Salmon Storage Tips: How Long Salmon Lasts in the Fridge

In a perfect world, you’d bring out the exact amount of salmon to cook for your weeknight meals or weekend gatherings. But as we all know, life happens, and the main question we get is: how long does salmon last in the fridge? If you’re like us with eyes bigger than our stomachs, here are some storage techniques that will help you keep your salmon up to 2 times longer!

Preparation is key

Prepare your salmon for storage like a Michelin star chef!  

“If you want to maximize your salmon for storage, most people don’t realize it all begins with the preparation!” 

To keep your salmon fresher, longer, here is a tip from one of our Michelin Chefs, Nobu Yamazaki, the Executive Chef and owner of Sushi Taro. Seasoning your salmon with salt will extend your raw salmon’s shelf life and this special process will also increase its flavor. 

Whether Nobu is preparing the salmon for the evenings Omakase dinner or for the fridge, he will place the salmon fillets in a tray or pan and cover them with salt. This process naturally extracts all the excess moisture from the salmon and increases its umami flavor. He will then drain the pan and rinse off the fillets to remove all of the salt then pat dry. Check out step-by-step instructions on how Nobu prepares his salmon.

Storing Raw Salmon in the Fridge

Once your salmon is properly thawed, store the raw salmon in the fridge until it’s time to cook.

Place your salmon fillet in a sealable plastic bag and remove as much air as possible. The best way to do this is fill a large bowl with water (needs to be bigger than the piece of salmon). While the seal remains open, slowly lower the bagged salmon into the water bowl, closed end first. Make sure to minimize the creases in the bag and it will push all of the air out. Continue to lower the bag into the water until the waterline is just below the seal, then seal the bag. Now it's ready to be stored in the fridge! 

It should be stored in the fridge at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Since most home refrigerators sit at around 38 degrees Fahrenheit — not exactly an ideal temperature for a fresh, raw salmon. You can easily remedy this, by filling a large roasting pan or another similar vessel with plenty of ice and place your salmon fillets or whole salmon on top.

Now the question is, how long can the salmon last in the fridge?

There’s no direct answer to this because it depends on the quality and freshness of the salmon you have. Typically, raw salmon from your local supermarket can only be stored for only 1-2 days after purchasing. This is due to the long seafood supply chain that sends the salmon overseas to be processed before it reaches the store. It can take  20-30 days for the seafood to get to your local store. Unlike the common grocery stores, at Alaskan Salmon, we deliver fresh, flash-frozen seafood to your door. By upending the traditional supply chain, we process our salmon the same day it’s caught, flash-freezing them at their peak freshness with minimal handling to keep the quality of salmon as high as possible. By doing so, your salmon might last about 4-5 days in the fridge with proper storage and handling.

Storing Frozen Salmon: How long will frozen salmon be good in the freezer?

If you're storing salmon in the freezer, you’ll have a lot more time.  

Frozen salmon can last about 9-12 months in the freezer. You could safely keep your salmon in the freezer longer than that, but you will notice a decline in quality after the 12-month mark. 

To experience the best results, keep your freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and store your frozen salmon properly — rinsed, dried and in a vacuum sealed bag.

Thankfully, we’ve taken the hassle out for you. Our salmon arrives at your door fully frozen to perfection and ready to be placed in your freezer for storage.

(Read: Thawing Frozen Salmon 101)

Can I refreeze previously frozen salmon?

If you’ve thawed your previously frozen salmon and now you want to refreeze it, it is possible to safely do so. However, you will want to remove as much moisture from the salmon as possible (How to remove moisture from salmon) in order to maintain its quality, texture, and flavor.

Refreeze your salmon by properly storing it in a vacuum sealed bag or container.  

How long is cooked salmon good for, in the fridge?

According to the USDA, you can safely store cooked salmon in the fridge for three to four days. 

Should I put cooked salmon in the freezer?

If you don’t think you’ll use your cooked salmon within the three to four days that it’s safe to store in the fridge, you can safely pop it in the freezer for further storage, under one condition: it’s not been left unrefrigerated after cooking for more than an hour.

Make Sure to Get Fresh Salmon

Before you can worry about how to store your salmon, you’ll want to set yourself up for success. Buying high quality salmon is key to keeping your salmon tasting great, longer. 

If you’re purchasing a fresh salmon fillet, look for bright, orange-red coloring and a fair amount of marbling. If you touch the fillet, it should be firm. Pass on any salmon fillets that look chalky or dry, or  show any signs of cracking, breakage, or “flaking” of meat. 

But, if you feel like saving a trip to the grocery store, and don’t want to deal with interrogating the seafood clerk. Considering buying directly from the fisherman! Alaskan Salmon offers a newfound access to consumers that allows you to buy the highest quality salmon directly from the fisherman,  eliminating the extensive and traditional supply chain. Plus, we deliver straight to your door! Join our summer waitlist for your own Copper River Salmon.

How to Tell if Salmon is Bad 

Finally, there are a few things to watch for as you store, prep, cook or reheat your salmon, to ensure it hasn’t gone bad. 

Raw salmon should not smell ‘fishy’, feel excessively slimy, or have any discoloration in the meat. Also, if the meat is soft to the touch (rather than firm); it’s time to discard the salmon. 

If you’re working with cooked salmon, it’s a good rule of thumb to not risk it and to just toss cooked salmon that’s been in the fridge for more than three or four days, in the trash. Otherwise, toss cooked salmon if it starts to smell “off” or if it looks slimy. 

Read: How to Tell if Salmon is Bad)

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