Have you ever wondered about the health benefits of smoked salmon?
This type of salmon is typically thought of as a tasty delicacy because of its relatively higher cost.
Smoked salmon has a fireside, salty taste and is sometimes confused with lox, which is a cured version of salmon. Similar to lox, smoked salmon is normally used to spice up the flavor of crackers or bagels. It’s often combined with other types of toppings, such as
- Cream cheese
Let’s discuss all the important aspects of smoked salmon, such as its health benefits, curing options and risks.
1. Smoked Salmon Nutrition Facts
This version of salmon is power-packed with healthy fats, minerals, high-quality protein and vitamins. It’s also low in calories. Here is what you’ll discover in a 3.5-ounce patty of smoked salmon:
- 117 calories
- Protein: 18 grams
- Fat: 4 grams
The following percentages represent the Daily Value (DV):
- Copper: 26%
- Riboflavin: 9%
- Phosphorus: 13%
- Niacin: 30%
- Choline: 16%
- Selenium: 59%
- Vitamin D: 86%
- Vitamin E: 9%
- Vitamin B12: 136%
- Vitamin B6: 16%
Smoked salmon also provides omega-3 fatty acids. This is important because our bodies aren’t able to create these essential fats. Omega-3 fatty acids help with:
One challenge with smoked salmon is the amount of salt in it. A 3.5-ounce piece of smoked salmon will normally contain 600-1200 mg of salt.
Although you need to pay attention to its salt content, you can’t argue with the other health benefits of smoked salmon.
2. How is Smoked Salmon Made?
We talk a lot about the smoking process on Smokey Steak Ranch. You can use it as a way to cook, flavor and preserve poultry, meat and fish.
A good way to smoke salmon is to use salt to cover a boneless fillet and let it sit for 12 to 24 hours. You can also use sugar instead of salt. This curing process is effective for drawing out moisture.
Curing is a way to add to your smoked salmon’s flavor. Harmful bacteria is prevented from growing because the salt performs as a preservative.
Use water to rinse your fillets so all the excess salt is removed prior to drying in a smoking kiln. Salmon fillets are coated with what’s called pellicle as they dry. Pellicle is a protein that helps smoke adhere more effectively to the surface of your fillets.
3. Types of Salmon Smoking
Did you know you can either cold-smoke your salmon or hot-smoke it? Temperatures should be between 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit when using the cold-smoking process. The hot-smoking process requires temperatures of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take your time investigating the available electric smokers for smoking salmon and find one that works best for your needs. You’ll most likely use the hot-smoking method in order to make sure that you cook out any bacteria or other health risks involved with the cold-smoking method.
4. Selecting & Storing Your Salmon
Inspect product labels when buying salmon to smoke. Some varieties don’t require refrigeration until after you open the package. Others need to go in the fridge immediately.
You can typically freeze opened salmon for 90 days or keep it in the fridge for up to 14 days.
Watch out for dark spots on smoked salmon. Trim those dark areas off because they won’t taste good.
4. What Are the Health Benefits of Smoked Salmon?
The omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, found in salmon help to:
- Maintain brain function & function
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce triglycerides levels
The result of this activity in the body works to reduce age-related mental issues, some cancers and heart-disease risks.
It’s recommended by the USDA that the average adult should consume a minimum of 8 ounces of seafood each week. You’ll benefit from adding approximately 250 mg of DHA and EPH to your system if you adhere to this suggestion.
It will also allow your body to benefit from an increase in essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12 or vitamin D. The selenium in smoked salmon is a powerful antioxidant your body needs to ward off various illnesses.
5. Smoked Salmon Risks
The biggest problem you need to pay attention to is the sodium levels. Be careful with salmon if you’re already at risk for a heart condition, for example.
Processed meats that are smoked have been linked to certain types of cancer. You have some level of control here by making sure you buy salmon from trusted “in the wild” sources.
It’s important to smoke your salmon at the appropriate temperatures in order to destroy bacteria that can potentially cause a foodborne illness called listeriosis.
The people most at risk for listeriosis are:
- Suffering from weakened immune systems
- Older adults
- Pregnant women
These groups of people can stay safe by simply avoiding cold-smoked salmon.
6. How to Eat Smoked Salmon
Once you’ve smoked your salmon, here are enjoyable ways to eat it.
Place it on top of your favorite kind of salad. Bake it into gratin. Use it in the morning as a great addition to scrambled eggs with toast or on a bagel with cream cheese.
Here are some other fun ways to enjoy your smoked salmon:
- Mixed into pasta dishes
- Inside potato-leek soup
- On a veggie platter
- On crackers, after stirred into a dip
The bottom line is that smoked salmon is a delicious and healthy way to provide your family with a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Just be careful with your salt intake and you should have no problem enjoying salmon for years to come.