Salmon may be your favorite addition to the dinner table. You probably already know everything about salmon if you love your meat, especially seafood.
However, this doesn’t mean you know everything about how to cook salmon.
Not everyone knows the benefits of raw and cooked salmon. Perhaps you love the taste of raw salmon. Or maybe you are the kind of person who likes everything well done.
Well, you may ask yourself, what does undercooked salmon look like?
It is quite easy to find the difference between undercooked and overcooked salmon colors. However, subtle differences may lead to overcooked or undercooked salmon that may not appeal to everyone.
The Fine Line Between the Two Temperatures
Here are some main differences between overcooked and undercooked salmon and how the different temperatures look.
What Does Undercooked Salmon Look Like?
Before we aim to understand what undercooked salmon looks like, we need to know how overcooked salmon looks. Overcooked salmon may taste worse than undercooked salmon, mainly because it starts to lose its unique flavor once overcooked.
Overcooked salmon may soon be discarded into the dustbin without a second bite. This is because higher temperatures cause the salmon meat to dry up and break apart, losing the juices that make it taste good in the first place.
This will turn the salmon bright orange, making it lose its original red color and adding a white layer that didn’t exist before. It is harder to chew on overcooked salmon and digest it as the juices that aided that process have disappeared.
For some people, undercooked salmon tastes worse!
Not everyone is used to the taste of raw fish, even though it is safe to consume. This fish may be completely void of harmful bacteria depending on how much exposure the salmon has had during the production and transportation process.
Undercooked salmon retains its shine and looks pink near the center. If you can clearly identify these two qualities, your salmon may be slightly chewy and hasn’t been cooked through.
To figure out if you have cooked your salmon well, try to slice through it and see if it feels slimy on the inside.
Make sure you test your salmon before presenting it to your guests. Raw salmon may put some people off their food!
How To Tell When Salmon is Done
Salmon is quite easy to make, and there are many different ways to prepare it. It tastes great when it is fried and grilled; some people even prefer eating it steamed or boiled.
But, cooking this fish can prove difficult if you have an untrained eye.
The texture and nature of salmon make it easy to be overcooked. This is why keeping an eye on how it looks and feels can help you time it right. Try using a food thermometer if you still find it hard to tell if a salmon is undercooked.
There are many ways to tell when a salmon is done. Here are some of the easy ways to identify cooked salmon.
1. The Color and Texture
The way a salmon looks and feels can give you insight into whether it is ready or not. Cook your salmon and place it on a plate. Slice through the thickest part and reveal its inside. You can even poke through the inside with a sharp knife to look at the fish without cutting into it.
Try not to use other utensils. Objects that are not sharp enough may ruin how your salmon looks when served.
When sliced, study the color of your salmon. The fish should look brown or beige on the outside and remain pink inside. The difference between undercooked and overcooked fish is evident in how opaque or translucent it is.
Try to balance the two.
If a fish crumbles when cut, it probably means you have dried it out. Overcooked fish naturally gives way when touched.
Invest in a food thermometer and get the readings on your salmon when you cook it. Cook the salmon thoroughly and test the thickest part with a thermometer to understand how well you have cooked it.
The temperature of an undercooked salmon lies below 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Try to cook it above that. However, ensure you don’t exceed 135 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid overcooking the meat. You can adjust the temperature if you want a rare medium cook by removing the fish when it touches about 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now that you know what does undercooked salmon look like, let’s discuss another popular way of consuming salmon and its benefits.
For more details please check How to Cook Pink Salmon.
Is Raw Salmon Bad for Your Health?
Salmon is an incredible choice if you are trying to eat clean. This is true for two reasons. Firstly, salmon is flexible meat. It can be added to most of everything.
Secondly, it is incredibly nutritious and a great source of healthy and fulfilling calories.
One popular way of eating salmon is in its raw form. However, wild salmon undergo a significant transformation throughout life, making them unfit for raw consumption.
These fish are born in freshwater but travel to the sea for the rest of their lives. Once matured, they return to the freshwater to spawn. These changes can lead to parasite infestation.
This is why freezing these salmon is essential for killing the bacteria within them.
Most cultures that consume raw salmon around the world tend to invest resources to increase the quality of the fish. Moreover, updated methods such as flash freezing allow high-quality salmon production.
This is relatively safe to eat.
Make sure you test your salmon before consuming it. Always source your food from reliable vendors and smell the salmon before purchasing it.
Avoid fish that tastes off. Try to test the texture of the fish by poking it with a chopstick. If it is bouncy, it is fit to eat.
Here are the answers to some salmon-related questions.
Is Undercooked Salmon Safe to Eat?
The answer is no. Undercooked salmon is never safe to eat because the bacteria may not have completely been eliminated (1). It’s important to note that undercooked salmon is different from raw salmon.
Either way, both of them contain bacteria. Try to cook your fish at a high temperature for two to three minutes before consuming it.
To identify uncooked fish, consider how it tastes and feels in your mouth. Undercooked salmon tastes chewy and off.
Is Raw Salmon Safe To Eat?
Yes, but it is important to trust your vendor. Raw salmon is only safe to eat if it has been handled well. The handling process ensures the elimination of harmful bacteria that can make you sick over time.
Try to look for frozen salmon, and always visit restaurants with proper hygiene. Sushi can be harmful if the fish is handled poorly. This can give you stomach infections if overconsumed.
Is Smoked Salmon Cooked?
Smoked salmon is completely safe to eat, and you can rest assured that it is cooked well.
However, the different ways of smoking may yield different results. Try asking your server how the fish has been prepared and whether it is safe for you.
For example, some preparation techniques may not be safe for pregnant women (2).
Should I Buy Fresh or Frozen Salmon?
It depends on the way the fish are handled. Whether the fish is frozen or fresh, when you consume raw or undercooked salmon, you need to ensure the good quality of the fish. Salmon needs to be fresh when it is growing up.
When frozen, salmon may accumulate bacteria, making it unsafe for consumption. If the fish is not fresh to begin with, this may prove to be dangerous.
Ensure that your frozen salmon is sourced from a healthy place and stored well.
Frozen salmon will lose their freshness and go bad when exposed to heat. If you are unsure about the quality of your fish, we recommend you cook it all the way through. High or even room temperatures are not good for any fish.
Try to freeze your fish as soon as you bring it home!
How Can I Identify Good Quality Salmon?
It is easy to notice the difference between sound quality and bad-quality salmon. You do not want to conclude that you bought bad salmon when you put it in your mouth. It is much easier to understand the difference when purchasing it so that you can save yourself and your guests from bad food.
Try to look for a trustworthy market. Knowing where to source your fish can eliminate the chances of it becoming bad. Look for the following qualities;
The way a salmon looks says a lot about its health or freshness. Try to look for fish that look like salmon. Salmon is usually pink or red. If you find a salmon of a faded or pale color, with strange spots, don’t buy it!
Bad salmon smells bad. Take a sniff of the fish at the market if you get the chance. Fresh salmon does not smell weird. Try to choose fish that smell fresh to avoid any surprises when you bring them home.
Salmon that isn’t fresh will feel weird to touch. Fresh salmon looks juicy and fat. However, salmon that has gone bad is usually dried out and crumbly.
Make sure you choose your salmon carefully and cook it if you aren’t sure. It is best to avoid the harm that comes from undercooked salmon.
Raw salmon is not everyone’s cup of tea.
However, it is fit for consumption. On the other hand, undercooked salmon should be avoided at all costs. If you want to eat salmon, get it from a reliable market and test it before bringing it home.
Cook your salmon all the way through to avoid risks, but try timing it right to avoid overcooking it. The way you eat it is entirely up to you!