How To Take The Skin Off Of Salmon

A close-up photo of the Fillet Knife 6" | Shogun Series ELITE | Dalstrong with a fillet of salmon and chilliFillet Knife 6" | Shogun Series ELITE | Dalstrong

Quick Overview: How To Take The Skin Off Of Salmon

  1. Place salmon skin-side down on the cutting board.
  2. Make a small incision near the edge with a sharp knife.
  3. Hold the skin taut, gently slicing to separate the flesh from the skin.
  4. Continue cutting downward, close to the skin.
  5. Inspect for any remaining skin; make additional cuts if needed.
  6. Use a sharp chef’s knife for clean and precise cuts.
  7. Practice pulling the skin away with minimal effort.
  8. Enjoy ready-to-cook salmon fillets with expertly removed skin.
  9. Explore different cooking methods like air frying or roasting.

If you’re a fish aficionado like I am, you’re going to love this quick and easy guide on how to shop for Salmon and how to take the skin off of it for delicious dinners. So, let’s jump right into it! 

1. How To Shop For Fresh Salmon

A well-lit photo of a fresh sliced salmon on a wooden table.

When it comes to preparing a mouthwatering salmon dish, the first step is choosing the right piece of salmon. Here's a comprehensive guide on how to shop for salmon, ensuring you get the freshest and highest quality fish for your meal. When shopping for salmon, pay attention to these key factors

Salmon Fillets vs. Whole Salmon

Consider whether you want salmon fillets or whole salmon. Fillets are convenient and easy to work with, while a whole salmon provides more flexibility in preparation.


Look for salmon with a vibrant, pinkish-orange color. Avoid fish with dull or discolored patches, as this could indicate poor quality or aging.


Fresh salmon should have a clean, ocean-like smell. If it smells too fishy, the salmon isn’t fresh. 


The meat should be firm and bounce back when pressed. Avoid any fillets with visible bruises.

Read about how long salmon lasts in the fridge, here.

2. How To Take The Skin Off Of Salmon Step-By-Step

A photo of the Fillet & Boning Knife 6.5" | Phantom Series | Dalstrong with a fillet of salmon at the bottom.Fillet & Boning Knife 6.5" | Phantom Series | Dalstrong

Removing the skin from salmon is a crucial skill for various recipes. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a ordered process.

Tools You'll Need:

Sharp Knife

Use a sharp chef knife for precision. The sharpness helps achieve a clean cut, which makes it easier to take off the skin away from the flesh.

Cutting Board

Place the salmon on a stable cutting board to ensure safety and ease of handling.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Lay the Salmon Fillet Skin-Side Down: Start by placing the salmon fillet skin-side down on the cutting board.
  2. Make a Small Incision: Using a sharp knife, make a small cut at the edge of the fillet, near where the skin starts.
  3. Hold the Skin Taut: Hold the skin taut with one hand while gently guiding the knife with the other. Use a sawing motion to separate the flesh from the skin.
  4. Continue with Downward Angles: Continue cutting at a downward angle, keeping the knife close to the skin. This helps to remove the skin with minimal flesh.
  5. Inspect for Residual Skin: After the initial cut, inspect the fillet for any residual skin. If needed, make additional cuts to ensure the skin is entirely removed.

3. Recommended Dalstrong Tools For You

1. Fillet Knife 6" Shogun Series ELITE | Dalstrong

Fillet Knife 6" | Shogun Series ELITE | Dalstrong

    This fillet knife's thin, curved blade slides over bones and joints with ease, making clean cuts with little resistance. The blade's 67 layers of stainless steel coating, which are made from ultra-premium Japanese AUS-10V steel and offer stain and wear resistance. 


    • With a cutting core of Japanese AUS-10V super steel, this knife boasts impressive hardness at 62+ Rockwell, ensuring an enduring, razor-sharp edge.
    • Military-grade strength and durability with a sturdy G-10 Garolite handle. It provides superior control thanks to the ergonomic design. 
    • The copper mosaic pin adds style and stability to the grip.
    • The 'Tsunami Rose' pattern on the blade and its painstaking hand-finishing demonstrate Dalstrong's dedication to both style and utility.


    • The 6" blade length might be too short for those planning to fillet larger fish.

    2. Flexible Fillet Knife 7" Gladiator Series | NSF Certified

    Flexible Fillet Knife 7" | Gladiator Series | NSF Certified | Dalstrong

      The 7-inch Dalstrong Gladiator Series fillet knife is a culinary beast for flawlessly filleting fish. This precisely designed blade can easily handle jobs like de-boning, descaling, and filleting. The knife has amazing flexibility, making even the most challenging tasks seem simple, thanks to its 1.5 mm spine thickness.


      • You will master deboning, filleting, and other skills with this knife, to speed up the cooking process. 
      • German high-carbon steel with a Rockwell hardness of 56+ is used to make the blade. It is sturdy, wear-resistant, and extremely sharp.
      • Comfort and ease of use are guaranteed by the ergonomic G10 handle, which improves your experience with extended use.
      • A travel case with a belt loop for adventures on the go and a BPA-free PerfectFit sheath for storage are included in the package.


        • Some folks might find this knife to have “too much blade” if they’re not seasoned chefs. 
        • You could be looking for a shorter knife for smaller fish. 

        3. Fillet & Boning Knife 6.5" Phantom Series

        Fillet & Boning Knife 6.5" | Phantom Series | Dalstrong

          This merciless 6.5" fillet knife's Japanese AUS-8 steel blade is emblazoned with Dalstrong's name and the kanji for 'phantom,' reflecting both form and function. Each blade is honed to a razor-sharp 13-15 degree angle using the classic Dalstrong Diamond Detailing (D3) method, resulting in rapid and effortless cuts, and a premium-quality polymer sheath rounds out the package.


          • This knife is designed for boning beef, pig, fish, and game, making it invaluable in the kitchen.
          • The 6.5" razor-sharp blade, combined with rock hollow divots, results in little drag and smooth, efficient cuts.
          • Dalstrong's devotion to quality and aesthetics is reflected in the Japanese AUS-8 steel blade with etched embellishments.
          • The classic Japanese D-shaped handle provides excellent hand control, comfort, and agility, making each cut a breeze.


          • The length of this knife could be too short for folks with larger fish to fry. 
          • Some folks don’t prefer blades with divots. 

          4. Fillet Knife 6.5" Valhalla Series

          Fillet Knife 6.5" | Valhalla Series | Dalstrong

            With the Valhalla Series Fillet Knife, you can unleash your inner chef with abandon. This blade, suitable for descaling, deboning, filleting, and other tasks, is made of high-carbon steel that has been hand-sharpened to a razor-sharp 8-12 degree angle, providing an unstoppable edge. It's engraved with the Dalstrong emblem as a demonstration of your commitment to quality. The Valhalla-embossed leather sheath provides warrior-worthy protection.


            • This 6.5" blade is hand-sharpened to 8-12° each side and designed for a variety of jobs, enabling smooth carving through muscle and sinew.
            • The heavenly resin handle, combined with stabilized wood and a stainless steel bolster, provides unrivalled stability and longevity.
            • The Valhalla-embossed leather sheath stores the sword properly, ensuring it's always ready for fight.


            • The distinctive handle design may not be to everyone's taste. 
            • Some chefs prefer a more traditional-looking knife. 

            5. Teak Cutting Board Medium Size Dalstrong

            Lionswood | Teak Cutting Board | Medium Size | Dalstrong

              The Teak cutting board is a all-around and luxurious kitchen accessory. This all-purpose chopping, slicing, and serving board is made from sustainably sourced Tropical Teak wood and has satin-finished steel handles for a stylish touch. The board's unique checkered construction provides a slip-resistant surface that absorbs impact, allowing your knives to stay sharper for longer.


              • Because of its natural oils, this cutting board is made from sustainably sourced Tropical Teak wood and is known for its impressive moisture resistance and durability. 
              • The end-grain construction's tight wood grain ensures a long-lasting and sanitary cutting surface.
              • The board's two steel handles make it easy to use as a serving board for roasts, charcuterie, bread, and cheeses.
              • The bottom of the laser-cut measurement lines


              • Some chefs prefer working with plastic cutting boards as they’re easier to clean. But, that’s a myth. Teak boards are easier to clean as they don’t absorb moisture! 
              • If you have a compact kitchen, this cutting board could be too big. 

              4. Frequently Asked Questions

                What is the easiest way to remove salmon skin?

                To easily remove salmon skin, lay the fillet skin-side down, make a small incision near the edge using a sharp knife, and gently saw while holding the skin taut for a quick and effortless process, especially with ready-to-cook salmon fillets.

                How do you remove fish skin from salmon?

                Removing fish skin from salmon is a breeze; place the fillet skin-side down on a cutting board, use a sharp chef knife for clean cuts, and employ a sawing motion, ensuring minimal flesh wastage and mastering the art of skinning fish.

                Do you remove the skin from salmon before cooking?

                When cooking salmon, it's advisable to remove the skin beforehand by following a simple process of making an incision near the edge with a sharp knife, allowing for various cooking methods like pan-searing or air frying without the skin, providing a crispy texture.

                How do you take the skin off a salmon side?

                Taking the skin off a salmon side is straightforward; place the side skin-side down, use a sharp knife to make a small incision, and gently cut while holding the skin taut, ensuring a perfectly skinless side ready for roasting poaching, or other culinary techniques.


                Written by Ananya Tiwari
                Ananya loves the fine things in life. When she isn’t penning down poetry or song lyrics, she spends her time cooking and creating recipes while also enjoying new cuisines.

                How To Take The Skin Off Of Salmon

                Table of Content