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Baked salmon - to wrap or not to wrap...in foil?

I have been having a recent issue with my baked salmon much longer than I'd expect. For an inch thickness at 375-400F I'd expect about 10 minutes, but it usually requires 18 minutes and it's not overcooked at all. I plan to check my oven temperature, but nothing else cooks so slowly so I think it might be that perhaps my timing is off. I usually do it wrapped in foil, I am just wondering if you would expect the baking time to be longer than if you just plopped it into a dish or baking sheet. My mom used to always wrap it as I assume that keeps helps keeps it moist and the flavors from whatever is in the foil can meld together but perhaps I don't need it. Do you wrap or not wrap and is there any particular reason why?

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  1. No wrapping at all. I just put some olive oil on it, lemon slices herbes de provence into the oven at 375 for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the salmon. (Middle rack)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ruthie789

      Oh 30-40 minutes, that's much longer than what I usually hear so perhaps my 18 minutes is not completely off

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        I like mine well done and always cook a large piece of salmon.

    2. I usually cook a 1.5" piece 13-14 minutes, but I like it a little bit rare. I never wrap it in foil. I put salt and pepper and a little EVOO on top, stick it in a 350 oven, and make a sauce of dill and green onion, a little mustard and lemon juice, with sour cream, yogurt, or mayo, or some combo thereof.

      I usually roast about a little under a pound at a time. Bigger, I poach.

      1. I always use foil at 450F for a 1-1.25lb and 30-35mins piece for the family. Never dries out. Gives us time to do a quick exercise and shower without worrying about anything.

        1. if you're wrapping it in foil, you're steaming it. No wrapping.

          1. I never wrap my fish when baking/roasting. Frankly, the foil insulates it from the heat to a certain degree. That's probably why you're needing longer cooking times.

            In addition, if you're wrapping your fish, you're basically steaming it - not baking or roasting it.

            1. Are you talking filets or steaks? For a filet, I put it on a foil-lined pan, skin side down. Rub the top with olive oil, then sprinkle with kosher salt and whatever flavorings you might want.....lemon zest, fresh dill, etc.

              Roast at 425 for 10 minutes per 1/2 inch. Oven temps vary, so you'll have to figure it for your oven. EDIT: You can check doneness by slipping a thin knife into the middle and peeking.

              When it's done, use a large thin spatula to pick up the flesh from the skin; the skin should stick to the foil and be left behind.

              Disclaimer: If you are a modernist cook who wants rare flesh and crispy skin, look elsewhere for your recipe!

              9 Replies
              1. re: sandylc

                We do the same thing, but throw it on the grill to cook. Cooks a bit faster, maybe 6-8 mins per 1/2 inch. Keeps fishy smells outside! Also, if one end is thin, we will cover it so that it cooks slower.

                1. re: firecooked

                  + 1
                  Salmon grilled on Cedar Plank = AMAZING.....
                  Make up a delicious glaze to drizzle over when cooked

                  1. re: oooYUM

                    Where is the best place to get a plank? I have seen them at Harris Teeter occasionally but don't go there very often. My usual stores are Whole Foods, Wegmans and Safeway

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      Wegmans has them, at least in Central NY. You can check your particular store online.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        My husband got a nice-size pack of 6 at Costco last year.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          Best place to get a cedar plank is at the local lumber yard. They're priced as scrap and you may have to poke around to find one the right size.

                        2. re: oooYUM

                          Plank acquired. Can I use it in the oven/broiler?

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Uh, I wouldn't put a plank in the broiler. Wood + flame = fire.

                            I've never used a cedar plank indoors. Perhaps it's possible, I don't know. I often use cedar planks outdoors on the grill. I soak the plank in tap water for about 30 minutes (important so plank doesn't catch fire), rub the salmon with olive oil, add salt and pepper, salmon skin side down on plank, and plank on grill above hot coals, very close to the coals. About 12-15 minutes for 1 1/2 lb filet, give or take a few minutes. The plank can be lightly scrubbed and reused a few times until it's basically carbonized, then I add it in with the coals when roasting meat. If the coals are low and not super-hot, I've even put the plank directly on the coals (no reusing it).

                            There's no single right way to do it, but there's a few things to avoid, like having a fire in your oven.

                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              Oh, I'm glad you got the plank !!!!
                              Not sure about the oven,,,,, I haven't tried that....
                              .
                              I soak my plank till it's good and water-logged,
                              that said, it is often charred on an end by the time my Salmon is grilled.....I think it's because the planks are pretty thin....

                              I would probably be one to "try" the oven thing, though, just to see. Keep in mind, I was the child who touched the iron that my mother warned me was "hot" :-D

                              Maybe set the water-logged plank into an aluminum pan
                              first, then keep an eye peeled !

                      2. I like this Bayless technique. Put an enameled iron gratin dish in the oven while it heats to 425F, plus a few more minutes so that the pan is really hot.
                        While this is happening oil both sides of the piece of salmon, I use olive or refined sesame. Season as you like then place skin side up in the hot dish. Cooking time depends on size and thickness but somewhere around 4+ minutes each side.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: andrewtree

                          Will the skin stick to the dish when you try to flip the fish? I really would love for the skin to stay intact...

                          1. re: xiaobao12

                            I oil both sides of the fish liberally and have never had the skin side stick

                            1. re: andrewtree

                              Yes. This.
                              And- don't touch the fish!!! Not for at least five minutes- the skin will definately stick if you so much as "peek" before that, much like grilling fish.