Is Smoked Salmon Cooked Or Raw? Everything Explained

Is smoked salmon cooked Or raw? This question is very common. Most people associate smoked salmon with a gorgeously pink, cooked slab of fish. On the other hand, there’s a lot of disagreement regarding whether smoked salmon is cooked. 

When the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 135 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, you can consider it cooked. Although cold-smoked salmon has a longer shelf life, it is still raw.

Smoked salmon is a wholesome food option that tastes great either cooked or raw. One of the most well-liked treats that is frequently consumed for breakfast is smoked salmon. However, most people are unaware that smoked salmon can be eaten either raw or cooked.

What Is Smoked Salmon?

Fish that’s been both cured and smoked is called smoked salmon. Salmon that has been salt-cured or fresh can be used. The high fat content of salmon helps to preserve the fish and imparts a rich flavor, making it a popular choice for smoking.

For centuries, people have been enjoying smoked salmon as a traditional food in numerous cultures. Salmon was preserved for the winter by the native people of the Pacific Northwest through smoking.

Before smoking salmon over an open flame, the fish must first be cured with salt, sugar, and other spices. This imparts a unique aroma and flavor of smoke to the salmon.

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Is Smoked Salmon Cooked Or Raw?

The method used to prepare the smoked salmon will determine the response to this query. Salmon can generally be smoked either hot or cold. The temperature at which the fish is smoked is the primary distinction between cooked and raw smoked salmon.

The salmon is cooked if it has been hot-smoked. The process of hot smoking entails cooking the fish to perfection at a high temperature. This variety of smoked salmon is pink or orange in color and has a firm texture.

The salmon is raw if it has been cold smoked. Cold smoking is the process of smoking fish for an extended length of time at a lower temperature. This variety of smoked salmon is darker in color and has a softer texture.

Differences Between Cooked Smoked and Raw Smoked Salmon:

There are certain differences between Cooked Smoked and Raw Smoked Salmon which are going to be presented through the table below. Hopefully, this will be able to give you a clear idea.

Facts Cooked Smoked Salmon Raw Smoked Salmon
Texture has a soft and flaky texture has a firmer texture
Flavor mild smoky flavor stronger smoky flavor
Temperature required 120°F to 225°F 80°F to 90°F
Time required 6 to 12 hours 2-3 days

Can Smoked Salmon Go Bad?

Smoked salmon has a long shelf life and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. There are a few indicators you should look out for to determine whether your smoked salmon has gone bad.

To begin with, you can verify the expiration date on the package; if it has passed, your smoked salmon has probably gone bad. You should also smell the fish; rotten smoked salmon smells sour or decaying, while fresh smoked salmon has a mild smoke and salt aroma.

Another important factor to consider is the fish’s appearance; if it is dull, discolored, has dark blotches, or feels crumbly or mushy to the touch, it should be thrown out immediately. 

For best freshness, smoked salmon should be consumed a few days after purchase; if it has been kept in a temperature greater than 40°F for longer than two hours, it should not be consumed. To be safe, you should discard any smoked salmon that you are unsure is still safe to eat.

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Final words

The majority of smoked salmon varieties are uncooked because the fish is sufficiently preserved and made safe to eat through the curing and smoking processes. On the other hand, hot-smoked salmon has a firm texture because it is fully cooked during the smoking process. Usually served raw or very lightly seared, cold-smoked salmon lets you savor the distinct flavor of the fish. 

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