Salmon is a fantastic fish, and if you are like most Americans, you are one of maybe three people you know who have ever even thought about trying it. Baked Salmon is both a blessing and a curse for anyone considering the fish: The good news is, you will always find somebody who wants to show you how to cook it. The bad news is, you’ll need to see people twice a week just to keep up.
For the best results, use fresh, wild-caught salmon. You can find it in frozen sections at your grocery store, but your best bet is to order it online. It’s a little more expensive than cheaper options, but it’s also higher quality. When you buy a bag of frozen salmon at the grocery store, it’s often already de-frozen. Not so with wild-caught, so you need to get it the day before you plan to cook it.
How To Cook Salmon
One of my favorite ways to cook salmon is placing it on a big iron skillet on a burner set on medium-high heat. Give it a nice brush of oil, give it a light sprinkle of salt, and your salmon is good to go. I wouldn’t oppose a second (third) drizzle of olive oil before it hits the pan. As it cooks, I like to do two things: flip it around every 30 seconds or so, and chop into it right before it finishes cooking to get out any of the stringy bits. Salmon is stupid delicious, and you don’t need fancy equipment to have it.
Should Salmon Be Covered During Baking?
I like to roast it on a rack set on a baking sheet and then stick it in the oven on a higher rack—then once it’s cooked, I stick the entire thing on a foil-covered baking sheet in the broiler for five minutes. The broiler will get that nice grill-like color, the temperature will be hot, and the salmon will be cooked through. It’s also a very quick way to get that flavor into the fish. Here are some other reasons why you should consider covering your salmon.
- If you want to take salmon to dinner.
- If you’re on the go and want to throw it in a bag and eat it on the go.
- If you’re working on a quick weekend breakfast and only have a short window to get this meal together.
- If you’re working from home and don’t have the time to prepare salmon ahead of time.
How Long Does Salmon Take To Bake?
It depends on a lot of things including the type of Salmon used. Some salmon that are wild caught are hard to the touch. But with softer fish—like wild sockeye salmon—the color will be on the side, and there will be a light pink to medium pink layer at the top. Cooking salmon will depend on the oven, how much fish you have, and how thick the fillet is. (I always recommend cooking a nice fillet steak in the oven as well—it cooks to rare perfection. But that’s for another post.)
Set the oven temperature at 375 degrees Fahrenheit and check it every 2-3 minutes if you aren’t sure. The salmon is done when you can easily pierce the thickest part with a fork and the center is opaque and flaky.
- 1 lb gold potatoes Yukon, halved
- 2½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Kosher salt divided
- 1 tsp black pepper divided
- 4 salmon fillets skinless
- 3 tbsp garlic minced
- 2 tbsp parsley chopped
- ½ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- 2 bunches of asparagus
- 2 tbsp white wine dry
- 1 lemon slice
- Preheat oven to 400°F. On a baking sheet, add potatoes with oil, ½ tbsp of garlic, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Remove baking sheet. Spread potatoes to one side and place salmon fillets on the other side. Rub with remaining garlic, and parsley. Add in asparagus on another side or pan.
- In a bowl, combine lemon juice and melted butter. Pour over salmon and asparagus, continue to season with remaining salt and pepper.
- Return sheet to oven and continue baking for 10 minutes.
- Serve with lemon slices.
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