I'm laughing. I've been looking at codfish recipes for about five minutes now and I can make neither heads nor tails from it.

  • Some recipes claim you should cook for 5 minutes, other for one hour. Most agree on 15 minutes.

  • Some give thickness in inches as a measure for determining the time. Others say you have to look for the flakes.

  • Oven temperatures range from 160ºC to 205ºC (320F - 400F).

  • Others say poach...

What's the real story here? Is anybody out there an expert in cod?


3 Answers 3


Cooking time will vary greatly depending not only on the cut of fish but also the cooking method. In general, your cod will be done when it reaches an internal temperature of 54°C (130°F), regardless of cooking method. Here are some times/temperatures that work for me:

  • Sous Vide: 10 minutes or more at 56°C, followed by a quick broiling/grilling/blow torch.
  • Baking (thick fillets): 15–20 minutes at 218°C (425°F).
  • Baking en papillote: 15 minutes at 232°C (450°F).
  • Deep Frying: 7–8 minutes at 190°C (375°F).
  • Steaming: 6 minutes.
  • Poaching: I like to add the fish to the cooking liquid while the liquid is room temperature. I bring it to a simmer, and then turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Pan Frying: This isn't quite as popular a method as the above for cooking cod, however, if you want to do it, I would recommend cooking it on high heat, flipping once the opaqueness has reached about halfway up the side of the fillet.

Basically, it doesn't matter which method you use as long as your cod ends up with an even internal temperature of around 54°C (130°F).

  • Don't forget deep frying! Jun 13, 2011 at 20:27
  • I already listed deep frying as just "frying" (#4). I'll edit it. Thanks!
    – ESultanik
    Jun 13, 2011 at 20:29
  • @ESultanik Is there a temperature guide for other fish species, or is 54°C it?
    – TFD
    Jun 13, 2011 at 21:05
  • @TFD: The way I like to cook my fish, the only general exceptions to this rule are fish that I like a bit rarer (e.g., salmon, which I only cook to 52°C, or tuna, which I like pretty much raw in the center), or fish that are better suited to be well done (e.g., oily fish like sardines and mackerel, which are very forgiving to cooking temperature given their fattiness).
    – ESultanik
    Jun 13, 2011 at 21:22
  • Very good answer. I'll give these methods a try. Any comments on my other questions cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/7375/… and cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/7812/… Jun 13, 2011 at 22:30

The classic baking method is 400°F (205°C) for 10 minutes per inch of thickness of your room temperature fish fillet or fish steak. Therefore, a thin sockeye salmon fillet might take 5 minutes or less, while a one and a half inch halibut steak will be perfectly cooked in 15 minutes at 400°F. BTW, this is also a good rule of thumb for pan frying or grilling in the 400-450°F (205-230°C) degree range. Other clues to look for are white bubbles of fat on the surface of salmon, flakiness of cod, flesh separating from the bone in a halibut steak.


Cooking cod is very simple:

  • Coat the bottom of a pan with oil or butter.
  • Lay the cod filets into the pan.
  • Sprinkle in various spices of your choice.
  • Flip them after a few minutes.
  • Press down on the filets when they start to flake (separate).
  • Serve and enjoy!

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