Mastering Your Salmon Cooking: Three Easy Methods of Preparation

Mastering Your Salmon Cooking: Three Easy Methods of Preparation

July 15, 2021

Whether you’ve caught your own wild salmon or you’ve simply purchased some at your local market, cooking fresh salmon the right way is a true art. Cooking salmon is a delicate process, since it’s a fish that can easily be overcooked.

While a good rule of thumb is to cook wild salmon just to the point where the flesh flakes easily, this tip doesn’t necessarily apply to all types of preparation. Read on to learn some of the best methods for cooking salmon, including hot and cold preparations.


Baking salmon is probably the most traditional way to prepare this delicious fish, and it’s also one of the easiest. You can know when your fillet is done by sticking a fork in the thickest part and determining whether the flesh flakes easily. While you may not be a pro at this right away, a few trial-and-error bakes will train your eye to detect when your salmon is ready.

For a tried-and-true method for baking salmon, set your oven to a low temperature of 250 degrees and cook a single 6-ounce fillet for around 20 minutes. Test your fish for flakiness and put it in for a few more minutes if you’re not yet satisfied with the results.

Pan frying

Pan frying is perhaps the fastest and easiest method for cooking salmon. Simply heat up some cooking oil in a pan, season your fillets to your taste and place the salmon in the pan for about six to seven minutes. One flip about halfway through should be perfect to get the fish completely cooked—look for a golden-brown color on both sides. Do the fork test and check for flakiness of the fish so you know exactly when it’s done.


Curing salmon is an easy and foolproof way to bring out the amazing flavors of wild-caught salmon. Once cured, the salmon will last in your refrigerator for several weeks. Make a curing mix by combining equal parts water and sugar in a bowl and add your chosen spices and flavorings to the mix. Place the salmon in a shallow dish and cover it liberally with the dry curing mixture you’ve made. Cover the fillets with cling film and leave them in the refrigerator for between one and 24 hours, depending on the strength of the curing and flavors that you’re looking for.

Once you feel the cure is sufficient, remove the fillets from the refrigerator, run them under cold water and pat them dry. Your fish can be eaten as-is, or you can poach, grill or bake it as desired.

If you’re cooking fresh salmon for the very first time, you’ll see that it takes some finesse and expertise to prepare it just right. By following the simple preparation methods listed above, and maybe adjusting them to your preferences, you’ll bring out the delicious flavors and wonderful textures of wild-caught salmon.

Contact Phantom Tri-River Charters to discover traditional and unique fresh salmon preparation methods to use after your fishing trip, and to learn more about this special fish!

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