Written by Gavin van De Walle, MS, RD ~ above January 31, 2020 — medically reviewed through Jillian Kubala, MS, RD, Nutrition

Smoked salmon, i beg your pardon is prized because that its salty, fireside flavor, is often considered a delicacy owing to its reasonably high cost.

It’s typically mistaken because that lox, another salmon product that’s cured but not smoked.

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However, favor lox, smoked salmon is usually took pleasure in on a bagel or crackers with various other toppings prefer cream cheese, cucumber, or tomato.

This short article explains every little thing you must know around smoked salmon, including its nutrients, curing methods, and health benefits and risks.


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Smoked salmon is fairly low in calorie while boasting high top quality protein, crucial fats, and also several vitamins and also minerals.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of exhilaration salmon offers (1):

Calories: 117Protein: 18 gramsFat: 4 gramsSodium: 600–1,200 mgPhosphorus: 13% the the day-to-day Value (DV)Copper: 26% the the DVSelenium: 59% the the DVRiboflavin: 9% the the DVNiacin: 30% the the DVVitamin B6: 16% that the DVVitamin B12: 136% of the DVVitamin E: 9% that the DVVitamin D: 86% that the DV Choline: 16% of the DV

What’s more, acting salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, offering a merged 0.5 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic mountain (DHA) every 3.5-ounce (100-gram) offer (1).

These fat are thought about essential since your human body cannot make them, so girlfriend must obtain them from your diet.

EPA and also DHA are important for mind function, heart health, and also healthy aging (2, 3, 4, 5).

Salt content

Due to just how it’s processed, smoked salmon is high in sodium, include 600–1,200 mg per 3.5-ounce (100 gram) serving (1, 6).

In comparison, the same serving of fresh salmon offers 75 mg of sodium (7).

The institute of medication (IOM) and U.S. Department of agriculture (USDA) recommend limiting salt intake to 2,300 mg every day to alleviate your threat of heart disease and stroke (8, 9).

The people Health organization (WHO) and American heart Association (AHA) advise an even lower threshold — 2,000 and 1,500 mg every day, dong (10, 11).

As such, you might want to monitor her intake of smoked salmon, particularly if you’re perceptible to salt.

summary

Smoked salmon is terrific source that protein, many vitamins, and also omega-3 fat acids. Yet, the much higher in sodium 보다 fresh salmon.


Smoking is a processing method for flavoring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it come smoke. It’s typically used through meat, poultry, and also fish.

The cigarette smoking process

To exhilaration salmon, thawed, boneless fillets room covered in salt — and also occasionally street — and enabled to sit because that 12–24 hours to draw out the moisture through a process called curing.

The much longer the curing process, the more salt the salmon contains.

By drawing out moisture, the salt boosts flavor and also acts together a preservative to stop the expansion of harmful bacteria that could reason food poisoning.

Next, the fillets space rinsed with water to eliminate excess salt prior to being transferred to a smoking cigarettes kiln to dry. The drying procedure helps the fillets construct a pellicle, which is a coating of protein that allows smoke to far better adhere to the surface ar of the fish.

Attached to the kiln is a smoker the burns hardwood chips or sawdust — typically from oak, maple, or hickory tree — to produce smoke.

Cold- vs. Hot-smoked salmon

Salmon can be either hot- or cold-smoked. The significant difference is the temperature the the smoking cigarettes chamber.

For cold-smoked salmon, the temperature should be 50–90°F (10–32°C) for 20–24 hours. This temperature variety is no hot enough to cook the salmon, therefore extra care should it is in taken during preparation and also curing to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses (12).

Conversely, for hot smoking, the chamber must be warm enough to accomplish an inner temperature that at least 145°F (63°C) because that at least 30 minutes to properly cook the salmon (12).

Most acting salmon top top the industry is cold-smoked. You can identify hot-smoked varieties since their packaging normally states that they’ve been totally cooked (13, 14).

Cold-smoked salmon has tendency to it is in smoother and also mild if hot-smoked salmon is flaky and also smokier in taste.

Food scientists normally advise versus using cold-smoking approaches at home because of the food safety threats involved. Yet, warm smoking deserve to be safely performed at house with the suitable equipment and also techniques (15).

Selection and storage

Whereas some varieties of smoked salmon need refrigeration, others don’t till the parcel is opened. Examine the product label for references for storage.

Once opened, exhilaration salmon deserve to be refrigerated for approximately 2 mainly or frozen because that 3 month (16).

You should avoid smoked salmon that has actually lots that dark bits. This bits tend to have an uncomfortable taste and also should have actually been trimmed off — despite they’re sometimes left top top the final product to increase package weight and cost.

Summary

Smoked salmon is do by curing fillets through salt, then placing them in a smoking kiln. Most fillets are cold-smoked, an interpretation the temperature lock cooked at is as well low to kill perhaps harmful bacteria.


Smoked salmon provides countless health benefits, however you should keep a couple of downsides in mind.

Benefits of acting salmon

The omega-3 fat acids EPA and DHA, which fatty fish choose salmon provide, have been linked to a reduced risk of love disease, details cancers, and age-related mental decline (17, 18, 19, 20).

These fats might work through lowering triglycerides, reducing inflammation, and also maintaining brain structure and also function.

Nonetheless, various other nutrients in fatty fish might be partly responsible for these effects, as number of studies ~ above omega-3 supplements have failed to discover the very same benefits (21, 22, 23).

The USDA proposal that adults eat at the very least 8 ounces (227 grams) that seafood every week to obtain about 250 mg of an unified EPH and also DHA (8).

Smoked salmon likewise boasts a number of vitamins and minerals the are vital to her health. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving has a chuck 136% of your day-to-day vitamin B12 needs, and also 86% the the DV because that vitamin D (1).

What’s more, the very same serving size offers over fifty percent of your everyday needs because that selenium, i m sorry acts as an antioxidant and may protect against several illnesses (1).

Risks of acting salmon

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) offer of exhilaration salmon deserve to harbor over fifty percent of the daily limit because that sodium set by the USDA (9).

Thus, if you watch your salt consumption, you may want to moderate her intake of smoked salmon or eat new salmon instead.

Furthermore, observational researches tie smoked and processed meat to an increased risk of particular cancers, specifically colorectal cancer (24).

Smoked salmon may likewise increase your threat of listeriosis, a foodborne disease caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes (25, 26, 27).

This bacterium is easily destroyed by heat however grows in ~ 34–113°F (1–45°C), the temperature selection at which cold-smoked salmon is treated.

Listeriosis is more likely to infect older adults, human being with dilute immune systems, and also pregnant women and also their newborns. Therefore, these groups should avoid cold-smoked salmon — return canned and also shelf-stable ranges are considered safe (28, 29).

summary

Smoked salmon provides heart-healthy omega-3s, as well as several other nutrients, but it’s an especially high in salt. Cold-smoked ranges may boost your danger of listeriosis.


Here are a couple of tasty ways to reap smoked salmon:

on a bagel v cream cheeseon toast v scrambled eggsbaked right into gratinin potato-leek soupmixed into a pasta dishon a platter v vegetables

What’s more, you deserve to make hot-smoked salmon at house if you have actually your own smoker.

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Start by curing fillets in salt for at least 4 hours. Next, pat castle dry and place them in a smoker in ~ 225°F (107°C) till they with an interior temperature that 145°F (63°C). You deserve to monitor their temperature making use of a meat thermometer.

summary

You have the right to enjoy smoked salmon in countless ways. Many world like to eat the in dips or top top bagels, salads, and also pastas.