While the exact time that a fish is safe to eat after being baked or boiled is up for debate, there is one thing that most people can agree upon: the longer the food is cooked, the less attractive it tends to be. But just how much does it take to turn a once-vibrant orange into a flavorless, gray blob?
To find out, we set up a series of experiments to determine how long fish should be cooked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The first step was to gather some of the freshest fish that we could find and get it cleaned and scaled. Next, we needed to figure out what would be the best way to measure the doneness of the fish. As it turns out, there’s more than one way to gauge the freshness of fish, so we needed to find an accurate measurement for this particular recipe.
To start, we assessed the overall “fishiness” of the meat using a scale that could measure the “fishiness” of the fish. The results of this experiment showed that the “fishiness” of the fish decreased by 17% when cooked for 9 minutes. Since the goal of this recipe is to keep the fish fresh as possible, we decided to go ahead and cut the cooking time in half.
So, for every two minutes that the fish was cooked, there was a loss of 17% in its “fishiness.” To determine the point at which the fish was no longer appetizing, we had to find the cut-off time that minimized the amount of time that the fish was cooking and still maintained a certain level of “fishiness.” With a little bit of trial and error, we determined that the fish was no longer safe to eat when it reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Effect Of Temperature And Time
As mentioned above, the overall “fishiness” of the fish decreases as it cooks. But what exactly does “fishiness” mean? And, more importantly, how do I determine what temperature should be used for my fish?
When cooking fish, the key to keeping it tasty is to maintain a certain level of “doneness,” which can be determined using an internal temperature checker.
As the temperature increases, so does the “fishiness” of the fish. And, as we’ve established, the “fishiness” of the fish decreases as the temperature increases.
Checking the internal temperature of the fish is simple; all you have to do is find a safe spot to prick the flesh of the fish with a sharp knife. Afterward, you can feel sure that the temperature reading is accurate. Just make sure that the area around where you’ve stuck the knife is not in contact with any other part of the fish or it might be considered a “cold spot” and could throw off the reading.
Some general guidelines for cooking fish are:
- Choose a firm, yet gentle fish such as tilapia or cod. These types of fish are a good combination of texture and flavor and are easy to prepare. Bony fish, such as bass, could become tough if overcooked and might require additional time to break down the collagen in their flesh.
- Tilapia and cod are both fairly mild tasting fish, which means that they won’t require as much time to cook as other fish, such as the branzino, which is a type of sailfish. You might want to consider cooking a small fish first to gauge how long it takes to cook. This would also be a good option if you’re someone who is less familiar with preparing fish, since you can always prepare a small, easier-to-eat fish and then move on to the more challenging task of cooking a large, more expensive fish.
- As a general rule of thumb, the darker the flesh of the fish, the more “fishy” it will taste. So if your goal is to prepare a tasteless piece of fish, it might be a good idea to cook it until it is pale in color.
- The general rule of thumb for measuring the doneness of fish is that the closer the internal temperature is to being cooked, the less “fishy” it will taste. If the internal temperature is above the recommended serving temperature, it will still be safe to eat, but it might require a bit of a gut-check to determine its exact taste.
- At this point, it’s important to remember that the taste of the fish will continue to evolve as the fish cooks. This is why we suggest measuring the temperature at first, so that you have a baseline to compare the taste against. If you’re not sure what the optimum serving temperature for a specific type of fish is, it might be a good idea to consult an expert or a reliable source.
- If you’ve followed our guidelines, you’ve cooked your fish precisely at the correct temperature. It will still be hot when served, so you don’t have to worry about over or undercooking your food. Plus, since the fish is still moist, it will stay juicy and delicious even when slightly overcooked.
It is always best to choose a recipe that relies on the elements of surprise and inspiration. Thanks to the combination of ingredients and spices, as well as the method of cooking, the taste of this particular fish is absolutely unique. While we can’t guarantee that you’ll like it, we can guarantee that you’ll taste it.