How do you bake fish without sticking? How to bake fish perfectly? These are all great questions but before we get started I want you to know there isn’t a fish you can’t bake perfectly!
It’s all about the cooking technique, freshness, recipe, timing and temperature and not what kind of fish you’re using. So, let’s get started on the techniques you can use for baking fish.
What’s the best cooking method for cooking fish?
Baking is a dry heat method that involves cooking fish in an oven. Some studies have shown that baking fish causes less loss of omega-3 fatty acids compared to frying and microwaving.
Baking may also be a better way to retain the vitamin D content of fish. One study found that baked salmon retained all its vitamin D, whereas fried salmon lost around 50% of this important vitamin.
For these reasons, oven-baking is considered a healthy way to cook fish.
However, as with other cooking methods, covering your fish in oil during cooking can change its fatty acid profile. If you’re baking fish, be sure to use minimal amounts of oil.
Broiling fish is another option that is like baking. Broiling is cooking by exposing food to direct radiant heat, either on a grill over live coals or below a gas burner or electric coil.
Broiling differs from roasting and baking in that the food is turned during the process, broiling can only cook the food at high heat on one side of the food at a time.
Temperatures are higher for broiling than for roasting; the broil indicator of a household range is typically set around 550 °F (288 °C), whereas larger commercial appliances broil between 700 and 1,000 °F (371 and 538 °C).
Baking or broiling can be delicious options for cooking your fish. It doesn’t require a large amount of preparation and can be done in a relatively short period of time.
Do not worry about buying a specific type of fish, most are able to cook nicely in the oven if you follow some simple guidelines. You want to look out for a few key factors when purchasing your fish.
4 Best Guidelines for Baking Fish
1. The thicker the better
Purchasing a thicker fillet of fish will help stand up to the temperatures of the oven. Larger pieces of fish flake nicely once perfectly cooked and can be prepared in different ways.
2. Purchase fresh fish
Take your time and check the expiry dates on the packaged fish. If you’re purchasing your fish over the counter, make sure you request the freshest available. It should not smell “fishy,” fresh fish smells like almost nothing.
Here is a quick video going over some things to look for when purchasing fresh fish:
3. Read and re-read your recipe!
Most online recipes have good descriptions, make sure you take the time to read them thoroughly before you do any work in the kitchen.
4. Set a timer
Baking fish in the oven can be easy to forget, over cooked fish is dry and hard to swallow. Most ovens have a timer on them, if your oven timer doesn’t work you can always set one on your smart phone. I prefer to always use my phone timer as it’s usually in my pocket and with me wherever I go.
If you can stick to these simple rules, it’s hard to make mistakes when baking fish. Some types of fish are preferred for certain recipes.
Here is a list of baked fish recipes, every recipe that follows is from a different type of fish. This list is made so you do not have to worry if your local fish supplier has the specific fish in your recipe.
Point being, there is many ways you can bake different types of fish.
Tools and ingredients you’ll need
- Cookie Pan with Cooling Rack
- Aluminum Foil
- Cooking spray
- Marinade for fish
6 Recipes for Baking Fish
Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon
This recipe looks delicious. Most people, including myself, have had honey garlic chicken before. Why not salmon? Salmon is hearty and durable, perfect for baking or broiling.
When glazing your fish, make sure you reduce the liquid to the right consistency. If you feel like your fish is already cooked, stop baking altogether. Remove the fish from the baking pan and put all the juices into a pot, you can continue to reduce until the consistency is thick like syrup. Brush or spoon onto your fish and it is ready to serve.
Here is a video by Cooking with Claudia that goes through step-by-step instruction of her recipe:
Citrus Soy Glazed Black Cod
Martha Stewart’s recipes are always good for home cooking. This baked black cod, also known as sablefish, looks delicious and does not require many ingredients. Following our guidelines make sure to read the recipe through until you have a good understanding on what you’re going to make in the kitchen. Follow the link to her recipe.
Whole Roasted Branzino with Lemon and Thyme
Roasted whole fish is a more advanced technique in the kitchen, it’s easy to make mistakes and be left with a less than enjoyable product. After reading through another Martha recipe, she does a good job describing the little details required. Make sure your oven gets good and hot, having cooked fish but soggy skin is disappointing, that will happen if your oven is too cold.
When cooking whole fish with my personal experience, I’ve found the hotter the oven the better. It’s almost impossible to burn a whole fish unless you forget about it. If your fish is finished cooking, you can always turn the oven to broil to finish crisping your skin.
Here is Martha Stewart’s Roasted Branzino with Lemon and Thyme.
Breading or crusting fish is a versatile preparation for any fish you have at the ready. Adding this technique to your culinary repertoire is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and you can add just about anything to your crust to enhance the flavour of the fish.
Baked Trout with Lemon and Dill
Baking fish in tin foil is another great technique. Insolating the fish can help it retain its moisture, adding aromatics like lemon and dill can also brighten the flavour of the fish. Dill and lemon are an excellent pairing with any fish or seafood.
Here is a quick video by Great British Chefs on how to bake trout in foil:
Baked Lingcod with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce
This recipe looks delicious, it’s all in the sauce. The sauce technique is a little more advanced, making a roux can be difficult, but the recipe describes it perfectly. Baking the fish is the easy part, simply seasoned and cooked in foil. Any fish can be used for this recipe the sauce is super versatile.
Follow the linkand be sure to read the recipe all the way through.
Baking fish is not only quick and easy, but healthy. Try different techniques and make different sauces, the more you practice the faster you will be.
Remember our guidelines, following recipes and setting timers are very important when baking anything.
You will even learn some new favourites and be able to whip up quick dinners for the whole family, or your friends.