If you live on earth, you’ve likely been holed up in your house for the last 60 to 90 days. By now you’ve probably cleaned out your pantry of all of your staples. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in this pandemic it’s that you have to have plenty of staples on hand to get through eventual food (and toilet paper) shortages!
That said, there is a staple that is largely overlooked but can help you make the most out of your pantry foods and that is canned smoked salmon. Yeah, we know, you know about canned salmon for salmon patties, but we’re talking about THE BEST canned salmon that can be used, not just for salmon patties, but for salads, pastas, and even fish dishes where you need a whole salmon!
It’s cost effective, incredibly nutritious – even out of the can – and, buying canned goods helps to recycle over 90% of steel produced for cans. In fact, the closer that you live to a cannery the fresher your salmon will be – even fresher than frozen or fresh caught salmon, which takes about a day to get frozen or stocked in grocery stores. It only takes a few hours before canned salmon is sealed in.
If you’re trying to eat better (as we all should strive for) and you’ve heard adding salmon to your diet goes a long way, you heard right. Particularly if you have heart disease or are elderly, salmon is brain food and heart healthy. It’s jam packed with vitamins and nutrients, and it is great for whipping up quick meals.
The problem is buying fresh caught salmon or frozen salmon can get expensive, so we tend not to think of it as a staple food. We’re way more likely to have cans of tuna on our shelves than canned smoked salmon. However, just because canned salmon is cheaper does not mean that it is lesser.
So we’ve picked 10 of the best canned smoked salmon for all occasions – bon appétit!
Best Canned Smoked Salmon for Casseroles
Here’s what you need to know when shopping for the best canned smoked salmon. First, you want canned salmon that has been fresh caught. It will usually say it was either farmed (usually marked as “Atlantic”) or wild caught on the label, which will also tell you what country it comes from.
Some of the best salmon comes from Alaska, so look for wild caught Alaskan salmon. New Zealand is another great source for top quality canned smoked salmon. The type of dish that you are preparing also matters when choosing the best salmon. For example, for a salmon dish where the fish itself is part of the presentation, you’ll want a whole fish (which you can also find canned on this list).
But for things like casseroles and salmon salad, buying the more inexpensive canned salmon that you’ll find cooked and canned in chunks will suffice. Here are our top choices for best canned smoked salmon for casseroles:
Wild Planet makes some of the best canned smoked salmon on the market. The best thing about it is its affordability and quality. You can buy salmon with or without skin and bones (although, the bones and skin contain a lot of the good stuff that you want).
If you are looking for canned salmon to use in a casserole dish, we recommend the boneless, skinless, Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon from Wild Planet. Preserved in saltwater, this salmon is sustainably caught in wild Alaskan waters and is non-GMO. For those working the paleo diet, this salmon is “paleo-friendly.”
Chances are when you think of canned salmon, this is the image that you picture in your head. And while StarKist is mainly known for tuna, their Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon is of exceptional quality. This salmon is bone-in, wild caught, and gluten free.
It is perfect for people trying to stick to the keto diet, a paleo diet, or a Mediterranean diet – for the diabetics out there. You can buy pink salmon that is boneless but in a salmon salad, you barely notice the bones.
Here’s a yummy looking recipe for a salmon version of traditional tuna salad from ifoodreal: https://ifoodreal.com/canned-salmon-salad/
Best Canned Smoked Salmon for Salads
For salads topped with smoked salmon, we found the perfect solution. While these are not necessarily canned, they are packaged in foil lined pouches – same concept for preserving fresh fish. This type of salmon will not be preserved in brined water so you want a salmon that exudes its own natural flavor.
Generally, canned wild salmon is either of the pink salmon variety or sockeye; pink salmon being the more affordable of the two. The great thing about these two smoked salmon products is that you can eat them right out of the pouch or pour it right on top of your salad!
One of two of the most popular brands of canned fish, StarKist has upped the game in seafood preservation. They have come up with the new Salmon Creations by StarKist where you can buy ready-to-eat seasoned wild pink salmon. You should note that if you like bone-in salmon, these are all boneless and skinless.
Talk about making meal preparation a breeze! All you do is make or by a regular salad and then sprinkle the contents of your Salmon Creations pouch onto your salad. This one is Lemon Dill flavored, but you’ll find a lot of different flavors in this line.
Along the same lines as the last one, Chicken of the Sea, another super popular brand of canned fish now sells flavored skinless, boneless, Wild Caught Pink Salmon in a pouch. They’re very affordable and come in a 12 pack so that you have your lunch set for two whole weeks!
Using only sustainably farmed salmon, you can really ramp up your commitment to healthy eating with these pouches. The nutrients preserved in this salmon contain many of the nutrients that you need for good bones, eyes, and joints. Plus, it’s a really good source of protein.
Best Canned Smoked Salmon for Pastas
Pasta recipes that call for salmon work best when you don’t need a whole salmon for the presentation, but you want a high quality salmon that blends well with your pasta recipe’s seasonings and sauces. In that case, you want to look for salmon that is skinless, deboned, and drained.
Besides making an otherwise expensive meal more affordable, using canned smoked salmon for pasta makes meal preparation faster. Instead of cleaning and skinning fresh caught or thawing and cubing frozen salmon, you use it straight out of the can! Here are the best canned smoked salmon options for pasta:
Most OB/GYNs will tell pregnant women to steer clear of seafood altogether because of the risk of mercury poisoning to the fetus. However, Safe Catch swears that their Wild Alaska Pink Salmon is the only brand certified for pregnant women by the American Pregnancy Association.
So if you are preggers, but you just love salmon, and you are craving it terribly, you can satisfy that craving! If you are worried about gluten, GMO foods, or sticking to a specific diet, Safe Catch has you covered. This product is certified paleo-friendly, kosher, non-GMO, and 100% sustainably caught in the wild. They don’t even add oil or water to their salmon before packaging it!
Another beautifully preserved “canned” salmon is the skinless, boneless, Wild Pink Salmon in Water from Blue Harbor. Caught in the Alaska wilderness, the only preservatives added to these pouches is a little bit of water and a dab of sea salt.
Like the flavored salmon pouches, if you like the natural flavor of salmon, you can eat this stuff straight out of the pouch. But if you are preparing a pasta meal that requires high quality salmon, this is the perfect choice to whip up something fast and easy!
Here’s an easy recipe for Salmon Afredo that you can make with your kids: https://www.createkidsclub.com/salmon-alfredo-recipe/
Best Canned Smoked Salmon for Burgers
For a lot of people, your first intro to canned smoked salmon may be easiest through a salmon burger. These are not what you think of as salmon patties. No, we’re talking about the type of canned salmon that you can use to create the consistency and flavor punch that you get from a burger – well, maybe a turkey or veggie burger! Here are two excellent choices:
To make kickass salmon burgers, you need some kickass salmon and we think the best canned smoked salmon to use for your salmon burgers begins with Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon from Wild Planet. This one is skinless, boneless, and precooked so that it packs a lot of its own natural flavors and oils.
Then when you blend it with your burger seasonings you can make a truly fantastic salmon burger to please even the pickiest beef eater! Well, at least that’s what we think…maybe more like a really good turkey burger.
Hummusapien has a killer looking salmon burger recipe you can try: https://www.hummusapien.com/best-salmon-burgers/
Some like the bones in, some don’t, but when you are trying to create a thicker, heartier texture for salmon burgers, you have to go with the bone-in Wild Caught Pink Salmon from Crown Prince. For starters, this brand is very high quality, meeting all standards for sustainability, paleo, kosher, non-GMO plus it is caught and canned in the USA.
You can buy these cans of salmon in a case of 12 and add it to your pantry shelves for use on a day when you don’t have a lot of time to cook but want something good.
For this delicious and nutritious recipe for salmon burgers from anitalianinmykitchen you’ll need to use canned salmon that has been drained, cleaned, and flaked: https://anitalianinmykitchen.com/healthy-salmon-burgers/
Best Canned Smoked Salmon for Fish Dishes
Last but not least, we found two of the best quality canned smoked salmon brands that we could find where you can buy whole wild caught salmon. This is what you’ll need if the easy salmon dish you are preparing highlights the salmon as the centerpiece of the meal.
You want it to be pretty of course! So we found two different kinds of beautifully preserved “canned” smoked salmon where you will hardly be able to tell that it is out of a can (or rather, foil pouch):
Canning of fresh seafood has really improved greatly over the years and because of that, you can now buy “canned” whole salmon that is excellently preserved. Still cheaper than frozen or fresh salmon, when you want to prepare a meal using a whole salmon off of the pantry shelves, we highly recommend the Wild Alaskan Smoked Pink Salmon from SeaBear.
You get two pounds of salmon in 6 ounce fillets, smoked, and then flavored with SeaBear’s secret lemon pepper seasoning. How is it done? Instead of skinning and chopping the salmon up into little bits to fit into a can, the whole fillet is preserved in a foil pouch that requires no refrigeration!
Finally, perhaps the most expensive and yet still affordable whole salmon we found “canned” is the Smoked Alaska Sockeye Salmon from Fairhaven Bay Seafoods. At two bucks an ounce, you can see how that can add up when you order a pound or two but boy is it worth it, especially if you can’t get fresh or frozen salmon.
The best part about buying whole salmon is although it doesn’t have the unending shelf-life of canned salmon it can be stored on your pantry shelves for up to five years! This wild caught salmon comes from the Pacific Northwest and when you buy it, you get free recipes too.
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