Smoked salmon is everyone’s favorite. So, one of the most common questions floating around is, can you freeze smoked salmon? Today, we’ll find out.
Salmon meat is as perishable as any type of meat can get. However, you can undoubtedly store smoked salmon and enjoy it later. The question is, is it possible to freeze smoked salmon without ruining the original taste?
I wish the answer were as simple as a yes or no. But I hate to tell you that you won’t have that fantastic dish you wanted to have if you are not careful while freezing your salmon.
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On a more positive note, if you succeed in freezing your salmon, you can enjoy it anytime you want and still have the same fantastic flavor. Let’s find out the basics first.
Does Smoked Salmon Go Bad In The Fridge
If you can successfully store your smoked salmon in a fridge, it won’t go bad before 2 or 3 weeks. That is if the salmon is unopened. If the salmon is opened, you can store it for about one week before it goes bad.
If you are not willing to consume the salmon within one or two weeks, it’s always better to store it in the freezer instead of a refrigerator. And while doing so, make sure you’re following all the rules of thumb to prevent it from going bad.
Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon – Yes, But Freezing Smoked Salmon Depends on Various Things
While smoking salmon is one of the best ways of storing it longer, certain things must be taken into account before you can keep your salmon protected.
The primary things determining whether your salmon will stay just as before are packaging, ingredients, and the salmon’s condition. So let’s take a bit deeper look into these aspects.
Temperature: Temperature plays an essential role in preserving any kind of meat. Smoked salmon isn’t any different. That’s why it lasts only about two weeks in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer.
As for the temperature, make sure that your freezer is 0 degrees to -4 degrees Celsius. That’s the optimal temperature range for storing your smoked salmon for a long time.
Packaging: Salmon fish is rich in various fatty acids, which quickly react with oxygen. So your flavorful salmon will turn into a messed-up dish in no time if it’s exposed to air.
What I’m saying is, you want your packaging to be airtight. I will explain how you can ensure maximum flavor retention a few moments later.
Ingredients: Ingredients accompanying the salmon may not freeze as best as the salmon. That is why you need to be careful about the additions that come with your salmon before freezing it.
For example, if you freeze cream, the water will separate from the fat and result in an unwanted taste. So it’s better to add your cream when you’re ready to eat the salmon.
Crunchy vegetables like celery will indeed lose their original texture when you store them in a freezer. Extremely low temperatures tend to ruin the original texture of these vegetables, which is why it’s better not to store salmon with these vegetables.
The addition that stores best in a freezer is herbs. You can add some delicious herbs to increase the texture and store the salmon for a very long time. However, fresh herbs taste better, so if you can, add them before eating.
Condition: You want your salmon to be in the first one or two weeks when freezing. If your salmon is close to its expiration date, there’s no use in going through the freezing process.
You’ll only waste your time with a salmon that’s not worth it. Now that you know what things to take care of, let’s get into the process of freezing.
The Best Way to Freeze Smoked Salmon
If everything else is in place, it’s time to get started with your salmon freezing process. Remember that the more delicately you do this thing, the more intact your smoked salmon will be.
Step By Step Process
- If you haven’t opened your smoked salmon, you can simply place the container in the freezer. However, if the container is opened, you’ll need to go through a few more steps.
- Cut into standard-sized pieces to freeze them better. Then use a sealable bag to place the salmon pieces inside. You can also use an airtight container with a tight lid that prevents air from entering the container. Finally, use greaseproof paper in between those pieces. This will prevent them from sticking to one another. If you’re using a container, keep loading the pieces till the container is full.
- Squeeze out as much air as possible if you’re using a plastic bag. You want your salmon to be least exposed to oxygen. You can use a vacuum sealer or manually seal it if you don’t have the equipment.
- If you want to avoid deteriorating the flavor of your salmon, make sure there aren’t any holes. Seal the pack altogether to avoid air from entering the pack.
- If you have various fish and meat inside your freezer, it’s always a good idea to label them. For example, put a label on your smoked salmon because you don’t know when you’ll be getting it out. On the other hand, if you haven’t opened the smoked salmon, there’s no need to label them because the container will speak for itself.
Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon After Opening
Opened smoked salmon is freezable. After opening the salmon, if you freeze it before it reaches its expiry date, it’ll easily last six months or so. However, if you don’t store it by ensuring an airtight environment, you can face uncomfortable issues.
For starters, your salmon will go bad and smell foul. In addition, your freezer will have the same fishy smell, which will be tough to remove.
It doesn’t matter much whether you’ve opened your salmon or not. The only difference is the procedure. If you haven’t opened your salmon, you can simply throw the sealed container or pack inside the freezer without doing anything else.
However, if you’ve opened your smoked salmon, you’ll have to seal it for yourself using plastic bags or a container.
Then, you’ll have to squeeze the air out and place it inside the freezer. In both cases, salmon will be preserved for up to six months.
How Do You Perfectly Defrost Smoked Salmon
You’ll have to defrost your smoked salmon before you can consume it. Go through the following process to defrost your delicious smoked salmon.
- You need your refrigerator to defrost the salmon.
- Bring out the pack or container you froze your salmon in.
- Place it inside your refrigerator.
- Wait for about 24 hours before you can eat your salmon.
- Then, once it’s been appropriately defrosted, don’t keep it for longer inside the fridge.
- You should remember that while defrosting your salmon, it can create a fishy smell inside the fridge.
- So, I suggest you keep the fresh foods away from the fridge.
- If it’s impossible to empty the fridge, you can use a baking soda or anything that helps with the smell.
How to Store Smoked Salmon for Long Days
The storing process is pretty much the same, even if you want to store smoked salmon for long days.
One thing to keep in mind is that the more you keep your smoked salmon in the freezer, the more it loses its smoky flavor. So, if possible, try to consume it within three to four months.
As for long days, you can store smoked salmon for about six months before it goes bad.
Another crucial thing people keep forgetting is that you cannot refreeze your smoked salmon.
Once you defrost it, you can’t keep it back in the freezer to store it. You’ll only create a foul smell inside the freezer and ruin the fish as well.
So, my advice is- if the salmon is large in amount, wait for a gathering before defrosting it. This way, you can make the best out of your frozen smoked salmon without wastage.
How Can You Tell If Smoked Salmon Has Gone Bad
The first and foremost sign of smoked salmon is a foul odor. You’ll know when you get the smell. So, if your salmon doesn’t smell right, stay away from it.
Either there was a hole in the sealed bag, or the salmon expired. Other signs than a foul smell are white mucus growing on the salmon, a dull complexion of the fish, etc.
Besides, rotten salmon doesn’t spread a subtle odor. You can tell from a distance that it’s rancid. The visual signs of a bad salmon are also elementary to identify. Yeast attack will leave white mucus around the salmon that you can quickly notice.
Does Freezing Smoked Salmon Kill Bacteria
Some bacteria can’t survive in extremely low or high temperatures. When salmon is smoked, it is exposed to very high heat, which means the bacteria are killed during the process. That’s the reason smoked salmon lasts way longer than raw salmon.
Low temperatures can also help kill bacteria. So, freezing your salmon in the freezer can help kill bacteria, too, if there’s any.
For the same reason, you don’t have to cook smoked salmon. After thawing your salmon in the fridge for 24 hours, you only have to warm it inside a preheated oven for about five minutes.
Add dressings like herbs, peas, avocado, or cream, and you’re all ready to eat your smoked salmon.
How Do You Reheat Frozen Smoked Salmon
Reheating your salmon can sometimes cause an unwanted smell inside your kitchen. However, using the proper method, you can have your salmon reheated in no time.
Step By Step Process
- First of all, you’ll have to preheat your oven to 325o.
- Use a baking sheet or a shallow dish to place your smoked salmon sitting in the fridge for 24 hours.
- Garnish the salmon with vegetable oil or olive oil. Use a silicone brush to apply the oil coating evenly on the salmon’s surface.
- Place the dish inside and let it sit there for about five minutes.
- Check if the salmon has an internal temperature of 145o after five minutes.
- If it doesn’t, wait for a few more minutes.
- Then, check for the internal temperature again and see if it’s all ready to consume.
- The duration can depend on your oven and how well you’ve defrosted the salmon.
- After the salmon has been reheated, use your favorite ingredients to dress the smoked salmon.
- You can use peas, herbs, avocado, cream, or any other recipe you find delicious.
- Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon Twice?
When you buy a smoked salmon, chances are, it was frozen once before, which means you’re already freezing it twice. So, you shouldn’t freeze it again. Instead, try to finish the remaining salmon once you’ve defrosted it.
- How long can you freeze smoked salmon?
With proper packaging and storage, smoked salmon can last up to six months inside the freezer. However, with time, the smoky flavor will decrease. So, the sooner you eat it, the better.
- How long is smoked fish good for once opened?
Smoked fish stay good for about one or two weeks after opening inside the fridge. However, it can last for months if you freeze it, depending on what fish you’re storing.
- Do I need to cook frozen smoked salmon?
Smoked salmon is already cooked, so you can eat it only by defrosting it. After defrosting the smoked salmon, heat it in a preheated oven and garnish it as you see fit. Then, it’s ready for you to enjoy.
Whether you’ve enjoyed a fish sale or got extra smoked salmon from your guest, there is no reason you can’t store it for later. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself with a surplus amount of smoked salmon.
Because all your wondering about can you freeze smoked salmon or not is over. Buckle up, gather around the elements, and start freezing those smoked salmon!