Salmon is very versatile. There are a number of different methods for cooking salmon. The trick is to pay attention, because it only takes a short time to cook salmon. The best treatment will vary by the cut of salmon.
How to grill salmon: Grilling is the perfect way to cook salmon on a hot summer day when you can’t stand to turn on the oven. This treatment works for any cut of salmon, but steaks are especially easy to flip because of their thickness. It’s easiest to grill fillets with the skin on. Marinate the salmon before grilling to impart more flavor, but don’t marinate for longer than an hour. Fish will get mushy if allowed to sit in an acidic marinade for too long. Grilled Salmon with Honey-Soy Marinade is one of our go-to grilled salmon recipes.
How to bake salmon: Any cut of salmon can be baked for a delicious, last-minute dinner. Baking is especially easy with salmon fillets and sides. It’s important to pat the skin dry before baking so the fish will bake and not steam. Salmon should be baked in a shallow pan, skin side down and brushed lightly with oil or butter. Beyond that, treatment can be as simple as a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Alternately, you can bake the salmon in a sauce or glaze. Baked salmon is done when the fish flakes easily and separates along the natural lines. For a simple and delicious baked salmon dinner, try the recipe for Asian Salmon with Potatoes and Broccoli Sheet-Pan Dinner.
How to smoke salmon: Smoked salmon is moist and delicious and makes a wonderful appetizer. Smoking is also a more involved cooking method requiring special equipment, including a smoker and wood chunks. If you smoke your own salmon, you will want to use a large side so you get a greater yield for your efforts. For example, the Smoked Brined Salmon recipe is a favorite that calls for 2.5 – 3 pounds of salmon. The effort is worth it, but those who lack the special equipment don’t have to miss out. Smoked salmon is widely available for purchase.
How to broil salmon: Broiling is another treatment that works for salmon fillets, steaks and sides. It’s a great treatment on a weeknight since involves very little effort. It does require vigilance, however, since the fish cooks quickly. One of Betty’s best broiled salmon recipes, Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon only takes 35 minutes to prepare. This recipe gets its flavor from a quick 15 minutes of marinating, which is just enough time to throw together a salad.
How to poach salmon: Yet another easy treatment, poaching works best for salmon fillets. Poaching involves cooking salmon in boiling liquid until the skin is flaky. The most time consuming part of poaching salmon is getting the cooking liquid to boil. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillet. Salmon is often boiled in a mixture of white wine, water and herbs or water. For a twist on this classic treatment, try the recipe for Poached Salmon with Tangy Asian Vegetables, which involves poaching salmon in stock, green onions and miso paste.
How to cook in foil packs: This is one of our favorite ways to cook salmon during the busy summer months. Salmon fillets get folded up in foil packs with simple seasonings, like herbs, lemon, oil and salt and pepper. Then, you just stash the packs in the fridge until dinnertime. A perfect recipe is the Grilled Lemon-Salmon Foil Packs, which only takes 30 minutes total.