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Fish in Aluminum Foil or Parchment

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I normally used to deep fry or shallow fry and lately trying to become more healthy, trying to learn to bake in oven :-)

When I baked Salmon in Aluminum Foil, I used seasoning and lemon slices... (after 15 minutes @ 350), the fish tasted bitter wherever the lemon slices were there!

Are there some no-no's for cooking fish in Aluminum Foil, Parchment?

Also, what are pros and cons of Aluminum Foil versus Parchment?

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  1. I often cook fish in parchment and have never had a problem with lemon making it bitter. I wonder if using aluminum is the reason, as it is reactive and may be pulling the bitter components out of the lemon.

    I always use parchment for the following reasons;
    - doesn't react to acidic foods
    - less likely to shred and get in the finished dish
    - I like the way it puffs and looks pretty :-)

    I love cooking it that way. Keep trying!

    1. You can try putting the lemon slices on the bottom so the fish gets more of the aroma rather then direct flavour. You could also try putting in some white wine and/or olive oil and or orange juice to add some more flavours or to help balance the lemon.

      I've done fish in parchment many times, never done it in aluminum foil in this manner, though back in the day my mom did when fish was cooked for 30 minutes. I've never had any problem with lemon on top or lemon underneath. Can also try putting a few slices of peach or nectarine, adds some nice sweetness to the dish which might offset the lemon. I often throw a sprig of thyme or basil or whatever I have around as well.

      Try parchment and see if it helps though.

      1. I've cooked various kinds of fish in packets through the years, both in the oven and outside on a Weber kettle. Never had any trouble using either Al foil or parchment, although I use parchment only in the oven. The only thing I've heard is that you're not supposed to use anything acidic with aluminum foil but I have used sliced tomatoes and also wine on occasion without anything untoward happening. Try using parchment paper next time...

        My usual procedure is to place fish on whichever packet material that's being used, season, drizzle with olive oil or peanut oil depending on the seasoning, fold up tightly, bake 400F in oven 15 minutes.

        1. I think the bitterness on your fish was from the lemon peel. Yes the lemon will react with the aluminum, and yes parchment is better, but I bake fish with lemon in aluminum foil with good success.

          I always cut the peel off the lemon, slice it, and pick out the seeds. I like to add a tablespoon or so of white wine as TeRReT does, and a tsp of butter. You can add matchstick cut vegetables like carrot, zucchini or whatever you like best, a few shrimp added in are always good. The main rule for cooking in packets is to season each component individually because there's no stirring as it cooks - just the vapors moving through the packet.

          2 Replies
          1. re: AreBe

            Aha! ...I'll have to get parchment or not use lemon with peel.. thanks

            1. re: chow_rk

              Even if I used parchment I would not use the peel.

              I might still use a bit of the zest, the yellow from the outermost part of the peel. But the white part of the peel, the pith, does not belong inside your fish packet.

          2. Love fish cooked this way. In fact, did fish en papillote a few days ago. My choice is always parchment for the ways already mentioned above. I LOVE cutting into them as it is so very impressive.

            I also agree that the lemon likely caused the bitterness. If you used garlic, sometimes garlic is bitter.