General

Q. Is your salmon wild?

Yes, SeaBear uses only 100% pure, natural wild salmon.

Q. Why doesn’t the smoked salmon need to be refrigerated?

SeaBear smokes the salmon, vacuum seals it inside the Gold Seal pouches, and then cooks the salmon in its own juices. This process preserves the salmon naturally, so no refrigeration is needed until the pouch is opened. Think of the Gold Seal pouch like a "flexible can".

Q. Why are there liquid and juices in the gold foil pouch with the smoked salmon?

These juices are the natural oils from the salmon (rich in Omega-3 fatty acids), which are released when the salmon is cooked inside the pouch. No water or oil is ever added.

Q. Does SeaBear add any preservatives to make the product shelf stable?

No. SeaBear adds no preservatives – no nitrates, no oils and we never use any coloring! SeaBear is 100% natural.

Q. Isn’t smoked salmon supposed to be almost raw and sliced thin?

Only if it’s “Nova Style”, or “lox.” Traditional Northwest Style Smoked Salmon is fully smoked, fully cooked, moist and flaky.

Q. Which is the best salmon?

There are 5 different species of Wild Pacific Salmon: Sockeye, King, Keta, Coho and Pink. We believe there is no "better" or "best" - they each have their own characteristics which make them different from one another, and particularly well suited for certain uses. For example, we feel the three which work best for smoking are the King, Keta and Sockeye Salmon.

Q. What is the difference between the salmon; how should I choose?

Wild Pacific Salmon are very different from each other; they vary in color, flavor and texture; these differences are summarized in the chart below:

Species of Wild Salmon How it Tastes Best Ways to Enjoy

KING
(Chinook)
King Salmon

Orange-reddish in color; large flakes. Firm texture; moist;
mild, succulent flavor
Smoked; baked, broiled, grilled
SOCKEYE
(Reds)
Sockeye Salmon
Rich, red color; medium flake. Rich, robust flavor; moist (though not as moist as King) Smoked; baked, broiled, grilled
KETA
(Chum)
Keta Salmon
Lighter in color;
firm texture with medium
to large flake.
Full, smoky, earthy flavor. Least moist. Smoked; use in recipes; use in appetizers
COHO
(Silver)
Coho Salmon
Orange color, with medium to large flake. Firm texture; moist,
with a delicate flavor.
Smoked; use in recipes; Baked, broiled, grilled
PINK
(Humpies)
Pink Salmon
Light color; tender texture; small flake. Light, delicate, almost tuna-like flavor. Smoked; use in recipes; Cooked & flaked (like tuna) ; in salads
Q. Where do I find expiration dates for your Smoked Salmon that comes in the gold foil pouch?

The Gold Seal pouch SeaBear smoked salmon comes packaged in is like a "flexible can" - as long as it is not opened, punctured or leaking, it will stay good for many years (just like a can). The product will be good for at least five years, and even that is conservative. To find when a pouch of SeaBear smoked salmon was produced, look for the code on the pouch. For example, here is how you would read a code of 6470011SK:

Here is how to read a perishable product code: 

If you need assistance with determining when your produced was produced please call us at 1-800-645-3474 and we would be happy to help.

Q. How long is Smoked Salmon good for?

The Smoked Salmon in the gold foil pouch has a shelf life of at least four years, as long as it is not opened, punctured or leaking. Even beyond five years, the product will likely be good to eat. 

Q. How does your gold foil pouch process keep fish shelf stable?

Through our retort process. The Gold Seal pouch is like a "flexible can" - we vacuum-seal the fish inside the pouch, and then cook it in its own juices. This process preserves the fish naturally, and allows the pouch to be stored without refrigeration for at least 4 years, or more.

Q. For how long will SeaBear seafood keep while frozen?

SeaBear seafood shipped on dry ice has been quick-frozen to lock in the flavor and nutrients. Upon arrival, please freeze or refrigerate. Fillets will keep in the freezer for approximately 3-4 months; once thawed they should be cooked and used within 1-2 days.

Once a frozen fillet is thawed, it can be re-frozen although we do not recommend it, as taste and quality may begin to suffer. No fillet should be re-frozen if it has been thawed 2 days or longer.

Q. What is the best way to thaw frozen fish?

The best way to thaw your salmon, halibut, tuna or white fish is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight (in its pouch), allowing at least 8-10 hours. Trying to rush the process by thawing at room temperature or placing the frozen pouch in warm water is definitely NOT recommended, as it can cause the seafood to lose flavor and texture. If you must thaw your seafood quickly, place the frozen pouch in a bowl of cool water for 30-45 minutes, and then continue thawing in refrigerator.

Q. How do I cook my salmon filets?

Regardless of how you like to cook your salmon (bake, broil, grill, sauté or poach), we believe the key to success is to SLOW DOWN! Slow cooking locks in the natural juices of the salmon, for a more succulent flavor. When the salmon has turned from translucent to just about completely opaque the salmon is done. At this point the salmon should begin to flake easily with a fork. It is important to note that once removed from the heat, your salmon will continue to cook for several more minutes. Here are some specific guidelines by cooking method (click here to watch our video):

TO BAKE: Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees. Place salmon fillet skin side down on a cookie sheet brushed with olive oil, and bake for 25-30 minutes. Do not flip salmon fillet.

TO GRILL: Brush grill with olive oil PRIOR to heating. Once the grill is medium-hot (you should be able to hold your hand 6 inches above the grill for 5 seconds), brush the top of each salmon fillet with olive oil, and place on grill skin side up. Grill fillet until sides begin to turn opaque. Flip once, and continue grilling until fully cooked.

TO BROIL: Place salmon fillet skin side down on a broiler pan brushed with olive oil, and place on oven’s middle rack. Generally broil about 10 minutes or so, though keep watching to avoid overcooking. Do not flip salmon fillet.

Q. My fish arrived partially thawed; can I refreeze it?

Although frozen items with dry ice, it is not uncommon for it to evaporate in transit. The key to the preservation of both the quality and nutritional value of the salmon is in the vacuum sealed pouch. This vacuum prevents the loss of nutrients and moisture from the salmon. In fact, provided that it is still cold to the touch, the product may be safely returned to a frozen state with no perceptible loss of quality.

Q. How do I handle the dry ice that was in my shipment?

Always handle Dry Ice with care and wear protective cloth or leather gloves whenever touching it. An oven mitt or towel will also work. If touched briefly it is harmless, but prolonged contact with the skin will freeze cells and cause injury similar to a burn. Unwrap and leave it at room temperature in a well-ventilated area. It will sublimate from a solid to a gas.

Q. How long has SeaBear been in business?

SeaBear was founded in 1957 By Tom and Marie Savidge. To learn more about SeaBear history please click here.

Q. What if I receive something I am not satisfied with?

Everything we do is backed up by an oath - our SeaBear Fisherman’s Oath guarantee: Since 1957, we’ve taken great pride in sharing with you the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. If for any reason you are not absolutely thrilled with our products and service, we will immediately replace your order, refund your money, or do whatever it takes to make it right. That is our promise.

Q. Do you have recipes?

We provide a variety of recipes on our website please. Please visit our recipes page

Q. Do we irradiate our products?

We do not irradiate our products.

Q. Do you ship internationally?

We do ship non-perishable products to limited numbers of countries. Please call us at 1-800-645-3474 and we would be happy to help you with your international shipping needs.

Q. How do I place an order?

There are several options for placing an order. You can order online at www.seabear.com.

You may order by phone: 1-800-645-3474.

You may order by fax: 1-888-487-6427

You may order by mail: SeaBear Smokehouse 605 30th St. Anacortes, WA 98221

Q. How do I contact customer service?

You may reach us at 1-800-645-3474 or via e-mail at smokehouse@seabear.com

Q. Are your products kosher?

Some SeaBear product are Kosher. These products are indicated with K in a small box next to the product description in the catalog and on the website.

Q. What is kosher?

The word kosher is a variation of the Hebrew word meaning "fit" or "proper." Simply put, kosher foods meet the dietary requirements and are prepared in accordance to the Jewish Law. The determination of kosher and non-kosher foods depends on two variables: the source of the ingredients and the status of the production equipment. Kosher certification, which is the guarantee that the food meets kosher requirements, revolves around both of the above criteria. Kosher fish must have both scales and fins. Shellfish such as shrimp and lobster are prohibited, as well as some fresh fish such as swordfish, sturgeon, catfish and eel.

Q. What ingredients are used in your Smoked Salmon?

We use 100% wild Salmon, a touch of sea salt and sugar for our Northwest Style Smoked Salmon. Our products are all natural.

Q. What is the difference among Nova Salmon, Hot Smoked Salmon and SeaBear’s Salmon in the gold foil pouch?

Smoked Nova Style (Also known as cold smoked): Thinly sliced, silky smooth type of smoked salmon that is similar in appearance to lox. Our Nova is alder wood smoked at low heat (approx 85 degrees), but this smoking does not cook the fish. The brining cures the salmon. Nova Style comes in Sockeye, King, or the Nova Trio (Sockeye, Keta and Coho), and is known for its silky smoothness and wonderful taste.

Hot Smoked Salmon (“Northwest style”): Flaky, moist, fully cooked smoked salmon that comes in whole fillets or chunks and has been alder wood smoked at 140 degrees, fully cooking the salmon. Beer Garden, Copper River Strips are rich in flavor, moist, smoky flavor.

SeaBear Smoked Salmon in the Gold Seal Pouch: Similar to “Northwest Style”, but it is vacuum sealed in SeaBear’s Gold Seal pouch, & cooked in its own natural juices. This preserves the salmon naturally without drying it out, so no refrigeration is required until the pouch is opened. The three types of salmon we smoke are Sockeye, King, and Keta.

Q. Can I cook the salmon in the pouch?

There is no need to cook the salmon in the pouch - it is fully cooked. If you would like to warm the salmon you may do so by putting it the oven for 5-7 minutes, covered, at 275 degrees. Please do not microwave the pouch.

Q. Is your salmon organic?

Our fish are not certified organic and we don’t ever make that claim. All "organic" really means is that the animal or plant raised under organic standards has been in a (reasonably) controlled environment its entire life, free of pesticides, growth hormones, GMOs, etc. While some think wild salmon should qualify as organic, by definition they could never meet the controlled environment standard--just as nothing raised on a farm by humans can be called truly natural or wild.

Q. Why can’t you ship wine to other states?

Federal law prohibits us from shipping wine to many states.

Q. What states do you ship wine to?

California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Washington, West Virginia, and select places in Alaska.

Q. Do you have a Business Gift Program?

Yes, we have a corporate gift program. You may contact corporate gifts 1-800-445-5426 or e-mail at businessgifts@seabear.com.

Q. What does the ships on ice in the blue box that is in your catalog on your website mean?

The ships on ice symbol indicates items that require refrigeration.

Q. Why is wild salmon better for me?

Unlike farmed Atlantic salmon, wild salmon feed on a natural diet of marine life, for naturally rich levels of Omega-3 and an unparalleled taste. SeaBear offers the best of the best, as less than 1% of wild salmon meets our specifications.

Q. How much mercury is in your salmon?

Our product tests at <5.67 mcg/serving. Usually with a result of "<" the indication is that the test is not able to detect levels lower than the level shown.

Q. Should I be worried about the mercury content in wild salmon?

Salmon is not known as a high-risk fish for Mercury like the larger predator fish, but there have been some instances of Salmon having higher levels of Mercury. The risk is usually from population and pollution in the lakes and rivers where the salmon begin their lives.

Alaska is an extremely low population area. The rivers in Alaska where most of the fishing is done have very few people living near them - usually towns with populations of less than 5000. There is very little industry in the area and this makes the rivers an excellent environment for salmon to call home.

Q. Where are you located?

The smokehouse, customer service center, packing and shipping departments all reside in Anacortes, Washington. We are about an hour and a half north of Seattle in the San Juan Islands.

Q. What is your return policy?

Since 1957, we’ve taken great pride in sharing with you the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. If for any reason you are not absolutely thrilled with our products and service, we will immediately replace your order, refund your money, or do whatever it takes to make it right. That is our promise.

Q. Can I buy your products in a store?

We do sell a limited number of our products in some stores around the United States. If you would like to find out if there is a store carrying SeaBear in your area, one of our Customer Service Representatives will be happy to check for you.

Q. Do you rent or sell my name and address if I order from you?

We make our customer lists available to a few carefully screened companies whose products might interest you. If you prefer that your name not be made available, please copy your mailing label exactly and mail to us at: Mail Preference Service, 605 30th St, Anacortes, WA 98221, or call our Customer Service Center at 1 800 645 3474.

Q. Is your website secure?

With respect to security: we always use industry-standard encryption technologies when transferring and receiving consumer data exchanged with our site. We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse or alteration of information that we have collected from you at our site.

SeaBear uses the latest technology to protect your credit card information and does not release it to any outside organization. You can place your order on-line and be assured that your transaction will be secure. This is a secured website.

Q. Why do you ask me for that 3-digit number on the back of my credit card?

To verify that you are the cardholder, and that you have the card in your possession, we require this.

Q. I need an order to arrive on a certain day, but your website only gives me holidays – help!

Please contact customer service at 1-800-645-3474 or email us at smokehouse@seabear.com - we can make recommendations on how to get that item delivered on or near that date.

Q. Is your salmon and seafood considered sushi or sashimi grade?

SeaBear starts with the highest quality of salmon available - in our smokehouse we will hand fillet the salmon, portion it, package it and then freeze it. Freezing is often used to kill parasites in salmon and seafood, so that it can be consumed raw. However, SeaBear has not conducted any of our own sushi-grade tests on our frozen salmon, or the freezing process. Therefore, we do not recommend consuming SeaBear salmon raw or uncooked.

Q. Has Japan’s Fukushima effected Pacific Northwest seafood
For the past two years we have been closely following two sources of data since the disaster in Japan. Information from the NOAA Fisheries Service, and most importantly the FDA. All along the data has shown there to be no safety issue at all with Pacific Northwest seafood. 
 
You can find information from the FDA regarding this here: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm247403.htm