Can you eat the bones in canned salmon?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat the bones in canned salmon?” and discuss how you can eat canned salmon?

Can you eat the bones in canned salmon?

Yes, you can eat the bones in canned salmon. Canned salmon’s bones are both edible and a good source of calcium. There are many, however, who find the texture or flavor of the bones or skin in canned salmon unpleasant. 

Fish bone has a high calcium (Ca) content, and Ca and phosphorus (P) comprise about 2% (20 g/kg dry weight) of the whole fish. Small freshwater fish are often eaten whole, including bones. Ca from such fish has been shown to have comparable absorption to Ca from skimmed milk both in rats. In a study, the calcium in enzymatically rinsed bones from Atlantic salmon and Atlantic cod was demonstrated to be a well absorbed source of Ca in young, healthy men (2).

  • Drain the salmon well in a colander after opening the can.
  • Set up a fresh cutting board for the fish.
  • Use a fork to separate the fish into flakes, then put it out on the cutting board in a single layer.
  • Remove and discard the huge spherical bones
  • With a magnifying lens, look for the tiniest bones. Tweezers are the best tool for the job.
  • Make sure you don’t miss any bones by turning the salmon flakes over many times with a fork.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified arsenic as an element which is carcinogenic to humans (Group I). Data on As occurrence in food shows that fish and seafood account about 90% of total exposure to As in food (1).

How Do I Debone Pink Salmon That Has Been Canned?

The omega-3 fatty acids included in canned salmon make it an excellent source of nutrition. Pink salmon contains lesser quantities of omega-3 fatty acids than red (Sockeye) salmon, but it is also less costly. 

In reality, the bones are thoroughly cooked and safe to eat, even though many people prefer to remove them. As a source of calcium, you may wish to use them in patties or salmon loaf if you’re grinding up your salmon to create patties.

  • The salmon can is ready to eat. Drain the liquid out of the can using the lid that holds the fish in place.
  • The salmon should be placed on top of a cutting board or a plate. The spine or cartilage is found in the middle of the fish, so gently peel it apart. This will make it easier for you to dismantle it. 

Gently remove the fish’s major and tiny bones with tweezers or your fingertips. To get to all the bones, you may have to dismantle the fish. All bones should be thrown away.

  • If you choose, you may remove the skin. This is safe to feed to a cat in pieces.
  • Fetch any leftover fish. As a result, the salmon is ready for consumption or for inclusion in a dish.

How do you eat salmon from a can?

For the uninformed, canned Alaska salmon may be a bit of a mystery dish, particularly in its original form. I prefer to think of ‘traditional pack’ canned salmon, which includes the skin and bones, as a representation of Alaska’s raw, untamed, and very healthy state.

Some people claim to have battled with their siblings over who got to eat those crunchy tiny vertebrae when they were little because of the high nutritional value of canned salmon skin and bone.

It’s fairly uncommon for those of us who aren’t native to the salmon-rich west coast to be perplexed or even repulsed by the presence of these incredibly nutritious anatomical components that are absent from most of the food we eat today. 

Looking at a deboned piece of meat like a chicken or a pork chop, I’m reminded how helpless that lump of flesh once was while it was still alive and breathing.

In contrast, the skin and bones of canned Alaska salmon are a testament to the life of the magnificent creature that felt the need to journey thousands of kilometers across the Pacific Ocean before returning to its precise birthplace.

How to Eat Salmon from a Canned.

  • Right out of the can, to be precise!. Open the can, add some lemon juice if you want, and dig in! Canned Alaska salmon is the best and easiest source of protein.
  • Put a dab of cocktail sauce on top of the chopped celery and salmon, whether it’s Redhead (sockeye) or Think pink (pink).
  • A little oil and onion are added after the fish fluids have been drained. The oily liquid in the can is made entirely from the fish, with no other ingredients other than salt. As a result, the taste is perfectly balanced and very mouthwatering.
  • “Salmon Cakes, Salmon Salad, Salmon On A Bagel, Salmon Chowder, Salmon Pasta, Salmon Wraps, Salmon Cocktail,” proclaims Forrest Gump. “

Test the theory that eating canned salmon for lunch or breakfast, as the Japanese or Scandinavians do, would keep you full for hours. Protein from coldwater fatty fish is unlike any other because it fills you up like nothing else. An average 100 g portion of fish provides more than 50% of the recommended daily protein intake, between 10% and 20% of minerals, variable quantities of water-soluble vitamins, and an important percentage of liposoluble vitamins A, D, and E. Salmon fat is characterized by its high polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content, especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 20:5 n-3 and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 22:6 n-3 of the omega-3 series that are extremely important as cellular membrane components (3).

To learn more about eating the bones in canned salmon click here

Other FAQs about Salmon that you may be interested in.

How long does salmon last in the fridge uncooked?

How long does salmon keep in the fridge?

How long does salmon stay good in the fridge?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat the bones in canned salmon?” and we discussed how can you eat canned salmon?


  1. Popovic, Aleksandar R., et al. Levels of toxic elements in canned fish from the Serbian markets and their health risks assessment. J Food Compos Anal, 2018, 67, 70-76.
  2. Malde, Marian K., et al. Calcium from salmon and cod bone is well absorbed in young healthy men: a double-blinded randomised crossover design. Nutr metab, 2010, 7, 1-9.
  3. Bastías, José M., et al. Determining the effect of different cooking methods on the nutritional composition of salmon (Salmo salar) and chilean jack mackerel (Trachurus murphyi) fillets. PloS one,2017, 12, e0180993.

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