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How to Tell if Your Salmon Is Done?
Salmon is one of the tastiest and healthiest fish species in the world and can be used in a number of different recipes. It is no secret that quality salmon will cost you, which is why some seafood lovers leave the salmon cooking to the professionals, to avoid ruining their salmon.
The truth is cooking salmon is not only reserved for culinary trained chefs. Even those who know their way around the kitchen the least can serve up a beautiful salmon dish. Part of what makes salmon so easy to cook is the number of different methods it can be prepared, each ranging along the scale of difficulty. Such as pan-seared salmon which is very hands-on and requires a lot of attention, to more hands-off methods like over baked salmon which only requires herbs, spices and a pre-heated oven.
Regardless of which method you choose to prepare your salmon, the key to making a tasty salmon dinner is knowing how to tell when your salmon is done, so that it’s not under or overcooked but cooked just right. This is where many people go wrong by prying a fork and knife into their salmon to check if the inside is cooked all the way, which often leads to butchering your salmon fillet if you check your salmon several times using this method.
If you are guilty of this don’t worry, we’ve all done the fork knife check method before. Follow along with us as we give you the ultimate guide to cooking perfect salmon and tips on how to tell if your salmon is cooked just right.
Similar to a steak salmon can be cooked to varying degrees of wellness from medium-rare to well-done. Based on your preference there are several ways to achieve perfectly cooked salmon to your liking.
Ways To Tell If Your Salmon Is Done
Salmon Color and TextureThe first method is using the color and texture of the salmon to determine if it’s cooked thoroughly. Cooked salmon will change color from a raw deep reddish color to a lite pinkish color on the outside. Salmon will also become slightly more firm during the cooking process compared to its soft mushy texture in raw form. The flakiness of your salmon is also a good indicator of doneness. If the top of your salmon easily flakes apart then it's done, if your salmon is not flaky and still has a reddish hue, it is still raw and needs more time cooking.
Checking Salmon with ThermometerChecking the temperature of your salmon with a thermometer is the easiest and most precise way to tell if your salmon is cooked to your liking. Take any food-grade thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of your salmon. According to the FDA the recommended internal temperature for salmon is 145˚F which is slightly on the firm and well-done side. However, for those who like their salmon medium to medium should aim for an internal temperature of 125˚F to 140˚F.
Checking Salmon with Butter Knife
This method is also a very common method especially when you don’t have a food thermometer at your disposal. The only thing you need for this method is a butter knife or sharp knife, which you will insert into the thickest part of the salmon for 3 seconds and immediately remove and press to your lower lip. If the temperature of the knife is warm to touch the salmon is done, if the knife is cold or lukewarm your salmon needs more cooking. It is important to remember with this method not to fully slice your salmon fillet or it will begin falling apart.