In this article, we will answer the question “How long can you freeze salmon fillets?”, and how to store salmon safely?
How long can you freeze salmon fillets?
Salmon fillets can be frozen for upto 12 months. The quality deteriorates after the 12-month window but the salmon remains safe. The shelf-life of salmon in the freeze depends upon its type. Generally, salmon can be frozen for upto a year but it is best consumed within 3 months. Fresh salmon can be kept in the fridge for about 1-2 days only.
Never keep the salmon at room temperature for more than 2 hours or one hour if the temperature is above 90°F.
Keeping any meat product on the counter for more than 2 hours will allow the bacteria to grow to unacceptable levels.
The following table shows the estimated shelf-life of different types of salmon. Read on if you want to know how to freeze store salmon to keep it around for longer.
|In the pantry||In the fridge||In the freezer|
|Smoked salmon||1-2 weeks||5-7 days||6-9 months|
|Canned salmon||6-8 months||6-8 months||9-12 months|
|Frozen salmon||Not recommended||5-6 days||6-9 months|
|Cooked salmon||Not recommended||4-5 days||6-9 months|
How to buy salmon?
When at the grocery store, look for moist, firm, and pink-colored salmon. The flesh should appear light pink if the salmon is farmed and it should look dark pink if the salmon is one of the wild species of king salmon, also known as Chinook, or sockeye salmon.
The flesh should not have any gray or brown spots. This is indicative of bacterial or mold growth. Last but not least, fresh salmon should give a pleasant sea breeze smell.
- First of all, rinse and wash the salmon thoroughly.
- Pat dry the flesh using a paper towel. Do not rub the towel, the fibers will contaminate the meat.
- Put the salmon in a freezer bag or a vacuum-seal bag. If you do not have these, you can wrap a plastic sheet tightly around the salmon and store it in the freezer.
- Do not forget to label the bag and squeeze out the air if you are using a freezer bag.
- Store for up to 3 months. Freezing cooked salmon will keep its quality for up to 6 months.
How to defrost salmon?
It is better to defrost the salmon in the refrigerator overnight. Never thaw any meat product including salmon on the counter. It allows the bacteria to grow to unsafe levels and the meat does not remain safe for consumption.
If you are in a hurry, you can defrost the salmon in the microwave using the defrost function. This method is not recommended as this damages the quality of the meat and you might end up with some cooked meat spots. But if you will be cooking the salmon immediately after microwaving, you may go for this option.
How to reheat salmon?
It is not recommended to reheat salmon in the microwave. When reheating in the oven at 300°F, the meat should reach an internal safe temperature of 165°F.
If you do not have a choice, you can reheat the salmon in the microwave at low power. Cook in the 20-second intervals and check to see if the internal safe temperature is achieved or not. Cook the salmon covered in the oven.
How to tell if the salmon is bad?
- You can tell if the salmon is bad when the meat starts to give off a strong fishy smell or feels very sticky upon touching.
- The flesh might develop discolored patches or spots which indicate microbial growth and the salmon should be discarded.
Health benefits of salmon
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential and must be taken through diet. These fats have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce the risk of hypertension and heart diseases.
Rich in protein
A 3.5 ounce serving of salmon provides about 22-25g of protein. Proteins boost immunity and bone health and maintain muscle mass.
Rich source of B-vitamins
B vitamins have excellent anti-inflammatory properties and they help reduce heart diseases. They also play an important role in normal brain functioning. Salmon provides about 18%, 29%, 50% RDI for vitamin B1, B2, and B3, respectively.
Good source of potassium
A 3.5 ounce serving of wild salmon provides 18% of the RDI for potassium. It is almost equivalent to the potassium provided by a banana. Banana helps maintain the fluid balance of the body that prevents the risk of heart diseases.
Contains powerful antioxidants
Salmon appears red due to a pigment, Astaxanthin, which has excellent antioxidant properties. Astaxanthin lowers the LDL levels in the blood reducing the risk of heart diseases.
In this article, we answered the question “How long can you freeze salmon fillets?”, and how to store salmon safely?