3 Best & 1 Worst Thing to Know about Costco’s Salmon in 2024

Is it finally the end of the week, and you’re looking to buy some fresh Costco salmon to appease your tastebuds? Indeed, Costco is well known for its fresh, wild-caught, and farm-raised salmon. But you might wonder whether you should spend your hard-earned money on Costco’s salmon!

Don’t fret! 

We’ll guide you through the varieties and the costs so that you can accurately gauge your options and select the best salmon for yourself. You’ll find out why you should buy salmon at Costco and what’s the worst thing you might know about salmon at Costco.

What’re you waiting for? Read on below!

1- Costco Sells Farmed and Wild Salmon.

Costco also sells wild-caught salmon, and the way you can tell the difference (besides the packaging) is that the wild salmon has a beautiful deep-red color, while the farmed salmon has a traditional orange or pink coloring.

This difference is because of the fish’s feed. They gave farmed salmon a highly controlled feed, and it’s not that good compared to what the wild salmon eats. Farmed Atlantic salmon feed on fish pellets that aren’t available in the wild.

In contrast, wild salmon ‌feast on shrimp and krill. This diet contains carotenoids that give the flesh a pretty red color.

Is Farmed Salmon dyed Synthetically?

Another surprising fact is that because of the pellet diet, the farmed salmon gets a gray or beige color in the flesh; therefore, farmers add dye to the fish pellets, which gives the Atlantic salmon a pale-orange and pink color.

So which is better?

Wild-caught salmon, sold under the label “Wild sockeye Alaskan salmon,” is highly sustainable. It’s caught using different methods such as nets and beach seines. They don’t have any pesticides or antibiotics pumped inside them. This wild-eye salmon at Costco costs you $189.99 for 10 lb: $18.9 per lb. The wild eye-socked Alaskan salmon is also available in large filets on Costco for $219.99 for 10 lb: $22 price per pound.

On the other hand, Atlantic Salmon isn’t too healthy; it’s treated with a wide range of pesticides and antimicrobials. Also, the diet isn’t good either, so they have fewer vitamins and nutrients.

It’s unclear whether you should pick one over the other. 

There are a few reasons you must consider, such as even if the fish is wild-caught, what was the water like? Was it polluted? That makes a big difference as polluted water makes it unhealthy.

So, in the end, you should weigh the benefits and choose what you want. Costco offers both, so you shouldn’t have any issues buying either!

2- Costco Sells Fresh Salmon and Frozen Salmon.

If you don’t know a lot about salmon, you’ll assume that fresh salmon is the better option when choosing from Costco, but that’s where you’re wrong! Modern freezing technology has come a long way; Costco uses Cryovac to freeze fish.

Cryovac is a highly advanced technology that “freezes in” the freshness, so when you defrost it, it’s tastier than the fresh fish sitting on the counter at Costco. 

So when should you go for fresh fish?

Honestly, it highly depends on the occasion; if you want to prepare it immediately after going home, I’d recommend fresh fish. Many people feel more comfortable serving fresh salmon, so if you’re one of them, go on!

The farm-raised most of the fresh fish at Costco, so if you’re looking for the wild-caught variety, look in the frozen section.

When is frozen fish better?

Costco pre-fillets frozen salmon; you can quickly pull them out, defrost them with no issues, and then prepare them, perfect for a quick week time dinner. The quality is preserved, and as it’s wild-caught, it’s delicious.

One thing to note is that Costco freezes all the fish they catch. They even freeze the fresh fish first, and it’s thawed out later on. This kills any harmful parasites or worms that might live in the fish. 

This is called “flash freezing,” of course, natural “fresh” salmon would be the best choice. Yet, you can only find that if you clean and cook the fish within hours of catching it, and that’s only if you do it yourself.

3- You can Find Different Types of Salmon at Costco.

With different salmon to choose from at Costco, it might confuse you, so we’ll guide you so that you can pick the best salmon for your next dinner.

Sockeye Salmon at Costco

Costco sells this fish with the tag “wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon.” It’s wild-caught salmon; thanks to that, it’s also safer because of its low toxicity levels. It’s fished sustainably, which makes it a good choice and worth the price.

How is the taste of Sockeye Salmon?

The Costco Kirkland Sockeye Salmon tastes delicious. Do you know about the fishy taste that some fish get? 

That’s because of ammonia, and it’s when you don’t kill the fish properly that’s not the case for this salmon, as it doesn’t taste fishy at all!

It’s still super rich in flavor. It has nice flakiness; it doesn’t fall apart or get mushy. The moistness-to-tenderness ratio is golden! Once you take a bite, you’re transported into a world of taste. It tastes fresh. 

There is one issue: it has many tiny bones inside it; you’ll spend a lot of time taking them out of every bite. Although it’s labeled that it might contain bones, there are still far too many for my liking. The taste and quality are super high, but the bones ruin the flavor.

How much does it cost?

The Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon is pretty expensive. Still, a steal compared to other grocery stores. It costs about $21-22 per pound, and usually, you can get it in fillets.

While Kirkland Signature frozen wild eye socked salmon 3lb costs you $48.49, costing you $16 per pound approximately.

Is it worth the price?

People don’t like the small bones it’s riddled with, but still, the taste and quality are good, so I’d say it’s well worth the price. They’re also pretty easy to prepare and super convenient. Each piece is sliced and vacuum-packed. You can take one portion out and satisfy your desire.

You can grill it, bake it however you like, season it with some sauces, and enjoy your quick salmon dinner!

How nutritional is it?

One serving of Sockeye Salmon is about 170 grams, and we’re going to break it down according to that. It contains 290 calories. It’s high in protein, having 36 grams. Fat level is low but not like chicken or other leaner fish, and it contains 15 grams.

The fats are super healthy, though. It contains Omega-3 fatty acids and DHA. These are good for you on another level!

Atlantic Salmon at Costco

Costco buys Atlantic Salmon from farms, and they’re raised on a pellet diet with no antibiotics. The main difference between Atlantic salmon and Sockeye is that Atlantic salmon is not caught in the wild. 

As a result, they taste and look different due to discrepancies in environment and diet. Costco imports its fish from Norway, where they grow it in contained areas.

How does Atlantic salmon taste?

You’ll first notice it’s super flaky, and cooking it is easy. It doesn’t taste too salmony, but it’s still delicious. Of course, the taste isn’t near Alaskan Sockeye, but it still fares well in the taste test.

It breaks down quickly, super flaky, but that’s great for fish. The flakier, the better! The flavor profile of Atlantic salmon is mild, oil, and fatty, which is pretty standard for a fish.

Is Atlantic salmon safe?

According to Costco, the Atlantic salmon is perfectly safe with no antibiotics. Still, according to Seafood Watch, it’s full of antimicrobials and pesticides, which may lead to resistance to antimicrobial drugs.

How much does Atlantic salmon cost?

Kirkland Atlantic Salmon at Costco is cheaper than the Sockeye, but not by a lot, and it costs about $12.99 per pound. Costco sells it in a 4% salt and water solution at 3 lbs a bag. The bag costs about $38.99. This price tag is nothing compared to other grocery stores.

Costco Atlantic Salmon is cheaper, thanks to the wholesale rate.

Should your wallet bear the burden?

They raise Atlantic salmon on the farm. I won’t get into industrial farming and the ethical issues, but mass production of any kind of fish isn’t considered suitable for the environment.

The taste isn’t too bad, and the texture is good, but comparing the calories, Atlantic salmon is not only full of calories but also in fat. This fish is not your cup of tea if you’re looking for the classic salmon flavor. 

Although Atlantic salmon might be cheaper, I’d prefer you go for the wild sockeye variety.

Atlantic salmon nutritional information

According to the Costco packaging, if you consider one serving size to be about 196g, it contains 320 calories, of which 31% are from fat. As it’s salmon, it’s loaded with protein, about 37g. It has more fats, but it also has Omega-3 fats and vitamins.

One pro of the Atlantic salmon is that it’s safe to eat it raw or in sushi. You should only take the risk with Atlantic salmon and never the wild-caught sockeye salmon. There is still a risk; I think you should cook it first.

King Salmon Fillets at Costco

People consider King salmon a very high-quality salmon. It’s imported from New Zealand, where they raise it in icy waters. These icy waters help the salmon grow large and have exceptional marbling in the flesh. It costs you $149.99 for 6 pounds or $24.8 per pond. 

The white king salmon is also available at Costco by Northwest Fish. That weighs 10lb and is prices at $219.99 OR $22 per pound.

The King salmon is also called “the wagyu of seafood,” thanks to the marbling. The specialty is the size and richness. The filets come with skin.

They are much bigger than regular salmon, weighing up to 135 pounds! It’s also rare compared to other salmon varieties, making it much sought after.

But how does the King salmon taste?

According to many eater’s reviews, the king salmon fillet at Costco tastes rich and meaty. The light and creamy texture are paired with slight sweetness, giving it an umami flavor. 

No wonder it’s one of the most liked fished in the USA! Once you taste this delicacy, you’ll not look anywhere else!

The taste and the thick fillets make it a high choice among chefs, it holds up well on the pan, and the slight flakiness is perfect. If you cook it to medium-rare, the soft center and the nutty taste will drive your taste buds wild!

How heavy is King salmon on the pocket?

In the wild, the King salmon is pretty scarce, making it expensive compared to the Sockeye salmon. In other stores, high-quality King salmon fetches up to $70 per pound retail price! Woah, that’s expensive!

Costco has covered you, and they sell it for about $25 per pound, which is cheap compared to other stores! They sell it in a 6lb pack costing about $149.99, which blows the competition out of the water!

Is it worth the hype?

The King salmon is delicious, it might be heavy on the pocket, but it’s worth it. Besides, it’s not even that expensive, thanks to the fantastic Costco pricing. This salmon is perfect if you want an excellent salmon taste with fewer bones and more meat!

If you have the money and King salmon is readily available, then you should go for this.

King salmon nutritional information

Considering one serving size to be 154g, the king salmon has 356 calories, which is more than the other two salmon. Even though it has more calories, it’s pretty healthy, with up to 40g of protein in one serving! Say goodbye to protein powder!

It has 21g of fat, which mainly contains good fats and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are suitable for the heart.


Ask me not! Many people have been reporting about salmon worms which are not odd to find in fish, yet they worry the folks a lot, and they tend to blame Costco. It’s the reason you hardly find any salmon reviewed at Costco online. 

Is Costco really the offender?

NO, fish parasites are common, especially in wild salmon they’re pretty unavoidable. The worms can be there no matter how fresh your wild-caught fish is. Eating an infected but cooked salmon to a safe minimum temperature is fine as the worms are no more hazardous when heated. And, if you eat raw fish, it must be frozen for 1 week at -20 degrees C. 

Prevention is better than cure, So eat fish when it’s health safe.


How to much does Costco Salmon cost in 2023?

Costco salmon ranges between $19-22 per pound depending on the salmon type, brand and suppliers. For example:

Hence, the Kirkland’s salmon is the cheapes at Costco.

Can you refreeze Costco Salmon?

A question that might come into your mind when you buy frozen fish is that after you thaw it out, is it okay to refreeze it? Quality-wise, you shouldn’t refreeze it, but if you need to, it’s possible. 

So when you go home with frozen salmon, place it in the freezer immediately instead of thawing it out.

How to minimize the risk of eating raw Costco Salmon?

Besides always choosing Atlantic salmon to eat raw, you should also ensure that your Costco salmon is always kept cold to prevent bacterial contamination and use clean utensils to prepare it.

What temperature should you cook Costco Salmon?

Sockeye salmon is leaner than other salmon types, so the internal temperature should reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit‌. King salmon and Atlantic salmon need to get an internal temperature of about 125 degrees Fahrenheit to make them safe to eat.

Safe to eat means that cooking will kill bacteria and parasites, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat it raw. Just be careful!

Does Costco sell smoked salmon?

Yes, Costco also sells smoked salmon. It’s available in different brands and costs about $13.99-24.99 for 12 oz. Yet we don’t advise you to buy smoked salmon you can grill or smoke salmon easily at home.


We hope this article has helped you with knowing the best kinds of salmon according to your budget and taste. Visit your nearest Costco store and find out what all the fuss is about!

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