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What Is The Safe Fish Cooking Temperature?

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what is the minimum cooking temperature for fish

Fish is one of the healthiest types of sea products. It contains healthy Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats and is an essential source of protein. For a healthy lifestyle, doctors recommend two servings of over 7 oz per week.

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The first question arises: what is the safe fish cooking with proper internal temperature? How do determine the proper temperatures for fish steaks and other seafood?

You will find the answers to these questions and much more below.

How Does Fish Cooking Work?

According to many chefs, cooking fish can seem complicated, especially since it is much more fragile and its texture tends to break easily and the wrong temperatures. The fish cooking process is straightforward if you follow all the steps correctly. Discover them when wanting to try something new.

Knowing a few things about each stage, from choosing the fish at the supermarket or the specialty store to the spices that give it extra flavor, you will see that the preparation of this type of meat is not so complicated.

Types and Proper Cooking Temperature for Fish

Fish can be generally grilled, baked, or steamed. But this delicious product, juicy and full of nutrients, can be cooked in other ways that enhance its specific taste. The FDA recommends cooking fish to a safe internal temperature of at least 145°F, but each sort has its degrees of cooking.

Fish is divided into lean fish and fatty (oily) fish. Lean meat is white, with no crumbs (or very little fat). This category includes cod, pike, and pikeperch.

On the other hand, fatty fish have dark flesh, the fat in the component contributing to the juiciness from preparation and consumption. It includes swordfish and some varieties of wild salmon. But here, you have most of the widespread fish types that you can cook as you wish.


Salmon is one of the most suitable foods when you want to lose weight. It contains a lot of essential fats with anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, proteins from this food are also necessary for correct metabolism and a significant amount of vitamin B. And all of that if you cook the salmon at proper temperatures.

However, it is a challenge to get a salmon cooked adequately, whether you are an amateur or a professional chef. To always get a delicious dish and not lose moisture, you must cook it at 125ºF/52ºC.


Halibut is asymmetrical, flattened on the side, with both eyes on the side “from above” on the right. Due to the white meat, slightly sweet, without fat, the halibut is one of the fish with high prices, which also led to the expansion of poaching. You should cook it at between 130 and 135°F/ 54 and 57ºC, so the middle is just becoming opaque. These are the proper temperatures for halibut.


Baked tuna is one of those recipes as simple as it is crucial in the whole family’s diet. Raw tuna is, in fact, the fish with the best taste, but it can also be dangerous, being a predatory fish so rich in mercury. However, full of Omega 3 and protein, a portion of fresh fish like tuna steaks once a week is recommended in the whole family’s diet and for the child after two years. Usually, it is served rare or seared rare at the minimum cooking temperature for fish which is 115ºF / 46ºC. Also, you can bake it as another seafood, but take care of the temperature.


The cod is a fragile, oceanic fish that most often comes frozen. If you still manage to buy fresh fish, you should treat it with great internal temperature for fish. It cannot be fried because it will break into many pieces. Instead, the fillets can be baked or steamed.

Of course, there is also the option to bake them and fry them in an oil bath, but this option is more suitable for frozen cod. You can steam or bake it on a sealed baking sheet. You can also put it in milk or a mixture of milk and cream to infuse it with the creaminess of the liquid and the flavors in it. Bake it at 120 or 200 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on your tastes.


Many people are interested in how lobster is cooked at home. The recipe for cooking meat of lobster is quite simple. The most common way is to boil the whole animal in lightly salted water. The popular recipes say that 5.7 oz of the bulk product should be 2-2.5 liters of liquid. According to the fish cooking temperature chart, the cooking time for the lobster is 12-15 minutes at a moderate internal temperature. During this baking time, it will be covered entirely in red. Then it must be taken out of the pan and cooled.


Fresh scallops, which you can buy from fishmongers or department stores, can be eaten raw, seasoned with unique sauces, or just a little lemon juice. In this case, the scallops must be very fresh and alive. Choose only scallops with an entire shellfish that are not loose at all. Keep them on an ice bed until they are ready, but the time between purchase and consumption should be as short as possible. Plus, you can bake them under high heat until the flesh is milky white or opaque.


Shrimp cook very quickly, so they are often cooked too little or too much. There is a smaller margin of error when the instructions say to keep the shrimp on the fire for three or four minutes at 120ºF / 49ºC. These cooking times and temperatures are the best for all types of shrimp.

You can cook shrimp over low heat for a more extended period, but keep it on high heat for best results. Don’t forget to check it with a food thermometer to see if you’ve not overcooked it. It gives them the best juicy and tender texture without any gummy texture. Make sure the shrimp are peeled and cleaned of the black thread that runs along the outside, from head to tail. That black thread on the back of the shrimp is excrement, so you better get rid of it. Texture matters a lot for the final product. You want to make sure all your shrimp are the same size and are in the pan simultaneously.

Different Ways of Cooking Fish

Most types of fish can be cooked using several different cooking methods. However, if you do not know the kind of fish and its qualities, you may find it more difficult to cook it. Here’s how to cook fish:


Baking fish at a high internal temperature highlights its flavor. It helps caramelize the outside and destroys any harmful bacteria. Chilli powder and cumin work wonder for baked fish. Also, you can bake it in a casserole and keep its moisture. In this case, you should take care of baking fish at internal temperature to avoid frying. When you bake the fish at 145°F temperature, use a meat thermometer to check the internal degrees.

Barbecuing (Grilling, Broiling)

Salmon, tuna, and swordfish fit perfectly on the grill. Ensure the grill is clean, and add a little olive oil before putting the fish on the grill. Turn the fish as soon as it is opaque on one side. Weaker fish can be cooked on the grill pan. The baking time is also 145°F.

Shallow or Deep Frying

Fried fish can be delicious if you add the correct spices, grated Parmesan cheese, herbs, sour cream (for whole fish), and mushroom sauce (for fish fillets). The safe temperature for frying fish is 145°F temperature.


It is important to note that it is recommended that the fish be as fresh as possible (the frozen one can also be used). It can also be prepared from mackerel, crucian, mackerel, horse mackerel, etc. The spices vary depending on what type of seafood you use.


The fish is boiled in a bowl according to its size. Salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, and vegetables (carrots, celery, and onions) are added to the water in which the fish is to be boiled. Do not add too many vegetables so as not to alter the taste of the fish. Onions can be put in larger quantities as it enhances the taste of the fish. When the vegetables are cooked, add vinegar, which stimulates the taste of the fish and keeps it strong.


It is a method of cooking in which the ingredients are slowly boiled in a liquid (almost covered). The stewed boiling has the effect of tenderizing hard foods and, at the same time, allows the flavors to combine deliciously. To see if it’s done, try to flake the thickest part. The higher temperature, the tastier the steaming.

How Do You Know Your Fish is Done?

If the recipe says that the whole fish should stay on the fire for 30 minutes, it would be best to check every seven minutes to see if it has been done. Thus, you will avoid overcooked flesh or the possibility of obtaining a dry and tasteless dish. It won’t be tender and moist.

The fish changes color when the internal temperature is proper, but you can tell if it is cooked correctly by applying the fork test. When you think it’s ready, flake it easily with a fork. If the fish separates easily, it’s done. If this happens, it is ready. If you don’t have a thermometer, try to cut the thickest part and look at its texture. If the baking times are correct, you’ll get the best seafood on your plate. Chefs find this test one of the easiest among other complicated used in many restaurants to check the baking times.

Last Tips & Tricks

Following a few simple tricks, whole fish meat will have the delicate aroma and flavor of dishes cooked in five-star restaurants. Here are some last tips for getting a perfectly cooked fish:

  • the right spices for fish are pepper, rosemary, sage, saffron;
  • hot peppers are recommended for flavoring fish fillets (only if children will not eat them);
  • the fish has high water content, so there is no need to add water when baking it in the oven at the proper temperature;
  • baked fish goes well with grilled vegetables (peppers, carrots, zucchini), on which you sprinkled a few drops of olive oil;
  • if you want the fried fish in the pan to have an exceptional taste, keep the fish in milk for 15 minutes, then put it in flour and fry it in oil;
  • to avoid breaking the fish fillet when you grill it, sprinkle it with lemon juice;
  • weakfish can break when fried – to avoid this, salt it ten minutes before cooking.

Do you already know what type of fish you want to cook? Take all the ingredients, and let’s try it together!

Tips from Chef Ms. Kim’s Fish & Chicken Shack

Chef Ms. Kim’s Fish & Chicken Shack is a food truck that serves up the best-fried chicken in the area. The menu is simple—you can choose between fried fish, fried chicken, or a combo of both for your meal. Their oil has no trans-fats and is cholesterol-free.

All of their food is cooked fresh to order and served piping hot on a white Styrofoam plate with a side of French fries and coleslaw. You can also add an egg to any dish for an extra cost.

Ms. Kim’s offers plenty of sauce options, including sweet chili sauce, spicy honey mustard sauce, BBQ sauce, and even ranch dressing if you want something lighter than mayo-based sauces!

The restaurant has been around for over 10 years and is known for its incredible chicken and fish dishes. The chef has been working with Miss Kim for many years now, beginning as a dishwasher before moving up to prep cook and eventually becoming head chef. The chef’s experience and expertise can be seen in the food served at the restaurant: it’s always fresh, delicious, and satisfying.

One of the most important things to know is that there’s a difference between the safe cooking temperature of fish and its recommended cooking temperature. Safe cooking temperature is how hot you can cook your fish without worrying about it getting gross. It’s best to use an instant-read thermometer to check this out, but if you don’t have one handy, here are some quick tips:

Cooking MethodPortionCooking Temp.Internal Temp.Weight/
Aproximate cooking time
BakedWhole177C63C1.35kg – 2.25kgTotal 25-30 min
Fillets177C63C1.35kg – 2.25kgTotal 25-30 min
Steaks177C63C1.35kg – 2.25kg35-40 min
Pan-friedWholeMed.63CTurn once, 8-15 min
FilletsMed.63C2 cmTurn once, 7-9 min
SteaksMed.63C2.5 cmTurn once, 9-10 min
Deep-friedWhole177C63CTurn once, 3-5 min
Fillets177C63C2 cmTurn once, 3-5 min
Steaks177C63C2.5 cmTurn once, 4-6 min
Grilled- 4 in. from the heat sourceWholeMed.63CTurn once, 10-20 min
FilletsMed.63C2 cmTurn once, 7-9 min
SteaksMed.63C2.5 cmTurn once, 9-10 min
Steaming – over gently boiling waterWholeN/A63CTurn once, 10-12 min
FilletsN/A63C2 cmTurn once, 10-12 min
SteaksN/A63C2.5 cmTurn once, 10-15 min
Other seafood (e.g. shellfish, shrimps, scallops, etc)Med.63C

Source: Fooddocs.com

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to bake fish covered or uncovered?

Baking fish covered or uncovered is a question we get asked a lot. And it’s understandable—you want to do your best to cook your fish as well as you can, so you want to know if you’re doing it right.

But the truth is that there are a lot of factors involved in how well your fish will turn out. For example, if you’re trying to bake a piece of salmon fillet with skin on, it’s important that the skin not touch the pan or foil, which can cause it to stick and come off when you try to remove it from the pan, which means you’ll have to wait until the skin has cooled down before serving (and who wants warm salmon?).

How do you keep fish moist when cooking?

When cooking fish, it’s important to keep it moist and tender. The best way to do this is by patting your fish dry with a paper towel before cooking. This will help ensure there’s no excess moisture on the exterior of the fish when you start cooking it.

How can I make my fish more flavorful?

There are a few ways to make your fish more flavorful. First, try using marinade. A simple marinade can add tons of flavor to your fish and make it taste delicious! You can use a dry rub or a wet marinade—it’s up to you!

Second, add some spices. Spices are an easy way to give your fish an extra kick of flavor. Try adding some lemon pepper or cayenne pepper for a spicy kick, or turmeric for more of an earthy flavor.

Third, try different oils and fats! Olive oil and butter are great options that will make your fish taste delicious without adding too much fat.

5 thoughts on “What Is The Safe Fish Cooking Temperature?”

  1. Avatar

    always thought that fish was best cooked at a high temperature, but after reading your article, i’m starting to think that maybe i should try a lower heat, because it is a safe fish cooking temperature, obviously

  2. Lucia Gross

    just love the marinade with orange and lemon juices plus sweet chilli souce! Cant stand not to taste it! really try it girls!

  3. Avatar

    I cooked salmon medium rare and it improved the whole dining event. Felt as if I entered a new taste world.

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