Lox vs. Smoked Salmon– What’s the difference? IS there a difference? Learn how to tell the difference, and get recipe ideas for both styles of salmon!
The terms lox and smoked salmon are often used interchangeably. But before you buy– there are some things you should know!
Lox vs. Smoked Salmon: What is Lox?
Lox is a type of cured salmon.
Some lox is smoked, and some is not.
It’s typically thinly sliced, and should be served cold. My inner lox-lover shivers in horror when I see lox recipes with lox tossed in hot, steamy pasta.
Never cook your lox— you’ll ruin the delicate texture.
When you shop for lox, here are the labels you might see. They’ll all have similar textures, but the flavor will change depending on how it was prepared.
- Lox: Technically, lox is salmon cured in salt, is NOT smoked, and should be from the fatty salmon belly. It has a silky texture, and will be sold frozen or chilled.
- Nova Lox (Cold-smoked Salmon): Nova lox is salt-cured like regular lox, and then cold-smoked. It’s smoky, but has not been exposed to heat. It has a silky texture, and will be sold frozen or chilled.
- Gravlax: This salmon is salt-cured with spices and herbs, such as juniper berries and horseradish. It has a silky texture, and will be sold frozen or chilled.
Want to make your own? Learn How to Make Lox.
Want to shop for lox? Look in the refrigerated meat or seafood section at the grocery store.
Lox vs. Smoked Salmon: What is Smoked Salmon?
There are two types of smoked salmon.
Cold-smoked salmon usually refers to lox. (Even though only Novalox is smoked.)
Hot-smoked salmon is cooked, usually slowly in a smoker.
The texture is very different from lox, and more like a slow-cooked meat. Hot-smoked salmon is generally opaque and plump– similar to a piece of salmon you’d cook at home.
Want to shop for hot-smoked salmon? This salmon is often shelf-stable, so look near the canned fish. You might also find it refrigerated in the seafood section at the grocery store.