Perfectly Cooked Salmon Every Time: How Long to Cook Salmon

If you want to create a delicately cooked and perfectly flaky salmon every time, it is important to learn how long to cook it. With so many different methods and cooking times, it can be difficult to know what perfect fish looks (and tastes) like. Whether you’re reeling in your fresh catch of the day or just looking for some guidance on how to cook the perfect salmon at home, our guide can help you create a delicious meal every time.

Perfectly Cooked Salmon Every Time: How Long to Cook Salmon | Eat Urban Garden
Perfectly Cooked Salmon Every Time: How Long to Cook Salmon

Sources of Salmon

Salmon is one of the most popular and nutritious types of fish available. There are different species of salmon, each with unique characteristics and sources. In this section, we’ll explore some of the key sources of salmon and what you need to know about wild vs. farmed salmon.

Different Species of Salmon

Salmon is a type of fish belonging to the family Salmonidae. There are several different species of salmon, including:

  • Chinook (also known as King)
  • Coho (also known as Silver)
  • Sockeye (also known as Red)
  • Pink (also known as Humpback)
  • Chum (also known as Dog)

The species of salmon can vary in size, color, and flavor. For example, Chinook salmon is the largest of the species and has a rich, buttery taste. Coho salmon, on the other hand, is milder in flavor and has a more delicate texture. Sockeye salmon has a firm, bright red flesh and a bold, nutty flavor.

Wild vs. Farmed Salmon

Salmon can be either wild-caught or farm-raised. Wild salmon is caught in the ocean or in freshwater streams and rivers during their annual migration. It is considered to be more flavorful and nutritious than farm-raised salmon.

Farmed salmon, on the other hand, is raised in fish farms where they are fed a pellet-based diet. This type of salmon is more widely available and less expensive than wild-caught salmon. However, it has a different texture and flavor due to its diet and environment.

It’s worth noting that some people prefer wild-caught salmon due to concerns about the use of antibiotics and other chemicals in fish farming. Additionally, wild salmon is typically less exposed to pollutants in the environment since it swims in the open ocean instead of being confined to a fish farm.

In conclusion, the source of salmon can impact its taste, nutritional value, and environmental impact. Whether you choose wild-caught or farm-raised salmon is up to your personal preference and budget.

Nutritional Benefits of Salmon

Salmon is a popular fish worldwide, and for a good reason! There are many health benefits associated with consuming this delicious fish. Below are just a few of the benefits salmon offers.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

When it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is an excellent source. Omega-3s are essential fats that our bodies require but cannot produce on their own. They offer many health benefits, including reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and protecting against heart disease.

  • Salmon contains two types of omega-3s: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
  • The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon at least twice a week to get the recommended amount of omega-3s.


Salmon is a great source of high-quality protein, making it an excellent choice for those who follow a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Protein offers many benefits, including building and repairing tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, and aiding in weight loss.

Vitamins and Minerals

In addition to omega-3s and protein, salmon is also rich in vitamins and minerals. Here are just a few:

Vitamin/Mineral Amount per 3.5 oz. serving
Vitamin B12 236% of the Daily Value (DV)
Vitamin D 127% of the DV
Selenium 78% of the DV
Potassium 9% of the DV

Tip: When shopping for salmon, look for wild-caught rather than farm-raised. Wild salmon has a better omega-3 to omega-6 ratio and is lower in contaminants like mercury.

Different Methods of Cooking Salmon

Salmon is one of the most versatile types of fish when it comes to cooking. It can be prepared in a variety of ways, from grilling to smoking, that are sure to satisfy any taste bud. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular methods of cooking salmon.


Grilling is one of the most preferred ways of cooking salmon. It’s the perfect way to create a crispy exterior while keeping the inside moist and tender. A smoky flavor can be developed by grilling salmon on charcoal or wood. Season the fish well with salt and pepper before grilling for extra flavor. Preheat the grill on high, then reduce the heat to medium to cook the salmon until it’s fully cooked, but still slightly pink in the middle. Depending on the thickness of the salmon fillet, it should take around 5-10 minutes to cook through.


Baking salmon fillets in the oven is a great way to cook the fish without adding a lot of extra oil or fat. Season the salmon as desired, then place it in a baking dish lined with parchment paper or lightly coated with non-stick spray. Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake the salmon for 12-15 minutes or until cooked. You can tell if the fish is fully cooked by using a fork to flake the flesh gently. If it flakes easily, it’s ready to serve.


Poaching is a gentle way of cooking salmon, which ensures it stays tender and mild. Season the salmon and put it in a pot with enough boiling water or broth to almost cover it. Reduce the heat to low, then let the salmon cook for about 10-15 minutes or until cooked. To add extra flavor, try adding some aromatics or herbs to the water, such as dill, parsley or lemon zest.


Pan-searing is another quick way to prepare salmon. Start by heating up a little bit of oil in a pan (non-stick or cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Season the fish and place it in the hot pan, skin-side down and gently pressing it flat. Let the fish cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the skin becomes crispy. Flip the fish over and cook for another 2-3 minutes until done. You’ll know the salmon is fully cooked when it’s opaque and flakes easily.


Smoking salmon is a great way to infuse it with a subtle smoky flavor. There are two types of smoking methods, hot and cold. Hot smoking involves exposing the fish to heat and smoke, while cold smoking is done at low temperatures without any heat. Start by seasoning the fish and letting it marinate for an hour or two. If you’re hot smoking, set the smoker temperature to 225°F and smoke the fish for about an hour. If you’re cold smoking, set the temperature to between 60-80°F and smoke the fish for up to 24 hours.

Determining Cooking Time

Salmon is one of the most popular fish to cook for its delicious and nutty flavor. Whether you like it pan-fried or broiled on the grill, knowing how long to cook salmon is key to achieving a perfectly cooked fillet every time. Below are some tips on how to determine the appropriate cooking time for salmon based on its thickness and cooking method:

Thickness Matters

One of the primary factors that determine the cooking time for salmon is its thickness. A thicker salmon fillet or steak will require more time to cook through, while a thinner piece will cook faster and may require less cooking time.

As a general guide, for every inch of thickness, salmon should be cooked for 8 to 10 minutes at standard grilling or baking times. For example, a 1-inch salmon fillet that is grilled should be cooked for approximately 8 minutes on each side.

Cooking Method

The cooking method that you choose will also influence how long it takes to cook salmon. For example, pan-frying salmon will take less time compared to baking it.

  • Pan-fry: To pan-fry salmon, heat a non-stick pan with some oil over medium-high heat. Depending on the thickness of the fillet or steak, cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side until almost fully cooked through. Then, remove from heat and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • Grill: Dip salmon fillet or steak in olive oil, salt, and pepper on the grill. Grill for about 4-6 minutes per side depending on the thickness.
  • Baked: Preheat oven to 350°F. The salmon can be baked for 12-15 minutes for every inch of thickness. Do not take it out too late or it will dry out and lose taste.

Avoid Overcooking

It’s important to keep an eye on your salmon while cooking to avoid overcooking it. Overcooked salmon will become dry, flaky, and less flavorful. To ensure that you get perfectly cooked salmon, you can use a thermometer to check the internal temperature. Your salmon should reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) in the thickest part of the fillet.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to cook perfectly cooked salmon every time, regardless of your preferred cooking method.

Tips for Cooking Perfect Salmon

Salmon is one of the most popular seafood dishes for many reasons. It’s delicious, healthy, and easy to prepare. However, cooking salmon perfectly can be a bit of a challenge. Here are some tips and tricks to help you cook salmon perfectly every time.

Proper Seasoning

When it comes to seasoning salmon, less is often more. A simple sprinkle of salt and pepper is all you need to bring out the flavor of the fish. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can add herbs or spices to the mix. Some popular seasonings for salmon include dill, lemon, thyme, and garlic.

Cooking Temperature

Cooking salmon at the right temperature is crucial to achieving the perfect texture. Overcooked salmon is dry and tough, while undercooked salmon is raw and unappetizing. The ideal temperature for cooking salmon is 145°F. You can use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the fish has reached the appropriate level.

Resting Time

Resting time is another essential factor for perfectly cooked salmon. After removing the fish from the oven or grill, let it rest for 5-10 minutes. During this time, the residual heat will continue to cook the salmon, while the juices redistribute throughout the fish. This results in moist, flavorful salmon that is incredibly delicious.

Choosing the Right Cut

When it comes to salmon, there are several different cuts to choose from, including fillets, steaks, and whole fish. Each cut has its unique flavor and texture. If you’re looking for a tender melt-in-your-mouth texture, go for the fillet. If you prefer a firmer texture, try a steak. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try cooking a whole fish.

Perfectly Cooked Salmon Every Time: How Long to Cook Salmon?

The cooking time for salmon will vary depending on the cut and thickness of the fish. As a general rule, it takes about 10 minutes of cooking time per inch of thickness. So, if your salmon is 1 inch thick, it will take approximately 10 minutes to cook through. However, keep in mind that the temperature of your oven or grill, as well as the starting temperature of the salmon, can affect cooking time.

Serving Suggestions and Recipes

Salmon is an incredibly versatile fish that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether you prefer it grilled, baked, or pan-seared, salmon is a delicious and healthy addition to any meal. Here are some serving suggestions and recipes to help you make the most of this flavorful fish.

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to serving cooked salmon, there are many options to choose from. Here are a few ideas:

  • Serve it on a bed of greens for a healthy and filling salad.
  • Pair it with roasted vegetables like asparagus or Brussels sprouts for a tasty and nutritious side dish.
  • Make a salmon sandwich with your favorite bread and toppings like avocado, tomato, and lettuce.
  • Top salmon with a creamy sauce like pesto or aioli for a restaurant-worthy entree.


If you’re looking for inspiration, try one of these delicious salmon recipes:

  1. Teriyaki Salmon: Marinate salmon in soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger, then grill or bake until cooked through. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.
  2. Lemon Butter Salmon: Top salmon fillets with a mixture of melted butter, lemon juice, and herbs like dill or thyme. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
  3. Salmon Cakes: Combine cooked salmon with breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasonings like green onion and Old Bay seasoning. Form into patties and pan-fry until golden brown. Serve with a side of tartar sauce.

Remember, the key to perfectly cooked salmon is to not overcook it. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature – it should read 145 degrees Fahrenheit when fully cooked.

Thanks for Reading!

We hope you found this article helpful in achieving perfectly cooked salmon every time. Remember to keep in mind the cooking time and temperature, as well as the thickness of your salmon fillets. Experiment with different seasonings and cooking methods to find your favorite way to enjoy this delicious and nutritious fish.

Perfectly Cooked Salmon Every Time: How Long to Cook Salmon

Learn how to perfectly cook salmon every time with these easy tips and tricks.

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rub the salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake the salmon for 12-15 minutes, or until it is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  4. Serve the salmon with lemon wedges and your favorite sides.
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