The USDA recommends cooking salmon to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). At this temperature, while the salmon will be safe to eat, it will give you very, very firm salmon that is dry, rubbery, and even chalky.
Hook Point sells Wild Alaska sushi grade sockeye that you can count on for freshness and many of our customers prefer their salmon cooked to a slightly lower temperature for a more tender and moist texture. You can aim for 120-130°F (49-54°C) if you prefer your salmon medium-rare to medium. The flesh will be buttery, flakey, and slightly translucent at these temperatures.
We recommend using a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fillet. It is the most accurate way to determine the salmon's internal temperature.
Keep in mind that salmon will continue to cook for a short period after you remove it from the heat source. This phenomenon is called carryover cooking. To account for this, you can remove the salmon from the heat source when it's a few degrees below your target temperature and allow it to rest for a few minutes. During this resting period, the internal temperature will rise slightly.
The cooking temperature and time can vary depending on the cooking method you choose. For example:
- Baking or Roasting: Preheat your oven to around 375 and cook salmon for approximately 10 - 12 minutes per inch of thickness.
- Grilling: Grill salmon over medium-high heat for about 3 - 5 minutes on one side and 2 - 4 on the other.
- Pan-Searing: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and cook salmon for about 3 - 4 minutes one side and 1 - 2 on the other.
Keep in mind that salmon fillets can vary in thickness. Thicker fillets will take longer to cook than thinner ones, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.