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What Would You Like to Sous Vide?
How to Sous Vide Salmon
Salmon is normally cooked between 104°F and 140°F (40°C and 60°C) which ranges from just slightly warmed texture up to firm and even chewy at the high end. The fish only has to be cooked long enough to heat it through, usually 25 to 45 minutes. Brining the fish before cooking it also helps firm up the texture and flavor it.
Salmon is one of my favorite fish to cook sous vide. I like it at the lower temperatures when used in slightly warmed dishes, or sashimi like dishes. And cooking it at the higher temperatures really gets it flaky while still being moist.
Salmon is normally cooked between 104°F and 140°F (40°C and 60°C) which ranges from just slightly warmed texture up to firm and even chewy. The fish only has to be cooked long enough to heat through. Brining the fish before cooking it also helps firm up the texture and flavor it. This can take the form of a wet 5% brine or a dry brine.
Warning: Warning: The salmon you use should be high quality fish you would feel comfortable eating raw. The times and temperatures used are almost never enough to pasteurize it.
For more information about cooking fish, including how to make the brines, you can read my article on How to Sous Vide Fish.
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What is the Best Sous Vide Salmon Temperatures and Times?
Salmon is normally heated through (usually 25-45 min) between 104°F and 140°F (40°C and 60°C) - ranging from slightly warmed up to firm and even chewy at the high end. Brining first is ideal.
Slightly Warmed 104°F (40°C)
104°F for Time by Thickness (40.0ºC)
Firm Sashimi 110°F (43.3°C)
110°F for Time by Thickness (43.3ºC)
Lightly Flaky and/or Firm 120°F (48.9°C)
120°F for Time by Thickness (48.9ºC)
Very Flaky and/or Firm 132°F (55.5°C)
132°F for Time by Thickness (55.6ºC)
Chewy 140°F (60°C)
140°F for Time by Thickness (60.0ºC)
Do you have experience cooking salmon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Lightly curing salmon infuses it with flavor and contributes a firmness of texture. Once it has been cured, I like to cook it at 110°F (43°C) to give it some structure without drying it out any. It's then chilled and sliced thinly before being served on top of a fennel carpaccio. It's a bright, citrusy dish that is great as a light main course on a spring day or as an appetizer to share.
This particular dish is sort of a mashup of my past and my present. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, salmon is plentiful and a large staple of your diet. Living in the South now, and having access to world class grits, it was inevitable that eventually they met. Shrimp and grits is one of my all-time favorite meals, so salmon wasn't that far off my radar when it came time to decide how to proceed with this dish.
Sous vide salmon is a classic recipe and here we complement it with a cucumber and dill salad. The balsamic vinegar will give it some extra sweetness and tartness while still allowing the salmon to shine through
One of the big misconceptions about sous vide cooking is that you have to spend thousands of dollars to do it. While it is possible to spend that much money you can also get a very good sous vide set up for much cheaper, or even for free, as this "stove-top" sous vide salmon recipe will show you.
If you are interested in experimenting with sous vide cooking, Salmon is a great way to get started. Salmon, and most fish, only need to be cooked for a short amount of time, normally 10-20 minutes. This makes it easier to keep the temperature constant without expensive sous vide equipment. Sous vide salmon also has a drastically different texture than normal salmon.
Sous Vide Salmon Comments
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