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Haddock Vs Cod: A Guide For Differentiating These Two Fish

Haddock Vs Cod: A Guide For Differentiating These Two Fish

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Many people do not know the differences between these two types of fish. Both of them are white fish that belong to the same family called the Gadidae family and they have so many similarities that it is sometimes really hard to distinguish between them.

But, there are differences and you should know them. Many experts agree that the main differences lie in physical appearance. Although, when you first look at both types of fish, you would probably say that they are the same.

But, if you look a little closer, you will see some differences in body shape, color, size, and some other things related to their physical appearance. Aside from their appearance, there are also some differences in taste, texture, and nutrient profile.

Let’s get to the point. Below is the ultimate haddock vs cod comparison that will help you distinguish between these two types of fish in the future.

So, let’s begin, shall we?

Haddock Vs Cod: The Ultimate Comparison

In order for you to better understand all this, I will first say a few words about both haddock and cod.

What Is Haddock?

Top view of haddock fillet with seasoning on wooden cutting board

I will start with the haddock. One interesting thing that probably confuses many people when they are talking about these two types of fish, is that haddock is actually a member of the cod family.

That is the reason why some people may think that haddock and cod are the same. That is actually not true because haddock just belongs to the cod family with the scientific name of the Gadidae family. When it comes to the genus, it belongs to the genus Melanogrammus.

Now that we’ve broken that down, we can move on to some general information that is important. First, haddock is a marine fish that is most commonly found in deep waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

This fish lives near the seafloor and it feeds on small invertebrates like crustaceans, mollusks, shellfish, and some others. When it comes to sustainability, which is a very important topic nowadays, haddock is certified as sustainable.

It is most common in the fisheries of Northern Europe where it is sold fresh, smoked, or frozen. If you can’t find haddock at the fishery, good substitutes would be cod, pollock, halibut, flounder, sole, or plaice. Other white fish are also considered a good alternative.

What Is Cod?

Fresh Raw cod loin fillet steaks on wooden board with butcher knife

Cod is a white fish and it is very popular around the globe, both for medicinal purposes and culinary as well.

As I already said, cod fish belongs to the cod family, just like haddock, but unlike haddock, it belongs to the genus Gadus. The two main types of cod are the Pacific cod and the Atlantic cod.

There are also Greenland cod and Alaska pollock. Alaska pollock is also known as snow cod, bigeye cod, and walleye pollock.

When it comes to codfish, they are bottom dwellers since they feed on shellfish, crustaceans, and some smaller fish including capelin, herring, mackerel, and young haddock.

Just like haddock, codfish is also very popular in fisheries throughout Northern Europe and it can be found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Codfish is sold frozen, fresh, or filleted. You can also find it salted, smoked, or dried.

If you can’t find codfish, you can replace it with some other types of fish including black cod, haddock, tilapia, striped bass, Alaska pollock, grouper, hake, or mahi-mahi.

Nowadays, cod liver oil is very popular among health enthusiasts since it possesses high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for your heart health.

What Are The Differences in Physical Appearance?

Closeup of four freshly caught atlantic cods on wooden planks

Although they look very similar at first sight, haddock and cod have some major differences in their physical appearance. Here, I will start with their colors.

The first difference that you can notice between haddock and cod is their color. The haddock is usually grey in color and has a black blotch on its shoulder and a black lateral line. Cod, on the other hand, tends to be green or yellow in color and has some dark spots and a white lateral line.

The second difference that you can easily notice between haddock and cod is their body size. Compared to haddock, cod is a big and round fish. Haddocks tend to be slim and are generally smaller fish.

The next thing is their fillets. Haddock fillet tends to be lean and flat and the cod fillet is thick.

When it comes to exact information about their size, haddock can grow 14 to 23 inches long, and Atlantic cod typically ranges from 27 to 24 inches long.

Next is body weight. The haddock typically weighs about 2 to 7 pounds. On the other hand, a cod’s weight ranges from 11 to 26 pounds.

And, finally, there is a noticeable difference in the front dorsal fins. Both of them have three dorsal fins, but the difference is in their shape. Haddocks have tall, pointed dorsal fins. Cod, on the other hand, has equally long dorsal fins with one rounded front dorsal fin.

Which One Tastes Better?

fillets of marinated grilled or oven baked pollock or coalfish served with a fresh salad

And finally, here is the part that most food lovers were waiting for. Which type of fish tastes better? I won’t go into anyone’s personal tastes, but I can explain to you the taste and texture of both fish, so you can decide for yourself which one suits your taste better.

Haddocks Taste And Texture

I will start with the flavor profile. The flavor of haddock is typically mildly sweet. When compared to cod, haddock is more flavorful and a little bit sweeter, but you can not say that it is a sweet-tasting fish.

Although it has a very distinct flavor, it does not possess that overpowering fishy taste that many people do not fancy, though it is a little fishier than cod. So, if you don’t like fishy seafood like anchovies or mackerel, this type of fish can be your best bet.

When it comes to comparison with some other types of fish, haddock possesses a somewhat similar flavor profile to Halibut and it is very similar to the Atlantic cod as well.

When it comes to texture, haddock is considered to be a type of fish with lean white flesh and medium flakes alongside a firm texture which is tender after cooking.

However, when compared to cod, haddock tends to have a more tender texture and finer flake. Oiliness is something that is very similar for both types of fish. Just like cod, haddock is not very oily fish, which means that it can become dry when cooked for too long.

So, take that into consideration when you decide to cook your haddock fish.

Codfish Taste And Texture

Cod is definitely one of the most popular white fish out there. This can be attributed to its incredible flavor profile. It is known for its mild, almost milky flavor, i.e. it is mild-tasting fish.

Also, codfish, just like haddock, does not possess that strong fishy flavor so it is suitable for many people who do not like that distinct fishiness.

As I already mentioned earlier, there are two main types of cod: Atlantic cod and Pacific cod. Atlantic cod tends to be closer to haddock when it comes to the flavor profile. The main reason for this is that it is slightly sweet, just like haddock itself.

On the other hand, Pacific cod possesses a more savory flavor profile that is not that similar to that of the haddock.

When it comes to texture, cod has a firm, flaky texture. That texture tends to remain tender and moist even when cooked a little harder. And there are also differences between the Atlantic cod and the Pacific cod that I have to mention.

Atlantic cod is more tender when compared with Pacific cod which is firmer. And finally, when it comes to oiliness, the level of oiliness is similar to that of haddock, i.e. it is not a very oily fish.

Its oil is mainly concentrated in its liver and it is the main ingredient of famous cod liver oil is considered to be a very healthy product full of beneficial nutrients.

What Are The Differences In Culinary Usage Between Haddock And Cod?

haddock fillet with tomato, pepper and coarse salt on a wooden board

Although these two types of fish are generally used for similar culinary purposes, there are some slight differences when it comes to the cooking methods. That is mainly because of the slightly different texture, i.e. the difference between haddock and cod filets.

Haddock and cod taste is much more similar so these two are interchangeable with one another when it comes to that.

Generally speaking, cod is more versatile than haddock and it is suitable for both grilling and searing. On the other hand, haddock is commonly consumed fresh, frozen, smoked, or dried, and it is very suitable for frying because it can be cooked fast.

Something that connects these two is the fact that they are both popular choices for one popular hot dish that is made with fried fish in crispy batter and served with chips, that originates from England. Of course, those are popular Fish And Chips.

Now, let’s see what are some popular ways to cook both of these fish, starting with haddock.

Culinary Uses Of Haddock:

• Baking haddock in the oven

• Broiling haddock in the oven

• Poaching haddock

• Smoking haddock

• Pan-frying haddock

• Deep-frying haddock

Culinary Uses Of Cod:

• Grilling cod on the BBQ

• Broiling cod in the oven

• Deep-frying cod

• Pan-frying cod

• Steaming cod

Is One Fish Healthier Than The Other?

Cod white fish potatoes dish ingredients for healthy comfortable home food

Cod is considered to be a bit healthier than haddock, but both types of fish tend to be very beneficial for your overall health just like anything from the sea including fish, shellfish, seaweed, etc. They are high in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

They both contain high amounts of proteins and, at the same time, they both have zero carbs and fiber. Here I also have to emphasize that these types of fish have small amounts of mercury, so you have to take that into consideration as well.

Haddock is lower in saturated fats. On the other hand, cod is lower in sodium, cholesterol, and glycemic index.


• Haddock contains more vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate.

• Cod contains more vitamin E, vitamin D, Vitamin C, vitamin B1, and vitamin B5.


• Haddock contains more phosphorus.

• Cod, on the other hand, contains more calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and zinc.

Amino Acids:

• The haddock is higher in threonine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, leucine, valine, and histidine.

• Cod, on the other hand, is high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.

Eating fish in general is considered to be a great thing for your overall health and eating one of these types of fish can be extremely beneficial for you.

I would recommend you start consuming cod liver oil, which is one of the healthiest oils in the world, alongside olive oil.

Is Haddock More Expensive Than Cod?

Yes, haddock tends to be more expensive than cod nowadays. In 2022, the price of haddock will range between US$ 3.32 and US$ 5.97 per kilogram or between US$ 1.51 and US$ 2.71 per pound.

On the other hand, codfish prices in the US range between US$ 3.32 and US$ 3.46 per kilogram or US$ 1.51 and US$ 1.57 per pound.

But, regardless of the price, I would still recommend you buy one of these fish because they are both extremely healthy and you can also use them in many ways in your kitchen.


fried cod fillet with asparagus and cherry tomatoes served on black plate on wooden table

Is Haddock Sustainable?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, haddock is not subject to overfishing in the Gulf of Maine and on the Georges Bank.

It can also be fished sustainably in Norway, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. However, in many other parts of the world, haddock is very vulnerable to overfishing.

Is Cod Or Haddock Better For Fish And Chips?

Although both types of fish are suitable for fish and chips, most professional chefs prefer haddock over cod when making this delicious meal.

The main reason for this lies in flavor. Unlike cod, haddock possesses slightly sweeter tones that are good in the combination with the buttery flavor of the batter itself.

Which One Is More Popular?

Cod is considered to be a more popular type of fish when compared with haddock. There are a few reasons for that. The first one lies in taxonomy. The cod is a general name for almost all types of fish that belong to the Cod family.

The second reason lies in culinary usage. Cod is more versatile than haddock. And the last reason is health benefits. Cod contains more omega-3 fatty acids, and is also lower in calories, cholesterol, and sodium, and has a lower glycemic index.

Which Is The Most Popular Fish In The UK?

Cod is the most popular fish in the United Kingdom. Citizens of the UK consume 115,000 tonnes of cod every year. The main reason for this is the high consumption of fish and chips.

British citizens consume approximately 382 million meals of fish and chips every year, which includes around 167 million portions of fish and chips.

65% of the fish and chips include cod as the main ingredient and just 29% include haddock.

Haddock Vs Cod: Know The Differences

Raw cod loin fillet steak on wooden board with butcher cleaver

As you can see, both types of fish belong to the same cod family, scientifically known as the Gadidae family. The difference is that the haddock belonged to the genus Melanogrammus and the cod belonged to the genus Gadus.

At first sight, these two types of fish look practically the same. But when you look a little closer, you will notice that there are differences in physical appearance mainly in color, body shape, and body size.

The flavor profile is very similar, but there are some differences in their textures. Differences in texture are the direct cause of different uses of these types of fish in cooking.

Both types of fish are very healthy but there are differences in the amounts of nutrients that they possess. Haddock contains more minerals and amino acids and cod, on the other hand, contains more vitamins.

And finally, haddock tends to be a little more expensive these days than cod.

I am sure that this haddock vs cod comparison will help you to distinguish these two types of fish and that you will not confuse them in the future.

Haddock Vs Cod A Guide For Differentiating These Two Fish