4 Simple ways to remove pin bones from Salmon Fillet

4 Simple ways to remove pin bones from Salmon Fillet
They are pesky little buggers. You have a pristine fillet of salmon and below the surface are these slippery needle like bones that can’t be easily removed.


Asking the fishmonger to remove pin bones for you is quiet a good choice, but with a little practice, tenacity, and a handy pair of needle nose pliers, then you’d be good to do it yourself.

Remove them, yes you must because biting into one of these bones or worse, choking on one is a highly unpleasant experience. Unfortunately, the things are too thin and slippery to pull out using your fingers alone. A pair of needle-nosed pliers are the best tool for removing pin bones, but you could use a pair of tweezers in a pinch.

1. Grab the tip of the bone:

When locating a pin bone, try pressing the flesh next to the tip gently so that the bone pokes above the surface just slightly. Grab this exposed bit of bone with the pliers.

2. Repeat with remaining pin bones:

After one or two, you’ll get a better feel for grabbing the bone, the angle, and how much force to use as you pull it out. Repeat until the salmon is bone free and then continue with cooking the fish.

3. Gently pull the bone out:

You’ll feel some resistance when you first tug on the bone. Stand your ground, and gently, but firmly pull the bone out of the fillet in as smooth a motion as possible. Pin bones are slightly angled toward the head of the fish, so pull sideways as well as up.

4. Locate the pin bones:

Feel along the length of the fish fillet with your fingertips. Lay the salmon fillet skin side down (usually the flatter surface, if the fish is skinned) on your work surface. They tend to be in the thickest part of the fish toward the middle.

Pin bones are anchors to the fish’s muscles cross wise, therefore you will just feel the very tips of the bones. Evenly spaced a few inches apart, and you’ll usually find more and bigger pin bones toward the head of the fish with smaller pin bones toward the tale. If you can’t find any pin bones, it’s likely that the fishmonger removed them prior to putting the fish on display.