To what internal termperature should I cook salmon

I have one of those "a little of this and cook until done" salmon recipes from a friend, but I don't cook fish much at home and I would really prefer to know what internal temperature I should cook salmon to before I prepare the dish next. I've done some Googling on the subject and the recommendations are all over the place, but I'm betting one of you crack cooks knows the definitive answer!

Diana B
  • Posted by: Diana B
  • November 15, 2013


Diana B. November 16, 2013
Thank you, Chris. My usual method is to make a mixture of equal parts mayo and grain mustard, top salmon with a generous portion, put in a greased baking dish and pour white wine to a depth of about 1 inch, then bake 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. That achieves the moist environment you suggest, too.
Greenstuff November 15, 2013
I may have a solution for you, Diana B. Often, when I cook salmon for a dinner party, and I don't want to worry about cooking times, I slow roast it. Place pan of water on the lowest shelf in the oven, and pre-heat to just 200°F. The water creates a nice, moist environment. Put the salmon on a baking sheet or in a baking sheet, coat lightly with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast it for up to an hour, especially for big slabs. Smaller pieces are usually done in about 40 minutes. If you can separate it with a fork, it's done, but I've never had to worry about overcooking to the shoe leather stage. Let it rest for 10 minutes or up to a couple of hours. It's always moist and good both warm and at room temperature.

Diana B. November 15, 2013
Thanks, Chris! I will cook just about anything at home, but there are only a couple of kind of fish that I really like and I generally prefer to have them when I eat out. It's just too easy to turn $$$-worth of fish into shoe leather unless you cook it frequently enough to become reasonably skilled at it.
Greenstuff November 15, 2013
Yes, America's Test Kitchen suggests taking it out even earlier, at 125 to avoid overcooking.

I like the wording of the temperature recommendation on "145 or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork." If you'd like to cook fish often, learning to recognize when its done without a thermometer is a tool that will serve you well.
Diana B. November 15, 2013
Thanks. Like meat, should I take it out of the oven at about 135 and let it sit for a minute or so? Will the internal temperature continue to rise upon resting, or does that not apply to fish?

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ChefOno November 15, 2013

Noticing you tagged your question "safe temperature", 140F will kill any parasites present. The USDA includes an additional 5-degree margin for error, meaning 145F is the recommended finished temp.

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