Smoked salmon that hasn’t been kept properly can make you really sick. So, you need to know how to store your fish from the moment you buy it till you eat it. Is freezing smoked salmon the secret to keeping it good to eat for as long as possible without sacrificing its flavor and texture?
You can freeze smoked salmon that has not spoilt to extend its shelf life. Although smoked salmon will stay safe to eat for up to a year if properly frozen, you should eat your smoked salmon within two to three months of freezing to preserve its flavor and texture.
Next time you find a must-buy deal on smoked salmon at the supermarket, load up your trolley confident that any extra won’t be wasted. We’ll share techniques and tips for freezing and thawing your smoked salmon to keep this smoky fish safe to eat and delicious.
How To Freeze Smoked Salmon For Best Results
You can’t just dump your smoked salmon in the freezer and hope for the best. Taking specific steps will help you preserve your fish without compromising its quality.
Here’s your step-by-step guide for properly freezing smoked salmon.
Step # 1: Check Your Smoked Salmon For Signs Of Spoilage
Before you freeze smoked salmon, make sure it hasn’t gone bad. Freezing temperatures don’t kill bacteria; they just stop bacteria from growing. So, if your fish has started going bad when you pop it in the freezer, it will continue to spoil as it thaws.
If your smoked salmon is packaged with an expiry or freeze-by date, get it into the freezer by these dates.
Toss the fish in the trash instead of the freezer. If it shows any of the following signs of spoilage:
- A dull or greenish color.
- Patches of mold.
- A sour or an intense fishy smell.
- A very sticky or slimy texture.
- Vacuum packaging that’s become loose.
Step # 2: Prepare Your Smoked Salmon For Freezing
The type of smoked salmon that’s simplest to prep for the freezer is sealed in vacuum packaging. If you’ve got unopened vacuum-packed smoked salmon, you can put it in the freezer as is.
If you’ve got large pieces of smoked salmon or a whole fish, however, you’ll need to slice and tightly wrap it up yourself. First, cut the fish into slices or individual portions and then get them into freezer-friendly packaging. Cutting big chunks of fish into smaller pieces is handy because you can thaw just as much as you need at a time.
When choosing the best packaging for freezing your smoked salmon, look for something to most effectively keep air out.
If you’ve got a vacuum sealer, this takes first prize. Other packaging ideas for a snug fit are heavy-duty aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and freezer bags. You could also use a container with an airtight lid.
If you’ll be using plastic wrap or foil, tightly wrap each fish portion, covering all areas. For freezer bags, use a separate bag for each portion. Carefully squeeze out as much air as you can before tightly closing the bag. Place the fish parcels in a lidded container like a clean ice-cream tub for extra protection.
Prefer your freezing packaging to be reusable? A freezer-safe container with an airtight lid is your go-to. Place the fish portions in the container, separated by freezer or wax paper. The paper will stop the portions from sticking to each other, so you can easily remove just as much fish as you need at a time. Then close the lid tightly.
Step # 3: Write Expiry Date On The Smoked Salmon Packaging
It helps to keep track of how long your smoked salmon has been in the freezer, so stick labels onto the fish packaging and write three dates on the labels: the date you put the fish in the freezer, the date by which you should use the fish to enjoy it at its best, and the latest date by which you should use the fish.
Here’s an idea of how long smoked salmon will stay good in the freezer:
- Properly frozen smoked salmon keeps its quality for two to three months. If you want full-flavored smoked salmon with a firm texture, use it within 12 weeks of freezing.
- Properly frozen smoked salmon will stay good to eat for up to a year. It might not be as tasty, but frozen smoked salmon can stay safe to eat for nine months to a year.
How To Thaw Frozen Smoked Salmon For Best Results
Properly freezing your fish is only half the job; you also need to thaw it properly when you’re ready to use it.
If you thaw your frozen smoked salmon carelessly (for example, by just plonking it on the kitchen counter), you could set yourself up for food poisoning. Food thawed at room temperature is most enticing to bacteria – these nasty microorganisms multiply speedily on food under these conditions.
Two safe methods for thawing frozen smoked salmon are in the fridge and in cool water.
Safely Thaw Frozen Smoked Salmon In The Fridge
The safest way to thaw frozen smoked salmon is slowly. Move the frozen fish from the freezer straight to the fridge and leave it there till it’s thawed.
Frozen fish takes several hours to defrost in the fridge, so aim to defrost it overnight. If you are thawing your fish in its vacuum packaging, pierce holes into the packaging.
Smoked salmon that’s been thawed in the fridge will stay good refrigerated for another three or four days after it’s thawed.
Safely Thaw Frozen Smoked Salmon In Cool Water
Need your smoked salmon in a hurry? A speedier though riskier way to thaw it is in a basin or bowl filled with cool water.
Check that the fish is tightly wrapped, submerge it in the cool water, and you should have nicely thawed smoked salmon in about two or three hours.
You should use smoked salmon thawed in cool water immediately after it’s defrosted.
Can You Refreeze Smoked Salmon?
Refreezing smoked salmon can wreck its texture and might raise the risk of a bacteria invasion, so rather only thaw what you’ll use and don’t refreeze anything. That’s why freezing your fish in single portions is such a super tip!
The steps for properly freezing smoked salmon include making sure it hasn’t gone bad, wrapping it tightly in freezer-friendly packaging, and using it within three months of freezing for the best quality.
Properly thawing your smoked salmon is equally essential. Thaw it gently in the fridge or in cool water.
By following these freezing and thawing guidelines, you’ll extend the shelf life of your smoked salmon while keeping it good for your body and tastebuds!
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