The Best Smoked Salmon
To help you find the perfect smoked salmon, we continuously put forth the effort to update and expand our list of recommendable smoked salmon. Our team collects, edits and publishes new information, in order to present it to you in an accurate, significant and neatly arranged way.
Runner-ups: 10 Best Smoked Salmon Alternatives
Table of Contents
Buying Guide for Smoked Salmon
Smoked Salmon Buying Guide
Salmon is popular in cuisines from many cultures. The fish is rich in heart-healthy fatty acids, tastes fairly mild and has many health benefits. Smoked salmon is cured with salt and smoke. This process has been used for centuries to preserve meat without refrigeration. According to Gourmet Food Store, smoked salmon is something of a luxury. However, its price has not significantly increased over the years, making it a fairly affordable delicacy.
Farmed Or Wild?
The types of smoked salmon that are generally available are:
- U.S. Atlantic salmon, also known as U.S. farmed salmon
- Imported Atlantic salmon
- Wild salmon, which comes from the Pacific Ocean
Wild salmon is almost extinct in the Atlantic Ocean. However, many farms raise salmon off the northern coast of the U.S. According to Health.com, U.S. Atlantic salmon is just as healthy as wild salmon.
However, the farming process is controversial. The Washington State Department of Health explains that there are three main concerns related to farmed fish:
- Is it contaminated?
- Does the farm follow sound environmental practices?
- Does the fish have the same level of omega-3s as wild fish?
Fish farms in the U.S. follow strict guidelines to minimize disease and pests. If the farm is overcrowded, pollution from excrement and uneaten food can be a problem. However, most U.S. fish farms are located in areas where the current is strong and prevents these contaminants from building up. According to Health.com, salmon from farms in the U.S. and Canada have less of a negative impact on the environment than salmon that is imported from farms in Chile.
How Do Different Types Of Smoked Salmon Taste?
There are five types of wild salmon:
- Chinook, or king
There is only one type of farmed salmon. It is usually referred to as Atlantic salmon. It may be called Irish, Scottish or Norwegian salmon if it comes from a farm in one of those countries.
King, or Chinook, salmon is considered to be the best tasting smoked salmon. This wild fish is the largest of the salmon species. It is caught wild in the Pacific Ocean. King salmon has the greatest oil content. The oil gives the fish a velvety texture and a rich flavor.
Sockeye salmon has a vivid coral color. It has a luxurious texture but is not as fatty as the king salmon. Sockeye salmon is often used for sushi because it has a pure, fresh flavor.
Coho salmon is more delicate because it lacks the high oil content of king and sockeye salmon. It is considered to be less tasty than king and sockeye salmon.
Pink salmon is the most plentiful of the Pacific salmon. This type of salmon is often canned, although it may be smoked. Some people say that this type of salmon has a mushier texture than king, sockeye or Coho.
Chum salmon has a mild taste. It is considered to be the lowest quality smoked salmon. This type of salmon may be marketed under the name keta or Silverbrite. Some people call it dog salmon because the wild fish have large, sharp teeth and a snout-like nose.
What Is The Difference Between Hot And Cold Smoked Salmon?
Many people are familiar with cold smoked salmon. Cold smoked salmon is thinly sliced and has a translucent color. It looks raw and has a slightly wet feel to it. This type of salmon is cured with salt and sometimes other spices before being smoked at a relatively low temperature. The smoke infuses the salmon with flavor but does not cook it.
Hot smoked salmon is brined in a wet solution of salt, sugar and spices. It is smoked at warmer temperatures than cold smoked salmon. The heat creates a crust on the outside of the fish and seals in flavor. It also preserves the nutrients in the salmon. This type of fish is usually cut in thicker chunks.
Is Lox The Same Thing As Smoked Salmon?
Like smoked salmon, lox is cured with a salty dry rub or brine. Lox is not smoked. Therefore, it has a less musky flavor than smoked salmon.
According to Food Republic, many brands of smoked salmon are labeled “lox” even if they have been smoked. Authentic lox is made from the belly of the fish, which has a stronger flavor than the other parts. It is also much saltier than other types of smoked salmon.
Gravlax is a type of lox that has been cured with salt, sugar and dill. Some preparations use other ingredients, such as juniper berries or horseradish.
What Is Nova?
Some types of salmon are referred to as Nova lox, Nova salmon or just plain Nova. Although Nova lox used to be made with salmon from the waters of Nova Scotia, the label refers to the preparation, not the type of fish. Nova is a type of cold smoked salmon that is cured in a milder solution than regular lox. Because it is smoked, Nova is not a true lox.
It is no longer made solely from Atlantic salmon, either. Nova can be prepared with wild salmon. The flavor tends to be more delicate than that of other types of cold smoked salmon.
Does Smoked Salmon Need To Be Refrigerated?
Many types of smoked salmon do not require refrigeration until the packages have been opened. The combination of salt, smoking and vacuum packaging preserves the salmon. The refrigeration requirements also depend on the moisture level of the fish. When you buy smoked salmon, read the label to determine the best way to store it.
What Kind Of Smoked Salmon Should You Buy?
The best smoked salmon depends on personal preference. For a mildly flavored fish that can be tossed into salads, eaten on bagels or placed on a cracker, you might want to go for a lower-priced product, such as Acme Smoked Nova Salmon.
Atlantic Sapphire Smoked Salmon comes in several smaller packages. This is ideal for those who don’t eat a lot of smoked salmon and don’t want it to go to waste. You can open one package for a party and save the rest for another occasion.
The Sea Bear Smoked Salmon Trio offers different varieties of salmon for those who can’t decide which is best. The West Coast Select Wild King Salmon Nuggets are chunkier than most of the other types of smoked salmon. With a surprising blend of sweet and savory flavors, it lends itself well to inclusion in many types of dishes.
Top Rated Smoked Salmon
If you're looking into finding the best rated smoked salmon, you should probable check out the Little Miss Chief Wild Canadian Pacific Sockeye Salmon. We looked at various sources of reviews and found this one to have the best mix between review count and average rating stars.
Often, going for the best price is a simple but good option. With a price of $11.92 (last checked on March 23, 2019), we do not list any other smoked salmon cheaper than the SeaBear Salmon. Just remember that it's not always the best option to go for the cheapest one.
The Smoked Salmon with the Most Reviews
With at least 28 reviews and counting, the SeaBear Salmon might be another option to consider. This large amount of reviews signalizes that many people are using it, with most of them beeing satisfied.
It's quite rare that the saying "You get what you pay for" turns out incorrect. If you have the money on the sideline, feel free to choose the most expensive item from our list: The Chicken of the Sea Skinless & Boneless Pacific Salmon currently sells for $44.61.
Most Clicked Smoked Salmon
If you trust us and our users, feel free to check out the Alaska Smokehouse Jumbo Salmon. Our statistics say that it is the most favorite Smoked Salmon from the list above.
If you're still undecided, I would recommend that you go with the masses and choose the top selling smoked salmon: The Alaska Smokehouse Jumbo Salmon for currently $36.75 on Amazon (last checked on March 23, 2019).
That's it for now, please remember that this list is updated on a regular basis.
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Further Reading on Smoked Salmon
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Wikipedia Article for Smoked Salmon
A smoked salmon processing plant including a smokehouse and a slaughterhouse was examined for the occurrence of Listeria monocytogenes and other Listeria spp. From a total of 475 samples the overall frequency of L. monocytogenes was 16%, while other Listeria …
Smoked salmon is sporadically contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Contamination levels are normally low and consumers are probably seldom exposed to risk concentrations. No clones of L. monocytogenes seem to be specific to smoked salmon, some clones found …
Microbiological, chemical and sensory changes in cold- smoked salmon were studied during 5 weeks of vacuum storage at 8° C. The aerobic 20° C viable count reached its maximum level after 6 days (3× 10 6 cfu g− 1) however, the shelf-life of the product was estimated to be …
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