Salmon is one of the foods that needed to be stored correctly in the freezer or in the fridge.
The most common way of preserving salmon is freezing it. However, you can store salmon in the fridge too but only in a short period of time.
So, how long can you keep raw salmon in the fridge?
Raw salmon can only last for about 1-2 days in the fridge. Within two days, raw salmon should be cooked to save it from spoilage. Raw fish should not be left in the fridge for more than 2 days.
If you want to keep raw fish for future use, refrigerating is not the best option. Remember that fish and other seafood can easily go bad.
If you want to enjoy the best flavor and texture, freezing is the better option.
Why refrigerating is not a good idea in preserving raw salmon?
Fish like salmon can go bad faster than other meat if not stored at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
The main reason why refrigerating is not a good idea in preserving raw salmon is because the refrigerator cannot produce freezing temperatures.
Although fish and other meat can be stored in the refrigerator, they cannot last long. The temperature in the fridge allows the bacteria to grow rapidly which will result in spoilage.
What is the best way to preserve salmon?
The best way to preserve salmon and other seafood is by freezing. The sub-zero temperature in the freezer helps to prevent the bacteria from multiplying rapidly.
This is the main reason why freezing keeps the quality of the meat intact (assuming that it is properly stored).
But before you pop the raw salmon into the freezer, make sure that you clean it first. This is a very important first step especially if you buy the whole salmon from the supermarket.
Here are the steps you can do to preserve salmon in the freezer successfully:
1. Clean the raw salmon properly
Aside from washing, remove the gut, blood, and guts before slicing (you can also freeze the whole fish).
Cleaning this way eliminates most of the bacteria in the fish making it safer. The blood, gills, and guts are fertile grounds for the bacteria to breed and multiply pretty quickly.
2. Remove water from the filets (or whole fish)
The next thing you can do is to pat the filets or gutted fish. This will help prevent rapid bacterial growth.
3. Pack the individual filet
If you want to preserve raw salmon in the freezer, I recommend that you put it in the vacuum pack before popping it into the freezer.
This is the best strategy to protect the salmon from freezer burn.
Another good practice is packing the filets individually. It means packing every filet separately.
Freezing salmon this way helps you get the pieces you need for your salmon recipe without pulling all the filets out of the freezer.
You can just pick some strips and thaw them in the fridge. There will be nothing needed to be refrozen later.
4. Keep the temperature low
Freezing raw fish is the best way to preserve the quality of the fish. But this is only possible if the freezer stays at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
In some cases, the temperature of the freezer should be monitored depending on the capacity of the freezer.
Long power outage can also detrimentally affect the frozen raw fish. That said, having a backup plan can be a good idea.
I like to have a cooler so that when long power interruption occurs, I can transfer the frozen goods into the cooler.
However, having a cooler is not enough. You also need to have ice to temporarily maintain the low temperature required.
Do not use regular ice for the fish because it melts fast. Use dry ice instead. In my experience, dry ice stays cold way longer than regular ice.
How to buy the best salmon to freeze?
The success in freezing raw salmon starts from choosing and buying the right fish. If you plan to store raw salmon longer in the freezer, choose the fresh ones.
But how do you know that the salmon is fresh?
You know that the whole salmon is fresh when it has tightest scales, bright eyes, moist tail, and reddish gills.
If you want to store the salmon you just bought in the refrigerator the whole day, you can wrap it with plastic. Put it on the plate before refrigerating.
You can also place the salmon in a container. But remember that the salmon can only last for two days in the refrigerator.
Before two days, you need to freeze the fish if you change your mind and want to keep the fish in its best quality longer.
Freezing salmon saves its flavor and texture for up to three months as long it is stored properly.
Before freezing, place the salmon in a freezer bag. I like to use resealabe plastic bag like zip lock when freezing seafood.
The main reason for this is that it is easier to remove the air out of the bag before closing it.
As you know, the air inside the container can cause freezer burn which deteriorates the quality of the fish.
Freezer burn won’t cause any harm but certainly affects the flavor and texture of the fish.
You can totally avoid this by storing the fish in the freezer properly.
How long does raw salmon last in the freezer?
Raw salmon can last in the freezer for up to two to three months. But it will still be safe to eat beyond this time period.
If you want to enjoy the best quality, consume the frozen raw salmon within 2-3 months.
But make sure that the temperature is maintained at least at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Salmon can last in the freezer indefinitely if stored correctly.
How long does raw salmon last after the sell-by date?
The raw salmon can last for about 1-2 days after the sell-by date if refrigerated. But it can last for about 2-3 months when properly stored in the freezer.
To keep the salmon safe in the refrigerator, do not remove the original packaging. You can wrap it with aluminum foil to give double protection to the fish.
Open it only if you are ready to cook it.
How long can raw salmon be left at room temperature?
Raw salmon can only be left at room temperature within 1-2 hours. Fish and any fresh meat should not be left at room temperature beyond two hours.
This safety rule should be taken into consideration especially if the salmon is not frozen when left on the countertop.
Room temperature is perfect for the bacteria to breed and grow rapidly. If salmon stayed for too long in this environment, the bacteria can potentially contaminate the fish.
If you left the salmon on your countertop for more than 2 hours, do not hesitate to discard it.
Always take safety your top priority. It is fine to toss salmon than taking the risk of eating it.
How long does raw salmon last after being frozen and thawed?
The answer to this question depends on where and how the raw salmon is thawed.
If it is thawed in the refrigerator, salmon can last for about 1-2 days before cooking.
However, if salmon is thawed in cold water or in the microwave, it should be cooked immediately.
Frozen fish thawed in the water can go bad faster than those that are thawed in the refrigerator.
How long does salmon last in the fridge once it is cooked?
Cooked salmon can last longer in the fridge than uncooked. In most cases, cooked salmon lasts for 3-4 days in the fridge.
It lasts even longer in the freezer for about 4 months.
How to tell if raw salmon is bad?
It is easy to tell be raw salmon is bad. Some common signs are slimy texture, off smell, and off appearance.
If you see these signs, I suggest that you discard it.
Can salmon be refrozen?
Salmon can only be refrozen if it is thawed in the refrigerator. Any fish that is thawed at room temperature should not be refrozen.
If you bought salmon that was already thawed at room temperature, it is a better idea to cook it immediately rather than refreezing it.
It is possible that the salmon was exposed to bacteria and other pathogens.
Can you cook frozen salmon?
Frozen salmon can be cooked directly. However, if you cook frozen salmon, do it in a tightly covered baking dish in the oven.
Expect longer cooking time before the salmon reaches the internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
But for the best result, I always recommend that you defrost it first in the refrigerator before cooking.
I hope that this post helps. If you want to learn more are preserving food in the freezer, feel free to visit this guide.