How To Remove Skin from Fish

Today we’re going back to basics and learning how to skin a fish fillet. Our Knife Skills series is sponsored by Cutco. Home cooks who use Cutco understand that sharp knives that are comfortable to hold make cooking easier and more enjoyable. Learn more at

How to remove the skin from a fish fillet

You are probably wondering: why on earth should I learn how to skin a fish when I can buy it already skinned from the grocery store? Actually, some fish fillets come with the skin still on. This can be wonderful if you’re pan-frying the fish (without breading) because the skin gets nice and crispy and so delicious. But if you’re planning to bread the fish or bake it, then the skin does not get crisp and is instead soggy and pretty gross. You need to get it off! So if the best-looking fish at the store, or the fillets that are on sale, have the skin on but you weren’t planning to pan-fry, don’t worry. You can get that skin off lickety-split. Just follow the instructions below.

How to Skin a Fish Fillet

Step #1

Start with a clean cutting board and a salmon knife. It’s thin blade works great to cut the flesh from the skin of fish.

how to skin a fish


Grab the tail end of the fish and make a small angled cut through the flesh but not through the skin.

Grab the tail

Hold the fish tight with your hand while you gently move your knife through the fish.

Skinning a fish

Sometimes your knife may slip and you miss a part of the skin, that’s okay!

Skin on fish

Run the blade of your knife under the skin to loosen and hold tight with your hand.

Removing skin from fish


Remove the skin from the fish entirely.

Skinless fish fillet


Use in your recipe as directed.

Baked fish

How To Skin a Fish Fillet

Yield: 1 fillet

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 lb. haddock, skin on


  1. Place your fish on the cutting board.
  2. Grab the tail end of the fish and make a small angled cut through the flesh but not through the skin. Slide the knife along the skin, not cutting through it but separating it from the flesh of the fish as you slide down.
  3. Remove the skin from the fish entirely. Use in recipe as directed.
Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Cutco. All opinions are ours and honest.

Lyndsay Burginger

It’s always entertaining when Lyndsay’s in the kitchen. She’s even been known to belt out Broadway show tunes while making dinner (a handy whisk as her microphone, of course). She currently writes for her international food and travel site, Lyndsay's Travel Kitchen . Lyndsay is also on the editorial team at The Cookful.