When you order salmon online, rather than buying it at a grocery store, you’re guaranteed a better-tasting fish. A number of trustworthy companies are doing the work to bring fresh salmon from the ocean to your table.
We’ve spent a lot of time ordering from and trying a variety of wild salmon delivery options. The grid below is our knowledge and preferences distilled into a single graphic. These prices are for Sockeye and King salmon, but we also have resources for Coho, Keta, and Pink. Here’s all the information you need to buy wild caught salmon online.
|Company||$/lb||Min. Order Cost||Reviews||Rating||Website|
|Sea to Table||$31.00||$24.00||2,784||4.7||website|
|Fulton Fish Market||$38.10||$50.68||604||4.4||website|
|Alaskan Salmon Co.||$42.00||$189.00||N/A||N/A||website|
How to Order Salmon Online
When you order fresh salmon online, you’ll want to find a trusted provider. The salmon companies we recommend have been in the industry for a while. This means they have their ordering and shipping processes nailed down. Most adhere to a streamlined industry salmon, which means you’ll have a similar shipping and receiving experience no matter where you buy. Here’s what to expect when you order salmon online.
- Choose your salmon. As we’ll get into below, there are many different types of salmon. We recommend choosing your salmon type, preparation (frozen, pre-cooked, smoked), and cut (steak, fillet, portions) before starting your research.
- Find your shipping and receiving dates. All salmon ships frozen, which means it needs to get to you quickly. Most companies recommend a 2-day delivery. If you want your salmon overnight, you’ll want to specify that while checking out.
- Wait by the door and grab your box. In most cases, your salmon should arrive around 48 hours after you place your order. When it gets to your home, transfer the fish into the freezer. If you want to eat fish that night, leave it in the refrigerator or on the counter to thaw.
If any part of your order arrives thawed or unfrozen, contact your provider ASAP. You should never eat salmon that has been thawed during its journey to your door. This is something the company will be responsible for dealing with, but make sure you take pictures of the damaged product – just in case. This is not the norm, but it can sometimes happen.
Which Type of Salmon Should I Get?
Most companies carry a few different types of salmon, but very few have all of them. It helps to know which type of salmon you want when you order salmon online. Educate yourself on the different types and their different flavor profiles.
Pink Salmon – Pink salmon has a mild taste. It has firm, light flesh with a relatively low-fat content. This is a good “starter salmon” for the uninitiated folks who don’t yet know if they like fish. This is the best fish to use for recipes where the salmon’s flavor is not the most important part of the experience.
Keta Salmon – Keta is another great “starter salmon.” It has a mild taste and low-fat content, like Pink, but it has a flakier texture. This is a good option for pasta dishes, stir fry recipes, and quiches.
Coho Salmon – Coho has a firm texture and peach-colored meat and a flavor similar to King. If you’re not sure what to get, and you don’t want to spend a ton of money, opt for Coho. This is the Toyota Corolla of salmon. It’s a reliable option with a medium price point. It can be eaten on its own or in a recipe. In our opinion, Coho is extremely underrated.
Sockeye Salmon – Sockeye has an intense red color and equally strong flavor. This is a seafood for folks who like their salmon to taste like, well, salmon. This is the salmon you choose when you want a simple dinner. The flavor stands on its own and doesn’t need a recipe to make it taste like something.
King Salmon – Most will argue that King salmon is the best money can buy. We wholeheartedly agree. It has a high fat content and a rich, velvety flesh. If you want to indulge, this is your guy. It’s a special occasion fish that should be savored.
How to Buy Sustainable Salmon
Eating sustainably is an important way to ensure the foods you love will be around for years to come. This is especially important in seafood, as overfishing can quickly put certain populations at risk. Still, buying sustainable seafood can feel overwhelming. Here are some of our top tips to make sure you’re buying sustainable salmon.
- Look for a certification. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch is the gold standard for sustainable fishing practices in the United States. Look for the organization’s logo on a company’s website. You should also look for mentions of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) when picking out a salmon provider.
- Only buy during salmon season. Buying in-season salmon is the best way to ensure you’re getting sustainable fish. Studies show that salmon fraud – selling unsustainable or farmed fish at a high price with false marketing – is very low during the summer, when most salmon is in season. Salmon fraud frequency quintuples in the winter, which means you’re less likely to get a sustainable fish, regardless of the label. Remember that different types of salmon have different seasons. The below graphic is a great tool to reference.
- Buy online. Ordering salmon in a restaurant is usually less sustainable than buying it directly from the company. Plus, an Oceana study found that restaurants frequently serve a farmed or incorrect fish when a diner orders an expensive salmon variety, like King.
- Manage budget expectations. Steep discounts and noticeably low prices can indicate unsustainable fishing methods. In most cases, if a sustainably sourced wild salmon’s price is too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Check out the FAQ. Companies who are sustainable are usually proud to show it off. Click around a provider’s site to find information about fishing practices and techniques. You’ll usually find these in an FAQ section. If a company is truly sustainable, they’ll likely have that information front-and-center.
- Use our grids. All of the companies we include in our pricing grids have been vetted for sustainability, among other criteria. If you click through to a site, you’ll get a great product. Sustainable salmon brands include Wulf’s Fish and Lummi Island Wild.
The Difference Between Wild vs. Farmed Salmon
A lot of seafood lovers will tell you to stay away from the farmed stuff. But why? As it turns out, there are innumerable differences between farmed versus wild salmon. Both are healthy options, and the myths about toxicity in farmed salmon have been widely debunked. Still, when you have a choice, you should always choose the option to buy wild salmon. This is especially true when you purchase salmon online.
Let’s start with the most important factor: taste. Wild salmon just tastes better. These fish eat a diverse diet, which translates to a more complex and subtle taste. Additionally, wild fish have the opportunity to develop muscles and fatty deposits, especially as they prepare to swim upstream. The added fat means the fish will taste better than farmed alternatives.
There are a few differences between wild vs. farmed salmon nutritional content that we won’t go too much into. The most important information is that wild salmon is often more nutrient dense than farmed options. But antibiotic use in farmed fish should be of concern for some shoppers. This is an environmental hazard, and for some, it can be a potential health concern. While many countries utilize very strict antibiotic use, it’s poorly regulated in others – including, unfortunately, many United States fisheries. The best way to keep the antibiotics off your plate is to only buy wild salmon, and only from trusted sources.
Want Something Different? Try Smoked Salmon
Salmon is a great fish because it has unlimited preparations. Smoked salmon is extremely popular for it’s prized sweet-salty flavor combination. You can order smoked salmon pouches to snack on during a camping trip or larger smoked salmon fillets to serve as a main course during a special dinner. If you want more information about how to buy smoked salmon, we have a page to help. If you want to try smoking salmon yourself, this video is a great place to start.
Frequently Asked Questions When You Buy Alaskan Salmon Online
If you order salmon online, whether it’s your first or fifteenth time, you probably have some unanswered questions. This is by no means a definitive list of common questions, but it’s pretty comprehensive. If you don’t see the answer to what you’re looking for, drop us a line. We might be able to help.
How do you buy wild salmon?
Buying wild salmon online is as easy as buying anything. Just pick your product, choose your delivery date, and get it when it arrives. Remember that you can order Alaskan salmon online at pretty much any time and from anywhere, which makes it far more convenient than visiting a grocery store.
Can you buy salmon online?
Yes! You can buy any type of salmon. Any type of cut. You can even buy a whole salmon. You can buy salmon bones for fish stock. The options are endless – if you know where to look.
What is the best way to thaw frozen salmon?
There are a few different ways to thaw salmon. If you think far enough ahead, transfer your salmon from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it gently thaw overnight. Just be sure to put the salmon in a bowl or on a dish to prevent the melted ice from getting on other items in the fridge. If you have just a few hours before dinner, fill a bowl with lukewarm water and place the fillets (in sealed plastic bags) inside. Check every half hour to make sure the salmon doesn’t come to room temperature, which is when microbial growth becomes a hazard.
If you’re short on time, you can always thaw your fish in the microwave. Remove any packaging and place the salmon on a microwave-safe plate. Cover it with paper towels and use the defrost setting to warm it for 3 to 5 minutes. Keep in mind that this method can impact a salmon’s taste and texture. We only recommend it when absolutely necessary.
What is the best place to get salmon from?
The best place to buy salmon online is the retailer who meets your needs. It should have the products you want at a price that works for you. For our money, we tend to order most frequently from Seabear Smokehouse, Global Seafoods, and Wulf’s Fish. If you want more options, check out our pages for King, Sockeye, Coho, Keta, and Pink.
Where can I learn more about seafood and sustainability?
There are a lot of great resources for learning about seafood and sustainability. Here are a few of our favorite websites.
What does sustainably sourced mean?
Sustainability in seafood boils down to the impact the industry has on the broader environment. This includes ocean habitats but also potential social impacts, like labor issues. In the wild-caught salmon industry, sustainable seafood is sustainably sourced, which means the population being fished is large and abundant. That means there is no risk for overfishing. In the farmed salmon industry, sustainability most often refers to eliminating use of antibiotics, pesticides, and chemicals. These fish should also be managed humanely.
Why is fresh salmon sent frozen and not actually fresh?
The best salmon online will always ship frozen. In the seafood industry, fresh always means frozen – except when it comes to live lobsters. To preserve the salmon’s taste and texture, fishers flash-freeze the fish as soon as it’s pulled from the ocean. They then process it (i.e. fillet/cut) while frozen and ship it to you in an insulated container. When you buy frozen salmon online, you are getting the freshest salmon you can buy.
All fresh salmon is shipped frozen. In other words: When you buy fresh salmon online, you’re ordering frozen salmon – but it’ll taste like the day it was caught. In most cases, it’s impossible to buy fish that has never been frozen. Even the expensive options at the local seafood market were frozen during their journey to the store and thawed for the display.
The Best Salmon Recipe (According to Us)
Everyone has their favorite method for cooking salmon. Some like it baked, others like it grilled, and some people even like it poached. For our time and money, though, we have a recipe that we rely on time and again. You won’t find this on a recipe blog or in a glossy food magazine. It’s simple but effective, and it really lets the salmon’s flavor shine. This works best with King and Sockeye, but Coho, Keta, or Pink are also delicious when cooked this way.
Quality Seafood Delivery Pan-Seared Salmon
Total Time: 15 Minutes
- 2 salmon fillets, 6 oz each
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly group Himalayan Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon (optional)
Season both salmon fillets, on both sides, with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat, around 2 minutes. Add the salmon (skin side up) and allow to cook until golden, around 5 minutes. Resist the urge to move it around in the pan. Once golden, flip the fillet over and slightly reduce heat. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Transfer fish to a plate and add optional squeeze of lemon.
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