For the best oven baked salmon with a soft and tender texture, cover the salmon with aluminum foil or parchment paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then uncover and continue to bake until done. Depending on the type and thickness of the salmon you cook, cook time may vary. Check the notes below for our tips.
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, preferably wild-caught
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons drained capers
Chopped or torn fresh herbs like parsley, chives or dill
Half of a lemon, quartered
Heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper (we use about 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt for 1 1/2 pounds of salmon).
Melt the butter in a wide oven-safe skillet over medium heat. When the butter is bubbling, stir in the garlic and capers. Cook, stirring, until warm, about 1 minute. Take the skillet off of the heat. Add the salmon fillets, skin-side down, to the skillet. Tilt the pan so that butter pools on one side, and then spoon garlic caper butter over each fillet.
Cover the skillet with a sheet of aluminum foil or cover with parchment paper by loosely tucking it around the salmon. Bake the salmon, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover, and then spoon more of the butter over the salmon. Continue to roast, uncovered, until your desired doneness, 5 to 10 minutes more, depending on how thick the salmon is.
We cook salmon until an instant-read thermometer reads 125 degrees Fahrenheit when inserted into the thickest part. Alternatively, you can finish cooking the salmon under the broiler for some extra color on top. Watch closely so the fish does not overcook.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the baked salmon, sprinkle with lots of fresh herbs, and serve with another spoonful of the garlic caper butter on top.