How to Reheat Salmon – 1 Worst and 5 Best Methods With Tips 

Do you want to know how you should reheat salmon? Indeed, it’s delicious, and you can enjoy it whenever you want. It’s why you refrigerate the leftover fish, but the real challenge begins when you want to reheat it, as It would always get burnt or dried up!

So the question arises, “is it possible to reheat salmon perfectly without getting it dried or burnt?” You’re in luck! 

You can try several ways to reheat salmon; it doesn’t matter if you want it quick or have some time; learn to reheat salmon perfectly!

Want to know more? Well, read on!

Or… just eat it cold? 

Many foods aren’t tasty and don’t have the nutrition when you eat them cold without reheating; that’s not the case for salmon! Cold leftover salmon is also highly nutritious. Besides, if you don’t reheat the salmon properly, you must eat it with a smell…ew!

Cold salmon is pretty good; the coldness in your mouth, along with the flavor, is a strange but delightful feeling. If you’ve never tried it, I suggest you do. People eat sushi all the time, and leftover salmon is already cooked!

Can you Reheat Salmon without Ruining the Quality?

Many people believe you shouldn’t reheat fish because it ruins the quality of salmon. In addition, some others also say that it’s harmful to reheat seafood. Although these claims might have some truth, you won’t need to worry about it.

Addressing the first one, some quality is lost when you reheat ANY food (it doesn’t just apply to fish). Fresh food from the grill tastes much better, but if you follow the proper steps to reheat, you can make it taste pretty good.

For the second concern, yes, if you leave food out for a long time, especially seafood, many bacteria breed and multiply. Reheating doesn’t kill all these bacterias. Then again, every edible thing can harbor bacteria at high temperatures (outside the refrigerator).

So, you should always refrigerate any food (and salmon) after you’ve eaten your fill. This increases the shelf life of salmon. If you store it properly and follow the steps to reheat it correctly, you get tasty bites of fish for your next meal!

What are the Best Ways to Reheat Salmon, Baking, Steaming, Frying, Smoking, or Grilling?

Here are the ways you can use to reheat salmon:

  • Convection Oven
  • Airfryer
  • Skillet
  • Microwave
  • Steaming
  • In a dish
  • Sous Vide Machine

Can you guess which is the interloper? If you said microwave, then you’re right because although it’s the quickest and worst way at the same time to heat your salmon. The reason is, it leaves you with dry, rubbery fish, which will make you question your life decisions.

The best way is to go with the plain old oven (convection oven), as it’ll  restore the original flavor of your salmon. The other methods are suitable too! 

Let me explain each one in detail, and you can choose your favorite according to your time constraints!

1- How to reheat salmon in a microwave: who else won’t hate it!

If you try this method, you’ll be left with a dry and offending filet. It won’t be appetizing, and the only thing you get is a bad taste in your mouth.

Nonetheless, we’ll try to teach you a method that’ll still get edible fish. 

  • First up, cover your salmon in butter or olive oil. Then you need to wrap it in a damp paper towel: the paper towel prevents your fish from drying up too much.
  • Set the power of your microwave to 30%, and then heat the salmon in 30-second intervals. You also need to turn over the fish after each 30-second break to ensure that it’s heated with no cold spots and the internal temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Note: When reheating salmon in the microwave, the fish’s smell will be left inside the microwave, TLDR: it stinks. What I do to combat this issue is use a microwave-safe cover. It prevents the salmon from stinking up the whole microwave.

So what results to expect?

Crispy, tasty goodness? No… just a slimy mess. After microwaving, forget about any crispiness because your filet will be far moist and slimy. Coming to the overall flesh inside, it won’t be too bad if you follow this method.

It won’t be as good as the other methods, but what do you expect? I told you not to microwave salmon! 

2- Reheating salmon in a convection oven – the best way to reheat salmon

Experts agree that the slower you reheat the salmon inside an oven, the better it is. So, don’t reheat it at a high temperature. Reheat the salmon in small 10-15 minute intervals.

Reheating cooked salmon in convection oven

  • The first step to anything involving a convection oven is to preheat it. Preheat your oven to about 275 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure an even heat. 
  • Then, cover the salmon with aluminum foil thoroughly to prevent the salmon from drying up and being rubbery. This foil prevents your salmon from drying up around the edges. You can also add 1-2 tablespoons of water inside the foil to keep the fish moist. You can also rub some oil or butter on it. 
  • Place this salmon inside the oven and bake it for 15 minutes. After the time has passed, insert a thermometer probe into it. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit because it makes it safe to eat. If it hasn’t reached the desired temperature, bake it for 2-3 more minutes. Serve it after removing it from the foil!

Reheating smoked salmon in convection oven

To reheat smoked salmon, you need a different technique. Even the first step is different; you must preheat your oven to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Take a baking tray and line the surface with a baking sheet. 
  • Place your smoked salmon in it and brush some olive oil or butter on it. You can also sprinkle some lemon on it.
  • Place this tray inside the oven and bake it for about 5 minutes. 
  • After that, use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should also be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit, as it’s the recommended temperature by the FDA. If your salmon isn’t hot enough, keep cooking for two-minute bursts until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. 

What to expect from this method?

This method brings you equally delicious salmon. If you follow the steps carefully, then it’s not dry either. It’s a slow method, so it’s not great if you’re short on time.

It’s convenient for large quantities of salmon as you can reheat it together without any issues.

How to reheat salmon in an air fryer?

Are you low on time? Do you need a healthy and quick meal? You can choose to reheat your salmon in an air fryer as it takes much less time than a convection oven.

Air fryers reheat fried foods well, and they not only make your salmon steaming hot but also give it a crispy texture. Whether cooked or smoked, there is only one technique to reheat salmon in an air fryer.

Preheat the air fryer

Just like an oven, the first and most crucial step is to preheat salmon at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 minutes. Once the air fryer chamber has reached the desired temperature, you must prep the salmon.

Glaze your salmon

Next up, glaze your salmon with olive oil (or butter if that’s your preference). This will help the salmon remain juicy and give the outside a succulent texture.

Reheat the salmon

Place the salmon glazed with olive oil inside the air fryer basket and air fry it for about 5 minutes. Then you need to check the internal temperature. If it’s reached 145 degrees Fahrenheit, then it’s ready to serve. Otherwise, you need to reheat it more.

How helpful is this method to reheat salmon?

Honestly, this is an excellent method indeed. Not only are you left with crispy skin and juicy flesh, but it’s also quick. Compared to the convection oven, it takes a quarter of the time, and you get tasty fish! Just remember not to let it overcook as it can burn up the skin pretty quickly.

How to reheat salmon in a pan?

This is a pretty good way to reheat salmon, and the result will be similar to the air fryer as you’re frying it, just in natural oil. 

  • Use butter for pan frying, though, as I like it more than oil. Liquify the butter in the pan over medium heat. 
  • Once the butter is hot, add the salmon and a few tablespoons of water. The water will make the salmon juicy. 
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let it sit for about 5 minutes over low heat. You can add a sauce inside if you want to change the taste.

Note: If you want an even better result, place only half of the skillet over heat. Thus one half will be hot and another half cold. Place your salmon in the cold part of the skillet. This way, the salmon isn’t exposed to any direct heat.

This way, your salmon will be juicy and crispy on the outside.

What to expect from this method?

It’s an excellent method for reheating salmon. You’ll get salmon with crispy skin and moist flesh. The slow heating prevents the salmon from drying out. You can add some sauces or flavors such as garlic and chili inside for a tasty twist!

How to reheat salmon by steaming?

Steaming is another method by which you can prevent your salmon from drying out, and it may even allow more of the fish juices to come out again. This method is preferable if you’ve already cooked your salmon by steaming.

  • Get a steamer, or you can use a makeshift one instead. 
  • Once you see the water has come to a boil and steam, place your salmon in the steamer basket.
  • Let your salmon sit in the heat for about 4-5 minutes with the lid on it. After that, check the internal temperature; if it has reached 145 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s good to go; otherwise, steam it again for a couple more minutes.

Note: You can also use stock instead of water in the steamer, giving your salmon more flavor! You can easily make a makeshift steamer by just taking a pot with water and resting a sieve on top of it (don’t let it touch the water).

What to expect from this method?

It’s an excellent method for reheating your fish without making it dry and rubbery. It also coaxes the juices out so you can enjoy them better. But only use this method if you’ve never marinated beforehand. 

The steam will condense on the skin of your salmon, and it will dilute the sauces. In short, this method is excellent if you have bland and a little dry salmon. Steaming reintroduces the moisture hence allowing you to enjoy an ultra juicy salmon!

How to reheat salmon on a grill?

Do you have a Blackstone grill or a flat top lying around at home? Well, you can finally put it to work by reheating some salmon! You need to follow some tips, though, because as the salmon has already been cooked, it might crumble on the grill.

It would be outstanding if you made sure that the temperature isn’t too high that it burns the fish. To keep the salmon together, you can wrap it in parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spread some oil or butter on the surface of the fish and then wrap it up.

You can even add other seasonings inside and place them on the grill on medium heat for 15 minutes. Check the internal temperature afterward. You’re ready to fill your tummy if it’s reached 145 degrees Fahrenheit!

My verdict on the grilling method

I think it’s too much of a hassle. Take out the grill, heat it, and clean it up after use. If you’re already grilling other stuff, it’s a great way. Otherwise, you’re better off using the oven.

This technique takes a lot of time, and although the result is fantastic, you can achieve a similar effect using the oven. So if you have a lot of time or need the smoky flavor, you can opt for this method.

Make a new dish out of the salmon!

This is my favorite way; why go through all the effort and reheat it to have the same taste as yesterday when you can make a whole new dish out of it? Salmon is one of the most flexible proteins out there! 

You can quickly mold it into a new recipe and have to be creative! You can shred it and add a few ingredients into it to get a new dish to eat, either cold like in some salad or hot like patties. 

Do you need to warm it up? Okay, I’ll tell you a quick way you can try it yourself!

Quick salmon in a dish – Salmon cakes in skillet

  • First up, flake your salmon and set it aside. 
  • Finely dice small to medium-sized white onion and half of the bell pepper.
  • Add chopped onion and bell pepper into the skillet with 1+1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter. Cook for 7-8 minutes until the onion is golden brown.
  • In a bowl, add two eggs, salt, Worcester sauce, 1 tsp of garlic powder, 1 cup of bread crumbs, 2 tbsp of mayonnaise, ¼ tbsp o black pepper, and 3/4 cup of freshly chopped parsley. Mix all ingredients well. 
  • Make ⅓ or half-inch thick cakes/ patties using a patty maker or your hands.
  • Add 1 tbsp of butter and olive oil to a pan and heat the pan. 
  • Fry the cakes in this pan on each side for 3-4 minutes. 
  • Your super tasty “reheated salmon is ready to eat.

Note: You can use the leftover salmon to make any dish that demands recooking the fish. 

Why should you try this method?

If you have a salmon that’s already overcooked or even if it’s a little dry, you won’t notice it much when it’s been mixed in some other dish. You’re not even cooking the fish further, just warming it up. Plus, you’ll be able to try a whole new tasty dish!

How can you reheat salmon patties?

Did you make salmon patties and don’t know how to reheat them? Don’t worry, and we got you covered. Initially, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Take your frozen patties out, and then fry them in a skillet that you coated with oil.

Flip the patties with a pair of tongs until they are golden brown on each side. Place your patties on a baking foil and place them in the oven. Reheat for 10 minutes until the centers are warm. 

Why do People Fail to Reheat Salmon Properly?

Many people believe that fish is never good when it’s eaten on the second day, but sometimes, some of it will be left regardless of how careful you are with the portions. I agree that nothing tops a freshly cooked meal, but just like any other dish, it can be reheated to enjoy.

It doesn’t always have to be a dry, rubbery mess that no one wants a bite of! Let’s go over why people can’t reheat salmon properly.

A salmons nemesis: The Microwave

If you want hell not only in your mouth but also in your nose, then the microwave is the best option. It’ll dry your fish, make it rubbery, and make the skin slimy! 

The fishy smell also gets released in the microwave, so you will ruin any other dish you might want to reheat. Never and when I say this, I’m not joking: Never microwave your salmon unless you’re a masochist or a sadist!

They turn up the heat too high.

Dry and overcooked salmon is so bad that you can’t swallow one bite! And this is why people hate second-day salmon. They blast it with so much heat during reheating that it gets burnt. 

You should always reheat it super slowly and at a low temperature until it reaches 145 degrees internal temperature or even low according to your cooking or reheating method. Why low? 

The science of cooking and carry-over cooking is involved here. You can learn better about salmon’s internal temperature by following this link.

They don’t cover the salmon.

You’re bound to get dry fish when you don’t cover your fish with anything such as parchment paper or even aluminum foil. Not only does a foil keep the smells inside, but it also helps in reheating.

With the help of a foil, the fish gets warmed up throughout. It prevents the edges from drying and getting burnt before the middle is warmed. You can also add a splash of water inside the foil, which helps keep the fish moisturized.

They don’t add enough moisture.

All types of fish lose moisture when you reheat them. That’s why we always rub some oil or squeeze a lemon over the fish. You can even spread some water to the surface. These methods preserve the original flavor.

Thus you can have juicy and moist fish even on the second day. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with dry and burnt salmon.

They expect too much.

Even after you’ve followed all the steps and reheated your salmon perfectly, it can’t top what you had the previous day. That’s why I prefer flaking it and making a new dish out of it to appease my taste buds.

You can never be sure when you reheat fish, but if you make a new dish, you can even hope to have a better meal than when you first made the salmon!

They don’t store it properly.

I’ve heard many times that people get sick from eating salmon the second day around. This is because of many reasons, such as not heating it enough. This shouldn’t be a problem, though, as salmon is eaten not only cold but also uncooked!

People get sick mainly because they don’t store the fish properly. If you store it properly, cooked salmon is safe to eat for up to 3 days. You need to keep your leftover salmon in an airtight container or wrap it up with plastic and put it in the fridge.

You need to ensure that the leftovers are placed in the fridge! That means within two hours of cooking it. If you leave it around too long, bacteria such as salmonella will breed, and it won’t be safe to eat.


Can you freeze salmon?

We don’t recommend freezing your salmon because freezing ruins the flavor by making it dry and rubbery. It loses all the flakiness. It’s necessary sometimes, so we’ll explain how,

  • Dry it up with the help of some paper towels
  • Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can even use a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
  • Place it in the freezer.

A frozen salmon has a shelf life of about one month, which is pretty generous considering that it’s only two to three days in the fridge.

How to reheat frozen salmon?

You should always thaw out frozen salmon first because otherwise, the salmon will turn into a horrible, mushy mess. Leave it in the refrigerator overnight to defrost it. You can even use a cold water bath to thaw it out. Just change the water every thirty minutes.

Then place your salmon in the oven and reheat it according to the method above.

Can you reheat your leftover salmon in a toaster oven?

Toaster ovens are similar to regular ovens, and salmon tastes just as good when reheated in a toaster oven. The method is pretty similar too. Just place the salmon wrapped in foil inside your toaster oven, which has been preheated to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let it cook for 15 minutes at a time, and check the internal temperature if it’s 145 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s ready to eat; otherwise, heat it for 2-3 more minutes.

What can you make with leftover salmon?

You can create many exciting dishes when you want to reheat salmon; here are some incredible dishes you can try!

  • Make a salad (get those greens in with some meat!)
  • Add your salmon to scrambled eggs for extra protein!
  • You can make fish cakes (A little more complicated).
  • Salmon fried rice for the win!
  • Use it as a spread in your breakfast with some avocado.


I hope that after this article, you can do yourself a favor by never eating dry, spongy fish again! Salmon should never be a rubbery mess. It deserves respect, and you should reheat it properly to get the best taste out of it possible.

Now you can take advantage of leftover salmon and make yourself a dish to remember, so what’re you waiting for? Go ahead! is a participant in the Amazon Associate program and will earn from qualifying purchases.