Fish Cooking Temperature

The Editors at Food Fanatic | Food Fanatic
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The perfect fish cooking temperature depends on the type of fish you're preparing. Find out more - plus the best cooking method to use for each variety!

Cooking seafood can sometimes feel daunting, because it's so easy to overcook!

Unlike other types of food that you may be cooking, though, it's actually better to undercook seafood than overcook!

Cajun Grilled Cod Photo

Using a thermometer

The best kitchen tool you can invest in when cooking seafood is a kitchen thermometer, preferably a digital one. A digital thermometer will allow for an instant read. Remember to test in a couple of places, as the temperature can vary throughout.

Another great type of thermometer is a cooking alarm thermometer. These are good as they allow you to track temperature changes as the food cooks. You can set the desired temperature and the alarm will sound once it's been reached. It's ideal if you're a bit nervous about cooking, or if you're having a dinner party and are worried about getting distracted and overcooking your meal!

British Fish & Chips Picture

Note: Regardless of which thermometer you use, always probe in the center first. 

Fish cooking temperatures

When cooking seafood it is important to remember that residual heat will continue to cook it, even after you remove the heat source.

Always stop cooking your fish a few degrees before it reaches the suggested temperature, so that the residual heat can bring it up those last few degrees.

Fish Stick Tacos Image

Internal Seafood Cooking Temperatures:

White fish (such as cod, sea bass, plaice, flounder and turbot) - 125°F

Salmon - 125°F

Halibut - 130°F

Shark - 125°F

Tuna - below 115°F, with a rare center 

Lobster - 140°F

Scallops - 130°F

Shrimp - 120°F

 

British Fish Pie Pic

 

 

Checking for doneness

If you don't have a thermometer, you should be checking for visible signs of doneness. 
When you start out cooking seafood, you will notice that it may be shiny in appearance and have a translucent sort of color; once cooked, it should be opaque.
You should also be able to tell if fish is cooked by easily flaking it with a fork. Undercooked fish will not flake easily.

 

Methods of cooking fish

There are lots of different ways you can cook seafood, inlcuding grilling, pan frying, deep frying, poaching, roasting and steaming!

Different types of seafood work better with different cooking methods, based on the firmness of the flesh and how well they will hold up against various types of heat.

Fish Tacos with Tropical Vanilla Salsa Photo

We recommend:

Grilling:

- Tuna

- Salmon

- Swordfish

- Mahi-mahi

- Snapper

- Shrimp

- Scallop

- Lobster

Fish Stick Tacos Photo

Deep Frying:

- Cod

- Tilapia

- Catfish

- Hailbut 

- Shrimp

Poaching:

- Tilapia

- Snapper

- Salmon

- Trout

- Lobster

Fish recipes to try

British Fish and Chips

Tilapia Roulade

Fish Tacos

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