Eating Pinks?

We did the blind taste test at Wards Cove one year for the cannery crew, with pinks, silvers, and small kings. All on the same barbie with the same seasonings, nobodie could tell the difference except the humpies were the first to go. Fresh from the salt you can't beat it, once they hit the fresh it's better in the smoker. My .02



Well-Known Member
As mentioned, kill, bleed, ice. You should know that pinks are soft fleshed compared to other salmon species. For this reason they do not freeze well. If you want to keep a limit and can't or won't eat them all fresh, smoke what you don't BBQ fresh. The smoke pinks can be frozen and kept well that way.

Make no mistake, pink salmon are the poor step sister when it comes to table quality among the fish snobs who really know what good fish is. However, that doesn't make pink salmon bad or even poor table fare. The flavor is mild compared to others (lack of fat), but it cooks up well and makes a delicious meal provided the fish is taken care of. Being soft fleshed, the pinks are that much more sensitive to poor handling and care. I'm a self confessed salmon snob, but I'll eat pink salmon following the above.



Active Member
If they are silver when you catch them, and I mean silver or siver -blue, and not green, then with proper care they will be excellent table fare. That means anything caught in fresh water will not quite make the cut. Just my opinion though...

Chris Bellows

Your Preferred WFF Poster
Halibut like eating pinks so they can't be that bad?
halibut eat copper pipes filled with lead or month old salted herring.... it'd be like using a dog's taste to determine what to eat... and my dog eats it's own s#$%

the trick in icing salmon which most people do not do is not just putting the fish on ice after bleeding... but you really should gut the salmon and pack the insides with ice.... especially on those nasty oily kings
As I'm following this, Pink Salmon have a very mild flavor and you have to add ingredients of choice to cook. I like them since I don't get a lot of silvers or kings. One way I like them is bbq'ed with mango salsa on top. I have also found that if you cook them just a tad longer it cooks out some of that oil that most people find offensive. At any rate, take a cooler with ice along and follow everyone's advice. Bleed them and gut them. Then et them on the ice right away. They smoke up nicely too.
Don't know about the need to bleed but if you get them cold quickly and eat them fresh they're fine. They're flesh is tender compared to other species, so get them in the cooler ASAP. I made the guys on our purse seiner try them since we'd been fishing for them all season in SE AK. Not bad, we poached ours in foil with lemons. Hard to mess up fresh fish except overcooking. Once the meat is flaky it's done.



B.O.H.I.C.A. bend over here it comes again
I like to put the fish on the BBQ and slather it in butter. When the butter carmalizes slather that guy up with some mayo, when that gets all carmelized sprinkle some cayane (sp) pepper on that sum bitch. Den ya eat it wif yo toofs!
Oh man, you guys are making me hungry....and I hope to catch a bunch of Pinks this year on the fly. And thanks for all the tips...yumyumyum! :thumb:

We did a blind taste test with a pink and a silver. They were both cooked the same and there was not a clear winner. One thing that needs to be take into account is the booze a week in the boonies fishing on a boat almost everything taste good.
Anyone have any advice for keeping the slime down on these little buggers? I always bleed and ice immediately but they still seem to turn into slimmers within an hour of being bonked. Makes them a pain to clean as well as i have issues with the fillets sticking to the smoker racks even when i pre-spray the racks with a no-stick product...