Should You Bake Or Broil Salmon?

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There are so many wonderful reasons why salmon is one of the healthiest and tastiest fish out there. This fish can make a perfect meal quickly with some basic ingredients, and it can be cooked in a number of ways. One of the most popular methods of cooking salmon is by using the oven, and a lot of people have been asking if it is best to bake or broil salmon. We've looked to pro and domestic chefs alike to discover the preferred cooking method for salmon.

While you can cook salmon both ways, a lot of people find that broiling salmon is better because the fish is cooked quicker and the flavor is more intense. The salmon is also moister when it is broiled and it is less likely to get overcooked when cooked in a broiler.

However, broiling salmon is not the only way you can get juicy, flaky salmon for your meals. There are also other methods of cooking, and we've looked into the best ways to cook delicious salmon for your next dinner plan. We would love it if you continued reading so you can learn more about the best ways to cook and enjoy salmon.

Delicious baked salmon with spinach and onions on the side, Should You Bake Or Broil Salmon?

Should You Bake Or Broil Salmon?

Salmon is a fish that is rich in good fats and nutrients. This fish is a superfood known to be an excellent food source for the heart and brain. To preserve the health benefits of salmon, the fish should be cooked in a way that all the nutrients are still intact while keeping it moist and juicy.

Woman baking salmon with broccoli, carrots and other spices

Broiling is one of the best ways to achieve well-cooked moist and juicy salmon. It is quick and easy to do, with very minimal prep work to do on the fish. Using a broiler is perfect for thinner cuts of salmon because it cooks quicker under high heat but it will still retain the fattiness, moisture, and flavor of the fish.

However, baking is a good method of cooking if you are using thicker cuts of salmon. The heat from the oven comes from all sides and unlike the broiler, the oven helps cook the salmon all the way through instead of being heated from one side only. When cooking salmon in the oven, it is best to sear the fish on the stovetop beforehand to give you that crispy skin everyone loves.

Is It Good To Broil Salmon?

A huge slice of baked salmon with lemon, thyme and oregano

When using the broiler, it is important to turn up the heat to its highest setting to help speed up the cooking process of your salmon. It is also highly advisable to use thinner cuts of salmon fillets or steaks for broiling to ensure that they will be fully cooked under the broiler.

One of the best ways to enjoy broiled salmon is by doing it on a wooden plank. Untreated cedar or applewood planks are best used for this cooking method. You should be able to find them in your local camping store or at the fish market. If you will be broiling your salmon on a wood plank, remember to soak the planks in water before use to prevent fire from breaking out in your broiler.

Get these cedar planks on Amazon.

If wood planks are unavailable, you can still broil your salmon fillets using a foil-lined sheet pan. The salmon will still be equally delicious if cooked this way.

How To Broil Salmon

Slices of baked salmon on a chopping board with thyme on the side

Here's a quick way of broiling salmon. You can use any flavors or marinades for your fish, making sure to coat the fillets on all sides before broiling. A popular yet simple marinade for salmon includes lemon juice, oil or butter, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.

  1. Turn up your broiler to a very hot setting (ideally about 500°F). Position your oven rack about 4-8 inches away from the heating element.
  2. Place your salmon on the oven rack and broil it for anywhere about 5-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. Watch your fillet carefully and wait until the top of the fish is adequately browned before turning off your broiler.
  3. Depending on your personal preference, salmon can be eaten when the middle of the fillet is a little on the rare side. However, if you prefer it to be more well done, you can leave the salmon inside the hot oven for another 3-5 minutes, depending on how well you'd like your salmon to be cooked.

If you find that your salmon pieces are browning a little too quickly for your taste, just drop down your racks further away from your broiler. Doing so will keep the broiler from burning the top of your fish before it cooks the inside completely.

What Is The Best Way To Bake Salmon?

Freshly baked salmon with garlic and parsley

Another popular way to cook salmon is by baking it. When using the oven, you can bake the salmon in different ways. Roasting is a popular choice for those who prefer a little color to their fish, but it can also be cooked en papillote (or wrapped) in parchment paper.

Roasting salmon requires less attention than broiling, with the fish cooked at a lower temperature and for a longer period of time. Despite the time it spends inside the oven, baked salmon can still be moist and succulent, depending on the marinade and also the thickness of the fish.

Baking salmon with oregano, thyme and cherry tomatoes

When roasting your salmon pieces, make sure to place them on an oiled, foil-lined baking dish or sheet pan to prevent the skin from sticking to the dish. Roasting is a quick way to cook salmon in large quantities, so this method is perfect if you are planning to cook salmon for a party or gathering.

Check out this roasting pan on Amazon.

If you are cooking with a salmon fillet that still has its skin on, you can sear it first before cooking it in the oven. Crisp up the skin of your fillets on a pan over the stovetop before moving it to cook in the oven. Make sure that the pan you will be using is oven-safe, such as a cast-iron skillet.

Get this cast iron pan on Amazon.

For en papillote, salmon is also cooked in the oven, but it is wrapped in foil or parchment paper packets to produce steam while cooking. This method is also a great way to cook vegetables along with the fish fillets.

How To Bake Salmon

As discussed earlier, salmon can be baked in different ways. Just like broiled salmon, you can start with a basic marinade made up of lemon, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper before baking them in the oven. Adding a few sprigs of your favorite herbs should elevate the flavor of the salmon when baking.

Roasting

  1. Turn on the oven to 400°F. Line your baking dish or sheet pan with foil and lightly spread a layer of oil on it.
  2. Place the fish fillets on the pan skin side down and season the fish with your chosen ingredients.
  3. Cook the fish on the top half rack of your oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the desired doneness of your fillets.

Searing and roasting

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a cast-iron skillet, melt about 2-3 tablespoons of butter on high heat and cook your salmon fillets, skin side down. Cook for about 3 minutes, basting the fish with the melted butter on top while waiting for the skin to brown.
  3. Transfer your cast-iron skillet inside the oven and continue cooking the fish for about 5-10 minutes, depending on your preferred doneness.

En papillote

  1. Turn on the oven to 400°F.
  2. Fold a large piece of parchment paper (or foil) and cut it into a half heart shape. Make sure that your heart-shaped parchment is bigger than your fish fillet. Place your half-heart-shaped parchment on a sheet pan.
  3. Place the fish fillet and all its garnishes on one side of the parchment paper and fold the other side over the top. Fold and crimp the edges until the packet is completely closed.
  4. Bake your fillets in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the doneness you'd like for your salmon. The packets should puff up from the steam, so be careful when opening them.

Final Thoughts

Delicious baked salmon with spinach and onions on the side

Salmon is a fish that is full of healthy nutrients and is a perfect choice for those looking to live a healthier lifestyle. Depending on the thickness and size of the salmon, it can be cooked both ways, but a lot of chefs prefer to broil it because it intensifies the flavor of the fish. Either way, you should be able to get a mouthwatering meal, whether you cook your salmon in the broiler or by baking it in the oven.

Salmon can be cooked in many ways, and we're sure you'd love to learn more about the ways you can enjoy them. Fortunately, we've got a few articles that you might enjoy, so do check them out:

Should You Fry Or Bake Salmon?

For How Long Should You Bake Salmon?

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