How to Tell if Salmon is Cooked

Dear fellow food lovers,Are you a fan of salmon? Are you someone who enjoys cooking salmon at home? If your answer is yes, then you must know how important it is to cook salmon correctly. If salmon is undercooked, it can be dangerous to consume. On the other hand, overcooked salmon can ruin the taste and texture of the fish. In this article, we’ll learn how to tell if salmon is cooked perfectly, every time.

Look at the Color

The first and most obvious way to tell if salmon is cooked is by looking at the color. When salmon is raw or undercooked, it will have a deep red or pink color. As it cooks, the color will change to a light pinkish-white color. The center of the salmon should be slightly translucent and moist when it’s perfectly cooked. If the center is completely opaque and dry, then it’s overcooked.

Check the Texture

Another way to tell if salmon is cooked is by checking its texture. When salmon is raw or undercooked, it will be slippery and mushy to the touch. When it’s perfectly cooked, it should be moist and flaky, but with a firm texture. If the salmon is falling apart, then it’s overcooked.

Use a Thermometer

If you’re not confident about the color and texture of the salmon, then you can use a thermometer to check the internal temperature. The FDA recommends cooking salmon to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the salmon to check its temperature. If it’s below the recommended temperature, then it’s undercooked, and if it’s above the recommended temperature, then it’s overcooked.

Look at the Cooking Time

The cooking time for salmon depends on the thickness of the fish. As a general rule, you should cook salmon for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. If you’re cooking salmon fillets, then they will usually take around 10-12 minutes to cook. If you’re cooking a whole salmon, then it will take around 20-25 minutes to cook, depending on its size.

Use Your Sense of Smell

Another way to tell if salmon is cooked is by using your sense of smell. When salmon is cooked, it will have a sweet, nutty aroma. If it smells sour or fishy, then it’s not cooked properly.

Look at the Skin

If you’re cooking salmon with the skin on, then you can also check its doneness by looking at the skin. When salmon is cooked, the skin will become crispy and golden brown. If the skin is still rubbery and pale, then it’s not cooked enough.

Consider the Type of Salmon

Not all types of salmon are the same, and some require different cooking times and methods. For example, wild salmon tends to cook faster than farmed salmon because it has less fat. Coho salmon is also leaner than other types of salmon, so it requires less cooking time.

Check for Bones

Before you start cooking the salmon, make sure to check for bones. Even if the salmon is cooked perfectly, it can be ruined by a bone. Use a pair of tweezers to remove any bones you find.

Use a Fork

You can also use a fork to check the doneness of salmon. Insert the fork into the thickest part of the salmon and twist it gently. If the salmon separates into flakes easily, then it’s cooked perfectly.

Try the “Push Test”

The “push test” is another way to check the doneness of salmon. Use your finger to gently press the top of the salmon. If it feels firm and springs back, then it’s cooked perfectly. If it feels mushy or soft, then it’s not cooked enough.

Check the Cooking Method

The cooking method you use can also affect the doneness of salmon. For example, if you’re grilling salmon, then it will cook faster than if you’re baking or poaching it. Make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Let it Rest

After you’ve cooked the salmon, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute, making the salmon more flavorful and juicy.

Use Fresh Salmon

One of the most important factors in cooking salmon is using fresh fish. If the salmon is not fresh, it will not cook evenly, and the texture and flavor will be affected. Make sure to buy salmon from a reputable source and use it within a day or two of purchase.

Don’t Overcrowd the Pan

If you’re cooking salmon on the stovetop, make sure not to overcrowd the pan. If the salmon is too close together, it will steam instead of searing, and it won’t cook properly.

Use High Heat

When cooking salmon on the stovetop, use high heat to achieve a crispy exterior and tender interior. Make sure to use a non-stick pan or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet to prevent sticking.

Marinate the Salmon

Marinating salmon before cooking can add flavor and moisture to the fish. Make sure to use an acidic marinade, such as lemon juice or vinegar, to help break down the proteins in the salmon.

Season the Salmon

Seasoning is key when it comes to cooking salmon. Use salt and pepper to enhance the natural flavor of the fish. You can also use herbs and spices to add more depth and complexity to the dish.

Use Oil

When cooking salmon, make sure to use oil to prevent sticking and add flavor. Olive oil or vegetable oil works well for cooking salmon.

Try Different Recipes

There are endless ways to cook salmon, so don’t be afraid to try different recipes and methods. Whether you’re grilling, baking, poaching, or pan-searing salmon, there’s a recipe out there for you.


Cooking salmon can be intimidating, but with the right techniques and tips, anyone can cook perfect salmon at home. Whether you use the color, texture, thermometer, or any combination of methods, make sure to check the salmon before serving to ensure that it’s cooked to perfection. Remember to use fresh salmon, adjust the cooking time and method accordingly, and season the fish well. With these tips in mind, you’ll be cooking perfect salmon every time.

Tips: Don’t overcook the salmon! It’s better to slightly undercook it than to overcook it, as you can always put it back on the heat. Also, don’t forget to remove the skin before serving if you’re not a fan of it.

Thank you for reading, and see you in the next article!