hot- vs. cold-smoked salmon
These are two very different products.
Pic1: hot-smoked salmon
Pic2: cold-smoked salmon
Pic3: hot-smoked salmon spread
Pic4: cold-smoked salmon, sliced
is the traditional preservation method of indigenous people. The salmon is lightly salt-cured and then fully cooked during the smoking.
I generally find this too dry to be enjoyable 'as is.'
- Commercial hot-smoked salmon is often sold boxed with an inner gold-foil vacuum-sealed bag, no refrigeration needed. This is great Prepper food with a 6+ year shelf life and very high calorie content in a small package.
- The meat is brown, flaky and wet. Make sure the vacuum is intact before opening the package. Be careful when opening the package. It may leak up to ½ cup of strong-smelling liquid. It took me a while to get used to the strong smell and flavor.
- I bought about a dozen of these on sale in Big Lots a few years back. The longevity claim is true. I have eaten some of these packages more than 5 years after production date.
- I eat very little of this ‘as is.’ I mostly use it to make Salmon Spread.
Pic5: salmon spread
is salt-cured raw fish that has been lightly smoked at low temperature.
- This is not a cooked product. Shelf life is limited to 3 months refrigerated, 1 year frozen.
- The flavor is quite mild.
- The majority of cold-smoked salmon on the market is farm-raised Atlantic salmon. The meat is orangey if they received artificial coloring in their food; grayish if not.
- The meat is slick and oily and just about melts in the mouth.
- Cold-smoked salmon is one of my favorite foods. I like the Nova variety best of all.
The local stores carry it only sporadically and are quite expensive with it, so I went looking online.
The best quality I found was THIS COMPANY. These were beautiful fillets, just about as big as they get. (Pic6) I chose their non-sliced option for the price advantage and because I could cut small steaks from them with better texture than the thin-sliced variety.
The main reason I started going back to Sam’s Club in 2016 after several years of absence was because they sell pre-sliced cold-smoked salmon. Pic7) I buy 3-5 at a time and freeze them for later use. I like this salmon so much I have to really limit myself, and force myself not to eat it all in one session. I usually manage to get 3-4 days out of a package by now, which is better than I did with the non-sliced type.
- I do not process this into spread or mousse anymore after the first attempt turned out disappointing. I prefer to eat this ‘as is,’ either as a small snack or with bread.
- I do not cook this. I've tried that once. Cooking destroys both the flavor and the pleasant texture. All that’s left is a salty taste.
Pic6: 6-pounder, uncut (Banner Foods, NY)
Pic7: 1 1/4 lb. pre-sliced (Sam's Club)
Pic8: cream cheese & salmon croissant