How to Take Skin Off Salmon?

Many of us are fish lovers, but when it comes down to how many of us can skin fish, that figure greatly declines. If you’re in this category, don’t beat yourself up over it. We learn every day, and it’s not like you’ve been to a culinary school. The fish I’ll be talking about today is one that has brought smiles to many at home or in restaurants. Salmon is that seafood that we can’t seem to get enough of. Why should we? It’s not only delicious, it’s also incredibly healthy.

There are so many salmon recipes that you can experiment with, but certain recipes require deskinning your salmon. That’s what this article is about. So, if you want to learn how to skin off salmon, please keep reading. You’re going to learn a lot. Before we go right into the process of how to remove salmon skin, you should first gather the tools. Before you get started, check out our helpful guide on cleaning a salmon so it’s ready to deskin.

What You’ll Need to Deskin Salmon?

To execute a process properly, there are certain tools that you’ll need. In this case, they include:

  • A sharp knife: This is the ultimate skinning tool. You can use a variety of knives to execute this. Great recommendations include the chef’s knife and boning knife, but my personal favorite is the fillet knife.
  • Cutting board: You’ll need a flat surface to work on. I advise that you place the cutting board on a sticky mat to prevent it from slipping.
  • Towel: Whether you want to opt for a paper towel or kitchen napkin is up to your personal preference. The main thing is you need something to give you a good grip on the salmon skin which has a reputation for being slippery.
  • Needle nose plier: You’ll use this tool to remove pin bones from the salmon filet. The last thing you need when eating the juicy flesh is bones getting stuck in your throat. It can ruin what would have been a great experience.

Now that you’ve assembled all you need to remove the skin, you’re just a step away from cooking and munching the delicate flesh of the salmon.

The Step-By-Step Process

Follow these simple steps below:

Phase 1: Place The Salmon On A Cutting Board

  • Position your board near the edge of the kitchen counter.
  • Now, take the salmon and place it with the skin side facing down and the tail end facing toward you. This will make it easier to remove the skin if you find the process a bit intimidating.
  • If it makes you feel better, position the raw fish near the edge of the cutting board. This way, your knuckles won’t scrape the board every time you make a parallel cutting motion.

Phase 2: Check For Pin Bones

  • Before skinning fish and preparing it, remove the thin, long bones in the flesh of the salmon.
  • Get your needle nose pliers or tweezers to pluck those bones out of the fillet.
  • Use your fingertips to probe the fillet for hidden pin bones and remove anyone you find.

Phase 3: Remove The Skin

  • Start with a 1-inch cut between the skin and flesh to get a secure grip.
  • Hold the small cut you made with a paper or kitchen towel while slowly running the blade across the flesh to separate it from the skin.
  • Ensure that your skin is positioned downward so you don’t cut off the flesh along with the skin.
  • Remove the skin gently until you slice through the whole side. Cut it in the same direction as the scales.

How to Take Skin Off Salmon After Cooking?

This is much easier than removing the skin before cooking . All you have to do is flip it to a side and peel the skin off with your hand while holding the flesh still with your cutlery. After cooking, the skin comes off very easily, like it’s begging you to discard it. Be sure to check out our expert guide on how to reheat salmon like a boss.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

When Do You Remove Salmon Skin Before Or After Cooking?

You can remove the fish skin before or after cooking, but it depends on what you prefer. Leaving the skin on is ideal if you want the skin to be crispy and add its unique taste to the fish. On the other hand, you can also take the skin off before cooking your salmon. In summary, there’s no rule against any of them.

Can You Eat Salmon Skin?

Sure. Why not? Eating salmon skin even gives the body more nutrition than the fillet because the former contains more omega-3 fatty acids. I’ll admit anyone reading this article will think the skin is removed from the fish because it’s a waste product. Nope. That’s just a preference. A lot of people cook salmon with the skin on, while others take it off. However, I strongly advise you to be careful with your consumption because salmon skin (depending on where the fish was gotten from) may contain environmental toxins which may be harmful to the body. This applies to both wild and farmed salmon. In fact, if you’re not sure of its origin, the best thing will be to remove the skin before eating it.

Can You Use This Method On Other Types Of Fish?

The short answer is yes. You can use this method on other types of fish that are very similar to Salmon. Good examples include Cod, Pollack, Halibut, and so on.

What’s The Gray Area Of Salmon?

I bet a lot of you have been asking this question. Today is your lucky day. That gray area you see in your fish is the fatty muscle tissue. The reason it has a different color from other fish parts is that it has the lowest level of pink pigments. The gray area also happens to be the healthiest part of the salmon. I’m sure you’re glad to have that mystery solved. LOL.

How To Remove The Skin From Salmon Without A Knife?

Simple. Get a large spatula or spoon. Place it on the tail end of the salmon fillet. Then, slide it across the length of the fillet back and forth using gentle but firm pressure. The skin will gradually come off. So, no knife, no problem.

How To Remove Fish Skin Easily?

By using hot water. Simply pour boiling water on the skin of the fish, and it will curl up. Then, all you have to do is simply pull t back.

How Do You Know When The Salmon Is Done?

Use a cutlery to press down on the fillet while it’s cooking gently. If the flesh comes apart easily along the strips of fish fat, which means it’s ready to be taken off the heat. Not to worry as we’ve made an easy-to-follow guide on baking salmon like a champ.

Do You Have To Take Off The Skin Of The Salmon?

No, it’s not a must. The skin has a good taste too. Cooking Salmon with the skin on makes it easier to cook because when you want to flip the salmon to the other side, it’s easier to place your spatula under the skin side than the fillet itself. The skin also serves as a layer of protection between the flesh and the heated grill or pan.

What Temperature Is Properly Cooked Salmon?

It depends on the firmness of the Salmon. Farmed salmon’s fillet is firmer than that of wild Salmon, so it should be cooked for longer. The ideal temperature for a properly cooked farmed salmon is 125 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 52 degrees Celsius), while the temperature for properly cooked wild salmon is 120 degrees (roughly 49 degrees Celsius)

Is There Any Upside To Cooking Salmon With Skin?

Yes. It adds a texture of crispiness to the Salmon flesh, and it prevents the flesh from drying out. It also makes the fish easier to flip on the pan.

How to Cook Salmon with Skin?

Through pan-searing. Start with the skin side down, so it will be easier to flip.

Can You Eat Salmon Skin On A Daily Basis?

Salmon skin, without the toxins, is safe to eat, and it’s an excellent source of nutrients. So, eating it daily will be good for the body. Even if you can’t have it daily, eating it regularly is the next best thing.

How to Cook Salmon?

There are so many ways to cook Salmon – pan-searing, grill-roasting, baking, pan-roasting, broiling, air-frying, and poaching. You can also cook your Salmon in a parchment. How you decide to cook your salmon recipe comes down to your preference.


Salmon is a delicious treat that you can prepare for yourself or the whole family. Also, it doesn’t take much time to take the skin off and cook. To recap, you can deskin the salmon by placing the salmon on a cutting board, plucking out the pin bones, and gently slicing off the skin from the tail end with a sharp blade. Alternatively, you can gently slide a spoon on the fish skin to get it off. The third method has to do with using hot water and, lastly, peeling off the skin after cooking the fish. I also mentioned numerous ways to cook salmon fish, but I left part that you should cut the meat into smaller pieces. You would have still figured it out, though. By now, I’m sure that you’ll be able to skin the fish and prepare a sumptuous dish expertly.

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