How To Tell if Salmon is Cooked Properly

How To Tell if Salmon is Cooked Properly

Salmon is a delicate piece of fish and the taste of it is delicious. Whenever you eat salmon, your taste buds go wild. Your mouth is in bliss with each bite. But, sometimes salmon can taste pale and dreadful. The main reason for it is not cooking the salmon properly.

So, let’s take a look at the best ways to tell if salmon is correctly done, including how long to cook salmon at 350 degrees F

How To Tell if Salmon is Cooked Properly

1. Examining the Color and Texture

The color of the salmon is crucial when determining its doneness. Usually, the salmon should have an opaque, white color on the outside. The center of the salmon should have a pinkish color. This color and texture may vary depending on the way you cook. Either you pan-fry, grill, or broil it. 

While cooking, have a keen eye on the color. In the beginning, it will have a dark pink color. But gradually the color will get lighter. When the color gets opaque on the outside and pinkish in the center, it’s done. Anything other than that indicates that the fish is not cooked properly. It’s either undercooked or overcooked.

2. Checking the Temperature

Using the thermometer is the best way to check the salmon’s doneness. You can find tons of different instant-read thermometers in your local stores. The process is easy. When you are cooking, insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the fish.

A lot of people ask why should we insert in the thickest part. The answer is the thickest area will take the longest time. Therefore, the temperature of that area will give the best result. 

Now the temperature also may vary. People like their salmon in different ways. Some like it raw while others prefer medium to well done. It’s pretty much like a steak. The usual temperature of a salmon should be about 110 degrees F to 140 degrees F.

Anything below that will turn out raw. The temperature should be between 125 and 140 degrees F for medium to well done. Also, people ask how long to cook salmon at 350 degrees F. It usually takes about 20-25 minutes.

3. Using a Cake Taster

You may ask why should I use a cake tester to check the doneness of a salmon. Well, although it’s used for testing cakes, it’s very viable in checking fish too. The process is similar to the previous one.

Take the metal rod and insert it in the thickest part of the salmon for a short amount of time. Then take it out and check its temperature. If it’s hot, then good job. If it’s still cool, then you need to cook it longer.

4. Flakiness

Flakiness is a good indicator. It accurately tells us when the fish is cooked or not. Take a fork or a knife. Then gently check if the top of the fish flakes easily. When it’s flaky, then the fish is cooked perfectly. When it’s not,  it needs a couple more minutes.

What to Avoid While Cooking Salmon?

1. Setting The Heat Too High

This is probably the main reason why your salmon’s taste doesn’t match your expectations. When you heat it too high, you overcook the salmon. You may not see it but the texture gets ruined. That’s why set your pan at the perfect temperature. Nurture your salmon to get the best taste.

2. Forgetting to Take the Bones Out

Picking out bones while eating salmon is a nightmare. It ruins the whole experience. But what’s worse is that the bones can be the reason why your fish gets overcooked. So make sure to remove them before you cook the salmon.

Most filets don’t have any bone with them. So you don’t need to worry. If you are cooking fresh fish, then use tools like tweezers to take out the bones.

3. Cooking a Thick Fillet

A thick fillet takes a longer time to cook. Also, you can’t be sure if the heat is reaching all the parts. This can lead to undercooked salmon. That’s why don’t purchase a thick piece of salmon. You may think that buying a bigger fillet is a better deal.

But when cooking, you realize it’s a disadvantage. Normally, the fillet size shouldn’t be larger than one inch. That’s the best size to get the perfect temperature across all parts.

4. Applying Too Much Salt

Salt is a necessary evil. Without salt, everything tastes bland. But applying too much salt can lead to a disaster. Your salmon will get rubbery and dry. Putting it in your mouth will make you hate salmon forever.

Applying too much salt takes away the richness and the moisture from the fish. That’s why only apply a handful of salt. Also, the perfect time to apply it is just before cooking the fillets. 

 5. Removing the Skin

The skin protects the salmon. When you remove the skin, the fish can get cooked too fast. As a result, it will taste dry and pale. It increases the chance of getting the fish overcooked. That’s why leave the skin on your fish. It will add a whole new dimension to the taste. Also, who doesn’t like the skin? It’s the best part! The crunchiness is the icing on the cake.

Also Read: How to Cook Frozen Corn on the Cob

Final Thoughts

It’s frustrating when you work hard and ultimately the salmon comes out horrible. The truth is it’s tough to get it right in one go. But once you get a hold of it, you will cook it properly every time.

By following these steps, you will become a connoisseur in cooking salmon in no time. Your friends will beg for tips from you. Don’t disclose the secrets. It’s between you and us.

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