Sous vide cooking is a “low temperature, longer duration” cooking technique. It locks in flavor and cooks ingredients perfectly every time you cook.
Related content: Keen to learn more about sous vide cooking? Head to our FAQ.
Can you sous vide salmon?
Yep. And you should give it a go. According to Sansaire, a popular and authoritative sous vide product manufacturer, “fish is one of the best foods you can cook sous vide. The flesh of fish is delicate and easy to overcook with traditional techniques, but cooking sous vide ensures that your fish remains moist, flavorful and vibrant.”
Sansaire goes on to say that “the outside of the traditionally cooked salmon can get too hot, causing the flesh to contract and dry out. However, the sous vide salmon retains its vibrant color, its briny juices, and produces a soft texture that is unparalleled in traditional cooking”.
Here’s your ultimate sous vide salmon cooking guide. Enjoy.
Preparing salmon before your sous vide cook
Salmon is delicate. It cooks for a relatively short period of time and you might want to consider using a zip-lock bag and the water displacement method to package your salmon for your sous vide cooking.
Consider cutting the salmon fillet into the portion sizes that you plan to serve – the fish will cut much more cleanly when it’s raw than after it has been cooked.
How to sous vide salmon
Water immersion method
Place your salmon into your ziploc bag, so that the bottom of the salmon is flat within the bag. With the top of the ziploc bag open, carefully submerge the bag into the bottom of the water bath, without allowing any water into the bag itself.
The pressure of the water circulating around the outside of the bag should push any air out of your food pouch and form a seal around your salmon fillet.
Using the side of the water container, carefully seal the bag and leave the salmon to circulate according to the timing of the specific sous vide salmon recipe you are following.
On our How to Guides page, we have a diagram of the water submersion method in diagram form.
Once you get the hang of it the water submersion method is very effective.
Vacuum seal method
If you would prefer to use the vacuum seal method, prepare your salmon as instructed above. If you do use a vacuum sealer, we recommend sealing on the “gentle” setting, or turning the vacuum strength down.
Then follow cooking instructions as per the specific recipe you are following.
We’ve got a floater!
Many sous viders pull their hair out when their food pouches float (not literally of course – that would be weird). But floating food pouches in your sous vide water bath is reasonably common.
This can cause a small problem when you are trying to keep your vac seal or ziploc bag under the surface of your water bath. Check out our hints and tips for keeping your food pouches under water for the duration of your sous vide cook. Floating food pouches equals uneven cooking.
Indicative time & temperature guides to cook perfect sous vide salmon
The time and temperature you use to cook your sous vide salmon depends on the brand of sous vide water oven or immersion circulator you are using. It also depends on what your favorite salmon texture is and most sous viders experiment a little before coming to the time and temperature that is just right for them.
Hints and tips for the most succulent sous vide salmon
- Adding a small amount of oil to your food pouch adds extra flavor, and helps coat the salmon to prevent it from oxidizing in the presence of any remaining air
- (Optionally) remove the skin from the salmon fillet. Better yet, ask your fishmonger to do this for you when you buy your salmon and make sure that all the bones are removed
- Searing after cooking your salmon sous vide is an optional step. Consider using a blowtorch like the Searzall to sear your salmon after cooking. This can can add flavor and a bit of crunch if that’s your preferred texture
- Sansaire recommends the following steps to crisp the skin on your fish after cooking sous vide (especially if you have chosen to leave the skin on):
- Preheat a heavy skillet (cast iron, or high-carbon steel) over high heat. Add a high smoke point oil, such as grapeseed or safflower, to coat the bottom of the skillet
- Pat your fillets dry. Then, place them skin-side-down onto the hot skillet. Resist the urge to move them, as the skin may stick during the first moments of cooking
- Sear for 30 seconds, or until the skin is crisp and releases from the bottom of the pan
Some succulent sous vide salmon recipes
You will find hundreds of sous vide salmon recipes on the internet, including the company websites you have purchased your sous vide immersion circulator or sous vide water oven from.
Many of the websites for these companies accept recipe contributions from their communities. So you will also find some salmon recipe gems from other home cooks around the globe on those websites.
5 ingredient Sous Vide Salmon with Asian Sauce by Omnivore’s Cookbook
Sous Vide Salmon Side Kicks
We all know that sous vide salmon by itself is super delicious. But why not experiment with a sauce or some additional ingredients to make your meal even tastier. Here are a few ideas:
Idea 1. Create a balsamic, whole grain mustard and shallot reduction and spoon over the top
Idea 2. Serve with avocado and spicy mayo
Idea 3. Add hollandaise sauce, asparagus and pureed cauliflower to your dish
Idea 4. Go for elegant simplicity and simply add a parsley sauce
Idea 5. Add lemon and dill on the top of your salmon and serve on a bed of creamed spinach
Idea 6. Serve with homemade crispy kale chips, juicy cherry tomatoes and fresh figs
Sous vide salmon Reddit threads
Reddit has a very active sous vide cooking community. Those who love sous vide cooking enjoy sharing their hints, tips, successes and the occasional sous vide cooking fail with other sous vide enthusiasts.
Here are a couple of Reddit threads about cooking the perfect sous vide salmon you might find helpful:
Sous vide salmon – Can I reheat it?
Our research suggests that whilst you can re-heat salmon you risk changes in your sous vide salmon texture. Whilst it can be done with some care, it is probably best to cook your sous vide salmon on demand.
Can I cook sous vide frozen salmon?
According to Sous Vide Tools and many other reputable sources, you can cook sous vide salmon from frozen. If you are cooking from frozen add around 60 minutes to your cooking time depending on the size of your salmon fillet.
Sous vide salmon on socials
The community of sous vide cooks out there is huge. Sous viders LOVE sharing their sous vide cooking escapades on various social media platforms. Try using #sousvide to see an enormous community of people who will help you with any sous vide hints and tips you might need.
Here’s a link to our Sous Vide Salmon Board on Pinterest (with a sneak peak of the first few recipes on that board below). We have over 15 boards filled with all sorts of other sous vide inspo too so definitely check out our account):
The hashtag #sousvidesalmon will return you the most sous vide pics, hints, tips and ideas if you need any sous side salmon recipe inspiration.
For more hints, tips, recipes and product reviews, join the Sous Vide Hub community today by clicking here. We would love to share your sous vide cooking journey with you.