Just say no to dry and overcooked salmon! By making slow roasted salmon you’ll have tender, buttery fish which is perfectly cooked. This salmon will melt in your mouth!
I’m sitting here today looking out at my beautiful flowering crabapple tree. It’s right outside my office window and I love seeing it in bloom every year! Though it has been a wet and overcast spring so far, we are still getting lots of lovely flowers to lift our spirits.
And I’ve been doing plenty of cooking to keep us fed! I have grill recipes, desserts, cocktails, and more coming up. 🙂 Today, though, is all about salmon.
While I love fast cooked and crispy skinned salmon, it does require precise timing and plenty of attention to get it right. It’s great when you want a sear on your salmon, but what to do when you want amazingly tender and buttery salmon?
Low oven and slow cooking to the rescue!
Slow Roasted Salmon
How do you make slow roasted salmon?
To make slow roasted salmon, sprinkle a salmon fillet with salt. Then put it in a low oven, and roast until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 122-125F. Serve with a lemon herb sauce.
Dry brine the salmon
The first step to tender and tasty salmon is to sprinkle it with kosher salt and let it sit.
If you think of it in the morning or the night before, I would highly recommend giving the salmon several hours to brine. However, even a short brine is worth while. Just sprinkle the salmon with salt FIRST, before you start the rest of your dinner prep. This should give the salmon about 30 minutes of brining time. Or more, depending on what you are making with the salmon.
Make the Lemon Herb Sauce
I like to make the sauce before I put the salmon in the oven so that I can rub it with some of the herbs as it cooks.
To make the sauce, mix together lemon zest and juice, fresh parsley, fresh thyme, garlic, salt, and olive oil. It’s just a few minutes chopping and stir it together. (Or you can make the sauce in the blender. This will produce a smoother sauce.)
Tip: Use Meyer lemons for a slightly sweeter and more complex sauce.
Slow Roast the Salmon in the Oven
At this point you can cut the salmon into serving size pieces if you wish. Just note that smaller pieces of salmon will cook faster!
Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. Rub the salmon with a couple tablespoons of the herb sauce and put it on the baking sheet.
Roast the salmon in a 300F oven until it reaches 122-125F on a thermometer. This will take anywhere from 12-18 minutes, depending on how thick the fish is and whether you cut it into strips.
Once the salmon is cooked, you can eat it immediately with some more of the herb sauce or let it cool and enjoy it at room temperature or chilled from the fridge.
What temperature should salmon be cooked to?
I’m going to say that I differ from the USDA! For food safety, the USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145F. I find the salmon overcooked at this temperature.
If you want tender, buttery salmon, cook the fish to a temperature of 122-125F.
Note: This temperature will give you medium rare salmon. If you prefer your salmon medium, bump up the temperature by 5 degrees and cook it to about 130F. Just know that your salmon will be a little drier and less tender.
What is the best wine to drink with salmon?
Salmon is a rich and oily fish which can pair with either a red or white.
If you are having a white, you will want to choose a full bodied white, such as a buttery Chardonnay or a Pinot Grigio. For a red, you will want a lighter bodied wine, such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Beaujolais.
What should I serve with slow roasted salmon?
If you are having the salmon for dinner, I would recommend a rice pilaf or some crispy roasted potatoes. And then, depending on my mood either a seasonal steamed vegetable (such as asparagus) or a simple green salad.
If you try my recipe for Slow Roasted Salmon, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
Slow Roasted Salmon with Lemon Herb Sauce
- 1 lb salmon fillet, skinless if you can find it
- kosher salt
Lemon Herb Sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- lemon slices
- At least 30 minutes before cooking or up to one day, liberally sprinkle the salmon with kosher salt.
- Heat the oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. If using foil, brush the foil with a little olive oil.
- Place the salmon on the baking sheet. Rub 2 tablespoons of the lemon herb sauce over the salmon.
- Roast the salmon for 12-15 minutes for individual pieces or 18-20 for a whole fillet, until the salmon reaches 122-125 on an instant read thermometer.
- Serve the salmon with the remaining sauce and extra lemon slices.
- Salmon: I use salmon which is a bit over 3/4 inch thick in its thickest part.
- Lemons: If you can find Meyer lemons, use them in place of the standard lemons.
- Presentation: For neatly cut individual servings slice the salmon before cooking. This will mean that the salmon will cook quicker than a whole fillet, so note the times I gave for precut salmon.
- Temperature: 122-125F will give you medium rare salmon. If you prefer medium salmon, cook the fish to about 130F.