How Long to Bake Salmon
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Learn how long to bake salmon and tips for making flaky, flavorful salmon using this step-by-step guide. Overcooked salmon is dry and chewy, while undercooked salmon can be unsafe. We show you how to bake salmon to perfection every time!
How Long Do You Bake Salmon
Salmon bake time depends not only on the thickness and oven temp, but also on overall size! For example, a whole 2-pound fillet takes longer to bake than if it were cut into 8-ounce portions. Use the chart below to determine bake time for any setup:
|Oven Temperature||How Long to Bake Salmon|
|350°F (177°C)||16-18 min||20-24 min|
|375°F (191°C)||14-16 min||17-20 min|
|400°F (204°C)||12-14 min||14-17 min|
|425°F (218°C)||10-12 min||12-14 min|
|450°F (232°C)||8-10 min||10-12 min|
Note: These times are for 1-inch thick salmon (in the thickest part). Add 4-6 minutes per additional ½-inch of thickness.
Always watch your salmon carefully for the final few minutes, especially at higher temperatures since it’s easy to overcook! If you’re using a convection/forced air oven, you may need to reduce the bake time up to 30%.
Salmon Bake Temperature
What’s the best temperature to bake salmon? The good news is that salmon can be baked successfully from 350 to 450°F:
- Dressed/marinated salmon: Bake at a lower temperature like 350 or 375°F to prevent the sauce from burning.
- Dry seasoned salmon: Bake at higher temperatures for shorter periods to get moist fish with a crispy exterior. I generally recommend 425°F the first time around, and 450°F if you’re comfortable with your oven setup.
How to Bake Salmon
Baking salmon is actually pretty straightforward. Grab a baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil or parchment. Place the salmon on top and pat dry with paper towels. Then run some canola oil on all sides and sprinkle dry seasonings on top.
Baked to desired doneness, or about 10-12 minutes at 425°F for 8-oz filets that are 1-inch thick. Then remove from the oven and serve warm!
How to Tell When It’s Done
When salmon is done, the flesh will be opaque in the center and flake easily. Undercooked salmon will still be translucent and resist flaking, while overcooked salmon will be dry and chewy.
The most reliable way to check doneness is by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the salmon. You can also use wireless dual-probe thermometer to monitor temperature remotely during baking.
- Cook to 135°F if you prefer rarer salmon or happen to using wild salmon, which is leaner and easier to dry out.
- Cook to 140°F maximum if you want a firmer texture.
The temperature will keep rising out of the oven to reach the USDA recommended level of 145°F (63°C).
If you don’t have an instant thermometer available, then slide a fork into the thickest section at an angle and twist slightly. The flesh will be opaque and starting to flake when it’s done. The surface will also be firm, but slightly springy.
Tips for Baking Salmon
- Always thaw frozen fish completely and remove from the fridge 20-30 minutes before baking to promote even cooking.
- Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper to help prevent sticking.
- Pat dry the salmon with paper towels to remove excess moisture for a crispier exterior.
- Bake salmon with the skin on to keep the flesh moist. To remove the skin, simply slide a fish spatula between the flesh and skin after baking.
- Use a high-temperature oil like canola oil or refined olive oil to prevent smoking in the oven.
- Fold the thinner ends of a salmon filet underneath to prevent overcooking.
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What to Serve with Salmon:
Oven Baked Salmon
- 2 pounds salmon, 6-8 oz filets with skin on, about 1-inch thick*
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
- lemon wedges, for serving
- Remove the salmon from the fridge 20-30 minutes before cooking to let it approach room temperature for even cooking.
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Pat dry the salmon with paper towels. Then place it skin-side down on the prepared baking sheet. If there are any thin sections, tuck them underneath to prevent overcooking.
- Brush the salmon with oil on all sides, including the skin. Then sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
- Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. It’s done when the internal temperature reaches 135-140°F in the thickest section and the surface is firm but springy.**
- Remove from the oven and place the salmon on a plate. Remove the skin if desired and sprinkle fresh lemon juice on top to serve.
- Seasonings: You may wish to add other dry seasonings can include paprika, onion powder and thyme.
- * For thicker salmon, add 4-6 minutes more to the baking time per additional 1/2-inch of thickness.
- ** To measure the internal temperature, insert an instant-read thermometer into the middle thickest section. Alternatively, you can use a wireless dual-probe thermometer to measure in the oven while the salmon is baking.
- Storage: Cooked salmon can be stored for up to 2 days in an airtight container in the fridge or frozen for up to 3 months.
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