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Old 09-12-2007, 07:46 PM   #1
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I can't make salmon anymore

Simple, simple stuff but somehow I've forgotten how to prepare baked salmon correctly. I don't do anything except placing a few lemon slices on the salmon and then I just throw in the oven. Usually, at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes is all I need but the last two times it wasn't cooked all the way through. My oven is somewhat old and it has settings for bake, broil, etc.....I do want to select bake, correct? I'm going through the obvious now.

Usually I don't cover the salmon at all but this time I tried wrapping it in aluminum foil to keep the juices escaping, but still the same result - very pink along with some overcooked areas as per the white goo forming around the bottom edges.

This was my favorite, quick and easy meal and now I've been screwing up. What have I done wrong?!

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Old 09-12-2007, 07:52 PM   #2
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Easton, my first suggestion would be to check your oven. If you don't have an oven thermometer, get one. Ovens, even new ones, can be off by quite a few degrees. That can result in very poor results in cooking and baking.

I don't have a whole lot of experience with baking salmon since I've only recently been able to convince Buck how delicious it is. Don't worry. You will get other replies to your dilemma.
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Old 09-12-2007, 07:59 PM   #3
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You say that it is cooked "all the way through" which leads me to believe you would like it at a med rare to medium tempertaure. 400 degrees is a very high temperature for salmon, especially if you are doing filets. What you could is sear it skin side down in a saute pan until it releases. Then put it in a pan and cover with the lemon as usall and cooked for about 4 minutes in a 300 degree oven. The fish should start to flake when it is around med rare to medium.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:15 PM   #4
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You say that it is cooked "all the way through"
Whoops. I meant "wasn't cooked all the way through".
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:19 PM   #5
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Well if you would like it cooked all the way through I would put it in a 325 degree oven for around 6 or 7 minutes. Just check it for how well u want.BTW how long did you have it in the oven for when you were cooking at 400?
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:38 PM   #6
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Well if you would like it cooked all the way through I would put it in a 325 degree oven for around 6 or 7 minutes. Just check it for how well u want.BTW how long did you have it in the oven for when you were cooking at 400?
A lower temperature and less time if I want to cook it all the way through? You sure about that?

I'm trying to get it to a pale pinkish color where it flakes into almost like slices.

I left it in there for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Considering you're in Everett, just come on over to Somerville to show me how to do it!
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:04 PM   #7
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well I know that with small poultrys you cook at high temperatures for less time usually but i dont believe its the same with fish. At my work we always sear the fish and usually serve it at med-rare. However when we do get an order for a cooked through fish we cook it in the same temperature oven. 325 to 350 sounds good to be but i believe 400 is just much too high. BTW if you live in sommerville you should stop by my work at the Ashmont Grill.

Edit: For future reference the general rule when cooking fish is that you should cook for 10 minutes for every inch of thickeness. I also double checked anywhere from 325 to 350 should be fine.
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:14 PM   #8
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As i was sitting here watching top chef i relized you are probably cooking a whole half salmon huh? If so then you would probably want to cook at 350 for maybe 15 to 20 mins im not quite sure because i've never worked with a whole loin we usually cut into filets at my work.
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:43 PM   #9
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325 with a little white wine and some dill weed and koshers salt for 20-25 minutes for a well done fillet or whole side of salmon. You can top it with lemon/onion/ and what ever else you think might taste good. Experiment Just think where we would be if Columbus did not take a chance.. I salt and dill mine and wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the ice box for 24 hours and it is partially cured like Grav Lox then bake and it is delicious
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:35 PM   #10
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As i was sitting here watching top chef i relized you are probably cooking a whole half salmon huh? If so then you would probably want to cook at 350 for maybe 15 to 20 mins im not quite sure because i've never worked with a whole loin we usually cut into filets at my work.
Nah, salmon fillets. Today, I had a half a pound of salmon cut in two.

I'll take your advice and try to cook at a lower temperature next time. I'm scared.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:26 AM   #11
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For husband & I I normally buy a 1-pound piece of salmon. Unless I'm using a specific recipe (like teriyaki, etc.) I place it in an oiled/greased baking dish, add a few pats of butter on top & some fresh or dried herbs & lemon slices, & bake it in a 350-degree oven for between 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet. I then insert a knife in the center to check for doneness. If it needs a few more minutes, so be it. Being a fatty fish, salmon is difficult to really overcook.

To be honest, I disagree with the poster who recommended cooking the salmon at a lower temp for less time in order to end up with a more thoroughly cooked piece of fish. That really doesn't make much sense.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:34 AM   #12
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When I bake a single serving of salmon filet, I bake it at 400 F. Fifteen to twenty minutes (depending on thickness) will result in a well done piece of fish.
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:00 AM   #13
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it could be the oven, it could be the pan you are now using, it could be the placement in the oven (rack height)

try 375* to see if it cooks more evenly, or try the sear in a pan first method, or try broiling (I love salmon that way). The fish is useful even if you overcook a few pieces discovering your oven's new quirks. Salmon salad, salmon in a chowder, in eggs with spinach. So you won't be throwing it out.
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:27 AM   #14
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IMO, over-cooking Salmon makes it tough.
We either pan-sear or poach ours.

DH does the pan-searing. He rubs the fish with olive oil, dusts with a little S&P, sprinkles with lemon juice, and sears skin side down in a skillet at medium/high. He does not turn them. They are done when you prick with a fork and the juice runs clear.

To poach, put in skillet with chicken broth and a splash of white wine. Place twigs of fresh rosemary in the broth, and slices of lemon on top. Poach on med/high for about 10 minutes. Use the same test as above to check doneness. I think you will like the results, as the fish comes out very tender and flaky without drying out.
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Old 09-13-2007, 11:33 AM   #15
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can't help you with the time and temp, as i prefer my salmon medium rare to rare in the center. it's tough to screw that up.

but i agree with dave that dill goes well with salmon. try making a compound butter with chopped basil and dill. place dollops of it over a stem of dill atop the salmon, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. the butter melts down, spreading the flavors of the basil and dill, and helping to from a nice crust.
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Old 09-14-2007, 01:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
For husband & I I normally buy a 1-pound piece of salmon. Unless I'm using a specific recipe (like teriyaki, etc.) I place it in an oiled/greased baking dish, add a few pats of butter on top & some fresh or dried herbs & lemon slices, & bake it in a 350-degree oven for between 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet. I then insert a knife in the center to check for doneness. If it needs a few more minutes, so be it. Being a fatty fish, salmon is difficult to really overcook.

To be honest, I disagree with the poster who recommended cooking the salmon at a lower temp for less time in order to end up with a more thoroughly cooked piece of fish. That really doesn't make much sense.
If you check my post it says to sear the fish in a pan and then bake. If you give the salmon a good sear on both sides it should come up to a medium rare and hold in juices. So 7 or 8 minutes at 350 degrees will give you well cooked fish. All i know for sure is i would not cook a filet at 400 i don't care how fatty the fish is.
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:01 PM   #17
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So, I think I'll try this pan searing method tomorrow but I'm not sure how to do it. Is it just cooking the salmon at a very high temperature? And for how long?
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:33 PM   #18
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Easton - keep in mind that "pan-searing" fish is meant to produce a fish that ends up rare to medium-rare. If you want your fish completely cooked thru, which is what I took from your original post, pan-searing might not be the way you want to go.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:05 AM   #19
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So, I think I'll try this pan searing method tomorrow but I'm not sure how to do it. Is it just cooking the salmon at a very high temperature? And for how long?
You can pan sear and then tent for about 10 - 15 minutes - even longer - and your fish will be perfect! Watch the fish turn color from the bottom up. When almost to the middle turn it over. Watch again. When it almost meets remove the fish and tent. I've left mine for as long as 30 minutes and it was still perfect and still warm.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:17 AM   #20
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IMO, fish is one of the most difficult things to cook properly. Most people overcook it... it becomes dry and almost inedible. I like the idea of slightly undercooking and then tenting to let it "rest" and continue cooking slowly as it rests. I've done a recipe for mahi mahi that called for about 425 for about 6 or 7 minutes... I can't find the recipe so I'm going by memory. The fish came out perfectly the one time I did it that way.

My oven is quite accurate, so most recipes work well for me, if they are correct in the first place...

For some fish, like tilapia, I don't care for baking it, as it tends to come out dry because it is hard to control a thin fillet like that. I will pan fry it without any coating in a small squirt of olive oil in a nonstick skillet... at medium heat it only takes about 2 minutes per side to be done perfectly.
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