Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon? Find Out and More!
Curious if you can freeze smoked salmon? Stick around as we share if you can and what to do…
Can’t finish the expensive smoked salmon you ordered for dinner? Throwing it away won’t give justice to the high cost you’ve endured.
Leaving it in the refrigerator too long isn’t a good move either. So, what should you do? Can you freeze smoked salmon to save the dish for another day?
Smoked salmon takes pride in its salty, fireside flavor and high protein content.
On top of that, the dish is also low in calories and packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Given these features, it’s no surprise that the dish enjoys a favored status on the dining table.
If you’re in love with this spectacular dish, it is useful to know whether it’s safe to freeze.
Here, we have prepared all the necessary details about whether you can freeze smoked salmon, along with other important guidelines.
Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon?
Now that we’ve discussed what cured salmon is and how it is prepared, we’ve arrived at the initial question: What should you do with your leftovers? Can you freeze smoked salmon?
The answer, of course, is yes.
In fact, smoked salmon does quite well in the freezer.
If you purchased it ready-made from the store and haven’t opened the package yet, you can simply put it straight into the freezer. You can expect a shelf life of about six months in this case.
However, if the package has already been opened, you can freeze it for three months.
Typically, if you bought a whole salmon, the best choice is to cut it into smaller slices and wrap each piece with two layers of plastic wrap followed by a wrap of tin foil.
Once done, you can put them all in a big plastic bag and leave them in the freezer. To ensure that the salmon lasts long enough, remove all the air from the plastic before storing it in the freezer.
Thawing Frozen Smoked Salmon
If you’re ready to eat the smoked salmon, you can simply transfer the frozen fillets to the refrigerator overnight. Be sure the refrigerator’s temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once fully defrosted, you can unwrap the smoked salmon and enjoy its salty, fireside taste.
How to Tell if It Has Gone Bad
Just like other seafoods, you can rely on your senses to determine whether your precious smoked salmon has gone bad. Normally, a sour, fishy odor is the most common sign of spoilage.
What Is Smoked Salmon: How to Prepare It?
Essentially, the term “smoked salmon” refers to salmon cured by either hot or cold smoke.
Can’t visualize how this is usually done? Let’s try to dissect the process.
Specifically, the preparation of smoked salmon starts with what we call “curing.”
Under this process, thawed, boneless fillets are covered in salt and left to sit for 12–24 hours.
The goal of curing is to draw out some of the moisture from the fish, while the salt boosts the fillet’s flavor and acts as a preservative to prevent microbial growth.
Once the curing is done, the fillets are then rinsed with water to wash away excess salt and transferred to a cooling rack to dry.
As mentioned earlier, salmon can be hot- or cold-smoked. Once the fillet has dried, you can then load it straight into the smoker.
If you prefer hot smoke, set the temperature of your smoke chamber to 145°F (63°C) for at least 30 minutes.
On the other hand, if you prefer cold smoke, go for 50–90°F (10–32°C) for 20–24 hours. If you choose the former, expect your salmon to come out with a smooth, buttery texture.
However, if you prefer the latter, your salmon will have a flaky texture with a smokier flavor.
Keep in mind that different woods used in smoking offer different flavors. Among your choices include oak, maple, or hickory.
Finally, once the fish preservation process is done, you can retrieve the fillet and remove its black meat and skin for eating.
The Bottom Line
Ready to preserve your leftover salmon? Surely, with the food’s impressive nutritious promises and high cost, you wouldn’t want to simply throw it out without enjoying the most of it.
Don’t let this delicious delicacy go to waste. Go ahead and store it right in your freezer for future consumption.
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