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What Is Center Cut Salmon?

When it comes to salmon fillets, most recipes would recommend that you use a center cut salmon fillet; but what is this particular cut of salmon and why is it so prized? 

Salmon is a pink fleshed fish that is widely consumed. 

There are different varieties of salmon from different species. They may be available fresh or frozen in the grocery stores.

The fish can be bought as a whole fish, steaks or a whole side.  

Salmon can also be bought as salmon fillets which are smaller slices cut from the whole side of salmon. 

While there are different types of fillets cut from this fish, the most preferred is often the center cut fillet.

Center cut fillets

A whole side of salmon is a single cut that runs from the head to the tail of the salmon.

Fillets are cut from a whole side of salmon  

The center cut fillet is a fillet cut from the belly or back region of the whole side.

You can find this part on the thicker half of the whole side of salmon. The center cut salmon fillet may be sold skin on or be skinless 

There are a couple of advantages with using center cut fillets.

You can avoid overcooking or undercooking salmon by making use of a center cut fillet since it is of equal thickness.

The center cut fillets are perfect for grilling as they cook evenly. They can also be seared and roasted.

The region where the center cut fillets are cut from is rich in nutrients including Omega-3 Fatty acids and vitamins.

Center cut vs tail fillets

Fillets can be cut from different parts of the salmon; they can be cut from the center or tail.

Tail fillets are cut from the tail region, but as the tail tapers, this region is not even and is thinner than fillets cut from the center. 

Compared to tail cut fillets, the center cut fillets are evenly shaped and cook more evenly as the center cut fillet has an even thickness.

The center cut fillets contains a lot of flesh while the tail has a lot of bones.

The tail region is notorious for tiny bones; however, these bones help the fish to maintain its structure while cooking.

As the center cut fillets have little to no bones but a lot of soft flesh, stirring aggressively could make the fish break more easily  

However, tail fillets are more crispier compared to center cut fillets.


Salmon is sold in different forms. Salmon can be cut into steaks or fillets 

Steaks are cut perpendicular to the fish while fillets are cut lengthwise from the head down to the tail region   

Side of salmon is usually cut into smaller fillets 

Everyone loves a good deal when it comes to shopping, so the next time you are shopping for salmon, look for center cut salmon fillets. 

These fillets are cut either from the head end or the center portion of the salmon. They are thicker and cook more evenly.