How to Cook Salmon in the Electric Pressure Cooker

If I had to pick one type of fish to devour for the rest of my days, salmon would be at the top of the list.

Vertical image of a piece of cooked pink fish on a plate next to salad, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

The hearty texture and rich flavor lends itself well to so many different flavor profiles, from fresh dill to smoky chipotle, and it’s perfect to enjoy at any time of year with your choice of side dishes.

When it comes to cooking this particular variety of seafood, there are several different ways that you can go about it. My top two are to make it steamed or poached, and the beauty of these methods is that both can be done in the electric pressure cooker.

Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it?

But it is 100% true! You can easily cook the fish on a trivet to steam it beautifully. And if you don’t have a trivet or steamer basket, or if you want to try something different, you can easily poach it right there in the insert instead.

Vertical image of an unseasoned cooked piece of pink fish on a plate next to a lemon and salad greens, with silverware on the side of the plate.

The best part is that the fish takes barely any time to cook – only 3 minutes for fresh salmon, and a few minutes more for frozen, whether you are steaming it or poaching it.

This is so much more simple than having to worry about tending to the fish on the stovetop, in the oven, on the grill, or under the broiler.

Instead, you can direct your focus to prepping your favorite side dishes to accompany the meal, whether it be mashed potatoes, cauliflower puree, green beans, or broccoli, pasta, roasted root veggies, or something else entirely!

I will even make this ahead of time to meal prep chilled salmon salads to enjoy throughout the week – absolutely divine!

Serving Suggestions

While there are some recipes that allow you to cook your mains and vegetables together in the electric pressure cooker, this is not the way to do that. When you cook vegetables on high pressure for 3 minutes, many types will turn to mush, so I like to cook them separately.

Vertical top-down image of two plates with cooked pink fish fillets, salad greens, and lemon wedges next to cocktails and silverware.

Plus, the fish tends to pick up the flavors of certain vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots, and vice versa, if you choose to try cooking everything all together. Some eaters might like this, while others won’t!

Here are some of my favorite ways to spice up your pressure cooked salmon:

Use a Seasoning Mix

When you are steaming the fish, consider using a seasoning mix to flavor it instead of basic salt and pepper. This is one of my favorite ways to experiment with and use up herb and spice mixes that are sitting in my pantry.

Add Lemon Slices

Placing a few thin slices of lemon on top of the fish before you close the lid is fantastic for both poaching and steaming, giving the salmon a little extra citrusy zing.

Add Fresh Herbs

Fresh dill, tarragon, basil, or a combination of these will infuse herbal flavor into your seafood entree. Just add a few big sprigs to the insert with the water before poaching or steaming the fish.

Make a Quick Marinade

Infuse the salmon with unique and delicious flavors by using a marinade. The fish should only need a couple of hours in the fridge to soak up those flavors before you cook.

One of my favorites is to use teriyaki sauce as a marinade for the fish.

If you do use a marinade, remove the fish from it before cooking, and discard the remaining marinade mixture.

Make a Sauce

Don’t hesitate to make your own sauce for serving drizzled on top of or alongside the fish! There are so many delicious options available to you, and don’t forget that this entree is equally tasty served warm or chilled.

Choose your flavor profile, and go for it! Experimentation is a fantastic way to make this recipe new and different every time you make it.

In a pinch, you can even drizzle a bit of fresh lemon juice on top just before serving to perk things up a bit, or try a few teaspoons of your favorite salad dressing.

How to Cook Salmon in the Electric Pressure Cooker

Salmon can be steamed or poached in the electric pressure cooker.

Horizontal image of a plate of cooked unseasoned seafood fillets and a plate of seasoned cooked seafood fillets.

Choose your favorite preparation to pair with roasted or pureed vegetables. Read on to learn about these two techniques!

Steaming Instructions

Step 1 – Measure Ingredients

Horizontal image of raw fish fillets on a plate next to small glass bowls of liquid and salt and pepper.

To steam in the electric pressure cooker, you will need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound salmon, cut into 4 fillets (skin on, fresh or frozen)
  • Salt and pepper

Add water to the insert. Position trivet inside, and top with the salmon fillets. Season with salt and pepper evenly on top.

Step 2 – Pressure Cook

Horizontal image of cooked and seasoned fish fillets in a pot with a trivet.

Secure lid and set to Manual. Cook on High pressure for 3 minutes (5 minutes for frozen).

Once done, manually release pressure immediately. Remove fish from the insert and serve.

Poaching Instructions

Another way to cook salmon in an electric pressure cooker is by poaching it. This means the seafood cooks in a liquid instead of being steamed outside of the liquid. It’s a great way to impart more flavor into the fish and is still very simple to master.

Step 1 – Measure Ingredients

Horizontal image of raw fish fillets on a plate next to clear glass bowls of onion and seasonings.

To poach, measure out:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 medium onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless salmon, cut into 4 fillets (fresh or frozen)

Add all ingredients except the salmon to the insert. Top with the salmon.

Step 2 – Pressure Cook

Horizontal image of cooked pieces of fish fillet poaching in a pot with slices onions and liquids.

Secure lid and set to Manual. Cook on High pressure for 3 minutes (5 minutes for frozen).

Once done, manually release pressure immediately. Remove the fish from the insert and serve. Discard the bay leaf, onion, thyme, and any remaining liquid.

For another version of poaching, you’ll love our brothy miso-poached salmon recipe, infused with scallions, ginger, and garlic.

Can I Store This Salmon for Later?

Cooked salmon, when stored properly, can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. To make sure you maximize its shelf life, let the fish cool completely before you store it.

Horizontal image of a cooked piece of fish on a plate with salad greens and a lemon wedge on a napkin next to cocktails and silverware.

Store it in shallow airtight containers, or wrap each fillet tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

You can also store wrapped fillets in freezer bags in the freezer to extend the shelf life to about 2 to 3 months.

Looking for even more delicious ways to use your electric pressure cooker? Try these next:

Which would you rather try first, poached or steamed salmon? Tell us in the comments below, and share your suggestions for serving this simple entree!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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