The Differences Between Smoked Salmon

Learning to tell lox from nova and all the rest


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The Differences Between Smoked Salmon
As we approach New Year’s Eve, people everywhere are rushing to their local groceries to purchase all of those finer, more luxurious food and drinks that they otherwise avoid. Spending that extra money becomes all worthwhile when done in the name of the New Year, so many people save these pricier buys for the one special evening. 

Smoked salmon is a perfect New Year’s Eve splurge. While it can get a bit pricey, it is relatively affordable and pairs great with the evening’s Champagne, as shown by Gregory dal Piaz over on Snooth. But standing in front of the preserved fish counter isn’t always the easiest of situations. With tens of different salmons to choose from, it can be hard to know the minor taste differences between those presented.

We are here to help. After an intensive Friday-before-Christmas smoked salmon tasting in the Snooth/What’sCookin office, we’ve created a perfect guide to selecting the salmon that is right for you. Read on for our reviews!

Mentioned in this article


  • Gravlax isn't even smoked salmon-it is pickled salmon. no smoke involved

    Dec 28, 2011 at 10:42 PM

  • Snooth User: Flying 44
    697996 20

    Same goes for lox!

    Dec 29, 2011 at 12:50 PM

  • Snooth User: Kate Statton
    Hand of Snooth
    853836 1,080

    Glad you guys know about your salmons! Both of those varieties are in fact listed as being brined/cured and not smoked like the others. And boy, you can taste the difference! Hope you both enjoyed the article. Would love to hear which salmons are your favorites.

    Dec 29, 2011 at 1:04 PM

  • Snooth User: Writer
    194383 0

    Making me hungry for some smoked salmon...Western styled with cold or hot smoked.

    I also love Irish smoked salmon, particularly from The Burren Smokehouse on the Irish West Coast. Delicious and pairs remarkably well with a Guiness. Try it.

    Dec 30, 2011 at 1:20 PM

  • Snooth User: Lippi
    699190 6

    there is no better taste nor luxury than eating fresh Scottish salmon, caught in the river Tay near Pitlochry Perthshire Scotland , smoked and on the plate within the hour. If anyone has the opportunity to visit Pitlochry in Tayside not only will you be subjected to the stunning scenery however in the spawning season you can actually view the salmon jumping up the dam through glass windows buried in the Dam wall

    Dec 31, 2011 at 5:50 AM

  • I must say that my friends' and families' favorite gravlax is the one I make. I cure it for 48, turning every 12 hours. Be careful, it does release liquid as it cures. Weighing down is also very important. Depending upon my mood, and ingredients I happen to have, I could use dill, juniper berries, white/black pepper, fresh dill (traditional), tequila, oh, of course, salt (kosher) and sugar. Have also used fresh fennel. Serve with toast points from homemade bread, creme fraiche or mustard sauce. Now I need to make a new batch tomorrow.

    Jan 02, 2012 at 8:26 PM

  • Best smoked fish, bar none, is Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke San Francisco lox. It's delicate, not too smoky, and like butter. I get it from Cap'n Mike himself at the San Rafael Farmer's Market, and when heirloom tomatoes are in season, there's nothing better than some SF lox on a toasted Noah's bagel, with cream cheese, shaved red onion, capers, all topped with a slice of Cherokee Purple. Yum! best part is you can order it online:

    Jan 07, 2012 at 12:52 PM

  • Snooth User: jaydubem
    109673 32

    Seems to me that the salmon variety will also have a lot to do with the flavors - King/chinook, silver/coho, steelhead, pink, or sockeye are all 'Pacific' species with quite different oils, textures and flavors. You also leave out the varieties of cold versus hard-smoked techniques or even salmon jerky recipes. So as far as an article on various 'curing' recipes it's okay, but it falls short on coverage of the usual smoking techniques. A good single malt and hard-smoked King is right up there with Port and dark chocolate. And a coho nova lox with bagel and capers with a crisp Riesling - yummers.

    Salmon is not just salmon anymore than flour is flour. Whole wheat doughnut anyone??

    Jan 16, 2012 at 5:53 PM

  • Snooth User: bibi123456
    1440707 8

    you are a TERDFUCT MORON for using that overused word for something that is only more than normally good or maybe ideal. While nobody is the stupid word you use, you are really, really STUPID for using it.

    Dec 26, 2013 at 3:37 PM

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