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Oven baked salmon help

Can anyone tell me what the best temperature is to cook salmon and for how long? I read a guideline about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness or something, but it didn't say at what temperature or what degree of "doneness" will result.

The salmon I have is wild frozen from Costco, with skin on. I don't like it well done, maybe more medium or medium well? Definitely warm throughout. I'm just looking for something fast and easy that I can have for lunches.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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  1. I cook mine at 400 degrees, skin side down, for *maybe* 10 minutes. I use the press test-the flesh should still have give. If it is really firm its over cooked. Keep in mind it will keep cooking once you take it out of the oven.

    5 Replies
    1. re: foodieX2

      I do the same. I usually pull out the Thermapen to check it and remove it around medium rare temperatures.

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        Is there a reference chart for the temperatures?

      2. re: foodieX2

        Hover. What foodiex2 said. But since it time will vary by quirks of your oven, thickness, pan used,volume of fish... you want to hover. pull the pan out after 8 minutes, part the center of the fish and see if it is still raw at the center, shove it back in, check again , etc.

        If cooking a large piece, I sometimes lift the thin end off the baking pan when it's done and shove the thick end back in.

        Aim to take it out when the center is still slightly raw/rare. If you plan to do this often, you will get to know how it "looks" when it's done the way you like it.

      3. I love to bake it at a low temperature- the house doesn't smell very strong when it bakes like this and the texture is super tender. If I want crispy skin, I peel it off and roast it separately in the toaster oven! This recipe summarizes what I do pretty well (minus skin roasting) and leftovers are wonderful cold or gently reheated: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        5 Replies
        1. re: 4Snisl

          I love the slow roasted salmon method too. No smell whatsoever.
          It's delicious over fig leaves too.

          1. re: 4Snisl

            I have made this recipe and shared it many times since I found it on epicurious. The no smell factor is a plus, and the salmon itself is tender and moist and cooked evenly through.

            1. re: 4Snisl

              Agree. Seabear.com recommends the low temp method (250° or 275°F., I think), and the fish comes out perfect every time.

              1. re: 4Snisl

                This looks great. So the recommended time is for medium then?

                1. re: AnnieWilliams

                  The problem is that the recipe does not really specify the "shape" of the fillet. If my fillet is really skinny and long, then I'll check at the lower end of the timeframe, maybe even @ 10-12 minutes instead of 15 minutes. When my fillet is a bit thicker, then I'll check at the lower end of the timeframe just to see how things are progressing (@ 15 minutes) and keep it for longer if it still seems underdone. The longest any fillet has ever taken me is 25 minutes, and that was a thick salmon side.

                  When I check, all I do is run a paring knife as unotrusively as possible into the thickest part of the flesh and see if it is done to my liking (taking carryover cooking time of any resting time into account- it won't be much with such a low baking temperature.)

                  It sounds like the recipe is guiding the cook to a "just opaque" center, which is medium in my book......if that's your medium, then go for it! If your standards are different, then proceed with shortening/lengthening cooking times by a few minutes as needed.

              2. I put a dry (un-oiled) cast iron skillet in the oven at 475 degrees for a half hour to get it super hot.

                Remove pan, and put on a stove top burner on HIGH flame. Immediately put seasoned, oiled salmon steaks flesh down on pan.

                Let the fish scream and smoke. Don't touch it for four minutes or so, at which time if you jiggle the handle of the pan the fish should be coming loose from the pan. If not, continue searing flesh side down in pan for another minute or two. This searing process typically takes 4 - 5 minutes total.

                Flip fish onto skin and put back in the oven for about another five minutes. Thickness determines how long, but a way to check is that the side of the fish will become opaque where properly cooked through. Take it out a bit earlier than you expect it to be fully "done." You can always return it to the oven for a minute if it's not done to your liking.

                If you try this method a few times you'll get a feel for doneness.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    Kinda stinky the day after. Like, on a scale of 1 - 10, it's a 6-7. But it fades quickly.

                1. Get a oven probe thermometer and be done with it. 125 to 135 degress for rare to med salmon - try to do that without a thermometer!

                  1. Thanks a lot everyone! I need a thermapen but I keep forgetting to order one.

                    Another question...could I get away with cooking say five filets and eating them throughout the week? I'm trying to plan meals and I'd love to make several in advance for the week.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: AnnieWilliams

                      Personally I wouldn't, but I fully admit I am weird about fish . I can't eat fish leftovers of any kind.

                      1. re: foodieX2

                        I can eat leftovers cold but reheating is an issue in "overdoneness" and smell. Leftover salmon is pretty good flaked over greens or mixed into a sandwich type salad.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          Salmon salad is a nice change from tuna salad, and I make them both the same way: chopped celery, chopped onion, dill pickle relish, the fish and mayonnaise to bind. Salt to taste. Maybe a squeeze of lemon.

                          I've been baking my salmon on a rack in an oval gratin pan, skin side down, flesh spread with a mixture of mayonnaise and harissa paste (Le Cabanon brand, in a tube). Coat the fish, then preheat oven to 350º, bake about 25 minutes. I don't keep the skin.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Yeah I had envisioned eating it cold for lunch with a salad or something.

                        2. re: AnnieWilliams

                          if you want left-overs go with poaching. trim the skin, poach the fish in a court bouillon and just eat it cold. it will hold a couple days, cooked, in the fridge.

                        3. I cook mine at 375, and I tend to cook mine for about 30 minutes and it is usually well done.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Ruthie789

                            Thaw the salmon in the fridge.
                            Turn stove burner to low heat.
                            I use coconut oil but you can use plain water. Put in enough oil or water in large enough pan to hold the salmon pieces not quite covered. No white wine. No herbs. Nothing but a pinch of Kosher salt in the water.
                            I cut the salmon into about three inch wide pieces.
                            When the liquid has reached NO HIGHER than 200 F slide the pieces skin down into the liquid. Watch as the color slowly changes around the edges then as the color changes towards the middle of the pieces. When the middle of the piece has turned a milky whitish color the fish is cooked perfectly. Depending on the thickness of the pieces you'll want to gently remove the thinner pieces which have cooked first leaving the rest to finish cooking. Do NOT attempt to flip the pieces. Just leave them alone. Remove the cooked pieces and put them on a HEATED! plate to rest covered lightly with tin foil. The 'carry-over' will finish gently cooking the salmon.
                            The fish should only just be cooked enough to allow the individual flakes to slide away from each other.
                            It may appear a bit undercooked but if the flakes slide off each other the fish is perfectly cooked.
                            This cooking method requires that you are watching the pan pretty much the whole time. It should only take a few minutes though.
                            Only when you are serving any fish should any 'flavorings' be put on the fish. Otherwise the fish, having such a delicate flavor won't taste of anything but the herbs etc on it.
                            If you are cooking fish that smells up your kitchen that fish is too old to eat no matter what flavors are added to hide the 'fishy' flavor/smell.
                            Even fresh fish can have a little fishy smell. The smell is actually a form of gas that starts occurring the moment the fish dies. It's natures way of attracting bugs to eat the fish and lay their eggs on the flesh so the 'bug-babies' will have something to eat when they hatch.
                            Anyway, to remove the fishy smell just wash the fish in a bowl of cold water to which you have added a couple of T's of lemon juice. Then rinse well and pat dry.

                          2. I've been using Pioneer Woman's method. So far, it's been perfect every time. I sprinkle with Old Bay instead of salt.

                            Pioneer woman's recipe for perfect salmon

                            Put your salmon on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil salt and pepper. Put the salmon in a cold oven turn onto 400 degrees and set the timer for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes you will have perfect flaky delicious salmon.

                            5 Replies
                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  As do I and it holds true for most if not all fish.

                              1. re: Ruthie789

                                Thing about salmon is that if it's not perfect it's still going to be edible. I've found that barramundi is the same way. Cook it until the thickest part is how you like it; the thinner bits might be a bit crunchy but they're still delicious.

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  Will, I've got to try your salmon preparation with the mayo and harissa. Sounds great.

                                  But where here in LA does one get barramundi?

                              2. This is my go to method for salmon. Zest a couple lemons, add some brown sugar and alder smoked sea salt to the zest. Taste the mixture for the right balance. Turn your broiler on and let it get screaming hot. Brush some olive oil on the salmon. Pat the zest/sugar/salt mixture on top of the fish. Stick under the broiler. Be sure to watch it...but most of the time it's done in around 7 minutes. It's moist, but with a bit of caramelization from the broiler. And the topping doesn't drown or mask the salmon flavor. Just makes it better.