How to Cook Salmon – Pinch of Yum

Whether you’re cooking salmon or other types of fish, here are a few tips to help make the process less stressful and more flavorful.

The “salmon recipe” is a simple and easy to follow salmon recipe.

Come together, salmon lovers (and doubters)! There are four simple ways to prepare the best salmon, along with all the advice you need to make it simple.


Collage of four methods for how to cook salmon.

This article includes affiliate links for salmon cooking items we like. You won’t pay more for these links since Pinch of Yum receives a tiny compensation from them; they are always identified with an asterisk. Sincerity is what we appreciate.

Salmon! Ideal as a fast source of protein on top of a salad, ground up and made into burgers, or simmered in a gorgeously rich curry sauce. There are really a plethora of methods to cook and serve fish.

So salmon enthusiasts and doubters alike, assemble here. We’re here to offer all of our own favorites for preparing that gorgeous orange-pink food.

Everything You Need To Know About Cooking Salmon Is In This Article

Methods for Cooking Salmon

Details on Salmon Purchase and Preparation

Would you rather watch than read?

Salmon Bake Techniques

Three fillets of salmon baked on a sheet pan.

Salmon should be baked when

For when you want a consistent, rather hands-off outcome or when you want to mix it with other ingredients to form a one-pan dish. You may also turn up the broiler at the very end if you like a crispy top layer (and who doesn’t?). This approach is our go-to one!


  1. Set the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The salmon fillets should be seasoned to your taste and drizzled with olive oil.
  2. Place the salmon on a baking sheet covered with foil or Disposable Paper. Give your baking sheet a quick spray with non-stick cooking spray if you’re coating it with foil. Depending on the thickness of the fillet, bake the salmon for 5 to 6 minutes. Bake salmon for 8 minutes if it is 1 inch thick or more.
  3. Salmon is cooked when it peels off easily with a fork, reaches a temperature of 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and the flesh appears opaque and not “raw.”

Watch Salmon Bake Techniques

Using baked salmon in recipes

Advice on Steaming Salmon (In Parchment)

Four fillets of salmon in a dutch oven with lemon slices and dill.

How long to steam salmon

If you like salmon that is delicate, moist, and fancy but not difficult to prepare, steaming is the way to go. With plenty of fresh herbs and lemon, the salmon is cooked in white wine using this technique. Although you could serve it with a sauce, the salmon is actually all you need.


  1. To accommodate your salmon fillets, cut a sheet of Disposable Paper that is unusually large (approximately two feet long).
  2. Put the Disposable Paper in the Dutch oven’s base.
  3. Your salmon fillets should be mixed with some olive oil, any desired spices, and a separate bowl (salt, pepper, fresh garlic, sliced onion or shallots).
  4. In the dutch oven lined with paper, put the fish that has been salted and oiled. Adding lemon slices will make it more elegant. Over the top, pour approximately 1/3 cup of water, white wine, or broth. To seal it, fold the parchment over the fish and crimp or fold it together.
  5. The pan should be covered with a lid, and the stovetop should be set to high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium after five minutes and cook for a further eight to ten minutes. Finish by turning off the heat and allowing it to cool.
  6. Open the parchment, take off the cover, and sprinkle your preferred fresh herbs on top.

Observe How to Steam Salmon.

The fantastic and delectable Steamed Salmon with Garlic, Herbs, and Lemon from What’s Gaby Cooking, a current staff favorite, served as the model for this technique.

Salmon Sauté Techniques

Three fillets of browned salmon in a cast iron pan.

Whenever to cook salmon

When we want a crispy top that will withstand a delectable pan sauce, we often use the sauté method. Or, if we choose to keep things a little bit more under observation than just putting it in the oven. Everything, including crispiness, temperature, and taste, is completely in your control.


  1. Before sautéing the salmon, let it 15 to 25 minutes to reach room temperature. Salmon fillets should be well seasoned.
  2. Several tablespoons of oil are heated in a medium-sized nonstick or Pan made of cast iron*.
  3. Before adding the fish to the pan, pat the fish dry to eliminate any excess moisture. The skin-side down, add the salmon to the pan. Keep the fish in the pan alone.
  4. Depending on the thickness of the salmon fillet, this should take about 6 minutes. Then, flip the salmon over and cook it for an additional 2 minutes in the pan to get the top layer crisped. Your salmon should be classified medium-rare to medium doneness at this time and temperature.

Watch Salmon Sauté Techniques

Uses for Sautéed Salmon in Recipes

Salmon Air-Frying Techniques

Two fillets of salmon in the basket of an air fryer.

Salmon Air Frying Timing

If you want to set it and forget it when it comes to cooking salmon on a weeknight, then this recipe is for you. Those sharp edges, too. Perfection.


  1. Set your air fryer* to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the salmon fillets to your taste and gently coat with olive oil.
  2. Use cooking spray that is non-stick to coat the air fryer basket. For 7-9 minutes, air fried fish.
  3. The salmon should be opaque when cooked to medium-rare or medium. Return it to the air fryer for a further minute or two if it still seems “raw” or undercooked. If your salmon fillet is very thick, you may need to do this.

A SPECIAL OFFER: Salmon Burger Recipe

Salmon burger on a bed of cabbage with a dollop of yogurt on top.


  1. Bake salmon according to one of the “Salmon Bake Techniques” methods above or use Salmon in a can*.
  2. Flake the salmon, which should weigh around 12 ounces, and mix it with 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs. Use your preferred spices to season the salmon burgers. Into patties, form.
  3. A nonstick skillet with a few teaspoons of oil should be heated.
  4. Salmon burgers should be fried for two to three minutes on each side to get crispy.

Buying Advice for Salmon

A person holding up a pack of fish in a market.

Variety of Salmon

Depending on the kind you choose, the salmon pink will have a different brightness. Below are a few typical varieties:

  • Atlantic Salmon: This is a typical and excellent species to get at supermarket stores. This cultivar has a medium-firm texture and a mild, buttery flavor.
  • Coho salmon: A fantastic introduction to salmon! Compared to other types, the taste is rather subtle.
  • The pinnacle of salmon species is the king salmon. It imparts a lovely buttery flavor, but it’s also the priciest salmon kind.
  • The hue of sockeye salmon is a particularly intense orange or deep crimson. Although it is a little drier than other types, it has a particularly rich, deep taste.

Out of all the choices, we would choose Atlantic Salmon as our favorite.

Advice on Fresh vs. Frozen Salmon

Now that you’ve decided on salmon, guess what! You must now decide between fresh and frozen options! It only depends on how and when you’re cooking it; both are as wonderful. Fresh salmon is excellent if you want to prepare it the next day or two. However, choose frozen if you won’t be eating it until the end of the week. As an added benefit, you may purchase the BIG bags of frozen salmon to store up for additional meals whenever you choose.

Additional advice:

  • A very faint fish scent should be present in fresh salmon. Fish with a strong fishy scent should be avoided.
  • Any fresh salmon with dark patches on the meat should be avoided.
  • In order for the salmon to cook evenly, whether it is fresh or frozen, try to choose salmon fillets or steaks that are all around the same thickness.
  • In certain cases, frozen salmon is less expensive than fresh salmon. Simply defrost the salmon before cooking it and pat any remaining liquid out.

How to Thaw Salmon from Frozen

The simplest and safest approach to defrost frozen salmon is to place the salmon in a big bowl of cold water with your fillets or steaks. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours, or until the salmon is completely defrosted.

Fish doneness

Three fillets of salmon in a skillet with the salmon flaked.

The best way to determine Fish doneness is with a food thermometer*. Just insert the probe into the thickest part of the salmon fillet or steak. If you don’t have a food thermometer though, you can get a pretty good idea of how done your fish is if it’s starting to flake apart when you poke at it with a fork.

  • Cook fish to a temperature of no more than 125 degrees Fahrenheit for rare salmon.
  • Cook salmon to 125–130 degrees F for medium-rare.
  • Cook salmon until it reaches a temperature of 130 to 140 F.
  • Cook fish to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or more for well-doneness. (Note that boiling your salmon to this temperature may result in it being quite dry; in our view, this is not the ideal way to enjoy salmon.)

Salmon eaten raw

Salmon may certainly be consumed raw, particularly if you’re making sushi with it. The secret to eating salmon raw is to get the freshest fish you can find; for this, visiting to a particular fish market may be the best option. Search for fish with the designations “sashimi grade” or “sushi grade”. For optimum freshness, it is advisable to cook your raw fish within 1-2 days after acquiring it.

How to Remove Salmon’s Skin

There are a few alternative methods for removing salmon’s skin if you’d rather not pick at it. Here is further information on how to enjoy your salmon with the skin on and eat that crispy, delectable skin.

  1. Ask a grocery store clerk working behind the fish or seafood counter if they can remove the skin off fresh salmon for you (this is the easiest method).
  2. You may remove the skin by slicing an incision between the skin and the fish meat while holding your salmon fillet tautly. Please take caution since the fish will be slippery.

Here’s when, if you so desire, you remove the skin based on the technique you’re using:

  • Salmon should have its skin removed before baking.
  • Salmon should have its skin removed before steaming.
  • Salmon that has been air-fried should have the skin removed after cooking.
  • Keep the skin on when cooking and when the salmon is nearly done and the fillet is skin side up if you’re sautéing salmon.

Salmon Is So Nutritionally Good.

BBQ salmon in a bowl with mango salsa and rice.

There are many reasons to enjoy salmon, but one that stands out to us is how healthy it is for you. Each time you eat it, it’s like giving your body a huge nutritious hug.

  • It contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids (these fatty acids help to reduce inflammation in the body).
  • It has a lot of protein; good for building powerful muscles.
  • It supports healthy brain function (always need to keep the brain active).
  • It contains a range of vitamins that help the body (like potassium, selenium, and a variety of B vitamins).

Our Favorite Salmon Recipes

WE HEART SALMON! These salmon dishes are some of our all-time favorites.

What We Love About Products That Make Cooking Salmon Easy


A picture of Pan made of cast iron

Pan made of cast iron

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Thermometer for meat

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Sheet Pan Nonstick

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Air Fryer

Get It Now Image of Salmon in a can

Salmon in a can

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Disposable Paper

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The “baked salmon with lemon sauce” is a recipe that provides instructions on how to bake salmon in the oven. It also includes a recipe for a side dish, which is of course, lemons.

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