Much like other staples in our household, shredded chicken, Big F*ckin’ Salads, and hard cooked eggs, this 6-Minute Crispy Skin Cast Iron Salmon is a weekly mainstay! Here’s the best part, this Crispy Skin Cast Iron Salmon is ready in six minutes! You heard me – SIX!
If you dare tell me that you don’t have time to make dinner, we will fully get into it. I can promise you that. With delicious, nutrient-dense meals like this, ready in under 10 minutes, there are literally NO excuses. Grab the cast iron skillet, have some high quality, sustainably caught, skin-on salmon on hand, every week, choose some nice organic greens or another fiber-loaded green veggie and BOOM, in under 10 minutes you’ve got dinner. Easy.
Best part, wild caught salmon is an incredible source of quality omega-3 fatty acids. In our household we shoot to eat quality salmon or other omega-3 rich fatty fish, at least 3 times a week, I notice this makes a really big difference in my health, my skin looks better when I am on top of my omega-3 fats and I just feel better. And dang, it is truly so delicious!
As always, I am gonna preach what I always teach and that is quality matters. Seek out a sustainably fished, wild caught salmon. Not only is it better for your health, it’s better for the environment and the earth! Don’t skimp here. And the skin, lots of extra nutrients in there, so not only is it tasty AF, it’s giving you some good stuff, too.
Things I want you to know about my Crispy Skin Cast Iron Salmon:
- It’s basically the only way to eat salmon!
- If you’ve got the time, let the salmon filets rest in the fridge, uncovered, skin side up, to dry out the skin. 15 to 30 minutes ahead of cooking, an hour if you’ve got it. This makes a world of difference. Trust!
- Do not overcook your salmon, dry salmon sucks.
- Cast iron is where it’s at. The cast iron gets hot and stays hot, evenly. I like to turn the heat off for those last couple of minutes of cooking on the other side, so it’s not crazy hot, but there’s no need to move the pan to the oven or broiler.
- Serve your salmon, crispy skin side up. If you take it out of the pan and serve skin side down, you broke it, the skin will lose that amazing crisp.
- 1-2 tablespoons ghee, avocado oil, olive oil, butter or other cooking fat*
- Two 6 to 8-ounce, skin-on wild-caught salmon fillets*
- Sea salt (I like the flakey stuff) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Thoroughly pat dry your salmon fillets with paper towels. Place on a plate, skin side up, uncovered and place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour, this allows the skin to dry out and to maximize skin crispiness.
- Just before you are ready to cook the salmon, remove from the fridge, give it another little pat with the paper towels.
- Season the skin side of the fish with sea salt and black pepper.
- Heat your oil or fat in a cast iron skillet over medium-high, get nice and hot and make sure the oil is shimmering. Once the pan is hot, reduce the heat to medium, carefully place the salmon into the pan skin side down. Season the non-skin side with sea salt and black pepper. Immediately press down each filet with a flat metal spatula to keep the sides from curling up. Hold for just a few seconds.
- Cook for 4 minutes, skin side down. I like to lift up the filets in the last minute or so, to let some of the oil run underneath it, to maximize crispiness.
- After 4 minutes, turn off the heat, flip over the filets and let them cook another 2 minutes on the other side until you reach your desired level of doneness. Do not overcook! *if your salmon filets are super thick, it may take another minute or two.
- Transfer the filets, skin side up to a plate for serving, season with more salt and pepper and any flavors you want, fresh herbs, lemon juice, garlic, etc. Enjoy immediately with a side of greens or on top of a Big F*ckin Salad.
We've been loving sockeye salmon lately, as it's in season. Any variety of skin-on salmon will work.
Photographed here are sock-eye salmon, center cut filets, any filet cuts will work in this method.
If your skin is sticking to the pan around 4 minutes, it may not be quite ready to flip yet, give it another minute.
If you want to check the temperature of your salmon: cook until salmon registers 110°F (43°C) in the very center for rare, 120°F (49°C) for medium-rare, or 130°F (54°C) for medium.
How do you season a cast-iron skillet? I tried one in past following online instructions, but never felt it was right. Should it feel greasy or tacky when seasoned? How do you clean without disrupting the seasoned finish?
1) clean it well. No rust, no grime. If it’s your first go, use steel wool and dish soap. Get it CLEAN.
2) get your oil of choice (I use canola, it works just fine) and spread a thin layer over every square centimeter, even the bottom, with a paper towel.
3) take a clean paper towel and wipe it all down. The goal is to get as much oil as possible off the pan (too much = tackiness)
4) put upside down in a preheated oven at high heat for one hour. 350 is the lowest you should go – highest setting on the oven is best. NOTE: it will smoke. This is normal. Just keep a window open.
5) after the hour, then the oven off. Leave the pan in there for 2 hours.
6) repeat as necessary (3 rounds should do the trick with a brand new or revitalized pan)
You may need to season it again a couple times a year, but if you cook regularly with it and take care of it (don’t clean with soap, don’t let it rust, etc) it’ll only get better with time. I’ve had mine for 3 years and it’s the best nonstick pan I own.
I made this last night for me n the wife and Man-Oh-MAN this was aMAZing!!! Paired with baked baby red potatoes and steamed veggies…two thumbs up!!!!
WOW I amazed how dead on this recipe is. I can’t even begin to tell you how many be times I have cooked salmon and other than my BBQ I have never succeeded in getting the skin crispy. This is my second time cooking this and once again it came out great! Thank You for such a simple yet excellent recipe.
I buy my salmon, halibut and canned tuna from a co op in Alaska and what a treat. This evening I tried your salmon recipe and it is right on, actually the best recipe that I’ve tried from a recipe web site. Thanks so much for keeping it simple and delish.
Every recipe say to leave out your fish for at least 20 minutes to room temperature. Did you make a mistake saying to leave the fish to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes? If so, that is a huge mistake. Go look at any recipe!
Not a mistake this is MY method and it is what works, the air in the fridge helps it to dry out and get crispy. I am glad you have found a method that works for you. Good job!
I used your recipe tonight. Just YUM! Thank you so much! I absolutely loved the crispy skin. I can’t wait for my first share of Sitka Salmon in the next couple of weeks to try it again.
This came out so perfect! I didnt know salmon cooks so quickly. Mine was probably a 7 min piece since it was thick but it came out so moist and delicious.
A delicious piece of salmon. I did it this evening. Very simple. Thanks you!
I’m a fan’s Salmon and I love your recipe. Thanks you!
Great recipe! Skin was so crispy!! Thanks for sharing
WOW! I AM..IM..PRESSED!! I’ve made salmon a million times and never made the a skin this crispy! So perfect. I used ghee. My salmon came out so crispy on both sides and super moist inside. Had to cook mine slightly longer because of my filet thickness. But spectacular! Thank you for sharing your method, BRAVO!
This looks like an incredibly delicious and comforting meal!
They look so yummy! I am so going to try this
Amazing! I was a little intimidated about removing the scales but it was easier than I thought (I used a chef’s knife). My teenage son found and suggested this recipe… we eat salmon all the time but this is “hands-down” our favorite way to eat it. Thank you!
It worked to me. Salmon came out so great. I love the taste follow your way! Thank you for this post.
The skin was super crispy which is good, but I followed your recipe exactly and after 10 minutes in the cast iron, I finally finished it in the oven as it was still under 100 degrees in center and these were NOT big filets. About 5 oz a piece. Flavor was good though.
thank you! im doing it now.
Any advice on how to clean the junk off the skillet? some of my skin stuck to the skillet.
Excellent! Doesn’t get much simpler than that. Quick, simple and delicious. Five stars
This looks so good I went out and bought a cast iron frypan and seasoned it ready for use. I followed your recipe and the salman was melt-in-your-mouth perfection! Thank you.
How long do you think for 4oz salmon
Wonderful recipe! This one is perfect, delicious and easy. Thank you for sharing.
Burned the bejeebers out of my hand with spitting oil because i did not press the filets will a towel again when they came out of the fridge. To wet.
After the first fiasco, I pressed the others dry and they went in smoother.