How to Bake Simple Red Snapper

Red snapper is a low-fat fish with a firm texture. Use low heat, from 250 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, to bake red snapper in the oven; alternately, bake or roast red snapper at high heat, from 450 to 500 degrees. There are certain differences in the way the fish cooks with these methods. Roasting creates a crisp crust, while baking preserves the fish's moisture.

Red snapper for sale at a market. Credit: CharlieRamos/iStock/Getty Images

Low-Heat Method

Step 1

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an oven-safe baking dish with 1 tbsp. of olive oil or butter.

Step 2

Rinse the red snapper fillets or whole fish inside and out. Pat dry and place in the baking dish. Brush the fish with 1 to 3 tbsp. of olive oil and sprinkle with lemon juice, salt and black pepper, all to taste. You can also brush the with pesto, peanut oil, sesame oil, or a mixture of minced garlic, herbs and olive oil.

Step 3

Bake for 20 to 55 minutes — depending on whether you are cooking fillets or a whole fish — or until cooked to your liking. To avoid overcooking, check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. Red snapper is done when the temperature is 137 degrees; you may prefer to cook it less, anywhere from 125 to 135 degrees. Serve with fresh herbs and lemon or lime wedges.

High-Heat Method

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Coat your baking dish with aluminum foil to ease the cleaning.

Step 2

Rinse the fillets or whole fish inside and out and pat dry. Cut three to four slashes in either side of the whole fish.

Step 3

Rub the fillets or the whole fish inside and out with a mixture of 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. sherry or fresh lemon juice. Season inside and out with salt and black pepper to taste.

Step 4

Place the fish in the dish. Roast, undisturbed, for 15 to 35 minutes or until the meat is translucent or cooked to your liking. Serve with fresh herbs and lemon or lime wedges.

Things You'll Need

  • Oven-safe baking dish

  • Olive oil

  • Butter

  • Red snapper, whole fish or fillets

  • Salt

  • Black pepper

  • Lemon juice

  • Fresh chopped herbs

  • Lemon or lime

  • Sherry

  • Instant-read thermometer

  • Aluminum foil

Tips

Cooking time greatly differs from fillets to a whole fish. To avoid overcooking, check the internal temperature regularly. Snapper is a low-fat fish, packed with protein. One snapper fillet contains approximately 220 calories, 45 g of protein and only 3 g of fat.

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