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Reheating salmon – or any kind of fish – can feel like a challenge worthy of a master chef. While salmon, with its higher fat content, is a bit more forgiving than most fish, get it wrong and you’re faced with a sad, dry, chewy mess. But fear not, fellow foodies! With a blend of culinary expertise and a dash of scientific insight, let me guide you through the art and science of reheating salmon like a pro.
Whether your salmon was originally pan-fried, grilled, baked, or poached, let’s explore the best methods for reheating and recapturing that just-cooked taste.
The Salmon Reheat Cheat Sheet
|Microwave||90% power||45 seconds||Sprinkle water on fish. Cover with skin.|
|Oven||350°F (175°C)||10 minutes||Wrap in foil with water, adjust time if needed|
|Air Fryer||360°F (182°C)||5 minutes||Generously spray with oil, use parchment paper, check after 3 minutes|
|Stovetop||Low/Medium Heat||3-4 minutes||Start with water and steam, then add butter or oil; adjust heat and time for desired texture|
How To Reheat Salmon in the Microwave
Ah, the humble microwave. Often underused and misunderstood, this is in fact an excellent choice for reheating salmon. The secret lies in using the right heat setting and not overcrowding the microwave with filets. This is my favorite method because it does a fantastic job in little time.
- Place 1-2 salmon filets on a microwave-safe dish.
- If your filets are uneven, cut them in half, arranging the fleshier parts on the outside and overlapping the thinner portions in the middle.
- If your filets still have skin on, gently peel it off and place it on top of the filets.
- If the skin is absent, lightly spray or drizzle the salmon with oil or add a small spread of butter.
- Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of water over the fish.
- Cover the dish with a microwave cover or loose plastic wrap.
- Set the heat to 90% and cook for 45 seconds.
- If the filets are not heated through, microwave at 90% for another 15-20 seconds.
And enjoy, look at that succulent and moist salmon fillet.
- No heat setting on your microwave? Fear not! Cook the salmon on high for 20-25 seconds and add another 10-15 seconds if not heated through.
- If you have leftover liquid from poaching or baking your salmon, use 1-2 tablespoons instead of water.
- To mimic the crispiness of grilled or pan-fried salmon, reduce the microwave time by 10 seconds and sear the filets in a preheated, lightly oiled skillet for 10-15 seconds.
How To Reheat Salmon in the Oven
The conventional or toaster oven is your best bet for salmon that was originally poached or baked. However, it can still work for fried or grilled salmon if you’re willing to sacrifice some crunch.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Place salmon on aluminum foil that’s been lightly sprayed with oil.
- If the salmon still has skin, arrange the filets skin-side up. If not, dab some butter on top of the filets.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of water and tightly wrap the fish in foil.
- Place the foil packet on a baking tray or dish and cook for about 10 minutes (check after 8 minutes if using a toaster oven, as these can cook faster).
- If the fish is not heated through, return it to the oven for another 5 minutes.
- Use any leftover sauce or liquid from poached or baked salmon instead of water to keep the fish moist during baking.
How To Reheat Salmon in the Air Fryer
Reheating salmon in an air fryer can quickly dry it out, as the appliance is designed to use less fat. To counteract this, you’ll need to add more fat than you usually would.
- Preheat your air fryer to 360°F (180°C).
- Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper.
- Generously spray salmon with oil, being careful not to let it drip.
- Place salmon skin-side down for a crispy top, or skin-side up to baste the fish as it reheats.
- Cook the salmon for about 5 minutes, checking after 3 minutes and adjusting timing if necessary.
- The parchment paper helps to prevent sticking, but it’s not essential, especially if you place the filets skin-side down.
How To Reheat Salmon in the Skillet / Stovetop
Stovetop reheating is suitable for salmon prepared any way, and the method will vary depending on whether you want a crispy or moist result.
- Choose a skillet or, in a pinch, a saucepan with a lid.
- Add a few tablespoons of water to the skillet or pan and set to medium heat.
- Once the water starts to steam, add salmon and cover.
- Turn heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filet.
- Remove the cover, wipe away water, and add some butter or oil.
- For a crispy crust, turn the heat to medium-high and sear the salmon for about a minute.
- For a softer texture, maintain low heat, recover, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Cooking times will vary depending on your stovetop’s responsiveness to heat changes.
- You can skip the water steam and add butter, oil, or another liquid from the start instead.
Salmon will be warmed through when it flakes easily with a fork and has an internal temperature of at least 125°F (51.5°C).
Properly stored, cooked salmon will last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. See our full post here about how long salmon lasts in various forms.
Reheating salmon more than once is not recommended, as it can lead to microbial growth and a decline in the quality of the fish. Who wants bone dry salmon?