Salmon is a popular and nutritious fish that can be cooked in a variety of ways, from grilling to baking to poaching. However, before you can cook it, you need to store it properly to ensure it stays fresh and safe to eat. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips and tricks for how to store salmon so that it lasts as long as possible.
Buy Fresh Salmon
The first step in properly storing salmon is to buy salmon fresh. When shopping for salmon, look for fillets that are bright and saturated in color and that are glossy and firm to touch. Whole fish should have clear eyes, shiny skin, and firm flesh. Salmon should also have a fresh, seaweed-like smell. If the fish smells fishy or has a strong odor, it may not be fresh and should be avoided.
Keep it Cold
Once you’ve purchased your salmon, it’s important to keep it cold until you’re ready to cook it. The best way to do this is to store it in the refrigerator, either wrapped in butcher paper, plastic wrap or in an airtight glass container. It’s best to use the salmon within a day or two. Any longer and we recommend you freeze the salmon.
If you’re not going to be using your salmon right away, freezing it is a great way to extend its shelf life. To freeze salmon, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a resealable freezer bag. Be sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag to prevent freezer burn. Label the bag with the date so you can keep track of your freeze stock. Salmon can be frozen for up to three months.
Thaw It Safely
When you’re ready to use your frozen salmon, it’s important to thaw it safely. The best way to do this is to place it in the refrigerator overnight. If you need to thaw it more quickly, you can also thaw it in a bath of room temperature water (keep the salmon in the zipper-lock bag during thawing). If you use the water bath to thaw the salmon, cook it immediately—do not transfer it to the refrigerator for storage.
Cook It Properly
Finally, once your salmon is thawed, it’s important to cook it properly. According to USDA guidelines, salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F, which can be checked with an instant-read thermometer. We prefer to cook our salmon to an internal temperature of 125ºF for medium-rare (especially when we’re pan-searing salmon). We only recommend this if the salmon comes from a trustworthy source and is handled correctly.
Yes, you can freeze smoked salmon slices. We recommend freezing smoked salmon in a resealable zipper-lock bag for up to 2 months. Make sure you label the bag so you know what it is and how long it’s been in the freezer.
No, you cannot cook anything in a sous vide simply wrapped in cling wrap or plastic wrap. So if your salmon is wrapped in plastic wrap for storage, you’ll need to remove it and transfer it to a vacuum-sealed bag to then cook in the sous vide.
Cooked salmon is good for 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Cooked salmon will last up to 3 months when stored in the freezer.
Fish can last up to a year in the freezer (especially if it’s rarely opened), though we recommend using it within 6 months for the best flavor.
It is not recommended to cook salmon that is still frozen. You first need to thaw it. To thaw salmon quickly, place the salmon in a plastic resealable bag and submerge it in room temperature water. Let it sit until it’s fully thawed. If you have extra time, let the salmon thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Putting It All Together
Properly storing salmon is crucial to keeping it fresh and safe to eat. By buying fresh salmon, keeping it cold, freezing it, thawing it safely, and cooking it properly, you can ensure that your salmon is delicious and healthy. Whether you’re grilling salmon, baking salmon, broiling salmon or eating it raw, these tips will help you get the most out of your salmon!
Salmon Recipes to Try
Everyone needs a great go-to recipe for perfectly cooked salmon and our Pan-Seared Salmon is it! It’s easy, requires just salt, pepper and a nonstick skillet, and comes out perfectly every time.
If you love all things pesto then give our Pesto Salmon Pasta a try. It’s absolutely delicious and surprisingly quick to make.