How Long Does Salmon Last In The Fridge | Learn About Salmon

When it comes to seafood shelf life, knowing how long salmon will keep in the fridge can help prevent needlessly throwing out perfectly good fish. This guide will provide storage times for raw, cooked, and smoked salmon so you can get the most out of this healthy, omega-3-rich protein.

Follow these salmon storage guidelines and pay attention to signs of spoilage so you can enjoy salmon at peak freshness and avoid food waste.

Salmon Shelf Life by Type

Salmon Shelf Life by Type
Salmon Shelf Life by Type

Here are the shelf lives for different types of salmon when properly stored in the refrigerator:

Raw Salmon

  • Shelf Life: 1-2 days
  • Look For: Dulling color, slimy texture, fishy odor

Cooked Salmon

  • Shelf Life: 3-4 days
  • Look For: Drying around edges, dulling color, fishy odor

Smoked Salmon

  • Shelf Life: 2 weeks – 1 month
  • Look For: Dull color, slimy texture, very fishy odor

These salmon shelf lives assume proper storage at 40°F or below and minimal exposure to air. Proper wrapping and location in the fridge can help extend salmon’s shelf life.

Storing Salmon for Maximum Freshness

Follow these tips to help salmon last as long as possible in the refrigerator:

  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to limit air exposure. Air causes oxidation which leads to faster spoilage.
  • Store on a bottom shelf away from refrigerator door where temperature fluctuations happen less. Consistent cold temps are best.
  • Keep raw salmon separate from cooked to avoid cross-contamination. Store in separate containers.
  • Avoid storing near strong-smelling foods as salmon can absorb other odors.

Following basic refrigeration guidelines helps prevent premature spoilage.

Signs Salmon Has Spoiled

Monitor your refrigerated salmon for the following signs of spoilage:

  • Change in color – Salmon flesh changes from bright pink/orange to dull or gray
  • Slimy texture – Spoiled salmon develops a sticky, mushy, or slimy feel
  • Fishy odor – Rancid or “off” smells mean salmon has spoiled
  • Discoloration – Cooked salmon may turn brown or dry around the edges

When in doubt, throw it out! Consuming spoiled salmon can cause food poisoning. Better safe than sorry.

Storing Leftover Cooked Salmon

Got leftover baked, grilled, or pan-seared salmon? Here are some storage tips:

  • Allow to cool completely, then wrap tightly and refrigerate.
  • Divide salmon into smaller portions in shallow airtight containers. Less air exposure prevents drying out.
  • Use leftover salmon within 3-4 days for maximum quality.
  • To freeze, wrap individual portions in freezer-safe wrap or bags. Frozen, leftover cooked salmon keeps 6 months.

Proper storage helps maximize leftover salmon shelf life. Freeze extras if you won’t use within a few days.

Freezing Raw Salmon for Later Use

Freezing is a great way to preserve raw salmon for several months. Follow these tips:

  • Wrap salmon tightly in plastic freezer wrap. You can also seal in airtight freezer bags.
  • Remove as much air as possible prior to freezing for less freezer burn.
  • Label frozen salmon with type and date for easy identification later.
  • Raw salmon keeps 6-8 months in a 0°F freezer before losing flavor and texture.

Freezing salmon locks in freshness and lets you enjoy this fishy delicacy long past market season.

Safe Salmon Defrosting

Thaw frozen salmon in the fridge, not at room temperature where bacteria can multiply quickly. Here are some safe defrosting options:

  • Fridge thawing: Unwrap salmon and place in a shallow dish or on a plate on the bottom shelf. Thaw 24 hours per 1 pound salmon.
  • Cold water thaw: Submerge airtight wrapped salmon in cold tap water, changing water every 30 minutes. Thaw 1 pound salmon 2-6 hours.
  • Microwave thaw: Defrost 6-8 minutes per pound on 30% power, flipping halfway. Check often to prevent cooking edges.

Once thawed, use raw salmon within 1-2 days. Cooked thawed salmon keeps 3-4 days. Don’t refreeze thawed salmon.

Easy Refrigerator Storage Chart

Use this salmon refrigerator storage guide for quick reference:

Salmon Type Refrigerator Shelf Life Storage Tips
Raw 1-2 days Wrap tightly, store on bottom shelf
Cooked 3-4 days Wrap tightly in shallow containers
Smoked 2 weeks – 1 month Seal package, keep away from odors

So in summary, here is a quick overview of how long salmon lasts in the fridge depending on type:

  • Raw salmon keeps 1-2 days
  • Cooked salmon lasts 3-4 days
  • Smoked salmon stays fresh for 2 weeks – 1 month

Knowing the refrigerator shelf life for different types of salmon can help you reduce waste and safely enjoy this flavorful, healthy fish any night of the week. Follow these storage tips and check for signs of spoilage. And when in doubt, remember – throw it out! Staying aware of proper salmon storage guidelines lets you feel confident that the salmon on your family’s dinner plate is fresh and safe to eat.

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