We eat salmon quite often in our home. I struggled for a few years trying to get it right. I would cook a great filet on occasion, but for the most part I ended up with fish that was either too dry or too soft in the center. It was frustrating to say the least.
About five years ago I became a certified Pinterest fanatic. One wonderfully wormhole-y afternoon I was pinning away when I came across a post from Pioneer Woman. Changed. The. Game. Since I tried her technique I’ve never ended up with anything other than a beautiful, moist, flaky, perfectly cooked filet of salmon. I’ll walk you through it.
Wash, season drizzle, bake.
Rinse off a 1lb salmon filet. Some like to pat it dry. Place the salmon on a foil or parchment lined pan and season. I use a little seasoned salt (go easy guys, we don’t want too much sodium!), black pepper, and a healthy coating of garlic powder, not garlic salt. Drizzle your filet with extra virgin olive oil and you’re ready to go.
MAJOR KEY: don’t preheat the oven!!!
Place your pan into a cool oven. This is the key to perfection. Turn the oven to 400 and bake for 25 minutes. If your filet is very thick it may need a few extra minutes. If it’s several pounds and pretty long, I suggest slicing it into a few different pieces before prepping it for the oven to ensure that it cooks evenly.
*tip: Use your nose! Check on the fish when you start to smell it. If you see a little bubbly white foam on top it’s likely ready. I normally use farm raised salmon, which is thicker and a little less lean. For wild caught salmon, 20 minutes may be enough.
Sauces – Glazes – Marinades
For a little extra flair and flavor, try brushing a marinade on top of your salmon before baking. This time I used a Kroger brand sweet and spicy chili sauce (not at all spicy). I’ve also used sriracha and honey, barbecue sauce, honey and lemon, lemon butter with herbs, Parmesan and panko crumb crust, and my all time favorite, Stonewall Kitchen’s Jamaican Jerk Sauce (a little bit goes a long way!).
If you’re looking to make dinner even easier, add a foil pack of crunchy veggies to the pan. Season and drizzle them just like the salmon, wrap them in foil and voilá: a whole meal in 25 minutes! My meal features broccolini. Asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peppers and onions, and zucchini are other healthy and tasty options.
Give this super easy method a try, then tell us how it turned out!