Pesky pin bones are a nuisance when you find them in your cooked salmon. Remove them with ease, and find any hiding ones with my special chef hack.
Pin bones are the small, thin, white bones that run through the flesh of the salmon. While most butchers remove them at the store, there are often ones that get missed.
What Are Pin Bones?
Pin bones actually aren’t bones at all, but calcified nerve endings that transmit signals to other salmon to help them swim in schools. They aren’t very large and are often referred to as “floating bones” because they aren’t attached to the main skeletal system of the salmon. If they get missed during the preparation of salmon, they can become a nuisance if they get caught in your throat.
How To Remove Bones From Salmon
To remove the pin bones from salmon, follow these simple steps.
- Lay the fillet flat on a cutting board, skin side down.
- Run your fingers lightly along the length of the salmon fillet, feeling for the bones in the thickest part of the meat. They should stick up ever so slightly.
- Use a pair of needle nose pliers to gently remove the fish bone at the angle it is already going. If you try to pull it up, it will tear the flesh.
You’ll notice that once you find one of the pin bones, the rest run in a line from there. This makes it easy to find them all.
Chef Hack For Finding Hidden Pin Bones
Once you have removed all the obvious pin bones it’s time to find the hidden ones, the ones you can’t feel as easily.
For the best success, you should do this by cutting the salmon into smaller fillets; around 6 ounces each. After they’re cut, each fillet should be about 2 inches wide.
Once cut, lightly run your fingers along the sides of the salmon, just like you did when looking for the bones on the top. If there are any stragglers, usually you can find them this way. Then just remove them with your needle nose pliers like before.
Recipes Using Salmon
If you would like to try some great salmon recipes, here are some I recommend.
- Salmon and Grits with Garlicky Greens
- Pineapple and Citrus Salmon Marinade
- Sous Vide Maple Dijon Salmon
Happy Cooking! 🙂