If you want to indulge in a classic comfort food such as a burger but want to keep it healthy, you can look for healthier alternatives such as salmon. Cooking with salmon might intimidate some people, especially since it is quite expensive. But there are plenty of health benefits that you can get from eating salmon that it makes sense to incorporate more of it into your diet. Knowing the right salmon burger temperature will not only give you a tasty snack, but also allow you to indulge without the guilt.
If you get the chance to try a salmon burger, you will never want to do it the old way again. Whether you are new to cooking salmon or not, it is always a good idea to know some tips on how to cook it properly.
Which Salmon to Buy?
Before you learn about the more elaborate techniques of cooking the perfect salmon burgers, first you must decide what type of salmon to buy.
It’s a valid concern because not all salmon are the same. Choosing the right salmon is not as straightforward as it seems. You have several options available, and your choice can impact how your burgers turn out.
The first thing to consider is the species of the salmon. This will affect how you can prepare the meat. It is important to note that you should never buy endangered salmon species such as Cape, Rock, or Sockeye salmon. The most popular species are Atlantic salmon, such as Norwegian, Alaskan, and Scottish.
Another thing to consider when buying salmon is if it is wild caught or farmed. For the best taste and quality, you should go for the wild caught ones. This will give a more authentic taste and improved texture. However, there are also some who like to buy farmed salmon because it is soft and buttery in texture whereas the wild caught ones tend to be firm and meaty. You can choose according to your preference and how you intend to cook your salmon.
In terms of deciding whether to buy fresh or frozen salmon, it doesn’t really matter. Fresh salmon looks moist and shiny with a fresher taste. Frozen salmon is just freshly caught salmon that is vacuumed sealed to preserve it. Hence, you can still expect good quality taste from frozen ones as long as they are vacuum sealed right after being caught.
Guide to Cooking with Salmon
When it comes to cooking with fish such as salmon, knowing the right temperature is very important. If the temperature is too high, it becomes dry and flaky. If you cook with the right temperature, it stays moist and flavorful. You do not want to ruin good food like salmon by overcooking it.
There is a difference when you are cooking with wild salmon since they tend to have less fat than farmed ones. For this reason, wild salmon will cook much faster. You only need to reach a temperature of at least 125 F. This should eliminate any hazards present in the fish and make it safe to consume. By cooking the salmon from 120-125 degrees F, the muscle fiber will remain intact and it stays moist.
There are several methods for cooking salmon but when it comes to burgers, grilling is the best way. Other cuts of salmon like fillets can be cooked by pan-frying them or steaming (along with some aromatics).
For salmon burgers, cooking on a grill gives a depth of flavor to the meat that can only be achieved from the smoke on the grill. You need to keep the temperature on the grill regulated at all times throughout the cook.
If possible, never take your eyes off the salmon while grilling it for the burger. It could cook very easily depending on how hot the temperature is on the grill. You don’t want to cook it at such a high temperature that it is still slightly undercooked inside but burnt on the outside. You want an even cook from the outside to the inside of the meat. You can cook the salmon until there is a slightly charred effect, but you need to be very careful that it does not become too dry on the inside.
What is the Ideal Salmon Burger Temperature?
Cooking with salmon can be tricky if it is your first time. The FDA recommends the ideal salmon burger temperature of 145 degrees F. However, this can cause the meat to become dry and lose some of its flavor.
The generally accepted guideline is a temperature of 125 degrees F. Unlike red meat, salmon does not have any collagen, so it will lose moisture quickly while cooking. 125 degrees F is the best temperature to cook salmon so you can still get that flaky and soft texture to the meat.
If you go beyond that, you will notice that your salmon burger becomes dry and somewhat chewy. And you don’t want that for your burger.
Checking for Salmon Burger Temperature
When cooking burgers, you need to know how to check the meat’s temperature. Knowing how to do this properly is critical to get the best tasting burger. You need to use a food thermometer to accurately check the temperature of the salmon burger and to ensure that it is safe to consume.
A food thermometer comes with a probe that you must stick into the meat to check the internal temperature. Make sure the probe does not pierce all the way through the meat of the salmon. It is also important to properly clean the thermometer to avoid contaminating your food.
Finally, never use an infrared thermometer as it is designed to only take the temperature of the surface. When you believe the salmon burger is done after you have checked its temperature, allow it to rest away from the heat. The meat will continue to cook through the internal heat. The salmon meat will rise as much as 10-15 degrees F, even when it is taken off the heat. A 5-minute resting time is recommended to achieve the ideal salmon burger temperature.