How To Take Skin Off Salmon And Why You Should Do That

It’s widely claimed that salmon is one of the most delicious and healthiest fishes in the sea. Its taste is mild, creamy and very soft. The Omega-3 fatty acid found in its meat is great for bones, joints, eyes, brain and heart. Also, salmon is low in calories, which makes it a great ingredient in low-fat diets.

For some reasons, people want to know how to take skin off salmon. If you’re one of them, this step-by-step guide is just for you!


Why Do People Want To Remove The Salmon’s Skin?

Although the skin of salmons contains a large portion of nutrients, such as Omega 3, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B5 or Protein, many people hate eating it because they don’t like its taste and texture.

But this is not the only reason. According to a study published by the Environment International Journal in 2015. The skin of Norwegian farmed salmons might comprise several contaminants, including heavy metals, Dioxins and DDT which are very harmful to the human’s body.

They explain that the water, where the fishes live, causes everything. It can be polluted from stuff that people discard, like garbage, medicines, sewage treatment plants, etc. As these chemical substances contact with the salmon over time, they become concentrated in the skin of the fish.

Is Removing The Salmon’s Skin Always Good?

This is incorrect because not all salmons contain chemicals in their skin. If you buy them from reliable stores or supermarkets, there is nothing to worry about.

Additionally, skinless salmons are hard to cook. If you plan to poach them, just go ahead. However, if you’re going to grill, bark, broil or roast them. You can face the overcooking issues. The fatty skin of salmons is the best natural tool which acts as a shield between the hot pan and the meat.

Things To Prepare


Of course, but hold on! You still need to know how to buy a perfect salmon.

Salmon is categorized into several groups, such as King, Chum, Coho, Sockeye or Pink. No matter which group you choose, always make sure you buy the fish that is fresh and moist from reliable stores or supermarkets. It’s also recommended to pick a whole fish or at least a fillet well cut from its thickest part.

Since salmon is a large fish, you should use a large knife with a long and sharp blade (usually from 7 to 9 inches) to cut or fillet it. For a particular product, I’d suggest the Dexter Wide Fillet Knife. It’s specifically designed for filleting fishes, made of high-carbon steel and very sharp as well.

Cutting Board

In most cases, you can utilize your cutting board in your kitchen. Don’t need to buy a new one or the one specially made for salmon because it’s not necessary. Just make sure your board has the length that is longer than the length of the salmon.

How To Take Skin Off Salmon Step By Step

Step 1: Place the Fillet on the Cutting Board

Lay the fillet of salmon flatly on the cutting board. Make sure it’s lined up as close to the board’s edge, but not on the edge. This way, you’ll have the greater leverage to hold the fillet tightly enough for a perfect cut.

Step 2: Create a Grip

Grab your knife and cut directly down onto the tail of the fillet. You’ll start at this point working up towards the head of the fish.

As you cut the tail, you'll see a blood line that gets quite a bit darker and is really close to the skin. If you cut into it even further, you might go through the skin. This is not good. You don't want to go all the way through the skin. Just keep it just above that point.

We don’t want to waste the costly meat. We just want to create a very small portion that we can use as a grip to cut the rest of the fish. So, I suggest that you should turn your knife a 45-degree angle toward the tail.

Tips: You can sprinkle a little bit salt onto the tail. This will help you prevent slipping and offers you a good grip.

Step 3: Do Some First Cuts

Now you have the grip, what you’re going to do next is to hold this grip. Turn the knife toward the head of the fillet until it's flat. Make a couple of cuts. Then what's going to happen is that you’ll get to work with that flat knife all the way along the length of the salmon’s fillet.

Since the skin is very smooth, you can easily lose the grip despite holding tightly. The solution here is to stick a hole into the skin so that you can pass your finger through this hold and get the better leverage.

Note: Depending on the size of the fillet, you might need to change the way you create the leverage. With relative small fillets, like my salmon one today, you just need to use your thumb and index finger. But with larger sizes, such as a 100-lbs tuna, you might have to wrap your arm around the whole skin.

Step 4: Remove The Entire Skin

This is the most difficult step. It also takes you more time than others.

As you cut through, always make sure your knife is in between the skin and the rest of the fillet of the salmon, and about a 15- to 20-degree angle with respect to the cutting board.

If your knife flattens or comes up too much, you’ll go too deep into the meat and waste it. On the other hand, if it goes too far, what you’ll get at the end is the meat with the skin still on it.

The best technique here is that you will not pull it up or zip it out. But instead, all you have to do is to grip the skin and move it back and forth slowly. So, you can release the meat from the skin as perfect as you can.

Don’t forget always to pull the grip to stretch the skin, so you can work closely with your blade and never lose the control of the fish.

For a very detailed and illustrative guide on how to take skin off salmon, check this video:

Final Verdict

This technique is pretty the same for other kinds of fishes, especially large ones. You might end up with a little bit silver skin on the meat, but that’s ok! Do you want to try another tips from my "How To Class" with how to freeze chili or how to melt kraft caramels.

Now it’s time to say goodbye. Thank you for reading our post. Hope you succeed!

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Best Boning Knife For Kitchen 2017 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide - last year

[…] and a sharp point as well. This kind of kitchen knife is used to remove bones from meat, fish (remove skin) or poultry when you prepare food for your […]

How To Polish A Knife? Simple Yet Effective Ways Are Here - last year

[…] she wanted to take the skin off the salmon before cooking, but she couldn’t because the knife was not ready. Of course, I helped her and […]


Leave a Reply: