beef, salmon needs additional ingredients to help bind it together into burger form. If you don't get the correct ratio of ingredients, you may end up with crumbling salmon burgers that fall through the grill grate.

Overcooking salmon burgers is another potential problem: Close supervision and careful flipping can help reduce an overcooked or crumbled salmon burger.

Follow this grilled salmon burgers recipe from Weber.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 lb. skinless salmon pieces

  • food processor

  • large bowl

  • 3/4 cup panko

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped shallot

  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

  • salt

  • pepper

  • 2 tbsp. basil

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. capers

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

  • orange zest

  • oil

  • brush

Step 1:​ Pulse skinless salmon pieces (pin bones removed) in a food processor 5 to 10 times until coarsely chopped.

Step 2:​ Transfer the salmon to a large bowl. Add panko, mayonnaise, finely chopped shallot, finely chopped cilantro, salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine.

Step 3:​ Wet your hands and form four patties, each about 3/4-inch thick. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 4:​ Prepare sauce ingredients with cilantro, basil, capers, lemon juice and orange zest.

Step 5:​ Prepare the grill for cooking over medium heat (350 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit).

Step 6:​ Lightly brush both sides of each patty with oil.

Step 7:​ With the lid closed, grill the patties over direct medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve with the prepared sauce and your favorite burger fixings.

How to Cook Salmon for Sushi

Salmon most commonly is served raw in sushi restaurants, but you can lightly cook the fish to kill potentially dangerous parasites before putting it in cut rolls or hand rolls with rice and seaweed.

Make sushi with cooked salmon by following this salmon for sushi recipe from chef Lori Bogedin of the restaurant and blog TwigsCafe.

Things You'll Need

  • salmon

  • paper towels

  • vegetable oil

  • plastic wrap

  • nonstick sauté pan

  • cutting board

  • sharp knife

Step 1:​ Rinse the salmon with cold water and gently pat it dry with paper towels.

Step 2:​ Rub the fillet on both sides with vegetable oil, wrap it with plastic wrap and let it warm to room temperature for about 45 minutes.

Step 3:​ Heat a nonstick sauté pan on medium-high heat without oil for about 90 seconds.

Step 4:​ Put the salmon in the hot sauté pan and sear it on both sides for 4 minutes each, or until the internal temp reaches 145 F.

Step 5:​ Remove the salmon from the sauté pan and place it on a cutting board. Allow it to cool to room temperature for 15 minutes.

Step 6:​ Slice the salmon into 1-inch strips using a sharp knife, and serve as desired.

Tip

Avoid seasoning salmon with salt and pepper or fresh or dried herbs when using it for sushi. That's because salt, pepper and herbs will conflict with the flavors of sushi rice and seaweed.

How to Cook Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon is a tender delicacy that is as versatile as it is tasty. FYI, smoked salmon is cured in a solution of salt and sugar and then smoked, while lox (which is cured salmon) is never cooked, chef Danielle Turner writes on her blog, Cooking Clarified.

While you can cook smoked salmon, you don't have to because it's already cooked via the smoking process.

Still, if you'd like to cook it, pan-frying it is a nice way to bring out its natural flavors without changing its melt-in-your-mouth softness. Here's how to do it.

Things You'll Need

  • smoked salmon

  • pan

  • oil or white wine

Step 1:​ Add a bit of olive oil or white wine in the bottom of the skillet to keep fish from sticking or drying out.

Step 2:​ Place the smoked salmon in the pan and fry on low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

It's usually best to add it to a dish as a flavoring at the very end of the cooking time. Snip your smoked salmon into small pieces and scatter them on top of scrambled eggs with onions, over cream sauce for pasta or over salads.

Tip

Smoked salmon is already somewhat dried out from the smoking process, and cooking it too long at a high temperature can dry it out even more.

Because salmon gets unpleasantly tough to chew when it's dried out, make sure to watch it carefully while frying it. If the smoked salmon starts to turn very dark or curl up at the edges, it's starting to dry and you should remove it from the heat.

How to Reheat Salmon

You can keep pre-cooked salmon in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, according to the USDA. (Refrigeration slows down bacterial growth, but does not entirely prevent it.)

In general, you should reheat leftovers until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, per the USDA. Here are the best ways to reheat salmon.

Microwave

To reheat salmon in the microwave, follow these steps from restaurant owner and blogger, chef Lori Bogedin.

Things You'll Need

  • salmon

  • microwave-safe dish

  • water

  • paper towel

Step 1:​ Place the salmon on a microwave-safe dish.

Step 2:​ Add a tablespoon of water and cover the salmon with a damp paper towel.

Step 3:​ Reheat the salmon in the microwave until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about 2 minutes. It's a good idea to check the salmon in the microwave every 30 seconds to see if it reached the desired temp.

Step 4:​ When heated through, remove the salmon and serve.

Oven

To reheat salmon in the oven, follow these steps from BluGlacier, a salmon company.

Things You'll Need

  • salmon

  • olive oil or lemon

  • foil

Step 1:​ Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2:​ Rub olive oil or squeeze a half lemon over the surface of the salmon. Lightly wrap in foil.

Step 3:​ Place the fillet in the oven and reheat for 15 minutes, or until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stove

To reheat salmon on the stove, follow these steps from Chef Bogedin.

Things You'll Need

  • salmon

  • oil

  • pan with lid

Step 1:​ Put enough oil in a pan on the stove to ensure that the salmon doesn't stick to it.

Step 2:​ Add the salmon to the pan over medium-low heat and cover the pan with a lid to retain moisture.

Step 3:​ Heat the covered salmon for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

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