How To Remove Skin From Salmon

If you buy salmon with the skin on, it’s useful to know the best way to remove the skin from a salmon fillet or pieces of salmon.

How To Remove Skin From Salmon

It’s so useful to learn how to remove skin from salmon. Some grocery stores sell salmon without the skin or the fishmonger will often remove the skin for you. However, there are times when this isn’t an option.

For some recipes, you can cook the salmon with the skin on. There are many recipes where it’s preferable to have the skin off. Plus, you’ll feel amazing mastering this skill! It’s such a rock star move as a home cook:).

What You Need To Skin Salmon:

All you need is a sharp knife and a cutting board. The knife should be long enough to cut across the width of the salmon and a cutting board. It’s also helpful to have some paper towels. Before you even start, pat the salmon dry so it’s easier to get a good grip on it.

Removing skin from salmon with a sharp knife

Video of How to Remove Salmon Skin

How To Remove Salmon Skin

  1. Place the fish skin side down on a cutting board. If you are right handed, placed the narrower side of the fish on the right. (Of course, you would do the opposite if you are left-handed).
  2. Start with the tail end and make an incision between the salmon and the skin. You want to have a flap of skin that you can hold on to.
  3. With your left hand, take a firm hold of the salmon skin, pulling it away from you. Hold it taut while you hold the knife almost parallel to the board. Carefully and evenly cut the fish fillet away from the skin. It should easily be cut off in one piece.
    • Holding on to the salmon skin and holding it taut helps to keep the knife in position and cut the skin off easily.
    • Try to keep the knife as close to the skin as you can, without cutting the skin. At the same time, try to keep as much of the salmon fillet intact as possible.
  4. Keep moving your hand that’s holding the salmon skin closer to where you are cutting so that it keeps the fish smooth.
  5. Remove and discard the skin.  
  6. Now the salmon is ready for cooking.
How to remove skin from salmon tutorial

What Is the Gray Layer Under the Salmon?

This is actually a layer of fat and it is perfectly safe to eat. It’s nutritionally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, so it’s really good for you. However, if you don’t like how it looks or tastes, you can easily cut it off too. I like using a thin and flexible boning knife for this job when I choose to do it.

Portion Out the Salmon

If you’re cooking the salmon whole, you don’t have to do anything with it all all at this point. If you’re cooking portions of salmon, cut the salmon across into the size that you like. I usually aim for making each portion of salmon about the size that will fit in my palm.

Salmon Recipes

We love salmon in our family, so I have lots of delicious salmon recipes that we really enjoy. Here are some of our favorites that I think you will love too.


  • Lily B

    Or, just toss it on searing hot skillet skin down for 10 sec or so and peal skin off with hands (: Key is to heat skin enough to peal off and not start to cook fish itself. Easy. Blessings.

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