Baking salmon is one of the best ways to make it. If you love tender, succulent salmon, you’ll love this simple way of cooking it.
Cooking any type of fish can be challenging. With so little fat, the line between perfectly done and overcooked can be a fine one. And even though salmon is relatively fatty for a fish, it’s still relatively lean compared to other proteins.
So how do you avoid dry, overcooked salmon? Slow-roast it.
What Is Slow Roasting?
Slow roasting is exactly what it sounds like—cooking something slowly in the oven. Because your food is going from raw to cooked at a more leisurely pace, there’s more wiggle room between delicious and overdone. In other words, if you cook it a few minutes too much or too little, it won’t make a big difference.
Cooking at a low temperature, of course, means your food will take longer to cook. With something like a big beef roast, that could mean an extra hour or more. But with something thin and delicate like a fish fillet, “longer” only means about 10 minutes.
Just the right amount of time to throw together a salad or enjoy a few sips of wine.
While I definitely don’t mind the extra 10 minutes that slow roasting takes, there is one trade-off. That is, for something as small as a salmon fillet, low and slow doesn’t give you quite the same crisp, browned exterior that fast and hot does. But then we’re back to the challenge of avoiding overcooking.
For me, luxuriously tender and juicy salmon with almost no risk of overcooking—that’s usually a welcome trade-off. But if you prefer your salmon more browned and crispy, there’s a note at the end of the recipe for how to bake it that way too. 🙂Print
- 1 and ½ Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 4 (5-6 oz.) salmon fillets, about ¾-in. thick, with or without skin (whichever you prefer)
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- Preheat the oven to 275°F*.
- Meanwhile, brush about one-half of the oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the salmon on top, skin or skinned side down, and brush with the remaining oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
- Bake until the salmon is barely opaque throughout, 18 to 20 minutes.
*This is a slow cooking method that results in luxuriously tender and juicy salmon with almost no risk of overcooking—but the salmon doesn’t get particularly browned or crispy. If you prefer it like that, bake it at 450°F for 12 to 14 minutes.