Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Salmon is such a tasty fish that can be incorporated into a wide variety of meal plans. If you're looking at adding salmon to your weekly meal routine, you may wonder at what temperature you should bake salmon. Look no further. We have researched all about baking salmon to comprise the dos and don'ts for you.
The best temperature for baking salmon is 450°F. Baking salmon takes about twelve minutes at this temperature.
Continue reading to learn more about the best ways to cook salmon. We will talk about how to bake salmon, how to keep it from drying out, whether you should use olive oil or butter, and so much more!
How to Bake Salmon
First, you should allow the salmon to reach room temperature. This only takes about 15 to 30 minutes. You want your salmon to be room temperature because it will cook more evenly than it would have otherwise.
While letting your salmon rest, set your oven to 450°F. Allow the oven to preheat while you prep your salmon. Use as many paper towels as necessary to blot the salmon dry on all of its sides.
You will need to choose a non-stick pan with an oven-safe handle or a non-stick baking sheet. A cast-iron skillet will work as well. Place your salmon down with the skin side down. Sometimes salmon filets have thin ends which need to be folded under so that the salmon cooks evenly.
Now is a good time to season the salmon. Coat all of the sides of the salmon, except for the skin side, with oil. You can either use a pastry brush or the back of a spoon to distribute the oil.
To continue while waiting for the oven to preheat, sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, and/or onion powder. You can add whatever seasonings you prefer onto your salmon.
Time to Bake
Now it is time to take your salmon and put it inside of your preheated oven. It is important to make sure the salmon cooks thoroughly. This takes between 12 and 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your piece of salmon.
Thinner salmon takes less time to bake than thick salmon. A good rule of thumb is to bake your salmon at 450°F for about four to six minutes for each half-inch of thickness.
When your salmon is fully cooked, it will flake easily. The salmon should be opaque. You can test this by inserting a fork and twisting it.
If your salmon does not flake easily, it probably isn't done cooking yet. Using a meat thermometer is always best. The thickest part of your salmon should reach an internal temperature of 145°F.
How do you keep salmon from drying out in the oven?
One way to keep your salmon from drying out in the oven is to coat it in olive oil. You can add parsley, cilantro, shallots, lime, and/or lemon slices across the top of the salmon to protect it from the heat. Keeping the salmon skin on is an additional barrier that helps to ensure your salmon will not dry out while baking.
Another helpful tip to keep salmon from drying out when baking is to wrap the salmon in aluminum foil. Doing so ensures that your salmon will stay moist. Fennel, chiles, and herbs are other options for what you can put on top of your salmon to help give it a layer of protection and make it more flavorful.
Is salmon better in olive oil or butter?
The answer to this question depends on personal preference. If you like the taste of butter, then butter is probably the better option for you. If you do not care for butter, oil is probably your best choice.
Some people even use both butter and oil. The purpose of using both butter and oil is to get the flavor of the butter while also getting a higher smoke point with oil. Whether you choose to use one or both, either will help prevent your salmon from drying out.
How do you know when baked salmon is ready?
This is an important question because salmon is delicate. It can easily become overdone.
When salmon is done cooking, it will appear pink rather than red. If your salmon is still somewhat translucent, it is not done cooking yet. Your salmon will be opaque and flaky when it is ready.
Do you eat the skin on salmon?
Yes, it is perfectly fine to eat the skin on salmon. Salmon skin has the highest concentration of omega-3 fats out of the whole piece of salmon.
Omega-3 fats are especially important for us because they can help lower blood pressure, reduce triglycerides, and are good for your heart. These fatty acids also reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.
The skin on salmon contains the most minerals and nutrients. When you poach or slow-roast salmon, it is best to either remove the skin or discard it before eating the salmon. This is because poaching or slow-roasting skin results in an unpleasant texture.
It is important to be aware that chemicals known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can get absorbed through the salmon's skin from other fish they eat. Generally, though, it is safe to eat salmon skin.
What kind of vegetables go with salmon?
There are a lot of vegetables that go well with salmon. Brown sugar-glazed carrots are one great option. Broccoli is a healthy and yummy choice for a side that meshes well with salmon.
Squash is a delicious vegetable to pair with salmon. Zucchini is great with salmon also. You can pan-fry zucchini or roast it in the oven. Zucchini noodles are a fun alternative as well.
Another great option is a baked sweet potato or sweet potato fries. Asparagus is another delicious choice for a vegetable to pair with salmon.
You can also pair salmon with pasta. You can use cauliflower or spaghetti squash for your vegetable pasta. Many people like to eat lemon with fish, so lemon butter pasta is a great alternate option to have with your salmon.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Salmon
One mistake people make when cooking salmon is removing the skin. When pan-frying salmon, you want to keep the skin on. It is much easier to get a spatula under the salmon's skin than it is to slide a spatula under the flesh. The only time you should remove the skin is when poaching or slow-roasting salmon.
Another mistake people tend to make when cooking salmon is overcooking it. You should keep a close eye on your salmon to ensure this does not happen. Remember, the thicker the salmon, the longer it will need to cook and vice versa.
It is a common mistake to undercook salmon as well. Slow-roasting is one way to cook salmon in which is it more difficult to overcook or undercook it. Slow-roasting salmon is only about a 30-minute process.
When poaching salmon, you want to use lemon or garlic in the water rather than plain water. This adds flavor and a layer of depth to what your kitchen will smell like too. Try to choose pieces that are similar in size so that they cook evenly.
Make sure you remove the pin bones. They are not fun to swallow. Either the fishmonger you got it from will remove the pin bones or you will have to do so yourself.
Avoid pans that the salmon will stick to. Either use a non-stick pan or a cast-iron pan so that the salmon skin doesn't stay stuck to the bottom of your pan.
Lastly, do not reheat your salmon in the microwave. It does not turn out well when reheated. You can chop up your refrigerated leftover salmon for salads or sandwiches. Some people will pull it out of the fridge and enjoy eating it at room temperature.
You should bake your salmon at 450°F for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon. Salmon should be opaque and flaky when it is done cooking. The internal temperature should reach 145°F.
When baking salmon, you can either bake it uncovered or wrap it in aluminum foil. Both methods should result in moist salmon as long as you do not overcook it. Keep a close eye on your timer throughout the process.
Before you go, check out the following links about side dishes that you could make with your salmon: