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The Best Sous Vide Salmon

If you love to cook salmon but sometimes find it difficult to get it just right, then maybe you should try the sous vide method. When you cook food this way, you are able to throw the guessing game out of the window. The sous vide method allows you to obtain perfectly cooked salmon every time, with little to no work involved. Once the water bath is set to temperature and the timer has started, all you need to do is wait. This will free up plenty of your time to concentrate on other aspects of the meal or allow you to just relax and wait for the sous vide salmon to finish cooking. 

The Best Sous Vide Salmon

The process is very simple and does not take more than 45 minutes to cook the salmon. There is very little preparation that needs to be done to the salmon beforehand as well. The only other thing to consider is if you are wanting to sear the salmon after it is finished cooking in the water bath. You would only need to do this if you are wanting a seared crust on your salmon. Otherwise, it can be served immediately after cooking. 

In this article we will go over some of the things to look for when getting ready to sous vide your salmon. There are several things to consider depending on how you want the salmon to turn out. I have also included a very simple and easy to follow recipe for sous vide salmon that is completely failproof.

Citrus, Garlic And Herb Sous Vide Salmon Recipe

Citrus Garlic and Herb Sous Vide Salmon
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5 from 1 vote
COOK TIME 45 mins
COURSE Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound salmon cut into filets
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon. Fresh thyme chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Black pepper

Method
 

  • Set the sous vide machine to 125 degrees.
  • Season the salmon filets with the fresh thyme, salt and pepper.
  • Place the salmon filets in a large freezer bag or vacuum sealer bag along with all the other ingredients. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well in the bag and the filets are placed evenly on the bottom of the bag. Remove the air from the bag using a vacuum sealer or by using the air displacement method.
  • Place the sealed bags in the water bath. Use clips to secure the bags to the side of the water bath if needed. Allow the salmon to sit in the water bath for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the bag from the water bath and set aside. Gently remove the salmon filets and serve immediately if desired.
  • If you want to sear the salmon to gain some color or a crust, get a stainless-steel frying pan hot over medium high heat with a little oil in the pan. Once the pan is hot, sear one side of the salmon for 30 seconds until a nice sear forms. Remove from the pan and transfer to a plate. Serve and enjoy!
Chefs Tips
The temperature you set your sous vide machine at will determine how long the salmon needs to stay in the water bath. This will also depend on how you prefer your salmon to be cooked as well. Here is a small guide to use for reference when the salmon is cooked for 45 minutes in the water bath.
  • Medium Rare (soft, warm red center): 115 degrees
  • Medium (Flaky, warm pink center): 125 degrees
  • Medium Well (Firm, Hot cooked center): 132 degrees
Nutritional Information
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Selecting The Best Protein

Whenever you are deciding on which type of salmon to go with, you should always go with wild caught over farm raised. Wild caught salmon is going to be a better fish product overall and is actually more sustainable than farm raised salmon. The quality of the fish vastly surpasses that of farm raised. Sometimes that is not always possible to acquire, but if you have the choice, go for wild caught. 

Sous Vide Salmon

As for the type of salmon, there are 6 different breeds available to you. At the bottom are going to be the Atlantic salmon which are usually farm raised and injected with a red dye coloring to make them look more pleasing in the supermarket. The other one is called Chum salmon which is one of the most common types available. 

Moving up the ladder there are the pink salmon and Sockeye Salmon which are both very good cuts of meat to use and probably the most affordable. The next up is the Coho Salmon which is the best of the smaller Salmon and has a very deep red color to the meat. At the top is the King Salmon or the Chinook Salmon. They are the largest of the North American Salmon, the best tasting and the most expensive. If you can source some King salmon and can afford to buy it, you should go for it!

When you choose the filet to sous vide, you want to make sure that it is not too thick. That way it will cook evenly and not take too long. King Salmon will sometimes have very thick filets, so try and go with nothing thick than ½ inch just to be safe.


Special Equipment Needed

When you are getting everything together to sous vide the salmon, you will need a few special pieces of equipment. You will need a sous vide machine or at least a water bath with an immersion circulator to act as the sous vide machine. Either one will do just fine. 

When you sous vide anything it is recommended that you seal the bag and press out all the air within the bag. A good way to do this is by using a vacuum sealer to press out all of the air. You do not necessarily need to use one of these but it does help to keep the food sealed in the bag and at the bottom of the water bath while cooking. 

If you plan on searing the fish after it comes out of the water bath, then you will also need a frying pan. One that is stainless steel or cast iron will work the best. Do not use a non-stick pan as it will not give a nice sear like the other pans will.


Prepping The Salmon

Sous Vide Salmon

Before you are ready to season the salmon and add other ingredients into the bag with it, you can always do other things to ensure it stays moist. One of those things to do is by placing it in a brine for a short period of time. 

A brine is salt water solution that the salmon sits in for about an hour. This will help to add more water into the filet and keep it moist while it cooks. This is done with many different types of protein that usually get dry while cooking such as chicken and turkey. It will work nicely for salmon as well though. 


The Best Sous Vide Salmon: Summing Up

Using a sous vide machine is really quite easy. Using the sous vide method to cook salmon is even easier. In fact, some people think that it is easier than any other method. There is no attention needed for the protein, there is no mess to clean up and it's done in a reasonable amount of time. As long as you follow the correct times and water temperature settings, then you should have perfectly moist salmon every time you cook it this way.