How To Tell If Salmon Is Cooked

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Salmon is an excellent source of protein and anybody who wants to keep up with a balanced diet is recommended to include salmon dishes in their culinary choices. 

But undercooking salmon can be detrimental to the overall taste and consistency – not only this but there is a possibility you can get sick from neglecting the correct cooking method. 

So – how exactly can you tell if salmon is cooked? We’re going to tell you with the guide below!

Easiest Way To Know Salmon Is Cooked 

If you’re looking for the quickest way to know if salmon is cooked, here’s the way:  Press down gently onto the salmon filet with a fork. If the meat of the salmon “flakes” (in other words, it easily separates itself from the line that runs down the filet) then it is cooked. 

At this point, it is critical that you take the salmon off the heat because if you leave it on, you risk overcooking the salmon. 

Note: This method applies to any cut of salmon – just pay attention to the texture and how juicy it is.

Avoid Overcooking 

Whilst some people have the attitude that they’d prefer to overcook their fish or meat rather than risk raw food, this is completely detrimental to the dish. 

When salmon is overcooked, the meat begins crumbling and dries out, making it very unpleasant to eat. It also makes it very difficult to cut! 

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Salmon?

If you’re the type of person that likes to be precise with their cooking – which is the best way to be! – then you’ll want to know the recommended internal temperature of the salmon. 

The USDA suggests that the internal temperature of salmon should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit to be perfectly cooked. 

Measuring The Internal Temperature

During the cooking process, use a meat thermometer and pierce the thickest part of the salmon. 

Wait a moment for the figure to appear. It’s advisable to do this at least twice to be sure you have accurate measurements.

How To Properly Cook Salmon

Deciding how to correctly cook salmon will depend largely on what cut of salmon you have.

Steaks and filets can be prepared to your specifications and therefore can be served medium, medium-rare, well-done, etc. 

The first thing you’ll want to do though is check if the salmon is okay to eat, to begin with.

Checking if your salmon has gone bad before you start is critical – you’ll obviously want to avoid food poisoning!

Next, you will want to consider your dish. This will play a role in how you cook your salmon. 


Grilled salmon is one of the healthiest ways to enjoy salmon – and the grilled finish can make the flavors pop, especially when you season it with some floral herbs and spices. 

Here’s the quick method for grilling salmon:


  • Ensure you have a clean and dry grill 
  • Set the temperature to medium heat 
  • Lightly oil the grill 
  • Prepare your salmon (size, filet, etc.) 
  • Place skin side down and leave it to grill until the fats begin to ooze (normally within 15 minutes). 
  • Check the temperature 
  • Remove, season, and serve with your other ingredients


Barbequing salmon is an underutilized method, but it is seriously effective.

If you do it right, the flesh falls apart and can easily be added to other classic barbecue sides – particularly with corn and salads. 

The process is pretty simple:


  • Preheat your barbeque until the coals are gray
  • Wrap your salmon in tin foil 
  • Place onto the barbeque and close the lid 
  • After 15 minutes, open the lid and check on the salmon 
  • Carefully check the temperature (you may notice the meat crumble) 
  • Remove the salmon and serve 

Note: This process is also known as ‘en papillote’ if you wish to read more on this cooking method


Boiling or poaching salmon is perhaps the healthiest way to cook it. Here’s how you can do that:


  • Prepare a deep pan with water and bring it to the boil 
  • Season the water with salt, lemon, pepper, and other spices 
  • Prepare sections of salmon to place into the water (you can use a whole salmon if you wish, but it’s advisable not to) 
  • Place the lid onto your pan and reduce the heat to simmer for 6 minutes 
  • Check on the salmon and serve to your specifications 

Pan Fry 

Frying any food will undoubtedly be less healthy than the other methods we’ve provided, but it can sometimes be useful for taste purposes or due to kitchen limitations. 

You can reduce the caloric value of frying salmon by using low-fat oil, however, the taste of fried salmon is exemplified when you use real butter and organic ingredients. 

To pan fry salmon:


  • Prepare your salmon with seasoning (rub salt, pepper, and other spices into it)
  • Line your pan lightly with your chosen oil
  • Preheat your frying pan to a medium heat 
  • Place the salmon skin-side down and leave them for 5 minutes 
  • Flip the salmon and repeat for a further 5 minutes  

Can You Eat Pink Salmon?

Yes. There’s nothing wrong with a little pink in your salmon – remember, salmon can be eaten raw, but you increase the risk of food poisoning if you do so. 

As long as your salmon is not sushi-grade pink, you should be fine. Just use the methods above to check if your salmon is cooked or not for peace of mind. 

How Should I Have My Salmon? 

It will inevitably come down to your tastes and what dish you are considering, but most chefs will likely advise that you enjoy your salmon cooked to medium-rare. 

This allows the salmon to be the perfect middle between flakey and moist in the center.


Knowing if your salmon is cooked or not is very important – so by following the above guide, you’re in good shape for preparing the most amazing salmon dish!

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