If you're looking for a quick and easy way to cook salmon in the oven, broiling is a great technique. It takes about 6 to 12 minutes to broil salmon in the oven, with larger pieces requiring more time. Discover all the tricks you need for broiling salmon so it always comes out perfectly cooked.
Timing Salmon in the Oven
Salmon can overcook quickly and become tough and unpalatable, so timing is everything. Broil until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 130°F and let it rest out of the oven for about 5 minutes to finish cooking. This allows the fish to reach a safe temperature without overcooking.
A good rule of thumb is that a fillet will take about 6 to 8 minutes to cook per inch of thickness. So, a one-inch thick piece of salmon will take between 6 and 8 minutes to cook, and a 2-inch thick piece will take 12 to 16 minutes.
How to Broil Salmon
- Measure the salmon fillets at their thickest point. For every ½-inch thickness of salmon, place the fish 2 inches from the broiler. So, for a 1-inch thick fillet, place the rack 4 inches from the heat source.
- Before pre-heating the oven, place the rack at the appropriate distance below the broiler at the top of the oven (in some gas ovens, the broiler is in a drawer below the main oven).
- Place the fish, skin side down and rounded pink side up, on lightly greased foil for easy clean-up. If placing the fish directly on a pan, be sure to oil it or spray it with nonstick spray.
- Drizzle the fish with olive oil and rub it in gently. Sprinkle with herbs (such as dill, thyme, or tarragon) and a little salt and pepper for flavoring.
- Place the fish in the oven.
- Broil according to the thickness of the fish as outlined above — about 6 minutes per inch of thickness — and check for doneness.
Checking for Doneness
Check the internal temperature of the salmon filets with a digital thermometer. When it reads 130°F, remove it from the oven and tent the fish with foil for 5 minutes before serving.
Start checking the temperature of the salmon 4 to 5 minutes before it is supposed to be done, according to its size. For instance, begin checking a 1-inch thick fillet at about 4 minutes or a ½-inch thick fillet at about 2 minutes.
If you don't have a thermometer, you can also eyeball it. Stick a fork into the filets and check the fish's color and texture. It should be opaque, pink, and flaky. The fish will be done when the pink has changed from translucent to opaque, with a little golden brown along the top where the element has caramelized the flesh.
Overcooked fish — even fatty fish like salmon — becomes dry and unpalatable. Adding fat or moisture by drizzling some olive oil or placing lemon slices on the salmon can help keep the fish from drying out (as can marinating it), but you should still watch the salmon closely to ensure you don't overcook it.
Healthy and Easy
Broiling is one of the fastest and easiest ways to cook salmon. While you'll need to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't overcook, you can have food on the table in less than 20 minutes.