Skip to Content

How Long to Cook Salmon on Stove

Salmon makes a great quick-fix solution when you need to make an impressive dish but have little time. Plus, it’s a tasty kind of fish that works perfectly with vegetables, grains, and potatoes. And of all its various cooking methods, the stovetop remains the most convenient and time-saving. But the problem is not everyone understands how to make them using this technique.

Here, you’ll read about how long it takes to cook salmon on the stove. But you’ll also find out essential cues for cooking perfect stovetop salmon at every try.

Salmon Nutrition Facts

How Long to Cook Salmon on Stove

Selecting the Salmon

The first step to making a fantastic stovetop salmon recipe is picking the right fish. And in this aspect, we’re dealing with the size. Salmon tends to come either whole or cut into fillets. And while the former is perfect for roasting in the oven, the latter is best cooked on the stovetop.

Also, consider picking a six to eight-ounce salmon fillet per serving. And when choosing them, be sure that the pieces are roughly the same size. This way, you eliminate the chance of variations in cooking time.

Preparing the Salmon

The stovetop method involves cooking the salmon in oil over medium-high heat, and the essence of the recipe lies in how hot the pan goes. As such, you’ll want to make sure of three things;

  • The fillets should be taken out of the fridge and left to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. If cooked straight, the fish would cook unevenly.
  • The salmon fillets must be blotted dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. When wet, fillets stick to the pan, unable to attain crispness. Plus, the humidity extends the cooking time.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Malida_Juikamut (@malida_juikamut)

Preparing the Pan

A stainless steel or cast-iron skillet is best for this recipe, as both can withstand high heat levels. Plus, they retain hotness for longer, so let it sit over medium-high heat and be left until it’s scorching. You also want the pan to be large enough to take as many fillets as you need. Otherwise, the space would become overcrowded, and the pan would lose heat.

When the pan gets super hot, you can then add the oil. Any neutral-tasting oil will do for this recipe, but make sure it has a high smoking point. Canola oil, for example, is an excellent option for this purpose. Once the oil is added, let it shimmer before adding the fish.

Cooking the Salmon

The best means to cook salmon fillets is to start with the skin-side down. This part is durable and chewy, so it holds for longer in the hot pan. Once the salmon has been put on the pan, it’s best to leave it until it cooks to the suitable duration.

You may feel the fillets need to be checked or flipped to confirm doneness, but the reverse is the case. If moved, the cooking process would be disturbed, which is why it’s advised to leave it.

You’ll know if the salmon fillets are ready for flipping when the color changes. When first placed, the fillets possess a dark pink hue. But as it cooks, this color gets paler and rises along the sides of the fillets. The reason is the skin side being tough allows the bulk of the cooking to take place. So, turn it and cook the other side once the color change is noticeable for up to ¾ of the fish.

How Long Should Stovetop Salmon Cook?

For a thick six to eight-ounce salmon fillet, the total cooking time on the stove should be about 10 to 11 minutes, with the skin side taking eight to nine minutes of the entire time. Thinner salmon fillets, however, will use about 7 to 8 minutes, with the thick side needing about six to seven minutes of the time.

Additional Tips

Once the fillets are ready, you’ll want to transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. Then, leave the fillets in it for about three minutes. This wait will allow the fillets to rest and let the paper towels absorb any excess oil. And once ready, serve the salmon fillets with your favorite side of vegetables, mashed tubers, grains, or pasta.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Pan-Seared Salmon Fillets (2 servings)

Save Recipe


  • Two thick salmon fillets, six to eight ounces each
  • One tablespoon canola oil
  • Salt


  1. Bring the salmon fillets out of the fridge and leave them to sit for 20 minutes at room temperature. Then, dry them with paper towels and place the pan on the stove. Bring the heat to medium-high and let the pan grow scalding hot.
  2. Add the oil and leave it to shimmer. Then, tilt the pan so the oil coats the entire surface. Sprinkle some salt on the salmon fillets and add them to the pan with the skin side down. Leave them to cook undisturbed for about eight to nine minutes. Then, flip them and cook for two minutes until the entire surface exhibits the pale colour change.
  3. Rest the salmon fillets on a paper-lined plate for three minutes before serving.

And for more stovetop salmon duration ideas, watch this video.

  • Author: Bobby