How long does lox last?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How long does lox last?” methods to store lox and detect spoilt lox.

How long does lox last?

Lox could last for eight to ten days. This depends highly on the storage conditions of lox. If it is stored in humid or wet places, it would get spoilt quickly.

Smoked salmon can last for 20-22 days but depending on smoking options, the shelf-life of lox can increase considerably. Honey lox would last for 90 days if it is unopened. The brand of the lox can also play a role in shelf-life.

SalmonPantryFreezer Refrigerator
Smoked salmonApproximately for 20 daysApproximately 8-9 monthsApproximately 6-7 weeks
Cured salmon Approximately 6 daysApproximately 2 monthsApproximately 5-8 days
Cooked salmonApproximately 2 daysApproximately 8-9 monthsApproximately a week

Medium cured salmon can last for 2-3 days whereas hard cured salmon would last for 5-6 days. Canned salmon can last for months but if it is opened, it would have a shorter shelf-life of just two to three days.

What exactly is lox?

It refers to brined salmon fillets that can be cured with salt or sugar. It is usually provided alongside a bagel.

How to detect spoilage in lox?

As salmon is perishable, it can get spoilt quickly if not stored appropriately. Below are some of the tips listed to detect spoilage in lox.

  • Look at the appearance of the salmon. If you observe the formation of mold, it is better to discard them immediately. 
  • If you detect a change in appearance or color of the salmon, it is a sign of spoilage. A greenish or dull color is a sure signal of deterioration. A little bit of discoloration on salmon can be ignored.

If you observe a slimy film over the salmon, it is better to discard the salmon immediately.

  • An odd smell emanating from salmon is yet another indication of spoilage. It could be a pungent or fishy smell.
  • The texture of the lox can be another indication of spoilage. If the salmon is not firm and dents appear on the fish when you press it, it is likely to be spoilt.
  • Check the edges of the salmon if the salmon is smoked. If the edges are tough and rigid, it is a sign of aging.
  • Look at the best-before tag on the salmon’s package. If the salmon has passed the best-before date, it won’t be of a desired taste or smell.

How to store lox?

  • Avoid opening the package of the salmon if you are not planning to use it quickly. Smoked salmon comes in vacuum-sealed packs which can stay in proper condition if unopened.
  • Store lox away from sunlight in a cool and dry place. 
  • If the package of salmon is broken, it is better to use the salmon up immediately as it would not stay fresh for long. You can also refrigerate the package. Remove the package from its original package and wrap it in a proper seal.
  • You can also use plastic bags to store the salmon or its leftovers. This will help in retaining the moisture.
  • If you are planning to store salmon for months, store it in a freezer. This would be beneficial for individuals who buy salmon in bulk. If you are planning to freeze lox for a short time, you can freeze it in an airtight package. 

If you are planning to freeze it long-term, you would need to portion out the salmon pieces and place each of the pieces in separate freezer bags. 

Is it fine to freeze lox?

Yes, it is fine to freeze lox. Smoked salmon have a lower oxidation rate compared to fresh ones. This makes it ideal to store it in the freezer without getting spoilt. Avoid freezing salmon when it is about to expire, as this can contribute to rancidity.

Before storing the salmon in freezer bags, make sure to squeeze the bags to remove the air out of the bags. You can also wrap lox in aluminum foil too. Avoid refreezing cooked lox.

What is the shelf-life of frozen lox after being thawed and moved to the fish counter?

Lox that has been frozen would last for 2-3 days if it is kept in the fridge. If the lox has been defrosted in an oven or cold water, it is better to consume it immediately.

What are the different kinds of lox?

Salmon that is brined with salt and herbs for 4-5 days and then rinsed would be termed as Gravlax. Gravlax is a Scandinavian way of preparing lox. 

Nova lox is another method of preparing lox. Here, the lox is added to brine and then cold smoked. 


In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “How long does lox last?” methods to store lox and detect spoilt lox.


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