Kyle’s Kitchen

How To Cook Salmon on the Stovetop (Easy Pan-Seared Fillets)




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2 (6 to 8-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets

1 tablespoon high smoking point oil, such as canola or vegetable



Step 1

Take the salmon fillets out of the refrigerator. Remove the salmon fillets from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before you're ready to cook (this will give them enough time to come closer to room temperature).

Step 2

Dry the salmon fillets. Use a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to pat each fillet dry on the top and bottom to prevent them from sticking to the pan.

Step 3

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Place a medium stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and let the pan heat up for a couple minutes.

Step 4

Use water to test if the pan is ready. Flick a few drops of water into the pan to test if it's hot enough. If the water sizzles and evaporates almost immediately, the pan is ready to go. If not, let it heat up for another minute and test again.

Step 5

Add oil to the pan. Add the oil and tilt the skillet so that a thin layer of oil coats the bottom. Continue to heat the oil until you see ripples across the surface, but not long enough that it smokes.

Step 6

Season the salmon. Just before adding the salmon to the skillet, season the fillets with salt.

Step 7

Add the fillets skin-side down to the pan. Carefully place the fillets skin-side down into the pan.

Step 8

Cook the fillets. The majority of the cooking will take place while the salmon is skin-side down in the pan. Above all else, resist the temptation to poke, prod, or move the fish; it's important that you leave it be. As the fish cooks, you'll notice the color of the fillet begin to lighten, starting at the bottom near the skin and slowly moving upwards. Cook the salmon undisturbed until the lighter-colored flesh has moved about 3/4 of the way up the fillets. This will come to a total time of 8 to 9 minutes for thick fillets and 6 to 7 minutes for thinner fillets.

Step 9

Flip the fillets and cook for a few additional minutes. Use a fish or flat spatula to flip the salmon fillets, turning the fish away from you to prevent any oil splatter. Cook for 2 minutes more for thicker fillets and 1 to 2 minutes more for thinner fillets.

Step 10

Remove the salmon from the pan. Transfer the fillets to a paper towel-lined plate.

Step 11

Rest the fillets. Rest the fillets for about 3 minutes before serving.




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