Salmon is a wonderful tasting fish that more and more people are discovering. In the past it might have played second fiddle to tuna, but now it’s coming into its own. Canned salmon can be used to make all sorts of dishes including salmon cakes, patties, salad, and some people love salmon curry. Salmon does not just taste good, it is also healthy. Doctors recommend eating two to three servings of salmon each week because it has a lot of omega 3 and other nutrients that make your heart more healthy.
Let’s find out about some of the more popular canned salmon varieties available on the market today:
Wild Planet Wild Sockeye Salmon – Best Overall
This canned salmon is very popular with users all over North America. The fish is packed with protein, omega-3s, calcium, selenium, and vitamins. It has zero trans fats. Although Wild Planet sells both pink and sockeye salmon, the sockeye is more nutritious and has a nicer orange-red color.
This salmon is a great choice for paleo and keto diets. It is also gluten-free and non-GMO-verified. It is wild salmon, as opposed to farm-raised salmon, which means it is flavorful and healthy, and much lower in mercury.
The sockeye salmon tastes great right out of the can. Some people consider it to be the best salmon they have tasted. You can also use it to make all sorts of dishes, such as salmon chowders, patties, and casseroles. The salmon is skinless and boneless so it is easy to prepare.
This salmon is caught sustainably in Alaska, during a season that lasts just a few weeks, using methods that help prevent overfishing. Wild Planet is very upfront about its sustainability practices and reasons for doing so. This brand of fish has received a favorable Greenpeace ranking and a Clean Choice Award.
The salmon comes in a convenient can with a lid that pops off, so you do not need a can opener. There is six ounces of fish packed per can. The salmon is canned while it is fresh so it retains its nutritional value.
This flavorful fish is available at most grocery chains, but it does come at a higher price than most. You will save money if you buy this salmon in cases of 12.
- Sustainable sockeye salmon caught during a short fishing season to prevent overfishing
- Wild salmon, not farmed, which means it is more flavorful and healthy
- Contains lots of protein, omega 3’s, calcium, selenium, and vitamins
- Great choice for paleo and keto diets
- Gluten-free and non-GMO-verified
- Can has pop-off lid, no need for can opener
- None mentioned by users
This pink salmon has a hearty texture. The fish is mild and submerged in juice. The skin and bones are included for more flavor and nutrition. It is ready to eat out of the can, which is really convenient, or you can mix the salmon with other ingredients to create a casserole, croquets, salmon cakes, or a spread.
This brand has a low price point and larger cans than other manufacturers, so it is a good choice for a family on a budget.
The fish are caught in Alaska and then canned in Thailand.
One drawback is it is hard to tell whether the fish is packed in its own natural juice or just water. Also, some users have complained that the cans sometimes arrive dented which can compromise the safety of the fish inside them.
- Affordable pink salmon
- Hearty texture and mild flavor
- Contains skin and bones for more nutrition
- Ready to eat out of the can or mix to make casseroles, salmon cakes, spreads, etc.
- The cans are larger than other brands
- Hard to tell if salmon is packed in its own natural juices or just water
- Cans may sometimes arrive dented, which can be a safety issue
This pink salmon is 100% wild-caught. The salmon is packed in its natural form with the skin and bones, to maintain nutrition. The bones make this salmon high in calcium. Pure Alaska pink salmon is also high in protein, vitamin D, and omega 3 fatty acids.
This salmon also offers great texture and a fresh and delicate flavor.
You don’t have to worry about the bones, in case you’re wondering, as they will simply crumble while you are eating them, so you do not need to remove them before eating.
You can eat this salmon straight out of the can or use it in salads chowders, or spreads.
All of the salmon for this brand is caught in Alaska and processed within hours of being caught. The salmon is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and they have also won a Good Food Award for sustainability. The salmon is certified organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, BPA-free, and kosher-certified.
Each can contains 7.5 ounces of salmon and you can buy them in a case of 12 cans, to save money.
One drawback for some users is they may not like the soft bones.
- 100% wild-caught pink salmon, packed in natural form, including skin and bones
- Caught in Alaska and processed within hours of being caught
- Fresh and delicate flavor
- Bones are not a problem as they simply crumble while you are eating them
- High in calcium, protein, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D
- Some users may not like the soft bones
This rich, dark, wild sockeye salmon tastes great, and you can tell it is high quality from the moment you open the can. You can smell the freshness and the deep, rich flavor. The salmon is sustainably harvested in Alaska.
The salmon does contain bones but they are soft and easy to chew and digest. These bones are high sources of calcium. The skin is also included, which is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids and other nutrients. This salmon is also rich in vitamin D and protein.
It is great for a keto or paleo diet. It is gluten-free and non-GMP. It is kosher-certified and contains little to no mercury.
Each can contains 7.5 ounces of salmon packed in their own juices, with a little added water and salt.
One drawback is, some users have mentioned this canned salmon contains too much skin.
- Wild sockeye salmon tastes great and has deep, rich flavor
- Contains bones, which are a good source of calcium, and skin, a good source of omega 3’s
- Rich in vitamin D and protein
- Great for keto or paleo diet
- Gluten-free, non-GMP, kosher-certified, and contains little to no mercury
- Some users find the can contains too much skin
Rubinstein’s Salmon Red Sockeye – Best gourmet
This red sockeye salmon offers deep, rich, gourmet flavor. It is moist and flaky, and tastes great straight from the can on crackers or over linguine. It is a bit on the expensive side but is healthier than other types of fish. It is a natural source of omega 3.
Canned salmon is the most humanely harvested fish you can buy. Rubinstein’s cans their fish immediately after being caught, to lock in flavor. It contains the bones but if you don’t like this, you can always remove the bones before cooking.
Each can contains 7.5 ounces of salmon, and you can buy them in a case of six cans.
One drawback is, there have been complaints of dented cans when buying through Amazon.
- Sockeye salmon with deep, rich, gourmet flavor
- Moist and flaky, and tastes great straight out of the can on crackers or over linguine
- Healthier than other types of fish, and a natural source of omega 3
- Humanely harvested, and canned immediately after being caught, to lock in flavor
- There have been complaints of dented cans
Differences between the various types of salmon
Salmon come in different colors depending on their diet. Sockeye, also known as red, salmon like to eat krill, which is what gives them the red tinted flesh. Pink and other types of salmon eat shrimp which makes them lighter in color. The most popular type of salmon is the pink variety.
In the Pacific, both types of salmon are caught in wild fisheries. In the Atlantic, few are caught wild because commercial fishing is limited due to low wild salmon populations there. Most salmon in the Atlantic is farm-raised. Wild-caught salmon is preferred because they consume a natural diet without extra chemicals.
When salmon is canned, it can take on a lighter color, and this is why canned salmon is paler than a fresh salmon fillet. Farmed canned salmon is also lighter in color because they are fed less shrimp than salmon can get in the wild. Farmers try to make up for this by giving their salmon a natural food colorant.
Red or Sockeye salmon tends to have a richer flavor and larger size than pink salmon.
Sustainable salmon fishing
When choosing canned salmon, try to look for brands that are caught sustainably. This means the fish stocks are managed in healthy habitats and that the workers are supported in their livelihoods.
There are various organizations that give out recognition to canned salmon companies that catch their fish sustainably. These include the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Blue Label: this non-profit focuses on rewarding fishing that is sustainable and helps improve the quality of oceans.
Here are a few nutritional considerations to make when choosing canned salmon.
Salmon is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which are important for cell development. Omega 3 also improves our blood pressure and reduces the chances of developing fatty plaques in our arteries. It is also helpful for brain development and for protecting our eyes. Although we can get omega 3 from other sources like flax seeds, salmon is a much better source and it is easier for our bodies to access the omega 3 from salmon. Canned pink salmon, and fresh farmed or wild canned salmon, all have the same amount of omega 3.
Calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D
If you are looking to increase your calcium intake, the best type of canned salmon to buy is the one that includes the skin and bones. The boneless version contains far less calcium. Likewise, canned salmon containing the bones and skin contains a lot more vitamin B12 and vitamin D than the boneless, skinless varieties.
Canned salmon is generally high in protein and tends to have the same amount of protein as fresh salmon. Check the label and reviews to see if the brand you are considering is higher in protein than other brands.
Canned salmon is not a great source of selenium – which is needed for hormone and reproductive functions – but it does contain some. Fresh salmon contains more.
Canned salmon contains much less mercury than other types of fish or shellfish. This is because mercury accumulates naturally in our water and some types of fish like king mackerel live a long time, so they have more opportunity to absorb the mercury into their bodies. Salmon do not live long lives and thus they absorb less mercury.
Canned salmon tends to have a lot more salt than fresh salmon, as salt is often added in the packing juices. Between the different types of canned salmon, the amount of salt is basically the same. However, there are low sodium varieties so if you are trying to cut down on sodium, look for those.
In general, the tastiest type of salmon is sockeye but the milder pink version can also taste great. Wild-raised salmon is preferred because it consumes a natural diet, as opposed to farm-raised, which are sometimes given extra chemicals to look pinker or larger. Most wild-raised salmon is caught in the Pacific ocean. Both sockeye and pink salmon offer numerous health benefits, and if you buy a version that includes the bones and skin, you will increase the nutritional value.