Smoked Fish 101

Our Fish

It’s simple, really. Without the freshest raw materials, there’s no way to craft the finest smoked fish. That’s why we’re obsessed with sourcing the best.

salmon for smoking

A Fish's Tale

smoked salmon lifecycle

A Fish's Tale

For wild salmon, life begins with death. Adults return to the freshwater rivers of their youth, spawn, and die. Their eggs hatch as alevin, which feed on their yolk sacs as they mature into fry—evading predators with parr, markings that serve as camouflage. As they move from freshwater to saltwater, the fish smolt, growing silvery scales as they venture further into the sea. After 1 to 8 years, they return to the streams where they were born, spawn, lay eggs, and continue the cycle. The environment is more controlled for farmed salmon, which leads to a more robust food source. 

Wild vs. Farmed

wild salmon

Wild Salmon

Wild salmon thrive in rivers and oceans, where they spawn, swim, and roam. As a delicacy, it’s lean, nutrient-rich, and beloved for its distinctive flavor. Come summertime in Alaska, wild salmon finds its way in front of skilled fishermen, who thoughtfully manage their methods to preserve the population. A hot commodity, wild-caught salmon tends to be more expensive than its farmed counterparts. But for some, the call of the wild is priceless. 

farm-raised salmon

Farm-Raised Salmon

Responsible salmon hatcheries and farms have lifted an enormous amount of pressure off wild populations, answering the market’s growing demand for delicious, nutritious seafood without infringing on natural ecosystems. Today, fatty-acid-rich farmed salmon accounts for 70% of the salmon consumed worldwide. 

From Sea to Smokehouse

salmon farm

From Sea to Smokehouse

Great smoked fish requires a scientific approach. With a meticulous eye, we dive deep into the origin and quality of every fish we source. We rigorously audit the farmers and fishers we partner with for responsible, sustainable practices. We also test the raw materials we receive for superior freshness, flavor, and food safety. 

Next Up

Brine Time

whiting brining for smoking

Next Up

Brine Time

See how we preserve flavor and texture, applying salt-based cures to maintain moisture and enhance enjoyment. 

Learn More

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