Your Guide to Cooking the Perfect Fish

Check out our guide for cooking the perfect fish

Your Guide To Cooking The Perfect Fish

Check out our guide for cooking the perfect fish

Fish can be tricky to cook, but it doesn't have to be. Luckily for you, we've put together helpful tips that will help your fish come out tasting great every time!

The 10-Minute Rule

The 10-minute rule is the key to perfectly cooked fish, and it's not as hard or complicated as you might think! This guide provides a list of cooking methods, with simple instructions on how to use this guideline for each one.

The key to cooking fish is 10 minutes. Insanity, right? Not exactly! -The 10 – minute rule applies when baking, broiling, grilling, steaming, and poaching fish fillets or steaks. Practice makes perfect, and properly cooking fish is all in the timing.

  • Note that all cooking times are after fish is thawed, patted dry, and brushed or sprayed with olive or canola oil.
  • Measure the fish at its thickest point; if the fish is stuffed or rolled, measure it after stuffing or rolling.
  • Cook for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, turning halfway through the cooking time. For example, a 1-inch fish steak should be cooked 5 minutes on each side for a total of 10 minutes. Pieces of fish less than half an inch thick do not have to be turned.
  • Add 5 minutes to the total cooking time if you are cooking the fish in foil or if the fish is cooked in a sauce.

Here's how to use the 10 – minute rule

Pan Searing (our favorite)

Spray a metal-handled chef's sauté pan with oil. Oil fish and season. Bring the oiled pan up to medium-high heat and sear fish for 45 seconds on each side. Immediately place the entire pan and fish in preheated 450º oven. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and serve.


Whole fish, whole stuffed fish, fillets, stuffed fillets, steaks, and chunks of fish may be baked. Use pieces of similar size for even cooking. It's best to bake fish in a preheated 450º oven following the 10-minute rule; bake uncovered, basting if desired.


Place fish 1 inch thick or less, 2 to 4 inches from the heat source. Place thicker pieces 5 to 6 inches away. Baste frequently with an oil-based marinade. Using the 10-minute rule, cook on one side for half the total cooking time, basting once or twice, then turn the fish over to continue broiling and basting.


This technique lends itself well to thick fish such as salmon, halibut, sea bass, Mahi, swordfish, and tuna steaks. Preheat and outdoor gas or electric grill. If using a barbecue grill, start the fire about 30 minutes before cooking. Let it burn until white-hot, then spread the coals out in a single layer. Adjust the grill height to 4 to 6 inches above the heat. To grill fish, moderately hot fire is always best. Always start with a well-oiled cooking grid to prevent the delicate skin of the fish from sticking. Also, brush fish fillets with oil before seasoning. Frequently baste steaks and filets while grilling to prevent them from drying. Marinating fish an hour before grilling keeps it moist. Apply the 10-minute rule for proper doneness.

When it comes to cooking fish, you'll want to follow the 10-minute rule. This is especially true if you are using methods like pan searing or grilling that can quickly overcook delicate fillets and dry them out. The next time you're cooking up fish for dinner, remember this simple method to get it just right.

If you're looking for more advice on choosing a new recipe or new cooking techniques, don't hesitate to contact our culinary experts! They'll be happy to answer any questions you might have about giving your next meal that "wow" factor with simple tips for cooking up amazing dishes.