Baking salmon is an easy way to prepare it that requires little hands-on effort. Simply season the salmon and pop it into the oven or bake it in a foil packet with vegetables for a simple, fresh-tasting meal.
Fresh salmon is often available farmed or wild, with wild carrying the higher price tag. The country-of-origin label should tell you where the fish is from and if it is farmed or wild. Or buy the fish from a reputable fish market that can provide this information. Common forms of salmon include fillets (probably the most readily available), steaks, and whole fish. Make sure your fresh salmon is firm, moist, and smells like the ocean. For fillets, ask your fish market to skin them. This isn't essential but it is convenient. Frozen salmon is also an option. If salmon is not available, opt for rosy-color arctic char, which has a similar flavor.
Prepping the Fish
If the salmon is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator. Rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Cut larger pieces of salmon into serving-size pieces. Before seasoning your salmon, figure out the estimated cooking time. For fillets and steaks, use a ruler to measure the thickness. For a whole dressed fish (ready-to-cook salmon with the organs, scales, gills, and fins removed), weigh the fish instead. Place the fish in a single layer in a greased or foil-lined shallow baking pan. For fillets, tuck under any thin edges to ensure even baking. Brush the fish with olive oil or melted butter and season as desired.
Tip: Seasoning salmon can be as simple as using salt and ground black pepper, especially if you are planning to serve it with a sauce. A sprinkling of fresh or dried herbs, such as dill or thyme, or a little minced garlic is also tasty. Sprinkling seasoning blends, such as garlic pepper, lemon pepper, or Italian seasoning, also is a simple way to boost flavor.
Tip: To skin a raw fish fillet, using a sharp knife, slide the knife just under the skin on one side. Grab the skin with one hand and continue to slide the knife between the fillet and the skin, pointing the knife slightly toward the skin. Discard the skin.
-Leave the sushi for another day. Today, we're showing you how to bake salmon an we promise you won't be disappointed. We've got 2 tricks for baking. The classic way to know how long to bake your salmon is to measure it. For every inch of thickness, plan 8 minutes of cook time. Plain the salmon skin side down in a greased, foil lined, shallow baking pan. Brush the top lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. And now, the second trick for knowing when your salmon is cooked properly. When you think your salmon is about ready, push a fork into it and twist. The meat should flake away like this. To serve, work a wide spatula between the salmon and the skin, lifting the salmon away from the skin. You've forgotten about sushi already haven't you?
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F for fillets or 350 degrees F for a dressed fish. You can bake the fillets at a lower temperature, if desired, but remember to increase the cooking time. Bake salmon fillets or steaks, uncovered, for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness. For a dressed salmon, bake for 6 to 9 minutes per 8 ounces of fish. To test for doneness, insert a fork into the salmon and gently twist. The salmon is done as soon as it begins to flake. Be sure to test at the minimum baking time. When done, the salmon will be opaque with milky-white juices.
-I'm Sarah with the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen, and I'm gonna show you a classic cooking technique that's practically foolproof. If you've ever seen the term on poppy oat on a menu, that's what this is. It's food that's baked in packet made of parchment paper, but here's the real secret, it's so quick and easy. It almost seems wrong. Let me show you how to do it. Today, I'm using salmon, but you could just as easily swap it for chicken breast, shrimps, scallops, or even just vegetables, but no matter what you use, make sure you use with the right size of parchment. We found that a 12-inch square works well for fish. The ticket is to make sure the parchment is big enough to easily pop with the stream. Next, layer on the flavorings. Any fresh herbs like mint, dill thyme, rosemary, or tarragon are excellent as our aromatics like leeks, onions, ginger, garlic, fennel, capers, and olives. Lemons and oranges are also favorites. The thing is you can easily tailor the flavors to suit your own preferences. Now, for the all important technique of folding, while there are several ways to do it, this is the simplest and what we use most in the test kitchen. Watch closely. First, lift 2 sides of the parchment over the fish and fold several times to form a tight seal. Then tuck the ends under the fish. The key here is breathing room. Don't fold the packet too tightly or there won't be anywhere for the steam to go. Now, just place on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven. Figuring out when the fish is done isn't as tricky as might think. After baking for about 12 minutes, cut a slit in one of the package, and the fish flakes easily with the fork, you're good to go. If not, no worries, just return all the package to the oven and bake for a few more minutes. There you have it. With Better Homes and Gardens Secrets to Success, classic cooking techniques can be quick, easy and delicious.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For each packet, cut an 18x24-inch piece of heavy foil and fold it in half to get an 18x12-inch piece.
2. Place desired vegetables, such as precooked carrots, sliced mushrooms, and sliced green onions, onto foil. Place one 4-ounce salmon fillet, cut 3/4 inch thick, atop the vegetables. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil or melted butter. You can also add a splash of dry white wine if you like. Sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper and, if desired, a little snipped fresh oregano or dill, finely shredded orange peel, and/or minced garlic. If desired, top with a couple of halved orange slices.
3. To make the packet, bring together two opposite foil edges and seal with a double fold. Fold remaining edges together to completely enclose the food, allowing space for steam to build. Place the foil packets in a single layer in a shallow baking pan.
4. Bake about 30 minutes or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork and vegetables are tender (open packets carefully to check doneness, as hot steam will escape).
Our Favorite Baked Salmon Recipes