Create a Meat Masterpiece
You should insist on only the best from meat, poultry and seafood departments. These demands cannot always be met by boxed beef and frozen fish. Our fresh meat products will satisfy even the most discriminating tastes and our in-store butchers are always there to provide insight unavailable anywhere else.
Smart Chicken is dedicated to producing the safest, highest-quality, and best-tasting fresh chicken in the United States. All Smart Chicken products are raised without animal byproducts, antibiotics, or hormones and are 100% all-natural.
Fresh Market is proud of its signature items and is excited to offer store guests unique products that exemplify outstanding quality and taste. Here is a sampling of some of our favorites:
Fresh Market Hand-Trimmed Chicken
Our approach to chicken is simple: to provide poultry that is healthy and delicious, with no unwanted additives or solutions. We demonstrate this commitment every day with chicken that is hand-trimmed and ready for your favorite meals. Whether you're making tasty lemon-chicken, fajitas, barbeque or some other scrumptious dish, Fresh Market has the quality chicken you deserve.
Atlantic Salmon Fillet
Fresh Market is your seafood headquarters and our Atlantic Salmon Fillet sets the standard for a mouth-watering meal. Every purchase comes with a cedar plank that provides a refreshing flavor every time.
This steakhouse-inspired dish features a Fresh Market hand-trimmed chicken breast filet straight from our butcher block wrapped in tantalizingly-sweet bacon and stuffed with cream cheese. Add some red potatoes and sauteed veggies for a can't-miss meal for any evening.
Preparation Tips & Tricks
At Fresh Market, we understand preparing meat can at times be a daunting task. To help, we've asked our in-store experts and friends at the national associations to share their advice. Simply click on the type of meat you're interested in preparing for details.
Beef (Roasts, Steaks and Ground Beef)
Using a thermometer is the only accurate way to determine doneness for flavorful and wholesome beef each and every time. A digital, instant-read thermometer is a low-cost, must-have for every kitchen. When inserted into the thickest part of the meat (without touching any bone), the temperature should register within a few seconds. Instant-read thermometers are not meant to be left in the meat during cooking.
Prior to roasting, insert ovenproof thermometer into the thickest part of the roast, not resting in flat or touching bone. Leave in throughout the cooking process.
OR, insert an instant-read thermometer toward end of cooking time (as described above) for about 15 seconds. Once you get an accurate temperature read, remove or continue cooking, if needed.
For steaks ½ inch thick or thicker, insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally from the side, so that it penetrates the thickest part or the center of the steak, not touching bone or fat.
Insert an instant-read thermometer into the center or thickest part of a meatloaf or meatball, or horizontally from the side into the center for patties.
Cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160°F.
Due to the natural nitrate content of certain ingredients often used in meatloaf, such as onions, celery and/or bell peppers, meatloaf may remain pink even when 160°F internal temperature has been reached.
The color of cooked ground beef is not a reliable indicator of doneness.:
Beef Internal Temperature Chart
|Degree of Doneness||Internal Core Temperature||Internal Description||Touch Test Description|
|Extra-rare or Blue (bleu)||115°F||deep red color and barely warm||feels soft and squishy|
|Rare||120 to 125°F||center is bright red, pinkish toward the exterior portion, and warm throughout||soft to touch|
|Medium-rare||130 to 135°F||center is very pink, slightly brown toward the exterior portion, and slightly hot||feels soft and squishy|
|Medium||140 to 145°F||center is light pink, outer portion is brown, and hot throughout||yields only slightly to the touch, beginning to firm up|
|Well Done||160°F and above||steak is uniformly brown or grey throughout||firm or hard to touch|
|Ground Meat||160 to 165°F||no longer pink but uniformly brown throughout|
- Refrigerate raw chicken promptly. Never leave it on countertop at room temperature.
- Packaged fresh chicken may be refrigerated in original wrappings in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
- Freeze uncooked chicken if it is not to be used within 2 days.
- If properly packaged, frozen chicken will maintain top quality in a home freezer for up to 1 year.
- Thaw chicken in the refrigerator - not on the countertop - or in cold water. It takes about 24 hours to thaw a 4-pound chicken in the refrigerator. Cut-up parts, 3 to 9 hours.
- Chicken may be safely thawed in cold water. Place chicken in its original wrap or water-tight plastic bag in cold water. Change water often. It takes about 2 hours to thaw a whole chicken.
- For quick thawing of raw or cooked chicken use the microwave. Thawing time will vary.
- Always wash hands, countertops, cutting boards, knives and other utensils used in preparing raw chicken with soapy water before they come in contact with other raw or cooked foods.
Before Cooking Chicken
- If chicken is stuffed, remove stuffing to a separate container before refrigerating.
- When barbecuing chicken outdoors, keep refrigerated until ready to cook. Do not place cooked chicken on same plate used to transport raw chicken to grill.
- Always cook chicken well done, not medium or rare. If using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 165°F.
- To check visually for doneness, pierce chicken with fork; juices should run clear - not pink - when fork is inserted with ease.
- Marinade in which raw chicken has been soaking should never be used on cooked chicken.
- Cooked, cut-up chicken is at its best refrigerated for no longer than 2 days - whole cooked chicken, an additional day.
- If leftovers are to be reheated, cover to retain moisture and to ensure that chicken is heated all the way through. Bring gravies to a rolling boil before serving.
- If you're transporting cooked chicken, put it in an insulated container or ice chest until ready to eat. Keep below 40°F or above 140°F.
Chicken Cooking Chart
|Chicken Part||Internal Temperature||Approximate Roasting Time (350°F)||Approximate Grilling Time|
|Leg quarters, bone in, 4-8 oz.||170°F||40-50 minutes||10-15 minutes/side|
|Thigh, bone in, 5-7 oz.||170°F||30-40 minutes||10-15 minutes/side|
|Thigh, boneless, 3 oz.||165°F||20-30 minutes||6-8 minutes/side|
|Breast, bone in, 6-8 oz.||170°F||30-40 minutes||10-15 minutes/side|
|Breast, boneless, 4 oz.||165°F||20-30 minutes||6-8 minutes/side|
|Whole Chicken||180°F||1.5-2.5 hours on revolving spit|
|3-5 lb. (broiler)||1.25-1.5 hours on (broiler)|
|6-8 lb. (roaster)||1.5-2.25 hours on (roaster)|
|Ground Chicken, 6 oz. Patty||165°F||10-30 minutes||10-15 minutes/side|
Handling Pork Safely
Select pork just before checking out at the register. Put packages of raw pork in disposable plastic bags to contain any leakage which could cross contaminate cooked foods or produce. Take pork home immediately and refrigerate it at 40°F; use within 3 to 5 days or freeze (0°F).
Fresh Pork: Safe Cooking Chart
ROASTING: Set oven at 350°F. Roast in a shallow pan, uncovered.
|Cut||Thickness or Weight||Cooking Time (350°F)||Minimum Internal Temperature & Rest Time|
|Loin Roast, Bone-in or Boneless||2 to 5 pounds||20-30 minutes per pound||145°F and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes.|
|Crown Roast||4 to 6 pounds||20-30 minutes per pound|
|Leg, (Fresh Ham) Whole, Bone-in||12 to 16 pounds||22-26 minutes per pound|
|Leg, (Fresh Ham) Half, Bone-in||5 to 8 pounds||35-40 minutes per pound|
|Boston Butt||3 to 6 pounds||45 minutes per pound|
|Tenderloin (Roast at 425-450°F)||.5 to 1.5 pounds||20-30 minutes total|
|Ribs (Back, Country-style or Spareribs)||2 to 4 pounds||1.5 to 2 hours (or until fork tender)|
BROILING 4 inches from heat or GRILLING
|Cut||Thickness or Weight||Cooking Time (350°F)||Minimum Internal Temperature & Rest Time|
|Loin Chops, Bone-in or Boneless||.75 inch or 1.5 inches||6-8 minutes or 12-16 minutes||145°F and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes|
|Tenderloin||.5 to 1.5 pounds||15-25 minutes|
|Ribs (indirect heat), all types||2 to 4 pounds||1.5-2 hours|
|Ground Pork Patties (direct heat)||.5 inch||8-10 minutes||160°F|
BRAISING: Cover and simmer with a liquid.
|Cut||Thickness or Weight||Cooking Time (350°F)||Minimum Internal Temperature & Rest Time|
|Chops, Cutlets, Cubes, Medallions||.25 inch to 1 inches||10-25 minutes||145°F and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes|
|Boston Butt, Boneless||3 to 6 pounds||2-2.5 hours|
|Ribs, all types||2 to 4 pounds||1.5-2 hours|
STEWING: Cover pan; simmer, covered with liquid.
|Cut||Thickness or Weight||Cooking Time (350°F)||Minimum Internal Temperature & Rest Time|
|Ribs, all types||2 to 4 lbs.||2 to 2.5 hours, or until tender||145°F and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes|
|Cubes||1 inch||45-60 minutes|
|NOTE: Approximate cooking times were compiled from various resources.|
Home Storage of Fresh Pork
These short, but safe, storage time limits will help keep refrigerated food from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat. Because freezing keeps food safe indefinitely, recommended storage times are for quality only.
|Product||Refrigerator 40°F||Freezer 0°F|
|Fresh pork roast, steaks, chops or ribs||3 - 5 days||4 - 6 months|
|Fresh pork liver or variety meats||1 - 2 days||3 - 4 months|
|Home cooked pork; soups, stews or casseroles||3 - 4 days||2 - 3 months|
|Store-cooked convenience meals||1 - 2 days||2 - 3 months|
|TV dinners, frozen casseroles||Keep frozen before cooking||3 - 4 months|
|Canned pork products in pantry||2 - 5 years in pantry; 3 - 4 days after opening||After opening, 2 - 3 months|
- Store fresh seafood in the coldest part of your refrigerator (usually the lowest shelf at the back or in the meat keeper).
- Don't suffocate live lobsters, oysters, clams or mussels by sealing them in a plastic bag. They need to breathe, so store them covered with a clean damp cloth. Before cooking, check that lobsters are still moving. Make sure clams and mussels are still alive by tapping open shells. Discard any that do not close.
- Marinades or rubs add great flavor. Marinate seafood under refrigeration. Discard used marinade since it contains raw fish juices. Serve cooked seafood on a clean platter.
- Keep raw and cooked seafood separate to prevent bacterial cross-contamination. After handling raw seafood, thoroughly wash knives, cutting surfaces, sponges and your hands with hot soapy water.
Seafood Handling Tips
- Thaw frozen seafood in the refrigerator, under cold running water or in the microwave oven following the manufacturer's guidelines. Never thaw seafood on the counter at room temperature.
- Allow one day to defrost frozen seafood in the refrigerator. If pressed for time, place the seafood in a re-sealable --plastic storage bag and immerse it in a pan of cold water in the refrigerator for one to two hours per pound of seafood. A similar technique is to put the original pack age in a plastic bag, place it in a pan and run cold water on it in the sink until thawed. If defrosting in the microwave follow manufacturer's directions and use immediately.
- Always wash hands thoroughly with hot soapy water before and after handling raw seafood or other raw protein foods.
- Unless thoroughly iced, don't leave seafood, raw or cooked, out of the refrigerator.
- Before cooking, rinse seafood under cold water to remove surface bacteria.
- Always marinate fish and shellfish in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. Discard the marinade after use.
- Make sure that juices from raw seafood don't drip onto cooked foods; this leads to cross-contamination.
Cooking Fin Fish
- Measure the seafood product at its thickest point. If the fish is stuffed or rolled, measure it after stuffing or rolling.
- At 450 degrees F, cook it 10 minutes per inch thickness of the fish, turning the fish halfway through the cooking time. For example, a 1-inch fish steak should be cooked 5 minutes on each side for a total of 10 minutes. Pieces of fish less than 1/2-inch thick do not have to be turned over.
- Add 5 minutes to the total cooking time if you are cooking the fish in foil or if the fish is cooked in a sauce.
- Double the cooking time (20 minutes per inch) for frozen fish that has not been defrosted.
Cooked to perfection, fish is at its flavorful best and will be moist, tender and have a delicate flavor. In general, fish is cooked when its meat just begins to flake easily when tested with a fork and it loses its translucent or raw appearance. Like most foods, fish should be thoroughly cooked. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests cooking fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
One helpful guideline is the 10-minute rule for cooking finfish. Apply it when baking, broiling, grilling, steaming and poaching fillets, steaks or whole fish. (Do not apply the 10 minute rule to microwave cooking or deep frying.)
Practice makes perfect and cooking fish properly is all in the timing. Here's how to use the 10-minute rule:
Whole fish, whole stuffed fish, fillets, stuffed fillets, steaks and chunks of fish may be baked. Use pieces of similar size for even cooking. It's best to bake fish in a preheated, 450 degrees F oven following the 10-minute rule; bake uncovered, basting if desired.
TIP: For a quick and delicious dinner, bake fish on a bed of chopped vegetables. Try a mixture of onions, celery and carrots or a combination of mushrooms, onions and peppers.
Steaks, whole fish, split whole fish and fillets lend themselves well to broiling. Place fish, one-inch thick or less, two to four inches from the heat source. Place thicker pieces five to six inches away. Baste frequently with an oil-based marinade. Using the 10-minute rule, cook on one side for half the total cooking time, basting once or twice, then turn the fish over to continue broiling and basting.
This technique lends itself well to meatier or steak fish such as salmon, halibut, swordfish, tuna and whole fish. Preheat an outdoor gas or electric grill. If using a barbecue grill, start the fire about 30 minutes before cooking. Let it burn until white hot then spread coals out in a single layer. Adjust the grill height to 4 to 6 inches above the heat.
To grill fish, a moderately hot fire is best for cooking seafood. Always start with a well oiled grid to prevent the delicate skin of the fish from sticking. Support more delicate pieces of fish in a hinged, fish-shaped wire basket for easier turning or handling.
Frequently baste steaks and fillets while grilling to prevent them from drying out. Marinating fish an hour before grilling also helps keep it moist. Apply the 10-minute rule for proper doneness.
Use indirect heat for whole fish by banking hot coals on either side of the barbecue or preheat gas or electric grill. Oil fish well and place in an oiled fish basket. Cook, covered, 10 to 12 minutes per inch of thickness, turning halfway through cooking time.
Use a shallow dish to allow maximum exposure to the microwaves. Arrange fillets with the thicker parts pointing outward and the thinner parts, separated by pieces of plastic wrap, overlapping in the center of the dish. Cover dish with plastic wrap and vent by turning back one corner. Allow 3 minutes per pound of boneless fish cooked on high as a guide. Rotate the dish halfway through the cooking time. Rolled fillets microwave more evenly and are less likely to over-cook than flat fillets, which may have thin edges.
Poach fish in simmering liquid such as fish stock, water with aromatic herbs/vegetables, or a mixture of wine and water. In a large skillet, saute pan or fish poacher, ring the liquid to a boil. Add the fish and return to boiling. Quickly reduce to a simmer-the liquid should barely bubble. Cover and begin timing the fish according to the 10-minute rule. The remaining liquid can be used to make a sauce for fish if desired.
Sauteing or Pan-frying
An excellent method for fillets and pan-dressed fish like trout, tilapia and catfish.
TIP: Dip the fish into seasoned flour, cornmeal or bread crumbs just before sautˇing. Heat a small amount of olive oil or butter in a skillet large enough to hold the fish. When the pan is very hot, place the fish into the skillet. Saute for half the total time as determined by the 10-minute rule, turn over and complete cooking.
Whole fish, chunks, steaks and stuffed fillets steam well. To steam finfish, fill a large sauce pan with one inch of water. Place the fish on a steamer rack and put the rack in the pan. The water should not exceed the height of the rack. Cover tightly and bring the water to a boil. Using the 10-minute rule, steam until thoroughly cooked.
This cooking method is a very fast technique, so it's important to have all ingredients in uniform size and ready for cooking.
Using a wok or large skillet, coat the bottom and sides with vegetable oil. Add the fish and stir-fry, tossing gently to coat on all sides, until about three quarters cooked, approximately two to four minutes. Remove to a warm platter.
Stir-fry a selection of sliced vegetables (i.e. carrots, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms) in addition to a light sauce if desired. Return the fish to the wok or skillet and cook one to two minutes more. Serve immediately.
Boiling: Use enough water to cover, plus 1 tbs. of salt. Boil medium size for 3-5 minutes or jumbo 8-10 minutes. Depending on the size, it takes from 3 to 5 minutes to boil or steam 1 pound of medium size shrimp in the shell.
Boiling: Use enough water in a large pot to cover lobsters and add 1 tablespoon of salt. All cooking times are from the time the water begins boiling after lobsters are placed in pot.
- 1-1.75 15 minutes
- 1.75-2 lb. 17-20 minutes
- 2-3 lb. 20-24 minutes
- 3-6 lb. 24-28 minutes
- 6-7 lb. 28-30 minutes
- 8 lb. And over 4 minutes per pound
Baking: Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- 1.75 lb: 15-18 minutes, 2-3 minutes or until brown
- 1.75-2 lb: 18-22 minutes, 2-3 minutes
- 2 lb: 25-27 minutes, 2-3 minutes
Broiling: Use enough water to cover plus 1 tbs. of salt. Boil 10-12 minutes, 15-18 minutes for Jumbo.
Steaming: Place 1 cup of water plus 1 tbs. of salt in steamer. Soft Shell clams take approximately 5-7 minutes or until open.
When cooked, scallops turn milky white or opaque and firm. Depending on size, scallops take 3 to 4 minutes to cook thoroughly.
Shucked shellfish (clams, mussels and oysters without shells), become plump and opaque when cooked thoroughly and the edges of the oysters start to curl. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests: boiling shucked oysters for 3 minutes, frying them in oil at 375 F for 10 minutes, and baking them for 10 minutes at 450 F.
Clams, mussels and oysters in the shell will open when cooked. The FDA suggests steaming oysters for 4 to 9 minutes or boiling them for 3 to 5 minutes after they open. Shellfish-shrimp, crabs, scallops, clams, mussels, oysters or lobster--becomes tough and dry when overcooked.
sources: National Fisheries Institute
Fresh Means Local
Fresh Market is proud to partner with local meat and cheese providers to ensure we carry the best products and support our local economy. Here are just a few of our local partners:
Stone's Ground Meats
Founded by Frank Stone, Stone Meats has been family owned and operated for over 40 years. Stone Meats is located in Pleasant View Utah, and has established itself as a leading producer and distributor of ground beef products in the Intermountain Region.
Cache Valley Cheese
Ever since we opened our doors in 1937, Cache Valley® has dedicated ourselves to providing the best dairy possible. Over the last 75 years, we've created more than just signature dairy products. We've created a community of people committed to providing and enjoying some of the finest dairy products around. And we'd like to invite you to be a part of it.
Colosimo has been making sausage in this country for over eighty years. How many years before that in Italy no one knows for sure and that fact is probably lost to history. We do know Ralph Colosimo came alone to America in 1921 with the common hope of many immigrants that this country would be his land of opportunity. No matter how Ralph prepared the sausage, it always seemed to please those with whom he would share his delicacies with in the little mining towns of Utah where Ralph found himself in the early years. Friends encouraged him to make and sell his sausage. So when Ralph moved to Magna, Utah, in the summer of 1923 he opened a store on the corner of 9200 west and 2900 south, and Colosimo's was born.
Moroni Feed Company is a strategic partner of Norbest headquartered in the community of Moroni, Utah. It is a fully integrated turkey producing and processing cooperative. All of Utah's five million commercially grown turkeys are raised by the 47 independent turkey producer-members of the co-op.
Since 1983, Daily's® Premium Meats, located in Salt Lake City has offered a variety of premium meat products from signature honey-cured bacon to hickory smoked hams to delicious breakfast sausages for both retail and food service.
Frozen-at-Sea Wild Salmon
At our store, fresh-tasting, peak-season fish can now be enjoyed all year long. We're proud to introduce Frozen-at-Sea Salmon (FAS). Frozen-at-Sea Wild Salmon offers better quality and fresher tasting fish no matter the season.
During prime fishing time, king and coho salmon are frozen-at-sea, right on the boat, which allows year-round availability of delicious fish. It may sound unusual, but these fish are actually "fresher than fresh". The technique has been perfected over the last decade. The key is immediate, rapid freezing at an extremely low temperature (minus 40° F) on the fishing boat.
Next, the fully frozen fish are dipped several times in freshwater. This gives them a thin coating of ice which seals in moisture and prevents dehydration. Studies show FAS salmon can be maintained at minus 20° for up to 9 months, if necessary with no loss in quality. An important requirement of proper handling of FAS salmon is slow defrosting at 32° to 35° F. Proper defrosting requires 24 to 36 hours (depending on the size of the fish). The result is a fish that is essentially as fresh and delicious as the day it was caught.
FAS Salmon Questions and Answers
Q: Are all Salmon in Alaska Wild?
A: YES, All the salmon found in Alaskan waters are wild! In fact it is illegal to farm salmon in Alaska. The term wild salmon means that the fish are free range and can complete their natural life cycle without being penned and fed artificial foods.
Q: Is fresh frozen Wild Salmon as good as fresh?
A: YES! if done right, in most cases it's better. The Alaska seafood industry has perfected advanced quick-freezing technology (FAS) Frozen At Sea , which is unique in its ability to capture the fresh-caught flavor of the Alaska salmon while preserving the fish's firm texture and rich color. Fresher-frozen natural Wild Alaska Salmon is available year-round in portion-controlled sizes in a variety of product forms. Fresher-frozen products minimize shrink and keep margins high for restaurants. Frozen products that have been in a frozen state since they were first processed (FAS) and stored properly will keep their quality until they are thawed. Wild Alaska Salmon, if handled properly, can result in a culinary experience without equal. The main concern with Salmon quality is temperature abuse. Salmon must be kept refrigerated from the time it is caught to the time it is prepared for cooking or the result is usually soft and smelly fish. Three ways to tell quality Salmon: smell it, touch it and look at it. If it smells fishy then it's probably not fresh. When you touch it, if your finger print remains imprinted on the skin then it's not fresh. Look at the eyes of the fish and if they are milky in color then it's not fresh. The skin shouldn't' look dry or discolored in anyway. With this in mind, shopping for Wild Alaskan Salmon can be a rewarding culinary experience.
Q: What is the shelf life of Wild Salmon once it is thawed-out?
A: If Salmon is kept refrigerated at 38 F or less you still have 5-7 days to consume it. You begin to loose quality from the time the product is thawed, so cook it or refreeze it as soon as you can.
Q: What is the best wild salmon to eat?
A: While the five species of Pacific salmon all share a general outward resemblance, they vary in size, flesh color, and flavor. All species of wild salmon are wonderful to eat.
Chinook (King) Salmon are lightly spotted on blue-green backs. They live from five to seven years, and can weigh up to 120 lbs. Also known as Springs or Kings, they are the most prized game salmon for sport fishers. Chinook is the largest species of Salmon, with richly flavored, flaky flesh ranging from ivory white to deep red in color. Chinook Salmon has the high oil content due to its size and the length of time it spends fighting the ocean currents. The Chinook flesh takes a rub or marinade well.
Sockeye Salmon has a blue-tinged silver color skin. Sockeye salmon live four to five years, weigh up to 15 lbs and are the slimmest and most streamlined of the five species of Pacific salmon. Also known as Red Salmon, Sockeye are a popular salmon species for its stronger 'wild' flavor and uniquely beautiful, deep red color to its flesh. Great with other strong flavors like wild mushrooms.
Coho Salmon are bright silver in color. Often referred to as a Silver Salmon, they live three years, weigh up to 20 lbs., and are a popular game fish for sport fishers. The Coho's versatile full flavor is coupled with fine-textured, consistently red flesh. The firm Coho flesh is great on the grill.
Keta, also known as Chum or Dog salmon for their hooked upper lip, have black specks over their silvery sides and faint grid-like bars. They live three to five years, and weigh up to 20 lbs. Keta salmon offer a milder, more delicate flavor with a creamy pink to medium red flesh color. Keta are a soft meat and are often used in seafood chowders.
Pink Salmon are the smallest of the five Pacific Salmon species, living only two years. They have heavily spotted backs over silver bodies and weigh up to 5 lbs. Pink salmon are the most plentiful of the five species. Pinks have a delicate flavor and light flesh color and are most often commercially canned or used in pet foods.
Q: How much of the omega-3s are in the fatty gray meat beneath the salmon skin?
A: As much as two-thirds of the omega-3s in fish reside in the gray fatty layer beneath the skin. However it is interesting to note that tests conducted by the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory indicate that the flesh of wild sockeye salmon (for example) contains more than 1.2 grams of EPA and DHA per 3.5 oz (98 g) serving. This exceeds the 650 to 1000 mg recommended daily intake of omega-3s by more than 20%. So whether the gray fat is consumed or not, one is assured of getting a significant 'dosage' of EPA, DHA (and many other essential fatty acids) with each serving of salmon.
Q: What's the easiest way to cook wild salmon?
A: The wonderful thing about wild Alaska salmon is the ease with which it can be prepared. When you have good quality salmon you don't need a lot of fancy sauces and marinades to make up for marginal taste. Here are some very simple cooking ideas:
Into a bowl pour a small amount of olive oil (the amount depends upon number of portions--basically enough to coat what you're preparing). Add some seasoning to taste for example lemon pepper, garlic, dill, fennel or whatever other spices you like. Add a dash of soy sauce and a pinch of brown sugar or a few drops of maple syrup. All ingredients beyond the olive oil are optional. The oil will prevent sticking and help lock in moistness.
Mix your ingredients and brush over the pieces of salmon. You can then bake, grill, fry, or microwave it -- whatever you consider the easiest--and they're all pretty easy. When you think about it, it's not all that different than cooking a steak!
The most important thing is to not overcook your Salmon. The small portions will cook quickly. Salmon is a relatively lean fish and (like any meat) will become dry and tough if over-cooked. Pay close attention the first time you try a particular cooking method and note the time and temperature it takes to get it "just right." Once you figure this out, cooking your salmon will be a breeze.
Beginning with the simplest method, here are some cooking suggestions:
Microwave: The microwave is a quick and easy way to prepare salmon. Brush a thawed, 6 oz. portion with olive oil, sprinkle with spices, place in microwave on low power or "defrost" setting for around 9 minutes. Microwave ovens vary so you may need to adjust the time one way or the other. More than a couple pieces will take longer--adjust as necessary. Monitor the salmon closely the first time you try this method to insure optimum cooking time. Remove and serve.
Pan Fry: Same prep but place in pan with a small amount of olive oil over med-high heat for 3-4 minutes and cover. Turn salmon over, cover and cook 2-3 more minutes or until done.
Broil: Same prep, place salmon under broiler for 4-5 minutes. Turn if desired (may be unnecessary) Cook until done.
Grill: Same prep, place salmon on barbecue grill, cover, check after 4-5 minutes, watch closely, remove and serve (This is many people's favorite. Be sure everyone is ready to eat when you begin cooking the salmon as it cooks quickly and is always best served straight from the grill.)
Cooking wild salmon couldn't be much easier. Once you get the basic cooking method down you may want to branch out and experiment with other great recipes. Check out our Wild Alaskan Salmon Recipes on this page for some great cooking recipes
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