For many years, we have been instructed that we should wash seafood like salmon before cooking it. But are we doing correctly, or are we causing more harm than good? Is it necessary to wash salmon before cooking it? Salmon should not be cleaned before cooking since it increases the danger of bacterial contamination rather than decreasing it. If your salmon is fresh and safe to consume, the cooking procedure will kill any bacteria that may be present. When preparing raw salmon for sushi, take care not to spread bacteria. Do you want to discover all of the finest cooking techniques and tricks for salmon? Everything you need to know is right here!
Do You Wash Salmon Before Cooking?
Many people insist that washing salmon and other fish before cooking is the proper practice, and you may even come across folks who wash poultry. Is it true that washing the fish gets rid of the bacteria and lessens the fishy scent when cooking?
Unfortunately, this recommendation is flawed! Authorities on food safety strongly advise against washing salmon before cooking, and they can support their recommendations with scientific data. Salmon washing may actually enhance rather than reduce the risk of bacterial infection, including on other foods and kitchen surfaces in addition to the fish itself.
But what about that fishy scent – will the salmon smell awful after it’s cooked if we don’t rinse it?
It is true that salmon that isn’t quite as fresh as we’d like it to be when cooked can have a strong, fishy smell, which may also change the flavor. This is assumed to be caused by an increased bacterial load on the fish’s surface, which can be eliminated by rinsing. But it’s probably not a good idea to eat salmon in the first place if it smells really fishy. Even when cooked, fresh salmon that has been preserved properly will not smell at all.
If the fish begins to smell fishy, bacterial contamination has already begun. We could wash the bacteria off the fish’s surface to remove the odor, but how sure can you be that the fish is completely safe to eat? Instead of using the rinse technique, we advise sticking to buying fresh, premium salmon and eating it as soon as it smells rancid.
Why Shouldn’t You Wash Salmon Before Cooking?
Now comes the science! If you wanted a good reason why salmon should not be washed before cooking, the evidence is clear. We may believe that we are thoroughly rinsing our salmon, but studies have shown that minuscule droplets of water can spread bacteria up to three feet from your sink. This means they’re falling on the counter, chopping boards, other foods, kitchen towels, and even you!
When you think about it, it’s rather disgusting! This cross-contamination is unavoidable, regardless of how carefully you rinse salmon. In room temperature conditions, the bacteria will quickly multiply wherever it lands. All meat, poultry, and fish products have bacteria on their surface, but it is how we store and cook these foods that ensures they are safe to eat.
Washing them may temporarily reduce the number of bacteria, but bacteria multiply so quickly that they will quickly return to their original numbers. Cooking food to the recommended temperature — in the case of salmon, a minimum internal temperature of 145°F — is the best way to eliminate bacteria.
To reduce the risk of cross-contamination, the salmon should be transferred directly from its packaging to the cooking pan. However, if you need to do some prep work before cooking your salmon, we have some great tips to keep you and your family safe!
How Do You Prepare Salmon Before Cooking?
To reduce the chance of bacterial cross-contamination, we would prefer to move salmon directly from its packaging in the refrigerator to the heated pan or grill. But before we cook our salmon, we could wish to prepare it by trimming, slicing, marinating, or seasoning the fillets. Fortunately, by following a few straightforward instructions, it is possible to cook salmon while lowering the danger of bacterial contamination!
Prepare all of the other ingredients first. This entails slicing any veggies, putting them back in the refrigerator, and preparing any marinades or seasoning mixtures. This means that you should prepare the salmon for cooking very last and that everything else should be safely out of the way. Set a clean cutting board and knife out on your workspace. Place the salmon on the cutting board after removing it from its container.
You can now make any preparations that are required, including using tweezers to remove the fragile pin bones or slicing the salmon into smaller slices. This would be an excellent time to skin the salmon, if you wanted to. Place the prepared salmon into a clean container, along with any seasoning mix or marinade you may be using. After that, it should either be cooked right away or put back in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Wash the knife, cutting board, and any other tools or utensils you used right away. Your work surface should be completely cleaned after being sprayed with a kitchen disinfectant. Make sure to cover a space of at least three feet. Finally, wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
How Do You Clean Raw Salmon?
You might not know it, but salmon is one of the few fish that can be eaten uncooked! Salmon is frequently used in sushi, gravlax, sashimi, tartare, and other raw fish dishes. But, since we’ve previously determined that boiling salmon is the most effective technique to eradicate bacteria, how do we make raw salmon safe to eat? As with any raw fish, the first step is to ensure that it is as fresh as possible and kept cold from the time it is caught until you consume it.
To bring the fish home from the store, your fishmonger should ideally supply you with an ice-filled container. You’ll also notice that many raw fish recipes call for marinating the salmon in an acidic liquid, such as lemon juice or vinegar. This has the same effect as cooking fish, but without using heat!
This is why lemon or lime juice will turn salmon from a faint pink to a white tint. The use of acidic liquids not only changes the color and texture of raw fish, but it also aids in the removal of microorganisms. This isn’t as safe as boiling the fish over heat, and raw fish should never be taken by vulnerable groups like the elderly or pregnant women.
But what if you want to skip the marinade and eat the salmon fully raw as part of a sushi feast?
To begin, only utilize sushi-grade salmon for this reason. As soon as it was caught, it was cleaned, gutted, and frozen or cooled, reducing the possibility of bacterial infection. However, there will be some preliminary work required to turn your raw salmon into sushi. Filleting, trimming, and deboning a whole salmon, or cutting pre-prepared fillets into super-thin slices, may be required.
Before you begin to maintain the fish as clean as possible, fully disinfect your chopping board, work surface, and knife. Throughout the process, make sure to properly wash your hands at frequent intervals. Preparing salmon for sushi is an art form that requires far more than one page to itself, but at least you’re on the right track to doing it safely!
Let’s look at some additional salmon-related problems now that we’ve resolved the dilemma of whether or not to wash fish!
Do you remove the skin on salmon before cooking?
Many individuals dread eating the skin of salmon, while others enjoy it. Should you remove the skin off your salmon before cooking if you fall into the first category? Even if you loathe eating the skin, leaving it on the salmon while it cooks is a smart idea. It seals in moisture, adds a protective layer, and enhances the flavor of the fish. This is why, in most salmon recipes, the fish is cooked skin-side down in the pan! The only exception is if you’re poaching fish in water. Because the skin may hinder the fish from cooking evenly, it should be removed ahead of time.
How do you know when salmon is cooked?
Salmon that has been overcooked frequently gets overcooked, which may be why many people say they don’t enjoy salmon. Salmon that has been overcooked develops a dry, powdery texture and is packed with unappealing white gloopy proteins. So what is the best way to prepare salmon without overcooking it? The goal of cooking salmon is to ensure that it is safe to consume while still being juicy and moist.
Even while the center may still be somewhat translucent, it won’t contain any bacteria as long as the internal temperature has been raised to a safe level of 145°F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, push down on the top of the fillet with a fork or finger to check if it’s cooked. If it easily splits into flakes, remove it from the flame right once. Beyond this stage, the food will become crumbly, dry, and unpleasant to consume.