Can you defrost and refreeze salmon?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you defrost and freeze salmon?” We will also discuss the safe defrosting methods by which the salmon can be refrozen and the correct ways to do so.

Can you defrost and refreeze salmon?

Yes, it is possible to defrost and refreeze the salmon depending on the procedure of defrosting and various other conditions. The defrosting method is very important when determining if the salmon can be refrozen or not. 

For example, the salmon which has been defrosted using the microwave method or the cold water method needs to be cooked first and then can be refrozen as a cooked meal but cannot be refrozen without cooking. 

Can you refreeze uncooked salmon without cooking it?

Yes, this is totally possible. Yes, it is safe to refreeze defrosted salmon without cooking it but the most important thing to remember is the defrosting method involved. You can only refreeze uncooked salmon that has been defrosted using the refrigerator method.

In the refrigeration method, the salmon is defrosted at a steady temperature and is thawed completely and the bacterial build-up is not a concern since most bacteria do not grow at the refrigeration temperatures.

However, when the salmon is defrosted by other methods like cold water, microwave, and hot water method it is highly advisable to cook the salmon before refreezing it. Since in these methods, the salmon is exposed to higher temperatures and handling the salmon can also be an issue.

It is important to note that before refreezing the salmon, it has to be cooled a bit and the salmon cannot stay on the kitchen counter for more than 2 hours and has to be refrozen by cutting it into smaller pieces so that it can be frozen quicker.

What are the ill effects of defrosting and refreezing salmon?

The ill effects of refreezing over and over again are that every time when the salmon is being frozen the cells of the salmon get ruptured. The more times the salmon is frozen, the cell rupturing of the salmon also increases. This is not good as the quality of the salmon is compromised.

Refreezing a couple of times also makes the salmon lose a lot of the moisture content which might make the salmon dry when used for cooking and the taste and the texture of the salmon are lost.

This might also be one of the reasons why fresh products are more expensive than frozen ones. This is especially true in the case of meat and seafood.

The other big problem with freezing the salmon several times is that the bacteria grow faster with every defrosting cycle. Once the ice particles on the salmon start to defrost the bacteria start to grow rapidly. 

There are beliefs that once the salmon is cooked there is no possibility of bacterial growth, however, this is not true as bacteria can grow on cooked salmon/food as well. 

There is also the problem of freezer burn, which causes a change in the texture and thereby a change in the taste and flavor of the salmon. It is not recommended for the salmon/food to be frozen more than one time after cooking it. 

Freezing and defrosting/thawing are food safety concerns and there are legal restrictions by the government/food safety forums, especially with restaurants, supermarkets, and coffee shops and it is advised to follow the same regulations even in the house. 

The salmon can be stored for up to 6-7 months in the freezer if the packaging condition and the defrosting method are used for the salmon to defrost. It is also not advisable to refreeze salmon more than once, as this might not compromise the taste and texture.

What is a freezer burn? How does it impact the salmon?

Freezer burn occurs when the salmon/food is not tightly sealed due to the air touching the salmon’s surface. The best way to avoid freezer burn is to wrap the salmon tightly using plastic wrap or parchment paper and tightly secure them in a ziplock cover.

Freezer burn is the result of oxidation on the surface of the salmon, resulting in discoloration of the salmon and making that part of the salmon very dry and tasteless. However, it is still safe to eat salmon or other food products that have freezer burn.

The only problem with the salmon having freezer burns is the discoloration and dryness which leads to unwanted taste and texture of the salmon. The best way to consume salmon with freezer burn is to remove the discolored parts and use the salmon as quickly as possible.

Other FAQs about Salmon that you may be interested in.

Can you cook salmon in an air fryer?

Can you cook salmon at 400 degrees?

Can you eat Australian salmon?


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can you defrost and refreeze salmon?” We have also discussed the safe defrosting methods by which the salmon can be refrozen and the correct ways to do so.