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Salmon in a pressure cooker?

I'm loving my new pressure cooker!!! Can you cook salmon? If so, how?

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  1. Salmon takes 5 minutes to sear on the stove as a filet and about 30 to roast as a whole fish. Why do want to use a pressure cooker?

    6 Replies
    1. re: rjbh20

      It's still frozen, so I thought I could put it in the steamer in the pressure cooker.

      1. re: topeater

        Cooking frozen food without defrosting makes a bad final product.

        1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

          Once bought Mako steaks at supermarket. Had never had it before and it's not usually in fish section. Bought WAY too much, so froze about half... 2 smallish pieces... for later. I cooked other 2 pieces quickly in brown butter and squeezed lemon juice over... pretty tasty. When I decided to cook what I had frozen, had a "genius" thought... butter, lemon, a little water and just plunked frozen fish in for a low slow simmer. It cooked, but was inedible?? Can't think of any fish that you actually need a KNIFE for, but this stuff was like WOOD!?! Dog got a treat?? Ya live & learn!

        2. re: topeater

          I pressure-cook frozen salmon once in a while when I've forgotten to defrost it and there's nothing else in the house. I season it, wrap it in foil, and steam it on high pressure for 9 or 10 minutes, depending on its thickness. It's perfectly edible, but obviously not as good as poached, grilled, or roasted salmon.

          1. re: Miss Priss

            interesting to hear that frozen fish can be cooked this way. I don't own a pressure cooker, although I wish I did.

            I had heard that defrosting step kept the cell walls intact, while cooking frozen items directly tended to rupture them leading to moisture loss and unappealing texture. I haven't tried cooking anything directly for frozen in a very very long time, but from what I recall I did not like the results. If I want to cook out of the freezer I defrost the item in warm water. This is not as quick as direct into a pressure cooker but it's quick enough for me.

            I'm glad it works for you - I would not have believed it.

            1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

              It's certainly not my preferred method, but wrapping the fish in foil at least keeps it moist. The texture is reminiscent of canned salmon - maybe a little firmer. Yes, warm-water defrosting might yield better results, but sometimes I don't even have the time (or the patience) for that!

        1. re: sal_acid

          Actually, this would be good for the guy in another thread with his jaw wired shut. He could use a straw.

        2. You will destroy it.

          Many things are just not meant to be pressure cooked. Fish is one if them.

          1. For cat food? Yes.
            For dinner? Bleugh.

            1. You could but why ruin a nice fish?

              1. many years ago, I took a couple of big carp fillets, marinated them in dilute red food coloring and a can of cheap smoked salmon, and put them up on a steamer rack in the PC, and gave it about 10 minutes at pressure, and make some imitation smoked salmon-- It was loved at a special event at my sporting goods store--none was left... it was fun telling everyone afterward that it was carp, and I had a lot of folks fishing for carp after that.

                6 Replies
                1. re: NVJims

                  no, thanks.

                  not because I have any particular thing about carp (not particularly tasty, but okay) -- but soaked in canned salmon, artificially colored, then have the daylights cooked out of it? I'll pass.

                  1. re: NVJims

                    Free slogan for you: "NVJims' Salmon jerky food, made with real salmon product"

                    1. re: NVJims

                      Ever hear of NOVO Salmon ?

                      As you discovered Novo or New Salmon is not always made with Salmon, ( Which I learned in Scotland ).

                      1. re: SWISSAIRE

                        No, I have not heard of Novo Salmon. What is it made from? Did you try any?

                        1. re: SWISSAIRE

                          Swissaire, are you perhaps thinking of Nova, aka Nova lox, aka Nova Scotia-style salmon?

                          1. re: Miss Priss

                            Yes, that was it.

                            I was packing for a flight to JBG and typing while packing.

                            NovA Salmon.

                      2. Some protein foods are naturally tender and you cook them a little just to make them more palatable (eggs, fish). Pressure-cooking salmon would, as another poster said, destroy it. Pressure cook some tough beef and make it nice and tender. Pressure cook an ancient rooster and make him tender. Make a beef stew in 20 minutes. But don't pressure-cook salmon.

                        1. What did that salmon ever do to you that you would abuse it in a pressure cooker?

                          A pressure cooker takes longer to get up to pressure and back down than it takes to cook fish.

                          Defrost the salmon gently in your fridge. Step back from the pressure cooker and no one gets hurt.

                          1. Why would you even want to? Does not compute.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: rasputina

                              Like I said, I'm in love with my new pressure cooker. Just wanted to make sure I hadn't missed anything it could do! Geez.

                              For everyone's information, I marinated the salmon in ginger, garlic & soy & then sautéed it to medium rare. Then I used my pressure cooker to make a lovely risotto to go with it.

                              Thanks for all the snarky comments.

                              1. re: topeater

                                That sounds delicious. I'm all for trying new techniques too. I mean you can fry an egg in a minute but hard cooking an egg and then simmering in a sauce can take hours and is amazing. Keep on trying new things and sharing here - don't be dissuaded by the snarkiness. It drives many away but if you hang in there, you can get and share lots of good info. Most of my professional culinary friends dislike this site but I've gotten so many good tips and ideas over the past 7 years, I keep coming back despite some of the closed mindedness.

                              2. The thought of this along with the smell of it sitting all day in a pressure cooker made me vomit a bit. Just a lil bit.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  Are you thinking of a slow cooker? There is no reason for the salmon to be "sitting all day" if it is quickly cooked in a PC. Years ago, I tried a fish stew in a slow cooker and, indeed, that stunk up the joint. Also wasn't very good.

                                2. Much as I love my pressure cooker, salmon isn't something I've personally tried making in it. However, I checked my pressure cooking cookbooks, and several of them had recipes, in case you own any of these books:

                                  MISS VICKIE'S BIG BOOK OF PRESSURE COOKER RECIPES
                                  Salmon Croquettes with Lemon Cheese Sauce (p. 326)
                                  Salmon Steaks in Smoky Mpale Balsamic Glaze (p. 335)

                                  THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO PRESSURE COOKING
                                  Salmon Chowder (p. 124)

                                  THE PRESSURED COOK
                                  Salmon and Corn Chowder (p. 159)

                                  EXPRESS COOKING
                                  Salmon Steaks (p. 115)
                                  Salmon Wraps (p. 111)

                                  THE PRESSURE COOKER GOURMET
                                  Atlantic Salmon Roast Poached in Red Wine Court Bouillon with Arugula Pesto (p. 155)
                                  Salmon and Fennel Chowder with Green Peppercorn Mayonnaise (p. 47)
                                  Gravlax Risotto (p. 224)

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: ePressureCooker

                                    Thanks for the info. I found a link to an old chow hound discussion about cooking paella in a PC. Initially, everyone said no way, but one guy actually does it & give the technique. That's when I began to wonder if salmon could be cooked that way, so that it was steamed or poached.

                                    1. re: topeater

                                      You're welcome. I totally understand. There was one thread on doing a whole chicken in a pressure cooker where someone asked about it, and the response was pretty negative, IIRC. Then one other person and I both posted that we do it all the time, comes out just fine, and here's how we do it. At least one other person actually tried my method, and said it came out well.

                                      Though I must admit salmon and fish in general aren't one of those things that are best suited for the pressure cooker, they aren't a natural "fit" for it, which means you have to be careful about handling them. That doesn't mean you can't do it, and it won't work out well, that just means one has to be particularly careful about how you do it.

                                      1. re: ePressureCooker

                                        I actually copied your whole chicken recipe to try in the future. That was a really interesting discussion.

                                        1. re: topeater

                                          I'm still perfecting it, but yeah, it was an interesting discussion and it did come out pretty well. The guinea pigs have certainly enjoyed it. ;D

                                  2. For future reference, I've cooked salmon I forgot to thaw in the pressure cooker. It's not such a bad idea. Don't try to steam it in there on a rack, though. You'll have to make something more like a poached or stewed salmon if you do it this way.

                                    Here's how I did it: -- Put the salmon in the PC with whatever else you want in the dish along with some stock and/or water (I'd saute onions and things like that first to add some depth of flavor). Then, bring up to pressure and let cook for 45 to 90 seconds on High. When that time is up, turn off the stove let the pressure come down naturally without taking the pressure cooker off the hot burner. Since the salmon is frozen, this is when the real cooking will happen. The length time you cook under pressure will depend on the size of your salmon pieces, the thickness of the pressure cooker walls, and the ability of your burners to retain heat after they're turned off, so you'll have to experiment a bit. I'd try 60 seconds the first time and see how that goes.

                                    This is not a perfect method-- the skin will be flaccid and the texture won't be ideal -- but it's not as bad as you'd think it would be, and it works in a pinch. It helps if you put in plenty of butter and a slice of lemon. I cooked the salmon on top of some finely sliced leeks --both the dark and light parts, and it was pretty good. Another time I did it with coconut milk thinned with water and some Thai curry paste on top of a bed of collards. I stirred in a little lime juice and chopped cilantro and basil when it was done. Also pretty good.

                                    Don't knock until tried, appalled Chowhounders! It's not a first choice, but it's beat any other method I've tried of rapidly cooking hard-frozen fish and, unless my memory gets better, I will probably resort to this again in the future.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: ninrn

                                      That makes sense. I sous vide salmon one time & the skin was yucky.

                                      1. re: ninrn

                                        The time it takes to get a pressure cooker going and undone is longer than it would take to quick-defrost salmon under running cold water in the sink and cooking it. I can't recommend the idea at all, unless you're talking some herculean-sized piece of salmon.... (FWIW, I love using my pressure cooker.)