Perfectly baked salmon tastes heavenly! As we’ve mentioned many times, salmon is a superfood. So its the ideal dinner protein for you and your family. It’s rich in nutrients our body needs to be healthy. Baking salmon properly enhances the flavor and taste of the fish. It’s also one of the easiest ways to cook salmon. So if you’re in the mood to throw something together without having to stand over the stove, cooking salmon in the oven is a great option!
Another reason we love oven-cooked salmon is for those times you need to feed a crowd. Think dinner parties or BBQs. It’s so convenient to throw your salmon in the oven and let it cook while you host, prep, or get ready to serve. You don’t need to go through skillet cooking. Everything is oven-baked in foil which makes both preparation and clean up after cooking a breeze.
So now is the time to perfect your salmon baking skills. In this post, we will learn how to best cook salmon in the oven so that it retains its nutritional value and tastes great.
How To Best Cook Salmon In The Oven
Here are some proven tips you must follow when baking your salmon in the oven:
Get The Best Fish
You want to choose high-quality salmon, avoid frozen fish altogether, and go for the good stuff. We of course recommend BluGlacier, but you can also learn more about how to find the best salmon at the grocery store HERE. You have to try to get the highest quality and freshest fish possible. Also, try not to buy pre-cut fillets because they can be uneven in size and shape which creates an inconsistent flavor. Ask the butcher for the exact size and cut you’re looking for.
You have to keep in mind that every type of fish tastes a bit different. And, the way you cook or bake also adds to its flavor and taste. So, choose your fish carefully.
Watch The Timer
Overcooking your salmon is the most common mistake made when cooking salmon in the oven. Depending on your cut and recipe, the fish can cook differently. Overcooked salmon often dries out quickly, and as a result, it loses its flavor and real taste. So make sure you watch the timer carefully and even check your salmon to make sure it’s not finished early. You can always throw it back in to cook a little longer, but burnt fish is always a real bummer.
Know Which Pan To Use
Culinary experts and chefs recommend using large stainless steel or cast iron pan for baking salmon in the oven. Though you can use pans made of other materials as well, these two are just the most recommended ones.
If you’re wrapping your salmon in foil you can even simply use a baking sheet or cookie pan. The main thing is you want the salmon to be engulfed in the flavor you’re going for.
If you’re not wrapping your salmon in foil and just using a pan, it is important to ensure that the pan is large and wide enough to accommodate the fillets. The fish pieces should not overcrowd the pan. Otherwise, you could end up with unevenly baked salmon fillets. .
Salmon best cooks on a super-hot surface. That is why it is good to use stainless steel pans made or a cast iron skillet but you want to avoid using non-stick cookware.
We should also note that you can also bake the salmon on foil alone. The foil locks in moisture and ensures that the salmon comes out flakey, delicious, moist, and tender every time. In addition, being a flavor incubator, foil sheets help retain the salmon’s natural and unique flavors and juices.
How To Bake Frozen Salmon Fillets
You must follow these steps before baking them to remove excess moisture from the frozen salmon fillet. Before you get started make sure your salmon was frozen properly. Baking frozen salmon in the oven comes down to method and timing. First, you want to thaw the salmon so it’s no longer frozen. Next, rinse the fish under cool water and pat it dry. Do not wait too long as you don’t want the salmon to spoil. You want the salmon to be thawed and ready to bake without any excess moisture from the salmon being previously frozen.
How Long to Cook Salmon Fillets In The Oven
Ideally, salmon should take 10-15 minutes to bake in the oven. You should test doneness throughout your bake time, there are three different ways to do this.
The first method is to use your finger to poke the fillet’s center gently. Check if you feel flaky pieces or if the fillet is still solid. Instead of your finger, you can also use a fork, but be careful as the fork can break apart your fillet.
Another method is to slide a thin metal utensil, like a cake froster, into the salmon. Now, touch the utensil. If you feel that the utensil is warm, your salmon is probably ready to serve. If it feels cool or barely warm, you may have to bake it for a little more time.
Note that baking salmon to medium-rare or medium is edible and even tasty! However, you do risk bacteria if it’s not fully cooked.
Use the Correct Oven Rack:
We recommend you use the middle rack. If your salmon is on the top or lower rack you risk burning one side of the salmon or cooking it unevenly. You really want to bake the salmon evenly and envelope your fish in the heat evenly.
How to Baste Salmon
A simple basting of golden melted butter does magic for plain salmon fillets. We love an easy, mouth-watering salmon entree with nothing but a lemony butter sauce. It’s so simple and so delicious!
Basting is really quite uncomplicated. First, remove the salmon skin and then apply the butter with a baster. As the salmon’s cooking, continue to add your baste with your flavors while the salmon is cooking to keep it from drying out. If the salmon browns too fast, then you should reduce the heat.
Our Favorite Oven-Baked Salmon Recipe
Below is honestly one of the most simple and best oven-baked salmon recipes. This is a very simple and easy to follow the recipe that you can follow to bake a mouth-watering salmon for yourself, your family, or your guests quickly. Let’s get started:
- 12 ounce salmon fillet
- Ground black pepper
- Fresh dill
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Step 2: Cut salmon into smaller pieces. 4-6oz per person is ideal.
Step 3: Cut individual pieces of foil to wrap each piece of salmon in foil. Coat the bottom of the foil with butter so the salmon doesn’t stick to the foil. Add some lemon and squeezes, salt, and pepper to the foil as well.
Step 4: Skin side down and place the salmon in the foil. Place the pieces of foil on a non-stick baking sheet. Season salmon with pepper and salt, lemon juice, & dill. Top with lemon zest and thinly sliced pieces of lemon on top of each individual piece.
Step 5: Bake your fish until it is cooked very well and thoroughly. It would take about 12 minutes.
Step 6: Serve your salmon with your desired sides. You can even serve the salmon witch extra salmon wedges for anyone that likes a little extra kick.
What are your favorite oven-baked salmon recipes?
We hope you love this recipe! We would love to know what you tend to make in the oven when you’re cooking salmon. Also definitely feel free to check out more baked salmon recipes on our Pinterest.