Simple Steamed Salmon Fillets
Over the last year, we’ve seen a lot of worry on social media about how to cook frozen salmon fillets in an Instant Pot. And no wonder! The fillets can be overcooked in a flash. We find the best technique is to steam them on a rack because they don’t sit in the liquid (which can break them apart, especially during the furious boil inside the pot when the pressure is released). Our timing here is for medium-rare to medium salmon fillets. If you like them cooked more thoroughly, add 1 minute to the timing for either the MAX or the HIGH setting. But note: The size of these salmon fillets (6 ounces each) is very important for the timing given; see the Beyond if you have larger fillets.
Servings Prep Time
2servings 2minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
2servings 2minutes
Cook Time
  • 1cup water or dry white wine of any sort
  • 2 frozen skin‑on salmon fillets(6‑ounces each)
  • 4 paper-­thin fresh lemon slicesany seeds removed
  • 1/2tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4tsp table salt
  1. Pour the water or wine into an Instant Pot. Set the pot’s rack (with the handles up) or a large, open vegetable steamer inside the pot. Set the fillets skin-side down on the rack or in the steamer, arranging them so they overlap as little as possible (do not stack them). Set two barely overlapping lemon slices on each fillet. Sprinkle the fish and lemon slices evenly with the pepper and salt. Lock the lid onto the cooker.
  2. Option 1 Max Pressure Cooker
    Press Pressure cook on Max pressure for 5 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off.
  3. Option 2 All Pressure Cookers
    Press Meat/Stew or Pressure cook (Manual) on High pressure for 6 minutes with the Keep Warm setting off. The valve must be closed.
  4. Use the quick-­release method to bring the pot’s pressure back to normal. Unlatch the lid and open the cooker. Use a metal spatula to transfer the fillets one by one to serving plates
Recipe Notes

• For an 8-quart Instant Pot, you must use 1 1/2 cups water or white wine. You can also use three<.sa> frozen 6-ounce fillets. (Four would be too many and begin to stack on top of each other.)
• You can add lots more flavor by sprinkling 1 ⁄2 teaspoon dried seasoning blend on each fillet before adding the lemon slices.
• If you’ve got frozen 8-ounce fillets, cook them at MAX for 6 minutes or at HIGH for 7 minutes, followed by a quick release.
• These salmon fillets are great over riced cauliflower or on top of a kale Caesar salad