How to cook Salmon on Cast Iron correctly?

Introduction: Cooking Salmon on Cast Iron

Cooking salmon on cast iron is one of the best ways to prepare this popular fish. Cast iron is a versatile cooking material that is excellent for searing, and it can hold heat very well. When you cook salmon on cast iron, you get a crispy, golden-brown exterior and a juicy, tender interior. However, cooking salmon on cast iron can be tricky, and you need to follow a few essential steps to get it right.

Choose the Right Cast Iron Skillet

Firstly, you need to choose the right cast iron skillet for cooking salmon. You want a skillet that is large enough to accommodate your salmon fillet, but not too large that it loses heat. A 10- or 12-inch skillet is usually sufficient, depending on the size of your salmon. You also want a skillet that has a smooth, non-stick surface, so your salmon doesn’t stick to the pan. If your cast iron skillet isn’t seasoned or is rusted, you need to clean it and season it before cooking.

Preheat the Cast Iron Skillet

Next, preheat your cast iron skillet to ensure that it is hot enough to sear your salmon. Heat the skillet on medium-high heat for about five minutes. You can test if the skillet is hot enough by sprinkling a few drops of water on the surface. If the water sizzles and evaporates instantly, the skillet is ready.

Season the Salmon Fillet

Season your salmon fillet with salt, pepper, and any other seasoning of your choice. You can also add herbs, lemon juice, or garlic to enhance the flavor. Be sure to season both sides of the salmon fillet evenly.

Add Oil to the Skillet

Add some oil to the skillet to prevent the salmon from sticking to the surface. You can use any high-heat oil like canola, vegetable, or grapeseed oil. Swirl the oil to coat the surface evenly.

Place the Salmon in the Skillet

Place the salmon fillet in the skillet skin-side down. Use a spatula to press down gently on the salmon, so it makes contact with the surface and cooks evenly. Don’t move the salmon around the skillet, or it will stick and break apart.

Cook the Salmon on One Side

Cook the salmon on one side for about four to six minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet. Don’t flip the salmon until it releases easily from the surface. You want a crispy, golden-brown crust on the skin, and the flesh should be slightly opaque on the sides.

Flip the Salmon and Cook the Other Side

Use a spatula to flip the salmon fillet gently, so it doesn’t break apart. Cook the salmon on the other side for another four to six minutes or until it’s cooked through. You can check the doneness of the salmon by inserting a fork or knife into the thickest part of the flesh. If the flesh flakes easily and is no longer translucent, it’s done.

Check for Doneness

Check the doneness of the salmon to ensure that it’s cooked through. You don’t want to undercook or overcook the salmon. The ideal temperature for cooked salmon is 145°F (63°C). You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature or check the color and texture of the salmon.

Remove the Salmon from the Skillet

Once the salmon is cooked, remove it from the skillet using a spatula. Be careful not to break the fillet apart. Place the salmon on a plate or cutting board.

Rest the Salmon Before Serving

Let the salmon rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and the salmon to cool slightly. You can cover the salmon with foil to keep it warm.

Conclusion: Perfectly Cooked Salmon on Cast Iron

Cooking salmon on cast iron can be a delicious and healthy way to enjoy this popular fish. By following these steps, you can achieve a perfectly cooked salmon with a crispy skin and a juicy interior. Remember to choose the right skillet, preheat it, season the salmon, and cook it on both sides until it’s done. With these tips, you can become a master at cooking salmon on cast iron.

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Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

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