How to Broil Wild Salmon

Tips and Tricks for Making Salmon Magic Using High Radiant Heat

If you need to make a wild salmon meal happen fast, broiling the fish might be your best bet. Because the broiler uses such high heat, it’ll sear the outside of the fish while leaving the center of the fillet perfectly moist.

Some ovens cycle the broiler on and off to manage and regulate the heat, but you’re going to want to make sure your broiler is working at full force while the fish is cooking. That will guarantee the quickest and most intense blast of heat that your oven can muster.

First Things First: Temperature

Most ovens have three settings for the broiler: low, medium and high. To sear in the natural juices of the fish and not risk drying it out, you want it under the broiler for a short period of time at an extremely high heat. So, choose high. Ovens range in temperature, but the high setting on a broiler is generally about 550 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to allow a few minutes for it to heat up.  

Fillet Prep

You don’t need to do anything particularly special to the fish to prepare it for cooking under a broiler. Just pat it dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to remove any additional moisture.

Preparing salmon under the broiler is one of the best ways to retain the salmon’s natural flavor. It doesn’t take on the taste of charcoal like when being grilled; and it doesn’t take on the taste of whatever you’re using to steam it. As a result, it’s best to season the fish simply when cooking it under the broiler, with perhaps a little salt and pepper, and maybe a dab of melted butter.

Where To Lay Your Fillet

When it comes to materials needed, a standard baking or cookie sheet should do the trick, and if you want to avoid scraping fish skin off the sheet after dinner, putting a layer of tin foil over first will help to minimize clean up time.  

Positioning Matters

The closer the salmon to the broiler, the better; so the top rack is the optimal location. It shouldn’t take more than three minutes to cook the salmon all the way through, although it does depend on the size of the fillet. Make sure to set a timer because a broiled salmon will cook much quicker than other methods due to the intensity of the heat. If at any point the top of the salmon fillet shows signs of burning, you can cover it with tin foil to ensure that the heat cooks it through without charring the top.

Broiled Salmon Recipes We Love

The honey-to-sesame-to-citrus ratio on this recipe from Bon Appétit satisfies the sweet to savory matrix from start to finish. Whereas a miso-glaze, such as this one by chef Jacqués Pepin, gives you straightforward umami depth.

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