Every Single Way to Cook Salmon (All in One Place)
Whether this is the year you start cooking fish at home or it's a staple in your meal plan, I'm a firm believer that salmon is one of the very best choices. It's widely available (both fresh and frozen), takes to cooking in a bunch of different methods, and easily partners well with a huge variety of flavors.
Consider this your cheat sheet for all the essential ways to cook salmon, from the oven to your slow cooker.
If you feel intimidated by cooking salmon, this is arguably the best method to start with. The fish basically poaches in a very shallow pool of olive oil, protected from the heat (and over-baking) by the oil below and a paste of herbs on top. So even if it cooks for five minutes too long, it will still be moist and tender.
It doesn't get much easier than roasting salmon in the oven. Total cook time will vary depending on how thick the fillet is, but as a rule of thumb plan on four to six minutes for every half-inch of salmon.
Seared salmon with crisp skin and tender, flaky flesh is aways a treat. There are three key things to remember so you can nail this method every time, and prevent the fish from sticking to the pan: Let the fillets sit at room at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before cooking, pat the salmon dry before cooking, and wait for the skillet to get super hot before adding the salmon.
Yes, you can even cook salmon straight from the freezer, so don't worry next time you forget to defrost those fillets for dinner. The secret is to use the power of a hot oven, a little foil, and a flavorful sauce to get you from frozen to dinner in less than 30 minutes. You'll use a two-step method that steams then roasts the fillets so they're cooked throughly and wonderfully flaky.
If you haven't cooked salmon in your slow cooker yet, it's time to give it a try. The low, slow, steady heat makes for succulent salmon every time, no matter how many fillets you're cooking.
When it comes to grilling, this is the foolproof method to know for cooking salmon (and it also works in your oven, too!). That's right — seasoning salmon with garlic, lemon, and butter and wrapping it tightly in foil guarantees success every single time. Salmon in foil is essentially a large-scale version of salmon en papillote, which is a fancy way of saying salmon "steamed in pouch." It makes for even cooking and super-tender fish every time.
Good news! You don't need any special gadgets to cook this sous-vide-style salmon at home — just a Dutch oven, a few zip-top freezer bags, and an instant-read thermometer. The already-tender fish is rendered nearly translucent when cooked in the low, steady heat of a water bath.