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Cast Iron Salmon

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Cast Iron Salmon is seasoned with simple spices and cooked to tender perfection right on the stovetop.

salmon filets in a cast iron pan topped with parsley and melted butter

Cooking salmon in cast iron is what dinner dreams are made of. Picture perfectly tender, flaky salmon with a crisp outer layer and juicy, inside. You won’t find dried-out salmon here. When you think of how salmon should be cooked, you are thinking of this recipe. This is one salmon recipe you will be making over and over.

You will love this recipe for salmon cooked in cast iron because it uses just a few pantry staple ingredients, cooks up quickly, and tastes so delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about how this salmon turns out, adding it to the menu again now.

What You Will Need

Here is what you need to add to your grocery list, if you don’t already have it on hand, to make this cast iron salmon recipe:

  • Salmon Filets– there are a few different ways you can buy salmon filets. I picked these skin-on salmon filets up from the butcher since they were already pre-sliced into filets. They were all about the same thickness, but not all the same width, and that’s okay. Frozen salmon filets can be used, just thaw before cooking. Salmon filets can also be found in the meat section at the store.
  • Sea Salt– this is a larger grain of salt than regular table salt and works great with cooking fish and other proteins
  • Black Pepper
  • Avocado Oil– or other high-temperature cooking oil
  • Butter– use an unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt flavor in this recipe
  • Lemon Juice– the perfect complement to salmon
  • Parsley– added just before serving for a little color and flavor

⭐️ Full ingredient measurements and recipe instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Level It Up

While this recipe is amazing as written, you can do a few things to switch it up and take it to the next level.
-Add in a little spice with some red pepper flakes
-Grate some lemon zest over the top

cast iron cooked salmon on a white plate with the salmon flaked a little bit with some lemon slices

Recommended Equipment

How to Cook Salmon in Cast Iron

Let’s walk through the simple steps to make salmon in cast iron with a few tips and tricks.

  1. Heat the pan– place your cast iron pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
  2. Prepare the salmon– pat the salmon dry on both sides with a paper towel and season with sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Heat the oil– pour the oil into the pan and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. When the oil is shimmering and flows easily, you are ready to cook.
  4. Cook the salmon– place the salmon, skin side down into the cast iron pan and press down on the top for a few seconds to stop it from curling if it has skin on. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the salmon is halfway cooked through, you can see it change from the side. Keep an eye on the heat if you feel it is getting too hot and burning the bottom, turn down the heat a little. Flip and continue to cook on the other side.
  5. Melt butter– flip the salmon back over and add the butter, lemon juice, and parsley to the pan, and spoon it over the salmon for the last minute of cooking time.

When is Salmon Done Cooking

Like a good steak, salmon can be cooked to different temperatures to create a different texture and flavor. The best way to measure the temperature of salmon is to poke it in the thickest part with an instant read thermometer and take it to one of the following temperatures.

  • 125º F for medium-rare -this is how I prefer it cooked
  • 130º F for medium
  • 135º F for medium-well
  • 140º F for well done
salmon filet on a white circle plate with some lemon slices

Storage and Leftovers

To store any leftovers of cooked salmon, place in an air tight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. These can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Leftover salmon is great to eat the next day, try it cold on a salad, or heat it for just a minute in the microwave to serve it warmed up.

More Salmon Recipes to Try

Even though this one should be at the top of the list for ease and flavor, this Brown Sugar Salmon or, Oven Baked Salmon are both a must try.

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cast iron cooked salmon on a white plate with lemon slices
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Cast Iron Salmon

Cast Iron Salmon is seasoned with simple spices and cooked to tender perfection right on the stovetop.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time17 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 360kcal


  • 3 skin on salmon filets about 1 inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped


  • Place a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add oil.
  • Pat salmon dry on both sides with paper towels. Season salmon on both sides with sea salt and pepper.
  • Place salmon skin side down into pan and cook for about 5 minutes until halfway cooked through.
  • Flip salmon and continue to cook until desired doneness. 125℉ for medium-rare, 130 ℉ for medium, 135 ℉ for medium-well and 140℉ for well-done. I recommend medium rare.
  • Carefully, flip salmon back over. Add butter, parsley and lemon juice to the pan and spoon over the salmon. Additionally, when serving, spoon the butter, parsley and lemon juice over the salmon on the plate.


  • Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are just an estimate of the ingredients listed
  • store any leftovers in an air tight container for up to 3 days.


Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 881mg | Potassium: 851mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 299IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Cast Iron, Dinner, Seafood
Keyword: Cast Iron Salmon
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