Best Salmon for Smoking: Unveiling the Top Picks for Smoky Perfection

Looking to achieve smoky perfection in your salmon? Well, look no further! In this article, we unveil the top picks for the best salmon for smoking. Whether you’re an amateur home cook or a seasoned chef, finding the right salmon for smoking can make all the difference in flavor and texture.

Our team of professionals has extensively researched and tested various salmon varieties to bring you the ultimate list of top picks. We’ve considered factors such as fat content, flavor profile, and texture to guide you toward the best options for smoking.

From the rich and buttery flavor of the King salmon to the mild and delicate taste of the Sockeye salmon, we’ve got you covered with a range of choices. We’ll also highlight some tips on how to prepare and smoke your salmon for maximum deliciousness.

So, get ready to elevate your smoking game and impress your friends and family with the best smoked salmon they’ve ever tasted. With our expert recommendations, you’ll be well on your way to creating smoky perfection every time.

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What is Smoking?

Smoking is a cooking method that involves slowly exposing food to smoke created from burning wood. This process enhances flavor, helps preserve food, and gives it an attractive color and texture. It’s often used in the preparation of meats, fish, and other proteins.

Lox Vs. Smoked Salmon: What’s the Difference?

Lox and smoked salmon are both popular types of cured fish that are commonly enjoyed as a delicacy. However, they have some key differences that set them apart. Lox is made from the belly of salmon and is cured in a mixture of salt, sugar, and sometimes dill. It has a silky texture and a mild, buttery flavor. On the other hand, smoked salmon is prepared by smoking the fish over wood chips, which gives it a distinct smoky flavor. It has a firmer texture and a more intense taste compared to lox.

One of the main differences between lox and smoked salmon is their texture. Lox has a softer, more delicate texture, almost melting in your mouth. On the other hand, smoked salmon has a firmer texture that offers a satisfying bite. This difference in texture can affect how they are used in various dishes. Lox is often served on bagels, paired with cream cheese and other toppings.

Its silky texture complements the chewiness of the bagel, creating a perfect balance of flavors and textures. Smoked salmon, on the other hand, is commonly used in appetizers or salads. Its firmer texture holds up well in these preparations and adds a rich, smoky flavor to the dish.

Another difference between lox and smoked salmon lies in their flavor profiles. Lox has a mild, buttery flavor that is enhanced by the curing process. The combination of salt, sugar, and sometimes dill creates a delicate and savory taste that is beloved by seafood enthusiasts. On the other hand, smoked salmon has a more intense flavor due to the smoking process. The wood chips infuse the fish with a smoky taste that adds depth and complexity to its overall profile.

The Benefits of Choosing The Best Salmon for Smoking

When it comes to smoking salmon, not all varieties are created equal. Selecting the right salmon for smoking can make a world of difference in taste and texture. The best salmon for smoking should have a high fat content and mild flavor profile. This will help ensure that your smoked salmon turns out juicy and flavorful with every bite.

In addition, fatty fish are more resilient to the smoking process than leaner varieties. The high fat content helps protect the salmon from drying out and allows it to stay moist during the extended cooking time. This ensures that your smoked salmon will be tender and juicy, even after hours of smoking.

Finally, choosing the right salmon for smoking can help you create a beautiful finished product. Fatty fish have bright pink flesh that turns a gorgeous shade after smoking. The vibrant color will give your smoked salmon an appetizing look and make it more visually appealing to your guests.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Salmon for Smoking

When it comes to selecting salmon for smoking, there are several factors to consider.

One of the most important factors is the freshness of the salmon. Freshness is crucial because salmon spoils quickly, and smoking can’t improve the quality of spoiled fish. When buying packaged salmon, it is recommended to test the firmness and freshness of the flesh. The flesh should be clean and even in color, with no signs of cloudiness. The skin should also be bright and shiny. These are all indicators of a fresh and high-quality salmon.

Another factor to consider is the type of salmon. Different species of salmon have their own characteristics and flavor profiles. Some common species include Atlantic, Chinook (King), Sockeye (red), and Coho (Silver) salmon. Each species has its own unique taste and texture when smoked, so it’s important to choose a species that suits your preferences.

The oil content of the salmon is also an important factor to consider. The oil content adds flavor and moisture to the final product. Salmon with higher oil content tends to result in a more flavorful and moist smoked fish. However, it’s important to note that higher oil content does not necessarily mean better quality. It ultimately depends on personal preference and the desired flavor profile.

In addition to these factors, it’s also important to consider the smoking method used. There are two main smoking methods: hot smoking and cold smoking. Cold-smoked salmon is preferred by many for its preservation of nutrients. Hot-smoked salmon is smoked at a higher temperature, resulting in a more fully-cooked fish with a stronger smoked flavor. Some people prefer the texture and taste of hot-smoked salmon, while others prefer the milder flavor and softer texture of cold-smoked salmon.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that when selecting smoked salmon, it’s beneficial to choose wild-caught salmon over farm-raised options. Wild-caught salmon tends to have a more natural flavor and higher nutritional value compared to farm-raised salmon. It’s also recommended to avoid smoked salmon options that contain sugar as an ingredient, as this can affect the overall taste and quality.

The Best Salmon for Smoking: Our Top Picks

Now that you know what to look for when choosing a salmon for smoking, let’s take a look at our top picks for achieving smoky perfection every time. Here are some of the best salmon for smoking:

1. King Salmon

King salmon, also known as Chinook salmon, is often considered the best salmon variety for smoking. Its high fat content, large size, rich flavor, and firm texture make it an ideal salmon to use.


  • Very high in fat content – keeps it moist during smoking
  • Large size – fillets can be cut thick for smoking
  • Rich, buttery flavor
  • Firm, flaky texture


  • Less likely to dry out during smoking
  • Bold, rich flavor stands up well to smoke
  • Impressive presentation with large fillets


  • More expensive than other salmon varieties
  • Large size can make filleting difficult
  • Strong flavor may be too intense for some

I think king salmon is the clear winner when it comes to salmon for smoking. Its high fat content and robust flavor ensure you’ll get delicious, moist smoked salmon every time. The large fillet size also allows you to cut nice thick pieces that will hold up on a platter. While the cost may be higher, it’s worth it for top-quality smoked salmon.

2. Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye salmon, also called red salmon, is another premium variety prized for smoking. Its deep red color, rich flavor, and moderate fat content make it a favorite for smoked salmon.


  • Bright red color
  • Rich, robust flavor
  • Moderate fat content


  • Intense color looks beautiful when smoked
  • Strong flavor stands up well to smoking
  • Less expensive than king salmon


  • Lower fat than king – slightly drier texture
  • Smaller size than kings

Sockeye is my second choice after king salmon for smoking. While it has a bit less fat than kings, it still has plenty of rich flavor. The beautiful color and more affordable price also make sockeye an appealing choice. The flavor and texture will likely still be better than leaner salmon varieties. Overall an excellent salmon for smoked salmon.

3. Coho Salmon

Coho Salmon
Coho Salmon

Also known as silver salmon, coho salmon is a medium-fatty salmon variety that makes a nice smoked salmon. Its delicate flavor and moderate fat content work well with smoking.


  • Medium-red flesh color
  • Medium fat content
  • Mild, delicate flavor


  • Least expensive of the premium salmon varieties
  • Delicate flavor enhanced by smoking
  • Smaller size good for portioning


  • Not as boldly flavored as king or sockeye
  • Less fat than king and sockeye
  • Color not as deep red as sockeye

Coho is a nice affordable option for smoking salmon with a pleasant delicate flavor. While it won’t be quite as rich and moist as the fattier varieties, it can still make tasty smoked salmon. The milder flavor also allows any marinades or rubs you use to shine through. It’s a great choice for those who find king too fatty or want a more budget-friendly salmon.

4. Pink Salmon

Pink salmon is the smallest and leanest of the Pacific salmon varieties. Its mild flavor and affordable price make it a decent option for smoking salmon.


  • Light pink flesh
  • Very lean
  • Small size
  • Mild, delicate flavor


  • Inexpensive
  • Readily available year-round
  • Mild flavor works well with smoke


  • Prone to drying out when smoked
  • Very small fillets
  • Lean flesh has less rich salmon flavor

While it won’t compare to the taste and texture of fatty king salmon, pink salmon can still be decent for smoking when you want a budget buy. Keep the fillets moist with brine and don’t oversmoke. Focus on enhancing the mild flavor with rubs and marinades rather than just relying on the smoke. While not the best, it can work in a pinch.

5. Chum Salmon

Also known as dog or calico salmon, chum salmon is one of the leanest salmon varieties. Its affordability makes it an option for smoked salmon, but the mild flavor and lean flesh are drawbacks.


  • Pale pink flesh
  • Very lean
  • Mild, delicate flavor


  • Inexpensive and widely available
  • Takes on smoke flavor easily


  • Prone to dryness when smoked
  • Minimal natural salmon flavor
  • Small size

I only recommend chum salmon if you’re really looking for budget smoked salmon and don’t mind the compromise on texture and flavor. Make sure to brine it well and smoke lightly or the lean fillets will dry out. The lack of rich salmon flavor also means you’ll be relying heavily on brines, rubs, and marinades for taste. While usable, chum is my last choice for smoked salmon.

6. Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon
Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon is the most common farmed salmon variety. Its year-round availability, mild flavor, and firm texture make it a frequent choice for smoking.


  • Light pink to orange flesh
  • Moderate fat content
  • Mild, delicate flavor
  • Firm texture


  • Widely available fresh year-round
  • Takes on smoke flavor well
  • Affordable compared to wild salmon


  • Less natural salmon flavor than wild
  • Fat content varies widely by diet

Atlantic salmon offers a consistent, affordable salmon option for smoking. The mild flavor allows the smoke and any rubs to shine rather than being overpowered. While it won’t have as rich a salmon taste as the best wild varieties, it can still make tasty smoked salmon with proper brining and smoking. A good choice for an everyday smoked salmon.

7. Scottish Salmon

Scottish salmon refers to Atlantic salmon farmed in Scotland. It is prized for its high-quality and rich flavor compared to typical farmed Atlantic salmon.


  • Rich, full flavor
  • Moderate to high fat content
  • Firm, flaky texture


  • More flavor than typical Atlantic salmon
  • Richer texture from higher fat
  • Environmentally friendly farms


  • More expensive than regular Atlantic
  • Supply can be limited

For a farmed salmon, Scottish Atlantic salmon is one of the best choices for smoking. Its fuller flavor and increased fat content compared to standard Atlantic salmon make for delicious smoked salmon. While availability and cost are considerations, the high quality is noticeable in the end product. If you want farmed salmon, this is a top option.

8. Norwegian Salmon

Norwegian salmon is another variety of premium-quality farmed Atlantic salmon. Norway’s cold waters and strict regulations produce salmon prized for smoking.


  • Full salmon flavor
  • Firm, flaky texture
  • High fat content


  • Rich flavor for farmed salmon
  • Increased fat content
  • Strict regulations for quality


  • Can be difficult to find
  • More expensive than regular Atlantic

Like Scottish salmon, Norwegian salmon really shines compared to average Atlantic salmon with its fat content and rich flavor. The cold waters give it excellent texture and moisture as well. If you see Norwegian salmon, grab it for smoking for the best farmed salmon experience. The quality commands a higher price but delivers in the final smoked product.

9. Irish Salmon

Irish salmon refers to Atlantic salmon farmed in the waters of Ireland. It is known for having a particularly delicate, mild flavor.


  • Delicate flavor
  • Light pink flesh
  • Moderate fat content


  • Pleasing mild flavor
  • Environmentally friendly farms
  • Reasonably priced


  • Less richly flavored than other regions
  • Lower fat content than Scottish/Norwegian

Irish salmon is a nice choice if you want a more delicately flavored farmed salmon for smoking. The milder flavor allows any marinades or rubs to be the star rather than the salmon flavor dominating. While it may not be as rich and fatty as Scottish or Norwegian, it can still make for tasty smoked salmon, especially if you prefer a lighter smoked salmon flavor.

10. Faroese Salmon

Faroese salmon refers to Atlantic salmon farmed in the cold waters of the Faroe Islands. It is prized for its firm texture and rich flavor.


  • Full salmon flavor
  • Firm, large fillets
  • High fat content


  • Rich, intense salmon flavor
  • Excellent texture
  • Sustainable farming


  • One of the most expensive varieties
  • Difficult to source

While hard to find and pricy, Faroese salmon is one of the best farmed varieties for smoking with wonderfully rich flavor and fat content. If you want the experience of smoking wild salmon with the convenience of farmed, Faroese is the best pick. The fillets take on smoke beautifully while still retaining that rich salmon essence. An ultimate choice for smoked salmon.

Which is Better for Smoking – Farmed or Wild Salmon?

The answer to this question depends on what you’re looking for. If you want the convenience of farmed salmon, go with one of the better quality varieties such as Scottish, Norwegian, Irish, or Faroese. These have higher fat content and richer flavor than regular Atlantic farmed salmon. If budget is a concern, Atlantic salmon or chum salmon can still be used with proper brining and smoking.

For the fullest flavor and richest texture in smoked salmon, wild varieties are best. Sockeye and king salmon have both have excellent fat content and full flavor for richly flavored smoked salmon. Coho is a leaner option if you prefer less fatty fish while still getting great flavor. Wild salmon can be pricy compared to farmed varieties, but the difference in flavor is noticeable.

No matter which type of salmon you choose, proper brining and smoking will ensure tasty results with any variety. So do some research on your desired salmon variety and enjoy your smoked salmon creation!

Where to buy the best salmon for smoking

When looking to buy salmon for smoking, it’s important to find a supplier you can trust. Wild salmon is best sourced from a local sustainable fishery where you can be sure of its freshness and origin. Farmed salmon is generally best bought from stores or online sources that provide traceability information on the suppliers and production methods used.

One option for purchasing top-notch salmon for smoking is to visit a local fish market or seafood market. These specialized markets often have a wide selection of fresh seafood, including various types of salmon. They usually source their products directly from fishermen or reputable suppliers, ensuring that the fish is of the highest quality. Additionally, the staff at these markets are often knowledgeable about different types of salmon and can provide guidance on which ones are best suited for smoking.

Another avenue to consider is online retailers that specialize in seafood. Many websites now offer fresh seafood delivery straight to your doorstep. These online retailers often have a wide range of options when it comes to salmon, including different cuts and species. Some even offer specialty products specifically meant for smoking. When purchasing salmon online, it is important to read reviews and ensure that the retailer has a good reputation for delivering fresh, high-quality products.

If you have access to a local fisherman or know someone who does, buying directly from them can be an excellent way to obtain the best salmon for smoking. This direct relationship allows you to have confidence in the freshness and quality of the fish. Additionally, buying from a local fisherman supports the local economy and promotes sustainability.

Lastly, some grocery stores and supermarkets may also offer high-quality salmon suitable for smoking. While the selection may not be as extensive as at a specialized seafood market, it can still be worth exploring. Look for stores that prioritize carrying fresh and sustainable seafood options. Remember to check the labels or ask the staff about the source of the salmon to ensure it meets your standards.

No matter what kind of salmon you choose, make sure you’re getting the best quality available. With the right supplier, you can enjoy delicious smoked salmon any time of year!

Tip to Choose Fresh Salmon

When buying salmon for smoking, it’s important to choose fresh, high-quality fish. Look for fillets that are firm and have a bright pink color with no brown spots or discoloration. The flesh should appear glossy and the skin should be intact. Smell is another indicator – fresh salmon doesn’t have an overly fishy odor. When in doubt, ask the fishmonger for assistance.

To help maintain freshness, cook salmon as soon as possible after purchase. If not cooking immediately, store in the refrigerator and plan to use within a day or two of buying. For longer-term storage, wrap the fillets tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to three months. Thaw frozen salmon by transferring it to the refrigerator overnight.

Using these tips, you can be sure to find the best salmon for smoking and achieve delicious results every time. Happy cooking!

Extra Tip: To really enhance the flavor of smoked salmon, consider using a brine or rub before smoking. Brines add moisture and enhance the texture of salmon fillets while also infusing them with flavor. Rubs can also be used to add subtle seasoning to the fish and bring out its natural flavor. With these steps, you’ll be sure to get the perfect smoked salmon!

How to Prepare the Salmon for Smoking?

Prepare the Salmon for Smoking
Prepare the Salmon for Smoking

Once you’ve sourced the best salmon for smoking, it’s time to prepare it. This entails cleaning and filleting the fish, removing any scales or other unwanted material from the flesh, and then brining it in a saltwater mixture.

The first step is to clean and gut the fish. An experienced fisherman will be able to do this quickly and efficiently without damaging the flesh. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own, visit a fishmonger or ask someone with experience to help.

Once the salmon is cleaned and gutted, it’s time to fillet the fish. This requires a sharp knife and careful technique to avoid cutting through bones or damaging the flesh. Start by making an incision behind the head, then cut down the length of the spine until reaching the tail section. Next, carefully separate the flesh from the bones and other unwanted material. Once you’ve filleted all of your salmon, it’s time to move on to brining.

Salting or brining is essential for preserving and flavoring smoked salmon. When done correctly, it helps to ensure that the fish is moist and flavorful when smoked. To brine, mix together four parts of cold water with one part of salt and a few tablespoons of sugar. Place the salmon fillets in a container or ziplock bag with enough brine to completely cover them. Refrigerate for at least two hours, flipping the fish over halfway through.

Once your salmon is brined, it’s ready to be smoked!

Smoking Techniques and Tips for Perfect Results

There are many different smoking techniques and tips you can use to ensure perfect results every time. When it comes to smoking salmon, the key is in controlling the temperature and smoke level.

For best results, set your smoker or grill to a moderate temperature – around 200°F (93°C) is ideal. Too high of a heat will cause the fish to dry out and become too smoky, while a lower temperature will slow the cooking process and risk undercooking. Additionally, use only enough wood chips to create a light smoke flavor – too much smoke can overpower the delicate salmon taste.

When smoking your salmon, keep it away from direct heat as much as possible. Place it on the lowest shelf of your smoker or on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet in the grill. This will help keep the temperature more even and prevent burning.

Finally, allow enough time to cook until it is done – about one hour per pound (450g) of fish. When finished, the salmon should be cooked through with a light golden hue and easily flake apart with a fork.

By following these steps and tips, you can enjoy delicious smoked salmon any time! With the right techniques and ingredients, it’s easy to make perfectly smoked salmon that is full of flavor and still retains that rich salmon essence. Enjoy!

Serve Smoked Salmon in a Variety of Ways

Smoked salmon is a versatile ingredient that can be used in countless recipes. From breakfast dishes to hors d’oeuvres and main courses, there are many different ways to enjoy this delicious treat.

A simple way to serve smoked salmon is with cream cheese on crackers or bagels – perfect for an easy appetizer or light lunch. For a heartier meal, try adding smoked salmon to scrambled eggs for a breakfast burrito or omelette.

Smoked salmon also pairs well with pasta dishes. Try tossing it with cooked linguini and tomatoes for an Italian-inspired dinner, or mix it up with cream cheese and spinach in a lighter version of lasagna.

For an interesting side dish, mix smoked salmon with mashed potatoes or risotto for a new twist on classic comfort food. Smoked salmon can also be added to salads for a unique flavor and texture.

Finally, don’t forget about desserts! Smoked salmon can be used in recipes such as brownies, cupcakes, and cheesecakes for a surprisingly delicious touch.

There is no end to the ways you can enjoy smoked salmon – get creative and come up with your own recipes! With the right ingredients and techniques, you can create a variety of unique dishes that are sure to delight any palate. Enjoy!

Delicious recipes for smoked salmon

Once you’ve mastered smoking salmon, the possibilities are endless! Here are some delicious recipes to help bring out the best in your freshly smoked fish:

  • Smoked Salmon Rillettes: Spread creamy smoked salmon rillettes on toast or crackers for a delicious appetizer – the perfect start to any meal!
  • Smoked Salmon Salad: Pair fresh greens with chunky smoked salmon pieces and a zesty lemon vinaigrette for an easy but tasty lunch option.
  • Smoked Salmon Tartine: Topped with a creamy garlic and dill spread, this smoked salmon tartine is sure to become a favorite.
  • Smoked Salmon Quiche: This savory quiche featuring smoked salmon is the perfect brunch or dinner option – serve with a side salad for an unbeatable meal.
  • Smoked Salmon Frittata: Combining smoked salmon and eggs is a classic combination. Top with goat cheese or Parmesan to kick it up a notch!
  • Smoked Salmon Bruschetta: A light and refreshing appetizer, this bruschetta features smoked salmon, capers, red onion, and lemon juice – the perfect bite-sized treat!
  • Smoked Salmon Pizza: Top a pizza crust with mozzarella, smoked salmon, capers, and dill for an unexpected flavor combination that will have you coming back for more.
  • Smoked Salmon Dip: Mix cream cheese with diced smoked salmon and season with garlic, lemon juice and dill – perfect for slathering on crackers or toast!

How to Store and Reheat Smoked Salmon

To ensure the best flavor and texture, store leftover smoked salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to four days.

Smoked salmon can also be frozen for up to three months. To ensure the best quality, wrap in aluminum foil or freezer paper and place in an airtight container before freezing. Be sure to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

When reheating smoked salmon, it is important to do so gently to avoid overcooking and drying out the fish. The best method for reheating smoked salmon is using a low heat setting on the stovetop or in the oven. Place the smoked salmon on a pan or baking sheet and warm it at a low temperature, around 275°F (135°C), for a short period of time. This will help to retain the moisture and prevent the fish from becoming tough.

Alternatively, smoked salmon can be enjoyed cold without the need for reheating. It can be used in a variety of dishes such as salads, sandwiches, or as a topping for bagels. Cold smoked salmon can also be served as an appetizer with cream cheese and crackers. When serving cold smoked salmon, it is important to keep it chilled until ready to serve to maintain its freshness and prevent bacterial growth.

To ensure the safety and quality of smoked salmon, it is important to follow proper storage and reheating guidelines. Avoid leaving smoked salmon at room temperature for extended periods of time, as this can lead to bacterial growth and spoilage. Always check the expiration date on the packaging and discard any smoked salmon that appears slimy, has an off smell, or shows signs of mold.

Benefits of Eating Smoked Salmon

In addition to its delicious flavor, smoked salmon is high in essential nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins A and B12, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Studies have shown that consuming smoked salmon may help reduce inflammation in the body, improve heart health and brain health, increase energy levels and lower cholesterol.

Smoked salmon is also a great source of healthy fats, which can help to boost immunity and maintain healthy skin. It is low in carbs, making it a great choice for those watching their carb intake.

For those looking to add more lean protein into their diets, smoked salmon is an excellent option. Not only is it tasty and easy to prepare, it’s packed with essential vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that will help keep your body in tip-top shape. With so many health benefits, there’s no reason not to try adding a little smoked salmon into your meals!


What happens to salmon when you smoke it?

Smoking salmon is a way to cook the fish that results in a unique flavor and texture. The process involves curing the salmon with salt and sugar, then slowly cooking it at low temperatures with smoke. This helps to keep the moisture in the fish while adding a smoky flavor as well as preserving it for longer periods of time.

How long does smoked salmon last?

Smoked salmon can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days, or frozen for up to three months. Always check the expiration date on the packaging and discard any smoked salmon that appears slimy, has an off smell, or shows signs of mold.

How long should salmon sit out before smoking?

It is recommended to let the salmon sit out at room temperature for about an hour before smoking. This will help ensure that the fish is a uniform temperature throughout, resulting in even cooking and a better texture.

What is the best way to reheat smoked salmon?

The best method for reheating smoked salmon is using a low heat setting on the stovetop or in the oven. Place the smoked salmon on a pan or baking sheet and warm it at a low temperature, around 275°F (135°C), for a short period of time. This will help to retain the moisture and prevent the fish from becoming tough.

Alternatively, smoked salmon can be enjoyed cold without reheating. It can be used in salads, sandwiches, or as a topping for bagels. Cold smoked salmon can also be served as an appetizer with cream cheese and crackers. When serving cold smoked salmon, it is important to keep it chilled until ready to serve to maintain its freshness and prevent bacterial growth.

Does salmon have to be dry to smoke?

Yes, it is important for the salmon to be dry before smoking to ensure even cooking and reduce steaming. To properly dry, pat the salmon with a paper towel after rinsing it in cold water. Allow the fish to air-dry uncovered on a cooling rack or plate for 10-15 minutes prior to smoking. This will help create an even crust which will help to lock in moisture and ensure a better texture.

What temp is salmon done?

The ideal temperature for cooked salmon is 145°F (62.8°C). To check if the fish is done, insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the filet. If it reads at least 145°F (62.8°C), then your salmon is finished cooking and ready to enjoy! Please note that the temperature of the salmon will continue to rise slightly after it is removed from the heat source, so be sure to take it off just before reaching the desired temperature.

Are smoked salmon and lox the same?

No, smoked salmon and lox are not the same. Lox is cured in a brine solution, while smoked salmon is cured with salt and sugar, then slowly cooked at low temperatures with smoke. Smoked salmon has a more intense flavor than lox, and is ready to eat immediately unlike lox which needs to be rinsed and dried before consumption. Lox tends to have a milder, softer texture due to the high moisture content from the brine solution whereas smoked salmon has a firmer texture and smokier flavor. Both lox and smoked salmon are great sources of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and protein!


Taking the time to learn about the best salmon for smoking is an investment. By understanding which fish are suitable, you can unlock enticing aromas and flavors that will tantalize your taste buds with smoky perfection. With all of this in mind, take a leap of faith and try one of these top picks next time you want to impress dinner guests or treat yourself! You won’t be disappointed! Who knows—you just might discover your favorite new dish. Ready to get smoking?

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