The Ultimate Guide to Salmon



How to Store Salmon

Salmon can sit outside a refrigerator for up to 2 hours and in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Store your fish in the freezer for up to 3 months if you don’t plan to cook it right away. In each case, it is important to properly wrap the fish in plastic or place it in an air-tight container before storing.

Cooking with Salmon

Before cooking, properly thaw and pat dry the salmon with paper towels. To quickly release excess water, lightly sprinkle the salmon portions with salt, and refrigerate for 5-8 minutes, then pat dry. Following this step will ensure you get a nice sear.

Fat and oil content determine how you should cook the salmon—grill, poach, sous-vide, sear, steam, smoke, or bake. Chum and pink salmon are generally used for canning or smoking because of their lower oil content. Coho and sockeye salmon are versatile to cook with, as they have a high fat content and hold up extremely well to searing, poaching, or baking. Chinook salmon is the highest in fat content of all salmon species, requiring no additional oil or butter, and lends itself well to any type of cooking technique.

Celebrity chef Johnny Hernandez recommends seasoning wild-caught Pacific or Alaskan salmon with a blend of fresh herbs, thinly sliced garlic, and olive oil. “Use a smoking hot pan and cook it to medium,” he says. To check if the meat is done, poke with a sharp knife and feel the meat beginning to flake. Overcooking will make the fish dry and chewy.