Cooking Salmon 101: Tips and Tricks for a Mouthwatering Meal

how to cook salmon

Ah, salmon! The tasty and nutritious fish that’s perfect for any occasion – whether you’re making a fancy dinner or just want a quick and easy meal. Cooking salmon can seem intimidating at first, but with a little bit of know-how and some simple tips and tricks, you’ll be cooking up delicious salmon like a pro in no time.

In this post, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know to cook salmon perfectly every time – from choosing the right type of salmon to seasoning it just right and cooking it to perfection.

Let’s dive in!

Choosing the right type of salmon

First things first – let’s talk about choosing the right type of salmon. There are several different types of salmon to choose from, each with its own unique flavor and texture.

Here are the most common types of salmon you’ll find at your local grocery store or fish market:

  • Atlantic salmon: This is the most common type of salmon you’ll find in grocery stores. It has a mild, buttery flavor and a tender texture.
  • Coho salmon: Coho salmon is known for its deep red flesh and rich flavor. It has a slightly firmer texture than Atlantic salmon.
  • Sockeye salmon: Sockeye salmon has a bright red color and a bold, rich flavor. It has a firm texture that holds up well to grilling and roasting.
  • Chinook salmon: Also known as king salmon, Chinook salmon has a rich, buttery flavor and a tender, flaky texture.

When choosing salmon, look for fillets that are firm and bright in color, with no signs of discoloration or browning.

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Seasoning your salmon

Now that you’ve chosen your salmon, it’s time to season it up! Here are some simple seasoning ideas to get you started:

  • Lemon and dill: This classic combination is a perfect match for salmon. Simply sprinkle fresh dill and lemon juice over the fillets before cooking.
  • Garlic and butter: Melt some butter in a pan and add minced garlic for a simple yet delicious seasoning.
  • Soy sauce and ginger: Mix soy sauce, ginger, and a touch of honey for a sweet and savory glaze that’s perfect for grilling or roasting.

Cooking your salmon

When it comes to cooking salmon, there are several different methods you can use. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Baking: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place your salmon fillets in a baking dish and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  • Grilling: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Brush your salmon fillets with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 4-5 minutes per side, or until the salmon is cooked through.
  • Pan-searing: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add some oil and place your salmon fillets in the pan, skin-side down. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Do I need to remove the skin from the salmon before cooking it?

A: No, you don’t need to remove the skin from the salmon before cooking it. In fact, leaving the skin on can help protect the flesh and keep it moist while cooking.

Q: How do I know when my salmon is cooked through?

A: Salmon should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. You can check the temperature using a meat thermometer.

Q: Can I cook salmon from frozen?

A: Yes, you can cook salmon from frozen, but it will take longer to cook than fresh salmon. To cook frozen salmon, simply add a few minutes to the cooking time and check the internal temperature to ensure it has reached 145°F.

Q: Can I marinate my salmon before cooking it?

A: Yes, you can marinate salmon before cooking it to add extra flavor. Be sure to use a non-reactive container (such as glass or plastic) and marinate the salmon for no more than 30 minutes to avoid over-marinating and altering the texture of the fish.

Q: Is it safe to eat salmon raw?

A: Eating raw salmon can pose a risk of foodborne illness, such as salmonella or parasites. If you plan to eat salmon raw, be sure to use sushi-grade salmon that has been frozen for at least 24 hours to kill any potential parasites.


Cooking salmon is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy seafood at home. Whether you’re grilling, baking, or pan-searing, there are plenty of ways to cook salmon to perfection. Remember to choose the right type of salmon, season it to your liking, and cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be a salmon-cooking pro in no time. Bon appétit!

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