Is Smoked Salmon Cooked Or Raw? Easy Recipe

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If you’ve ever loved the delightful flavors of smoked salmon, you might wonder is smoked salmon cooked or raw. There are two types of smoked salmon: hot smoking and cold smoking. While one is fully cooked and ready to eat, the other is only partially cooked. Join us as we have the answer for each type and an easy-to-do recipe.

Is Smoked Salmon Cooked Or Raw?

Hot smoked salmon is fully cooked during the smoking process, while cold smoked salmon is only partially cooked. Hot smoking involves smoking the salmon at higher temperatures and thoroughly cooking it, resulting in its tender, flaky texture. On the other hand, cold smoking is a process done at lower temperatures, allowing the salmon to retain its raw nature and develop its firmer texture. 

is cold smoked salmon cooked or raw
Perfect smoked salmon (Youtube: It’s Ryan Turley).

Is cold smoked salmon cooked or raw?

Cold smoked salmon is only partially cooked. The cold-smoked salmon cooking method and temperature play a key role in determining is smoked salmon is considered cooked or raw. The cold smoking exposes the fish to smoke at low temperatures, typically between 80°F to 90°F (27°C to 32°C). Before smoking, the salmon is salted and dried, allowing it to absorb the smoky flavor slowly, called dry curing.

Is hot smoked salmon cooked or raw?

Hot-smoked salmon is completely cooked. Salmon is cured with a salt-sugar solution, which adds moisture to the fish and prevents it from drying out during the smoking process. The hot smoking process involves subjecting the fish to smoke in a smoldering fire at temperatures ranging from 120°F to 225°F (49°C to 107°C) for six to twelve hours. The internal temperature of the fish reaches 135°F to 140°F (57°C to 60 °C).

You can store smoked salmon in the fridge.

how is smoked salmon cooked

How Is Smoked Salmon Cooked?

Deliciously smoked salmon, seasoned to perfection! A must-try for any seafood lover.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 338 kcal


  • 1 large salmon fillet (2 to 4 pounds, with pin bones removed)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons avocado oil (as needed)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
  • Lemons for serving


  • Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place a large piece of foil on a baking sheet, slightly longer than the salmon fillet.
  • Dry the salmon with a paper towel and put it on the foil, creating a fold around it to make a boat-like shape.
  • Season the salmon with sea salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper.
  • Place the salmon in the preheated smoker, close the lid, and smoke it for 30 to 60 minutes or until its internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Start checking the temperature with a thermometer after 30 minutes.
  • Let the salmon rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Add a lemon wedge for a burst of zesty flavor.

Is Smoked Salmon Healthy?

Smoked salmon is indeed a healthy food option with numerous nutritional benefits. According to the USDA, the salmon’s protein content is noteworthy. Additionally, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and contains 2.4g of fat and 0.2g of carbohydrates.

Smoked salmon is also packed with essential vitamins and minerals. It serves as an excellent source of vitamins A, B, D, and E. These nutrients play vital roles in reducing inflammation, strengthening the immune system, and promoting overall energy levels.


Is smoked salmon in sushi cooked or raw?

Smoked salmon used in sushi is considered cooked. Smoking exposes the salmon to heat, making it safe to eat without further cooking.

Is smoked salmon better than cooked?

Smoked salmon has a distinct smoky flavor and firmer texture, while cooked salmon tends to be softer and more moist. Both options offer unique flavors and can be enjoyed in various dishes.

Is smoked salmon safe to eat?

Yes, smoked salmon is safe to eat during pregnancy, as long as it is fully cooked and not raw. Pregnant women should avoid consuming raw salmon due to the risk of harmful bacteria and parasites.


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