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Do you remove salmon skin before or after cooking?

Salmon is a popular fish that is enjoyed all over the world. It is not only delicious, but it is also a great source of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. However, when it comes to cooking salmon, there is often confusion surrounding whether or not to remove the skin before or after cooking. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of removing the skin and provide some helpful tips on how to cook the perfect salmon with or without the skin.

The Benefits of Cooking Salmon With Skin On

There are several benefits to cooking salmon with the skin on. Firstly, the skin acts as a protective layer, ensuring that the delicate flesh does not stick to the pan or grill. By leaving the skin on, you can achieve a crispy skin that is a popular delicacy. Additionally, leaving the skin on will help retain the moisture and flavor of the fish while it is cooking. The skin also helps to keep the shape of the salmon intact, which is particularly important when grilling or pan-frying salmon.

Reasons to Remove the Skin

The main reason people consider removing the skin is due to the perception that it is not edible or unhealthy. The fact is, salmon skin is safe to eat if cooked properly, and it is packed with healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. However, the skin does have a stronger flavor than the flesh, which can be off-putting to some people. If you prefer a milder taste, then removing the skin may be the way to go.

How to Cook Salmon With Skin On

If you decide to cook salmon with the skin on, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure to pat the fish dry with paper towels before cooking to remove any excess moisture. This will ensure that the skin becomes crispy and not soggy. Secondly, make sure to season the flesh side of the fish with salt, pepper, or any other spices of your choice before cooking. Avoid seasoning the skin side, as this can prevent it from crisping up properly.

When cooking, start by placing the salmon skin-side down in a hot pan or on a grill. You should hear a sizzle as soon as the fish hits the pan, which is an indication that the skin is cooking well. Leave the fish to cook for a few minutes, then gently check the underside of the skin to see if it has turned golden brown yet. Once the skin is crispy, flip the salmon over and cook the flesh side for an additional minute or two until it is cooked through.

How to Remove Salmon Skin

If you decide to remove the skin, then you will need to learn how to do it properly. This can be done before or after cooking, but it is generally easier to do it before cooking the fish. To remove the skin, start by placing the salmon skin-side down on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, gently insert the blade between the skin and the flesh at the edge of the fish nearest to you. Slowly slice along the length of the salmon, gliding the knife between the skin and the flesh as you go. Keep the knife close to the skin as you move along to ensure that you are removing only the skin and not any of the flesh.


Whether to remove salmon skin before or after cooking is a matter of personal preference. If you enjoy the crispy skin and the added flavor, leave the skin on. If you prefer a milder taste or find the skin unpalatable, then removing it is the way to go. Whatever you choose, always make sure to cook your salmon to the proper temperature to ensure it is safe and delicious!


Should you remove skin from fish before cooking?

Whether or not to remove the skin from fish before cooking is a topic of debate among chefs and home cooks alike. While many people find the crispy skin to be a delicious part of the fish, there are some concerns about the safety of consuming fish skin due to potentially high levels of toxins.

One of the main concerns with fish skin is the accumulation of toxins such as mercury, PCBs, and dioxins. These toxins can build up in the fatty tissue of the fish, including the skin, and can pose health risks if consumed in large quantities. In fact, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the skin of the fish can build up to 10,000 times the level of toxins that are present in the water.

To help reduce the potential risks of consuming fish skin, the EPA recommends removing and discarding the skin, fat, and internal organs of fish before cooking. This can help to reduce the levels of toxins that may be ingested and can make the fish safer and healthier to eat.

However, some chefs and food enthusiasts argue that the skin is a delicious and nutritious part of the fish that should not be wasted. They point out that not all fish species accumulate high levels of toxins in their skin and that it is possible to cook fish in a way that reduces the risk of consuming harmful substances.

For example, grilling or broiling the fish can help to cook off some of the fat and oil, which can also help to reduce the levels of toxins. Additionally, choosing fish that are known to have lower levels of toxins can also help to minimize the risk of health problems.

While there are concerns about the safety of consuming fish skin due to potentially high levels of toxins, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether or not the skin should be removed before cooking. the decision will come down to personal preference and individual health concerns. However, if you are unsure about the safety of consuming fish skin, it is always better to err on the side of caution and remove it before cooking.

How do you know when salmon skin is cooked?

Cooking salmon with its skin on can help keep the fish moist and prevent it from falling apart. However, cooking salmon skin side down can lead to confusion about how to tell if the skin is cooked properly. There are several ways to tell if the salmon skin is cooked and ready to eat.

One of the easiest ways to check if the skin is cooked is to press down on the top of the fillet with a fork or your finger. If the flesh of the salmon flakes easily, meaning it separates easily along the white lines that run across the fillet (strips of fish fat), it’s finished cooking. If the flesh does not easily flake, then it needs more time to cook.

Another way to check if the salmon skin is cooked is to look at it. The skin should be golden brown and crispy. If the skin is still soft or opaque, it means it is not cooked yet. A fully cooked salmon skin will have a slightly blistered appearance, but it should not be burned.

You can also use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the salmon. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the fish, and if it reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit, the salmon is done. However, this method may leave the skin on the bottom soggy.

The easiest way to check if the salmon skin is cooked is to gently press down on the top of the fillet and see if the flesh flakes easily. Additionally, the skin should be golden brown and crispy, and a thermometer can also be used to check for a safe internal temperature.