The Right Way to Bake Salmon in an Oven

by iupilon

Many beginning home cooks want to know how long to cook salmon at 350ºF. Whether you are making baked salmon steak or baked BBQ salmon, you must know the precise cooking time for such fragile food, so you don’t overcook it.

How Long to Bake Salmon at 350ºF?

How long do you bake salmon at 350ºF?

This variable depends on the size of the salmon. If you cook a relatively small fillet of salmon, it may take only 25 minutes or half an hour to cook the salmon fully.

If you have a larger quantity of salmon or a thicker cut, baking at 350ºF/177ºC might take longer – around forty minutes to an entire hour. Either way, you have to be patient because cooking at too high a temperature can dry your salmon. It’s best to be patient with fish, so they come out just right.

How to bake frozen salmon?  

Since we all keep our salmon fillets in the freezer (unless you are diligent in defrosting the cuts of fish the night before), cooking frozen salmon should be second nature to many of us now.

But if not, you might be confused as to how to cook frozen salmon properly. We’re here to end that confusion and make sure that you are going to have the best salmon meal every time.

Preheat your oven. Aim for 425ºF/218ºC. While the oven is preheating, head over to your freezer and grab your salmon fillets. Remove the fish from the packaging and open your tap. Allow cool water to run over fish fillets.

Don’t worry; we are only interested in removing the topmost ice layer. Sometimes, the ice layer becomes so thick that it almost comprises 1/3 or more of the fish’s actual size. There is no immediate need to thaw salmon fillets. However, the ice cap must be removed before baking.

Pre-melt some butter on a skillet – just enough that the butter begins to break down. Let room temperature do the rest for you. Get a pastry brush and smother the salmon fillet in tasty butter. If you have just a small quantity of salmon, you will likely only need a tablespoon of butter.

If there is more, then just pre-melt more butter. If you don’t like using butter because it’s too salty or fatty, you can use olive oil instead. Feel free to use any kind of olive oil.

The oil or butter adds great flavor to the first and protects the fish from drying out too much. Can you use coconut oil or perhaps, even canola oil? Yes, you may. There are no hard and fast rules for what kind of fat must be used for baked fish. However, we recommend using oil that has a more neutral flavor.

After brushing with butter or oil, the next step is seasoning the fish. You can use any variety of seasoning on your salmon. Whether you’re a salt and pepper kind of person or prefer more herbs to deepen the flavor of the fish, it doesn’t matter.

Place your salmon cuts skin side down on the baking tray. Add all the seasonings. Cover the fish with a length of aluminum foil. We always cover fish with aluminum foil so they don’t dry out in the oven. The aluminum allows the heat to permeate without sacrificing the fish’s moisture, which is important for keeping fish tender and flavorful throughout the cooking process.

If your salmon fillet is below 2.5 centimeters in thickness, cut down the cooking time by five to ten minutes. If the fillets are thicker and larger, make sure you slightly increase the cooking time. The safe internal temperature for cooked salmon is 145ºF or 63ºC. We highly recommend getting an instant-read meat thermometer. Be sure to stick the probe at the right spot: the meat’s thickest point.

Can you cook chicken and salmon in the same oven?

Yes, you can. However, if you are thinking of cross-contamination, then we recommend that you place them in separate baking trays.

Since the oven is very hot and the temperature range is sufficient to kill bacteria and other foodborne pathogens, there’s nothing wrong with cooking salmon and chicken together, especially if we consider the fact that some dishes call for both fish and chicken in the first place.

How do you know when salmon is done in the oven?

You can always check for the doneness of any piece of meat by checking it with an instant-read thermometer. Always place the probe at the thickest point and avoid bones, as bones can cause the thermometer to pick up the wrong temperature. Take note also that there is a “done” temperature and “safe” temperature for each kind of meat. To be on the safe side, monitor the meat for the “safe” temperature regardless of what the recipe says, so you’re clear about foodborne illnesses. There are instances where food can still cause foodborne disease because the meat looks done on the outside, but on the inside, the cold-core of the meat is still harboring bacteria. It is also not true that bacteria and other harmful organisms exist only on the meat’s surface.

The eggs of tapeworm and other parasitic organisms are often buried deep into muscle tissue, and this can be the case for all kinds of seafood, and of course, beef and pork. It’s so important to get the right temperature during cooking.

What temperature should salmon be cooked?

Salmon can be confidently cooked at either 425ºF/218ºC or 350ºF/177ºC for twenty to forty-five minutes, depending on the size of the fish and the quantity of fish being cooked at once. In some instances, when there is only a small quantity of fish, you may try to bake salmon for eight to twelve minutes. However, we advise you to still check for safe temperature using your instant-read thermometer.

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