As Americans move away from standard barbeque fare, smoked seafood is becoming an increasingly popular option. This smoking was originally performed to preserve seafood, but more recently, it has been used to enhance flavor and add a unique taste. If you’ve even wondered about the difference between grilled and smoked salmon, now is a great time to try it out.
Quality seafood is often smoked inside a smokehouse. Traditionally, the fish are suspended over smoldering wood shavings and left overnight for added flavor infusion. Modern techniques condense the time needed to smoke the meat, using solid or liquid smoke inside a mechanical kiln. Home cooks can also enjoy the interesting taste with small, portable smokers easily purchased online, or with aromatic wood added to a charcoal grill.
Whether you want to buy pre-smoked fish or prepare it yourself, shopping online is an excellent option – especially if you don’t live near a coast. This guide will walk you through some popular smoking options, how to buy your product online, and what to do when your shipment finally arrives.
What Type of Seafood Can You Smoke?
Every type of seafood can be smoked, but some fish fare better than others. As a rule of thumb, the fattier the fish, the easier it will absorb smoke. When purchasing smoked seafood or preparing your own, stick to fattier options, like salmon, sea bass, tuna, and sailfish. Even if you only have leaner options on-hand, any fish will be delicious when cooked in a smoker. Additionally, remember that smoked seafood doesn’t always mean fish. While you might be hard-pressed to find a prepared version online, home cooks can easily smoke oysters, lobsters (whole or tails), shrimp, and crabs. Have some fun with it.
If you’re not feeling too adventurous, you can easily order smoked seafood online. This leaves the smoking process to an experienced professional, letting you enjoy the unique taste without stressing out too much over the final product.
How to Order Smoked Seafood Online
Many online fish retailers provide smoked options, but they may be harder to find on a website. Smoked seafood is not often included in the “fresh” or “live” categories, so you’ll need to browse a company’s other product offerings to find it. Smoked options are often pre-packaged, and they won’t always require overnight shipping. For people looking to become experts on smoked salmon, we also offer guides on the subtle differences between smoked king, smoked sockeye, smoked coho, smoked keta, and smoked pink.
Preparing for Your Smoked Fish Delivery
If you decide to order smoked seafood online, you’ll need to properly store the purchase once it arrives. In some cases, you will need to refrigerate the product. If your seller recommends this, clear a space in the refrigerator prior to the shipment’s arrival.
In contrast, some producers sell smoked seafood that does not need to be refrigerated. If the ordering page or packaging clearly states that the product can be stored at room temperature, feel free to put it in the pantry or inside a dark cabinet. Just be sure to keep it away from sunlight and potential sources of heat. If you have any doubt as to how you should store the fish, put it in the refrigerator.
If you’ve ordered a large quantity of smoked seafood, you may also want to consider freezing it. When seafood is shipped already smoked, the purchase will likely arrive in a vacuum-sealed pack, which can be tossed in the freezer without additional repackaging. If your order does not come vacuum-sealed, or if you want to freeze leftovers, put the fish into a freezer-safe bag and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing. Smoked seafood should stay good in your freezer for around three months. When you want to defrost your fish, simply transfer it to the refrigerator the night before you need to use it.