Time, Temperature, & Tips for Baking Salmon Perfectly

Nobody wants a dried-out piece of fishy-tasting leather when they bake salmon. Fortunately, we have all the tips to help you get your salmon right every time.

Updated December 28, 2023
Baked salmon

A well-baked piece of salmon is a thing of beauty. With flaky, tender flesh that's moist and flavorful, baked salmon can be the star of your dinner table. We have all the details you need about how long to bake salmon in the oven, so it's perfectly done. 

Length of Time for Cooking Salmon

The amount of time it will take to cook salmon depends on a variety of factors. Use these tips to find the right time for your salmon dish. 

Type Thickness Temp (°F) Time
Boneless fillet 2 inches 400°F 18-20 minutes
1 inch 10-12 minutes
Bone-in steak Varies 10 min per inch
All types, covered dish or packet N/A 350°F 10-20 minutes
  • For boneless, skinless or skin-on fillets, preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake a 2-inch-thick fillet for 18 to 20 minutes. A 1-inch-thick fillet will be done in 10 to 12 minutes.
  • A bone-in salmon steak should be baked uncovered at 400°F for 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
  • Bake salmon in a closed packet, whether parchment, foil, or a covered dish, at 350°F. It will cook a bit more quickly, so check the temperature after 10 minutes and re-cover the fish until it reaches the proper temperature.
Helpful Hack

Here's how to tell when the salmon is done. Check it frequently. Start checking at about 10 minutes and keep checking until the flesh of the fish is just barely an opaque pink. Remove the salmon from the oven as soon as the flesh becomes opaque. Serve immediately.

Cooking Temp for Salmon

If you cook to temperature instead of appearance, then the temp it should reach depends on who you ask. The USFDA lists the safe temp for all fish (including salmon) at 145°F. But salmon has almost no collagen and dries out at this temperature. So, many restaurateurs, food pundits, and thermometer manufacturers recommend cooking to 125°F.

You can also take a middle-ground approach — cook salmon to an internal temperature of 130°F. After a 5-minute rest with tented foil, carryover cooking will bring the fish up to 135°F.

Avoid Overcooking

Whatever you do to a lovely piece of salmon, don't overcook it. You'll end up with an extremely dry and unpalatable piece of fish.

One of the ways to give yourself a little wiggle room so that overcooking is less likely is to add a little moisture to the pan in the form of white wine, lemon juice, or olive oil. 

Another way to introduce a bit of moisture that can help avoid drying the fish if it is overcooked is to marinate the salmon before cooking. Fish absorbs marinades very quickly. A 15-minute swim, and it's ready to go into the oven.

Cook Your Salmon Right

If you love salmon as much as we do, you definitely want it to come out so it's tender and delicious and not an old piece of fishy-tasting shoe leather. By cooking it the right amount of time at the correct temp and introducing a little moisture into the oven environment, you'll wind up with a main course you can be proud of. 

Trending on LoveToKnow
Time, Temperature, & Tips for Baking Salmon Perfectly