Broiling Salmon Is Quick, Easy & Efficient
You may be asking yourself, did he say “broil” salmon? Who broils anything anymore?
There are many great ways to cook salmon - roast, poach, steam, grill but why broil? I like to think of broiling salmon as upside-down grilling. There are a few differences, but each uses high, direct heat to cook the fish quickly.
So broiling is a good alternative if you don’t have a grill, it’s covered in 4 feet of snow, or you are short on time and don’t want to wait for the charcoal briquettes to heat up.
This is the most basic recipe you’ll find on how to broil salmon. I adapted it from a recipe I found online.
This is a good reference for those needing to become more familiar with this classic technique.
I say classic because I remember, as a kid, my mom broiled lots of our meals, although I wouldn’t say she had her technique down. Most of those meals were overcooked and dried out, which is easy to do if you are not careful and pay attention.
What Type of Pan to Broil In?
The recipe and video show preparing the salmon in a cast iron pan, which is a fantastic cookware for broiling, but any ovenproof pan will do. We like to use a baking pan covered with aluminum foil in our house. It makes cleanup a lot easier.
Please be careful when you remove the pan from the oven. It’s going to be hot, so use an oven mitt.
As I said earlier, this is the most basic of recipes, but don’t let that stop you from coming up with ideas using some of your favorite fresh local ingredients. Below is the recipe. I’ve listed some alternative ideas for adapting this simple broiled salmon recipe that should give you some ideas.
And please visit my Pinterest page for more Cooking Techniques.
How to Broil Salmon
- Place the top rack of your oven high enough so when you place a heat proof skillet like a cast iron pan with the salmon fillets on it there will be 2-inch distance from the heat for every ½ inch thickness of salmon.So if your fillets are 1-inch thick, you’ll want them 4 inches from the heat. This prevents thicker cuts from overcooking on the outside before the center is completely cooked.
- Drizzle some of the oil on the pan and spread it around with the salmon fillets, skin side down. This will spread the oil around on the pan as well as coat the bottom of the fish. Use the remaining oil to coat the top of the fillets.
- Season with salt and pepper and place the pan on the top rack of the oven right under the broiler and broil for about 6 to 8 minutes per inch of thickness.One factor that will change the cooking time is when you take the salmon out of the refrigerator. If it comes right out of the fridge and into the pan, it could take a little longer so I recommend you try to take it out 10 - 15 minutes before you start cooking.
- Carefully remove the pan from the oven using an oven mitt*. The pan is HOT and I have made the mistake of grabbing a hot pan out of the oven without a mitt and it hurts, really hurts. So be careful.
- Check for doneness by looking at the color and checking for flakiness. It's not the same flakiness you find with white fish like fluke or flounder but as you can see in the photo above, there is a separation in the meat.
- Transfer the fillets to serving plates and sprinkle a little lemon & extra virgin olive oil on top of each fillet.
- Normally I would say let them rest for a couple of minutes before plating but I’m guessing it will take a minute or two to get them from the oven to the plate to the table.
Additional Ingredients For Broiled Salmon
Broiled Salmon with Herb Mustard Glaze - blend some garlic, rosemary, and thyme with a bit of Dijon mustard and oil and spoon it over the fillets in the last 2 - 3 minutes of broiling.
Garlicky Broiled Salmon - Drizzle with olive oil, garlic slices, thyme, and broil.
Honey and Soy Broiled Salmon - Combine some soy sauce with a bit of honey, then some rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, and a little minced garlic, and you have another great alternative.
Broiled Salmon with Tarragon Butter - Melt some butter, add some fresh lemon juice and fresh tarragon, and spoon over fillets after 2 - 3 minutes of broiling. Very elegant.
Broiled Salmon with Truffle Oil - Substitute one tablespoon of truffle oil with olive oil; you now have an entirely new dish.
Broiled Salmon with Blue Cheese, Lemon, and Dill - how about mixing some blue cheese with fresh dill, shallots, wine, and a little lemon juice that you can add to the salmon fillets during the last 2 - 3 minutes of roasting? Be careful not to burn the cheese.
Some of My Favorite Seafood Recipes
- Salmon Curry with Coconut Miso Recipe
- Grilled Salmon Delight: Perfectly Cooked Catch of the Day
- Everything You Need to Know About Ceviche
- Roasted Cod with Potatoes and Fennel Recipe
- Classic Tuna Casserole with Dill Recipe
- Shrimp Sauce Recipe
- Shrimp and Sweet Potato Curry Recipe
- Bacon Wrapped Scallops Over Coconut Curry Lentils Recipe