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Technique

How to Cook Salmon

Our two favorite ways to prepare salmon, any day of the week.

By Team Made In
Sep 27, 2022
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For those looking for a versatile, easy-to-prepare dish, look no further than salmon. Salmon tastes great prepared in a variety of ways, and compared to other fish, is readily available and easy to shop for. However, for those new to preparing salmon, getting started might feel intimidating.

Just like preparing chicken or steak, it may seem tricky to ensure that your fillet is cooked all the way through without becoming dry. To help you cook your salmon properly every time, we’ve prepared a guide to cooking salmon our two favorite ways—on the stovetop, and in the oven.

How to Shop for Salmon

One of the perks of shopping for salmon is that unlike some more specialty fish, it’s readily available. Salmon can be found at both fishmongers and your local grocery store. For best results, purchase salmon on the same day you’re planning on cooking it. While salmon can be stored for up to two days in the refrigerator, its optimal flavor is achieved by cooking on the day of purchase. Make sure to take a look at its flesh as well—it should be shiny, and not discolored at the edges. Also , it should never smell fishy.

How to Cook Salmon in the Oven

Baking salmon is a great way to multitask during meal prep, a busy workweek, or while cooking for a dinner party. While the oven does all the work to create your perfectly prepared dish, you can focus on other things.

Step 1: Preheat and Season

Preheat the oven to 350F. Season each piece of salmon with salt, pepper, and optional seasonings like paprika or garlic powder.

Step 2: Bake the Fish

Arrange each fillet skin-side down on a lightly oiled Sheet Pan and bake the salmon for 12–15 minutes (depending on the size of the fillets) until the fish is cooked to your liking. If you want to make clean-up even easier, use our Non Stick Sheet Pans or line the Sheet Pan with parchment paper.

How to Cook Salmon on the Stovetop

For some, the stovetop is the easiest way to cook salmon. While it might require more attention than baking, time is saved because preheating the oven isn’t necessary.

Step 1: Preheat the Frying Pan

Heat a Stainless Clad or Non Stick Frying Pan on medium-high, then add a layer of oil, adding more oil if you’re using Stainless Clad.

Step 2: Cook the Fish

Place your fillets in the pan skin-side down, and cook them for about six minutes. You’ll know when they’ve cooked sufficiently because they’ll naturally release from the pan. Flip your fish, and cook on the other side for about four minutes more.

Ready to Cook?

Now that you know how to cook salmon on the stovetop and in the oven, you’re ready to get started. If you’re ready to take it to the next level, check out our article on removing salmon skin. While it’s certainly not necessary for every salmon recipe, skinning a fish is a good skill to have. Plus, you can even make crispy salmon skin “bacon” for a crunchy snack or garnish for a dish.

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