Can You Cook Salmon in Foil Instead of Parchment?

by Scott Damon
Place ingredients such as sliced lemon and fresh herbs in the packet to elevate the flavor of salmon.

Place ingredients such as sliced lemon and fresh herbs in the packet to elevate the flavor of salmon.

Salmon lends itself to several different cooking methods, including pan frying, grilling and even baking in the oven. If your baked salmon recipe calls for wrapping the fish in parchment paper, you can substitute aluminum foil and still retain the juices and flavorings as the fish cooks.

Foil Packet Architecture

Create a packet by placing a rectangular sheet of foil on a baking tray. After placing the salmon skin-side down in the middle of the foil, add herbs, spices, citrus and any other ingredients the recipe calls for on top. Bring the two long edges together, then fold them down together two or three times to flatten the top of the foil packet. Seal the remaining two edges with several folds, leaving room for steam to fill the packet. This allows the salmon to essentially baste itself in its own juices.

15-Minute Rule

Usually, when it comes to heating fish fillets, you follow the 10-minute rule: After measuring the fish at its thickest point, you allow 10 minutes per inch for cooking at a temperature of between 400 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you're using foil, however, you need to add 5 minutes per inch to the cooking time to compensate. Therefore, a 1-inch-thick salmon fillet should be cooked for 15 minutes in a foil packet. The packet should be turned once halfway through the cooking process.

Best Cooking Methods

Cooking salmon in foil packets works best in the oven or on the grill. Don't use foil packets in a frying pan or in the microwave. For an added adventure, foil packets lend themselves well to cooking in a campfire. Simply seal the salmon in the foil packet and place it near the bottom of the fire on the hot coals. Cooking times will vary based on the temperature of the fire.

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