How to Cook Salmon with Skin On

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It’s hard to beat the taste of a deliciously grilled salmon. One side flaky and savory, the other crispy and delicious. It’s definitely in the running for being the best way to have fish, period.

But unless you’re ready to shell out big bucks at a restaurant, you’re probably wishing you could take care of business on the stove at home. If you don’t know how to cook salmon with skin on properly, all you’ll end up with is a flaccid, greasy, overcooked mess.

Cooked salmon with grilled lemon slice on plate.

To save both you and the fish a lot of trouble, let’s take a look at how to make salmon skin crispy and the proper technique for cooking salmon with a grill pan at home.

While it might sound a little intimidating at first, you’ll get the hang of it in no time at all. Then your only problem will be forcing yourself to eat something else once in a while.

Step #1. Prepare Ingredients

Raw salmon steaks on a plate with the skin on.
  • 2 salmon fillets, with skin
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grill pan
  • Lid that is the same size or smaller than the grill pan
  • Tongs

Step #2. Season Salmon Steaks

Salting the salmon fillets.

Let the salmon sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Season the salmon steaks with salt and pepper.

Sprinkling pepper onto the salmon fillets.
Seasoned salmon fillet on plate.

Step #3. Heat the Pan

Adding oil to pan.

Bring a grill pan to medium-high heat and add the canola oil.

Step #4. Add Salmon to Pan

Adding raw salmon to pan, skin side down.

Place the salmon loins in the pan with the skin side down. Let them cook for about 2-3 minutes to get that skin nice and crispy.

2 salmon fillets in pan, cooking.

Step #5. Add Lemon Slices

Adding a lemon slice to pan.

Lower the heat to medium and add the lemon slices (place them on top of and around the salmon fillets).

Step #6. Cover the Pan

Pan on the stove, covered with a lid.

Cover the grill pan with a round lid (it is ideal that the lid doesn’t fit the grill exactly, this way some of the vapor will get out and it won’t heat excessively – if you have a grill with a lid, you can place it on slightly tilted so some of the vapor can vent out).

Step #7. Continue Cooking

Cooked salmon fillets in pan.

Let the salmon steaks cook for about 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. (Keep an eye on them – you’ll know they are ready when the color turns light pink and you can see parts of the inner grease of the salmon coming out – the thick and white cream.)

If you feel like they are cooking too quickly, lower the heat a bit. Also, you can remove the lemons once they are browned.

Step #8. Serve with the Grilled Lemon

Cooked salmon with grilled lemon slice on plate.

Serve with the grilled lemon and enjoy. To keep the skin crispy, serve it skin side up.

Cooked salmon with grilled lemon slice on plate.
How to Cook Salmon With Skin Step 7-6
Cooked salmon with grilled lemon slices on plates and lemons on the table.
Cooked salmon with grilled lemon slices on plates and lemons on the table.

Salmon is one of the most sumptuous fish you can eat and this grill pan salmon recipe is one of the best forms it can take. Whether you’re ready to chow down on it by itself or next to some asparagus and a nice glass of Pinot Noir, it’s all going to taste the same – delicious.

How did it feel knowing that crispy, crackly salmon skin was all your own doing? Already thinking of ways to spice things up for next time? You really can’t go wrong with the techniques outlined here, so don’t be afraid to make this recipe your own in all sorts of new and exciting ways.

Cooked salmon with grilled lemon slice on plate.

How to Cook Salmon with Skin – Crispy No Flip Method

Joss D
It's hard to beat the taste of a deliciously grilled salmon. One side flaky and savory, the other crispy and delicious. It's definitely in the running for being the best way to have fish, period. Let's take a look at how to make salmon skin crispy and the proper technique for cooking salmon with a grill pan at home.
Prep Time 8 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 82 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 salmon filletswith skin
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 lemonsliced
  • Salt and pepperto taste

Instructions
 

  • Let the salmon sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Season the salmon steaks with salt and pepper.
    Seasoned salmon fillet on plate.
  • Bring a grill pan to medium-high heat and add the canola oil.
    Adding oil to pan.
  • Place the salmon loins in the pan with the skin side down. Let them cook for about 2-3 minutes to get that skin nice and crispy.
    Adding raw salmon to pan, skin side down.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the lemon slices (place them on top of and around the salmon fillets).
    Adding a lemon slice to pan.
  • Cover the grill pan with a round lid (it is ideal that the lid doesn’t fit the grill exactly, this way some of the vapor will get out and it won’t heat excessively – if you have a grill with a lid, you can place it on slightly tilted so some of the vapor can vent out).
    Pan on the stove, covered with a lid.
  • Let the salmon steaks cook for about 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon (Keep an eye on them – you’ll know they are ready when the color turns light pink and you can see parts of the inner grease of the salmon coming out – the thick and white cream). If you feel like they are cooking too quickly, lower the heat a bit. You can remove the lemons once they are browned.
    Cooked salmon fillets in pan.
  • Serve with the grilled lemon and enjoy. To keep the skin crispy, serve it skin side up.
    Cooked salmon with grilled lemon slice on plate.

Equipment

Grill pan
Lid that is the same size or smaller than the grill pan
Tongs

Nutrition

Calories: 82kcalCarbohydrates: 5gFat: 7gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 74mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin C: 28.6mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or sauces.

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Looking to further enhance your cooking skills? Check out…How to Make Pierogies – The Easy Way

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