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On a mission for perfect baked salmon

fldhkybnva Jan 13, 2013 01:28 PM

I love salmon and as my very small Whole Foods now has wild King salmon more regularly, it is a staple of the Sunday night menu. I love it very simple in the oven and use the foil-wrapped method. I'm not really asking for new and different methods but more so what temperature have you found is best for the best filet. I have baked it temperatures from 300 to 450F and I can't remember which range of temperatures had the worst results but it yielded more filets which went from barely there to overcooked and coated in exuded protein.

What is your best temperature and time?

  1. n
    noodlepoodle Jan 13, 2013 02:27 PM

    I usually bake mine at 400 degrees (preheated oven) for 15 min.. Then I check it for doneness. Bake another five min. if not quite cooked and check again. I like it just cooked and silky juicy. Filets I get are usually about half an inch in the thickest part.

    1. f
      fourunder Jan 13, 2013 02:40 PM

      The general rule for fish fillets.....delicate fish (flounder) requires lower heat than firmer, oily fish (Bluefish, Makeral)

      Variables to consider would be the thickness of the fillet or steak.

      I suggest for Baked fish you use no higher than 325-350. You want it to cook through evenly.

      3 Replies
      1. re: fourunder
        fldhkybnva Jan 13, 2013 04:33 PM

        Even for an oily fish like salmon?

        1. re: fldhkybnva
          f
          fourunder Jan 13, 2013 06:50 PM

          Any higher, and you risk drying out the top of the fish before the middle or bottom cook...

          Here are some general guidelines for baking salmon followed by most commercial kitchens...and always start with a preheated oven....and i recommend cooking on metal, rather than glass or ceramic.

          •A good rule of thumb is that the salmon will bake about ten minutes per one inch thickness of your fillet. A two-inch thick fillet will bake for 20 minutes. A 1-1/2 filet will take 15 minutes and so on.
          •Check the salmon frequently. Start checking at about 10 minutes, and keep checking until the flesh of the fish is just barely an opaque pink.
          •Salmon baked in a closed packet - whether parchment, foil or a covered dish - is likely too cook a bit more quickly. Check it starting at about ten minutes and re-cover the fish before continuing.
          •Remove the salmon from the oven as soon as the flesh becomes opaque. Serve immediately

          1. re: fourunder
            fldhkybnva Jan 13, 2013 11:03 PM

            This is good to know as I do the foil wrapped method. Also, I was always told it was done when opaque but all the way through and now I know that it should be opaque on the outside but as long as you can flake it's OK and usually should be semi-translucent still on the inside when you take it out.

      2. t
        teezeetoo Jan 13, 2013 02:51 PM

        if they are fillets and you would consider an alternative to baking, here is what I do for thinner filets of salmon: paper towel wipe a seasoned cast iron skillet with peanut or grapeseed oil - have on hand fresh lime juice, chopped cilantro, good quality soy sauce - heat the skillet to almost smoking - sear the fillet skin side down for two minutes, flip and sear other side for two minutes, pour in two tablespoons of soy sauce, juice of a lime and scatter with chopped cilantro. cover, and turn off heat as soon as the liquid you have added has sizzled. leave covered for at least 5 minutes. i have found this gives me beautifully cooked salmon.

        1. p
          Puffin3 Jan 13, 2013 04:53 PM

          200 F max temp. low and slow. Protein strands, like in salmon turn to rubber bands when they reach a higher temp than 212 F. Baked salmon can turn from succulent to over done in a couple of minutes. My advice is to put the salmon into a tightly sealing casserole instead of tin foil. That way you can check the internal temp a lot easier. Check the temp after half an hour then every half hour until it reaches about 135 F. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes uncovered. Finished temp will be about 140 F which is not overcooked. Make notes on how long that piece of salmon took at 200 F for next time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Puffin3
            ipsedixit Jan 13, 2013 06:57 PM

            x

          2. Ruthie789 Jan 13, 2013 06:57 PM

            I bake mine at 375 and do not wrap it in tin foil. I put a dash of olive oil over the fish, thin slices of lemon and herbs de provence. I have cooked it for many people some surprised that they actually like salmon afterall.

            1. ipsedixit Jan 13, 2013 07:00 PM

              Preheat oven to 300F.

              Turn off oven.

              Put salmon into oven for 10 minutes.

              Remove.

              Eat.

              1. fldhkybnva Jan 13, 2013 11:06 PM

                Perhaps next time I will try the low and slow method, it was recommended for my 1st turkey a few weeks ago and it was the best turkey I've ever had!

                I didn't get a chance to read all of your posts before dinner tonight as we ate earlier than I expected but I did the usual foil packed with lemon, roasted garlic and Cavendar's seasoning and baked at 375F (more like 400F given my oven which runs hot) for 18 minutes and it was near perfect and not a bit near overcooked!! I think I caught a glimpse of my SO wishing to lick the plate and praying another filet would magically fall from the sky, but alas...Salmon is such a great fish particularly as it's so perfect with simple preparations. It's definitely on the weekly menu so will have plenty of opportunity to check out a few of your methods as well.

                1. c
                  calumin Jan 13, 2013 11:18 PM

                  When I cook salmon Japanese style (e.g. salted & left to sit for a day), I broil it. Alternatively use highest temperature (550 degrees). 4 minutes skin side down, then 1 more minute with the skin up. It creates a crispy skin.

                  For more delicate preparation I sous vide it instead of baking.

                  1. fldhkybnva Mar 6, 2013 10:30 AM

                    SOS. It went well for a while at 400F at 18 minutes. It was always a perfect not overcooked done with slight opaque on the outside, translucent on the inside and the lovely succulent salmon which you have to scoop because it's so perfectly cooked.

                    However I have now hit some kind of stumbling block. Despite the same thickness fish and the same time, it seems to never go opaque. The other day I just gave up after 25 minutes and took it out despite looking completely wet and raw still but it was perfect. Do you even wait for the external part to be opaque? Is there a better indicator? I thought this 25 minute filet was going to taste like sashimi but it was perfect albeit less warm than others but not the overcooked mess I have been dealing with when I have tried to bake it until the external layer is opaque.

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