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How To Remove Pin Bones From Salmon

How To Remove Pin Bones From Salmon In 5 Steps (2023)

Last Updated on December 30, 2022 by Shari Mason

Pin bones are a common nuisance when preparing fish, but there is no need to be intimidated. This article will provide step-by-step instructions on how to remove pin bones from salmon quickly and easily. 

Read on to learn more about the process of removing pin bones and getting your fish ready for cooking in no time.

5 Easy Steps To Remove Pin Bones From Salmon 

1. Prepare The Things You Will Need

salmon on a table

Before anything else, preparing the things and equipment is a must. You’ll need a cutting board, a pair of tweezers or needle-nose pliers, and your salmon fillet.

Make sure all equipment is clean to avoid cross-contamination. [1] If there’s no cutting board, then you can do it on a table or on your kitchen countertop, but make sure to clean it first, too.

2. Lay The Salmon Skin Side Down

Next, lay your salmon fillet flat with the skin side down on the cupboard or table. This will make it easier for you to locate and remove the pin bones on your salmon.

Pin bones from salmon are also usually located in the thickest part of the fillet. Once you spot a pin bone with your eyes, the other pin bones should also be nearby, forming some lines.

3. Feel The Pin Bones Using Your Fingertips

salmon on a countertop

After laying your fillet flat, you can gently feel the pin bones using your fingers. Use one hand to hold the salmon fillet in place and run your other hand’s fingers lightly on the surface of the fillet to gently feel for the pin bones.

Pin bones are small and thin, so they’re a bit harder to see than other larger salmon bones, but they are usually easily felt using your fingers since they are usually harder and sharp, while the surface of the meat is soft and tender

4. Pull The Pin Bones With A Tweezer In An Angle

pulling salmon bones

Once located, start removing pin bones using your pair of tweezers or needle-nose pliers from the fish one by one. To remove bones, carefully pull the tip of the salmon bones at an angle in the same direction they are leaning.

Make sure to pull and remove pin bones from salmon as gently as possible so that you don’t tear any of the flesh around it and avoid damaging the flesh and other parts of the fillet.

5. Repeat Until All Are Removed

After removing one pin bone, you can repeat the same steps until all are removed. Make sure to check every part of your salmon fillet and if there are still any pin bones left on the flesh, then carefully remove them too.

“Seafood on the grill can be intimidating if you don’t know what you are doing. It’s really quite easy.”

-Kevin Steele, Defensive Coordinator at the University of Miami

Once done, rinse the salmon with cold water and pat it dry before cooking or storing it in the fridge. Also, make sure to clean and sanitize all equipment used before storing them away.

Is It Safe To Eat Salmon Pin Bones?

Yes, it is safe to eat pin bones of salmon. They are edible and can be eaten without any risk of harm. Pin bone is not a fish bone but calcified nerve endings used to sense other salmon swimming nearby.

However, some people may find pin bones difficult to chew or swallow since they are a bit harder and feels like a real fish bone.

There is also a possibility that a pin bone may get stuck in one’s throat, so some people prefer to remove them first. [2]

FAQs 

Do you have to remove salmon pin bones?

It’s your choice to remove them, but most people prefer to remove pin bones. These bones are edible, but for convenience and safety upon eating- pin bones are usually removed.

How many pin bones does a salmon fillet have?

The number of pin bones in a salmon fillet depends on the size and species of fish. Generally, an average-sized salmon fillet will have between 10 to 20 pin bones.

Where are the pin bones in salmon?

The pin bones in salmon are usually located in the thick parts of the fillet. They can be felt with your fingers, and they run from head to tail. These pin bones also form a line so they can be spotted easily with the naked eye.

In Summary

Pin bones from salmon are edible and are actually not bone but calcified nerve endings used to detect other salmon swimming nearby.

These pin bones aren’t necessarily needed to be removed, but for convenience and safety purposes, these bones are best removed.

Removing salmon bones can be very easy as long as you have reliable tweezers or pliers that can hold a firm grip on these tiny bones. 

By following these simple steps, you can enjoy a delicious and safe salmon meal without worrying about tiny pieces of bones in your mouth.

References:

  1. https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/avoiding-cross-contamination 
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/fish-bone-stuck-in-throat 
Shari Mason

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