Cooking salmon is easy—you can roast it in the oven or on a pan or grill. But in order to get the best tasting salmon, you need to do it right.
In the article below, we will suggest to you the best ways to cook salmon.
How To Choose The Freshest Salmon?
To identify fresh salmon, make sure it’s firm to the touch and not mushy. The flesh should be moist and shiny, there shouldn’t be any gray spots on the meat, and it should smell like the ocean, not like ammonia or bleach.
Where Can You Buy Salmon?
Salmon is a great, healthy fish that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also delicious. If you’re looking to buy salmon, there are plenty of high-quality options at the grocery store or online.
What Type Of Salmon Should I Buy?
I’ve provided a few suggestions below, but first, let’s talk about the different types of salmon and the best way to prepare each one.
There are several different types of salmon, but here’s what you need to know about them:
Atlantic — This is wild caught from the cold waters off North America and Europe. It has a higher fat content than other types of salmon, which gives it a more buttery mouthfeel and taste.
King — Also known as Chinook Salmon, this type has more fat than any variety except for Atlantic salmon. Its rich flavor makes it great for grilling or baking without any additional seasonings or sauces. It’s also commonly smoked or used in chowder.
Coho — Coho salmon is leaner than other types of salmon with a milder taste. You can grill it, bake it or pan sear it with some salt and pepper for a quick and easy dinner.
Sockeye — Sockeye salmon has a milder flavor than other types of salmon, but it’s still a leaner fish that’s easy on the calorie count. It comes from the cold Pacific waters and is a good choice for grilling or baking without any added seasonings or sauces.
Pink — Pink salmon is from an ancient breed of wild caught fish that no longer exists in large numbers.
Salmon Benefits For The Body
Salmon is a rich source of high-quality protein. It contains omega-3 fatty acids and is also a good source of vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, magnesium, and the antioxidant selenium.
High in omega 3 fatty acids
Salmon is an excellent source of long-chain omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Omega 3 fats are considered essential because they are necessary for human health but cannot be made by our bodies.
Omega 3 fats have many important functions, including controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain and eyes. They may also reduce inflammation throughout the body. Eating fish regularly is linked to lower risk of several diseases, including stroke and heart disease.
Good for your bones
Salmon is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. These nutrients are essential for maintaining healthy bones. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium from food and regulates calcium levels in the blood. A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis in later life. Having enough calcium intake is particularly important for women during and after menopause when their risk of osteoporosis increases significantly.
5 Best Way To Cook Salmon
1. Get The Right Equipment
You don’t need a whole lot of equipment to cook salmon perfectly, but you do need a broiler pan, which is available for $10 or less in any housewares store. A broiler pan is a two-part metal pan with a slotted top and a solid base. The slots in the top allow the fat and juices to drip into the bottom pan while keeping the salmon elevated so they can circulate around it and cook it evenly on all sides.
If you don’t have a broiler pan but want to make this recipe anyway, put your salmon on an ordinary baking sheet, lined with foil if you like. Tent it loosely with foil (to keep it from drying out) and bake it as directed below. It won’t get that nice crispy skin on top, but the flesh will turn out just as moist and delicious.
2. Cook Your Salmon At High Heat
Most fish fillets are best cooked at high heat for a short amount of time — think sautéing or pan-frying over medium-high heat. (It’s another way that cooking fish is easier than cooking chicken.)
Salmon fillets are thick enough that they actually do better under the broiler (or even in the oven), so use this method to cook them.
The key is to get a good, hot fire going in your broiler and to pay close attention as your fillets cook. You’ll want them to be just a little pink in the center. (The last thing you want to do is undercook them, which will make them rubbery and dry.)
3. Don’t Overcook It
Overeating food can ruin it at any stage of preparation — but especially when it comes to salmon. Home cooks have been told by experts for decades that salmon needs to be cooked through, not just well-done.
In the early days of salmon fishing, the fish often went to waste because the fishermen overcooked them. Then they realized they had been cooking too long, and not long enough. The omega-3s in salmon are hard to ruin, but overcooking destroys them. (Sorry.)
If your fillets start to look like they’ve lost their pinkness in the center, get them off the heat immediately. (You want to cool down the salmon before adding a squeeze of lemon, which will help keep it from turning brown.) If you want to spare some space for the dressing, wait until your salmon is just barely opaque in the middle. But don’t let it sit at room temperature for more than two minutes before serving.
4. Don’t Mix Up Oil And Vinegar
When people make this recipe, they often use olive oil and lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar — and that’s a mistake. The vinegar’s acid helps “denature” the proteins in the salmon, which gives it a velvety texture.
You can use oil instead of vinegar if you like, but your salmon will end up slightly stringy. If that doesn’t bother you, go for it. (You can also skip the oil-and-vinegar step entirely and simply season your salmon fillets with salt and pepper before putting them under the broiler.)
5. Drizzle With Lemon Juice
After you remove your fillets from the oven, drizzle them with lemon juice.
Most of the cooking liquid will evaporate during the broiling phase, but you don’t want to cook off all the lemon juice — it adds a subtle citrusy note that heightens the salmon’s savory flavor. You’ll also get plenty of time to make your dressing while your salmon is broiling.
How Much Does Salmon Cost?
On average, the price of fresh wild salmon is going to be anywhere from $6 to as much as $20 per pound. Fresh salmon can be purchased at a local supermarket for about $8 to $12 per pound. Canned salmon, depending on the size of the can, can cost anywhere from $2 to $4.
3 Tips To Store Salmon Properly
Put It On Ziplock Bags
In order to store salmon properly, you’ll need freezer bags. It’s not enough to simply wrap salmon in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and toss it in the freezer. Those materials aren’t airtight, which will cause your fish to dry out quickly. Pick up a box of freezer-safe Ziploc bags from the grocery store so you can properly package it for long-term storage. You will also want to consider purchasing a vacuum sealer machine; these handy appliances can help you store your salmon for longer periods of time without worrying about freezer burn.
Pay Attention To The Freshness
As soon as you get home from the grocery store with fresh salmon, remove it from the packaging and rinse it under cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels and places it in a zip-top bag. If you have purchased more than one piece of fresh salmon, package each separately and label them with the date they were purchased. The USDA recommends freezing fish within two days of purchase; that way, you won’t have to worry about spoilage or freezer burn setting in before you have a chance to use all of it.
Keep Salmon In A Cooler
Next, you’ll need a cooler to keep those fish cold. Bait coolers (those styrofoam boxes) work great, but make sure you put a layer of ice below the fish and on top of them.
If you’re using a hard-sided cooler, like a Yeti, before placing the fish in the cooler, fill it halfway with ice. Now add the fish, leaving space between each filet for air circulation. Next, fill the cooler with more ice, making sure it’s above the fish so that it stays cold.
You can use an ice pack or two to lengthen the amount of time your salmon will stay fresh in your cooler. But don’t add too many because they can freeze your salmon filets if they get too close
Properly stored and handled salmon can last in your refrigerator for up to two days or in your freezer for up to three months
Is it OK to eat salmon every day?
It’s safe to eat salmon every day, but some people may be consuming too much mercury by doing so. For example, the EPA suggests pregnant women have no more than 12 ounces of low-mercury fish a week and that young children have no more than 2 to 3 ounces of low-mercury fish a week. If you’re worried about your mercury consumption, skip the salmon roe (salmon caviar), which is an even greater source of pollutants than other forms of salmon.
Is salmon good for weight loss?
Salmon is a great weight-loss food that can help you slim down without giving up the deliciousness altogether. It’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which elevate your metabolism and help your body burn fat more efficiently. Research shows that people who eat the most omega-3s are likely to weigh less than those who don’t get as many of these healthy fats in their diet.
Do you eat the skin on salmon?
Yes, you can eat the skin on salmon. You can either remove it before cooking or leave it on, but personally we recommend leaving it on while cooking. The skin helps keep the fish moist and prevents it from sticking to the pan or grill, plus it has a ton of flavor.
The best way to cook salmon is to either bake it or sear it. The most common mistake people make in cooking salmon is overcooking it. The correct amount of time to cook salmon is 5-10 minutes, depending on how thick the piece of salmon is.