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Jan 13, 2013 01:28 PM

On a mission for perfect baked salmon

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?

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  1. 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. 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: fldhkybnva

          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

            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.

      1. 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. 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. 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.