How Do You Pick a Good Salmon?

When it comes to picking a good salmon, there are several factors you need to consider. The quality of the fish not only affects its taste but also its nutritional value. In this article, we will discuss some important tips to help you choose the perfect salmon for your next meal.

1. Appearance:

One of the first things you should look for when selecting a salmon is its appearance.

A fresh and high-quality salmon should have vibrant colors. The flesh should be firm and shiny, with no signs of discoloration or dullness.

2. Smell:

The smell of a salmon can indicate its freshness.

A good salmon should have a mild, oceanic scent. If you notice any strong or unpleasant fishy odors, it may be a sign that the fish is not fresh.

3. Texture:

The texture of the salmon is another important factor to consider.

When you press the flesh with your finger, it should bounce back slightly and feel firm to the touch. Avoid any fish that feels mushy or has a slimy texture.

4. Source:

The source of the salmon plays a significant role in determining its quality.

Wild-caught salmon is generally considered superior in flavor and nutritional value compared to farmed salmon. Look for information about the origin of the fish on the packaging or ask your fishmonger for details.

4.1 Wild-Caught Salmon:

Wild-caught salmon comes from natural habitats such as rivers and oceans. It is known for its rich flavor and firm texture. It also tends to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.

4.2 Farmed Salmon:

Farmed salmon is raised in controlled environments such as fish farms or aquaculture facilities. While farmed salmon may be more readily available and often less expensive, it can have a milder flavor and softer texture compared to wild-caught salmon.

5. Seasonality:

The season in which the salmon is caught can impact its taste and quality.

Salmon runs vary throughout the year, so it’s beneficial to know when the fish is in its peak season. Generally, wild-caught salmon is more abundant during summer months.

6. Sustainability:

Choosing sustainable seafood is important for the health of our oceans and environment. Look for certifications such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label, which ensures that the salmon has been responsibly sourced and harvested.

7. Storage:

If you’re not planning to cook the salmon immediately, consider how you will store it.

Fresh salmon should be kept refrigerated at temperatures below 40Β°F (4Β°C). Make sure to check the expiration date and use it within a day or two for optimal freshness.


Picking a good salmon involves considering its appearance, smell, texture, source, seasonality, sustainability, and storage. By paying attention to these factors, you can ensure that you choose a high-quality fish that will delight your taste buds and provide valuable nutrients.

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins