I am experimenting with sous vide these days. I have successfully cooked salmon sous vide (60C to pasteurization according to Baldwin).

One thing with sous vide that people brag about is the possibility of letting food sit in the bath for longer than necessary ("I drop the steak in the bath and go to work, eat when I am back from work."-type situations).

Now I wonder, how well does fish respond to long time cooking? If I drop a piece of salmon in the bath and it stays there for, let's say, 10 hours. Will taste and texture change?

What about other types of fish, e.g. cod?

  • 1
    if you added salt to the sous vide, if it cooks for a long time it might end up curing the fish
    – smcg
    Oct 25, 2013 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


Yes! Cooking low temp absolutely degrades texture of fish. I can't imagine that you would want a piece of salmon cooked for 10 hrs. It would be mush....cooked, safe...but mush. Most fish...probably 20 minutes or so. Any fish should just be cooked until done. No more. Otherwise texture is compromised and off putting.

  • 1
    Is 20 minutes even long enough to get the fish entirely up to the bath temperature?
    – Cascabel
    Oct 26, 2013 at 3:49
  • I assume there is some trade-off here between food safety and texture? I guess that 20 minutes do not kill all baddies? Baldwin gives 4+ hrs for salmon at 55 and 1 hr at 60 C.
    – torkildl
    Oct 26, 2013 at 10:28
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    Water temp, desired product temp,size of product, and desired texture are all factors, of course. A whole salmon, could take 3+ hours to pasteurize. Personally, I never cook whole salmon. A fillet takes in the 20 - 25 minute range to pasteurize. But there are variations in species, size and desired final product. Best to consult the many web resources available on cooking your specific product. Bottom line: Time changes texture.
    – moscafj
    Oct 26, 2013 at 12:08
  • Even the FDA recommendations of 63C (145F) is not long enough to pasteurize fish so it seems like there's always a trade off between food safety and texture with fish.
    – Stefano
    Oct 26, 2013 at 21:55
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    @Stefano, that is a temperature, not a time. Keep it at 63C long enough and you will render it safe. The problem is texture changes. For fish , in particular, this approaches unappetizing rather quickly.
    – moscafj
    Oct 26, 2013 at 23:18

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