Last week, I was preparing a pasta dish with salmon with my sister and I saw her starting to remove the skin before cooking. Fortunately, I stopped before it was too late. Another idea popped into my mind: why not write an article about mistakes you should avoid making when cooking this fish?
There are several mistakes that individuals unknowingly make when baking or frying salmon, including seasoning the fish too early, removing the skin before cooking, using a new cooking method without knowledge, forgetting to remove pin bones, and overcooking it.
Learn the details about these mistakes below so that you understand what you need to do to cook the perfect filet of salmon. We all make mistakes, but they’re easy to prevent when you know what to avoid.
Seasoning the Fish Too Early
When you’re cooking a lemon pepper chicken breast, you’re most likely seasoning the meat a few hours before cooking it to let the herbs and spices seep into the fat and muscle. However, doing this with your salmon isn’t the best practice. Salt will draw out the moisture in the fish and break down the proteins, leaving your salmon dry and unappetizing. Wait to throw on the seasonings until right before you place the fish in the pan or oven.
Removing the Skin Before Cooking
It’s understandable that you don’t want to keep the skin on your salmon, but it can be helpful in the cooking process to leave it on the fish. The correct way to pan-fry salmon is with the skin facing down on the pan—this provides a barrier between the heat and the flesh of the fish. Now, when you flip the fish to cook the other side, your utensils will touch the skin instead of flaking away the delicate flesh.
The only time you would remove the skin from your salmon before cooking is when you’re slow roasting or poaching the fish. Otherwise, the skin could develop a gummy consistency.
Using Various Cooking Methods Without Knowledge
There’s more than one way to cook your salmon. Some might throw it on the barbecue or in a pan, and others will roast or poach it, but the masters of cooking salmon will smoke it. Smoking your salmon is a delicacy that creates a divine concoction of flavors. Although, you must know which smoking woods pair well with salmon to avoid smoking the fish using a wood that creates an acrid taste. So if you’re trying a new cooking method with your salmon, ensure you know what you’re doing to prevent ruining the taste of your fish.
Forgetting to Remove Pin Bones
Pin bones are needle-like bones that you can find along the length of fish, and chomping into one of these can be unpleasant. When you purchase your salmon, thoroughly inspect the filet for these pin bones so that you can remove them before cooking. To make this task easier, consider using small tweezers to grab hold of these bones or a fishmonger on fresh filets to make your job easier!
Overcooking the Salmon
The most frequent mistake people must avoid when cooking salmon is overcooking the fish. This is an easy mistake to make when you don’t cook with this ingredient often. Overcooking the salmon will leave it dry and tasting fishy. The fish’s flesh should retain some dark orange color after pan-searing or baking. Consider using a thermometer to take the internal temperature of the salmon; this should be at 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
You don’t need to be an expert when you’re cooking salmon, but you do need to pay attention to what you’re doing, or you could ruin the meal you’re attempting to make. Salmon can be a flavorful ingredient when you add it to dinners or lunches, but ensure you’re not making the mistakes above. Keep these examples in mind, and your next salmon meal will be the tastiest it’s ever been!