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How to Cook Fish Fillets in a Toaster Oven

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Easy method for cooking salmon or other types of fish in a toaster oven that is foolproof for a moist and juicy fillet every time!

Believe it or not, it is quite easy to cook salmon or other fish fillets in a toaster oven. I’ve used this method exclusively for at least a couple of years. Since a surprising number of people shy away from cooking fish at home, I thought I would share this easy hack as it is less intimidating than the stovetop or oven.

Toaster Oven vs Stove for Cooking Fish

There are three reasons why I prefer cooking salmon and other types of fish like cod, haddock, flounder, and Mahi in a toaster oven over the stovetop or range oven.

First, this method is obviously more energy efficient. Think about how much less electricity you are using with a toaster oven versus the oven. If you have a gas oven or outside grill, the comparison should still apply, especially considering the price spikes for oil and gas recently.

Secondly, using a toaster oven results in a more juicy piece of fish. This is because it is easier to avoid over-cooking the salmon/fish fillets using the toaster function. You will understand why after I explain how to do it below.

Third, the toaster method is desirable during warm summer months when using the stove results in an uncomfortably warm kitchen! Cooking fish on the stovetop in a frying pan is also very heat-producing in my opinion.

Using a small, countertop toaster oven instead does the job just as well…even better…than the range oven with little heat output to the surrounding rooms.

Some people resolve this problem by grilling out on the patio. This works too, but if you need to be inside for whatever reason, the toaster oven can’t be beat especially during the hot summer!

How to Cook Fish in a Toaster Oven

The first step to successful cooking of salmon and other fish fillets is your source. Quality matters and you get what you pay for especially when it comes to food.

Wild is Worth the Price

I recommend using wild fish as this will ensure a more nutritious dish. Beware of fillets labeled “sustainable”, as this is deceptive marketing-speak for farm-raised, potentially GMO fish.

I recommend this local foods website for quality wild fish of all kinds. You can buy a single fillet or in bulk for greater discounts. Free shipping is available as well.

If you buy your fish from another source, be sure to look for the following:

  • Wild-caught
  • Non-GMO
  • No antibiotics
  • Hormone-free

Steps to Perfectly “Toast” Your Fish!

Note that this method is optimal for 1-4 fillets. More than that really won’t fit in a small toaster oven pan! Here is the easy process:

  1. Evenly space a pat of butter for each fillet on a small pan or oven-safe dish that fits inside your toaster oven. This ensures easy removal of the fillets without using foil and also keeps the fish moist.
  2. Place a thawed fillet skin side up on top of each pat of butter. This ensures that the oils in the skin filter down through the meat while the fillet is cooking. This further ensures a moist result. I got this tip years ago from a chef!
  3. Place dish or pan in the toaster oven and switch the setting to dark toast.
  4. Press start and let the fish toast until the oven automatically switches off.
  5. Switch the setting to medium toast.
  6. Press start and once again let the fish toast on this lower setting until the oven switches off.
  7. Let the fillets sit in the heat of the toaster oven after it switches off for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan and test for doneness. I do this by taking a fork and slicing each fillet in half lengthwise.
  9. If you can cut the fillets easily with a fork, they are done. If you get a bit of resistance, they could use one more “toasting” on light-medium. This will be likely if you are cooking more than two fillets.
  10. Remove the skin if desired (it will pull off easily with a knife and fork) and serve immediately.

Do you have an unusual method for cooking fish? If so, please share with us!

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