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Perfect-Every-Time Salmon

This salmon is simply perfect. Ok, slightly cocky- but it's true. It tastes like you've grilled it, but in fact, you haven't bothered. All you've done is put on your broiler for a moment. Crispy top, medium inside. Perfect every time.

There's not much too it. Some lemon, salt and pepper. Sometimes I put paprika. This is more for color and a dark look rather than flavor. Also the size of the fish matters. And by size I mean height. The taller the fish the longer the cook time. I use a full size, 9x13, baking dish (like a PYREX). If you use a dish that is too small then the fish is sitting in too much juice and it steams the fish. Bleh. So make sure the liquid is just at the bottom and not coming up the sides of the fish too much.

This method is for anyone who loves grilled fish but is too lazy. You cook the fish mostly in the oven and then switch the oven to broiler.

To make this recipe more interesting, pair the fish with something. You can do something kid friendly like guacamole or cabbage salad in a taco, or something more classic like a creamy dill sauce.


For this recipe I did not specify a size or quantity for the salmon. It can be individual pieces of fish or even a side of salmon. As long as the lemon juice covers the bottom of the pan, but not too much that it is coming up the sides of the fish.

Perfect-Every-Time Salmon


Wild salmon, skin on and pin bones removed

Fresh lemon juice


kosher salt

black pepper


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees convection). Place your oven rack in the top third of the oven.

Take your fish and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the salmon in a baking dish (like a PYREX). Pour the lemon juice over the fish and then sprinkle all of the seasoning evenly over the flesh. Place your fish in the oven to bake uncovered.

Approximate Bake time for the fish- (subtract time if your salmon is short)

Individual pieces- 12 minutes

2 pound piece- 18 minutes

side of salmon- 28 minutes

With the fish still in the oven, turn on your broiler to high. Cook under the flame for an additional -

Broil time for the fish-

Individual pieces- 3 min

2 pound piece- 4-5 min

side of salmon- 5 min

(Always be careful not to go far from your oven with a broiler on. When broiling anything with oil or fat there is always potential for a flare up.)

Everyone's oven has temperature variation. If you are not sure the fish is cooked through enough you can always touch the top of the fish- if it feels jiggly then you want to put it back under the broiler for an extra minute. You are looking for a crispy outside with some firmness to the fish. But not too much or it will be dry!

When plating this dish I like to leave the skin in the baking dish. So take a spatula and wedge it between the fish and the dish to lift up the fish. If your fish is a larger piece, you can use two spatulas.

You can serve this fish hot, or room temperature.

Plan Ahead:

  • I like to make this a day ahead of serving and serve at room temperature.

  • To bring your fish to room temperature, let the fish sit out for 45 minutes before serving.


Slice a lemon in half and put it on a hot grill for 5 minutes.

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