The Trick to Perfectly Cooked Salmon Every Time

Rachel Tepper Paley
·Editor

There’s nothing quite as unappetizing as a dry, overcooked slab of salmon. Right, fish lovers? Thomas Joseph of Kitchen Conundrums feels your pain. In the video above, he demonstrates how to zigzag past the fishy pitfalls that come between you and a perfectly cooked fillet.

The key is using two different types of heat: direct and indirect. First, sear your fish skin-side down in a skillet over medium-high heat. This crisps up the skin and gives it a nice crunch. Then, finish cooking it in the oven at a 350 degrees.

When fish cooks, Thomas explains, the proteins within it “coil” up. “When you do it at a lower temperature, it coils the proteins slowly,” he says. “If you do it at a high, high temperature, it coils the proteins up and constricts them, and what that does is expel moisture and fat.” The result? Dry, lusterless fish. Blech.

With this trick, even those who’ve sworn off seafood may be tempted back into the fish-eating fold.

Need more seafood? Here you go:
David Santos’s Salmon With Beets
Ned Elliott’s Trout with Cauliflower and Charred Scallions
Survival Skills: How to Scale and Gut a Fish

What’s your favorite way to cook fish? Let us know!