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Buying Tips: Salmon Fillets vs. Portions?

As you browse the salmon prices available from different companies, you’ll notice that many places offer their salmon in fillets or portions. Many customers know roughly the quantity of salmon they want to order but get stuck on the question of salmon fillets vs. portions for their purchase. Not to worry, we can explain the pros and cons of each choice and how to make a final decision that makes sense for you.

Determine if There’s a Difference in Price

Some salmon companies offer a small discount for customers who want whole salmon fillets rather than pre-cut portions. Not only does someone have to make extra cuts as part of processing the salmon, but it takes extra time and packaging materials to individually vacuum-seal each salmon portion. For this reason alone, it makes sense for the fishing company to have a modestly higher price-point—typically about $1 per pound for their salmon portions vs salmon fillets. Other companies maintain the same price for both fillets and portions with the philosophy that the cutting fillets into portions is part of their customer service and overall satisfaction with their product.

Portions are a Convenient, Efficient Way to Eat Salmon

Because every salmon fillet is of a slightly different thickness and tapered at the end, it’s hard-to-impossible for the average person to cut their own portions to the exact ounce. If you’re trying to get an exact weight measurement for every portion, you’ll have to wait till the salmon is thawed, but regardless it’s much easier to cook exactly as much salmon as you want and no more.

It’s easy to pick the size and shape portion you want for your meal. Cook delicious salmon and make it look beautiful on the plate.

Since most salmon companies heavily incentivize orders of at least 7, 10, or even 25 pounds of salmon, it’s a good idea to have a strategy for using as much of the salmon as you can. A little bit of savings can really start to add up. On the other hand, you can turn this logic around on its head: If you’re saving a dollar per pound, it’s okay to cut yourself a little larger portion. Even if you don’t end up eating every last bite, you’ll likely end up even or maybe a little ahead so long as you don’t waste a big chunk of the fillet.

Final Tips for Choosing Salmon Fillets vs. Portions

Here’s our advice: If the price is the same, we pretty much always go with the salmon portions. Of course, for this same reason, companies tend to sell out of their pre-cut portions before their whole salmon fillets. Family size is another good way to make a decision between salmon fillets and salmon portions. Whole salmon fillets can be a couple pounds each, depending the size of the fish and how the fishery cuts their fillets. Thus, it’s much easier to thaw and cut salmon fillets for a family of four or more. When it comes to planning a romantic dinner with candles, flowers and/or nice place settings, we suggest doing yourself a favor in the kitchen and use individually packaged salmon portions.