How Long Does Smoked Salmon Last In The Freezer?

Smoked salmon is a delicacy fit for any table. It has a subtle taste and is very popular. Smoked salmon is, no doubt, gourmet food. Whether store-bought or home-smoked, you might consider storing it for much later. This pricy fish will make you think twice about freezing it. Will these scrumptious smoked fish stay long in the freezer? We got the answer to this question from top chefs and gourmets.

Smoked salmon can last for up to 6 months in the freezer! But for you to enjoy that distinctive taste, take it out after 3 months. Why? Because when smoked salmon stays longer in the freezer, the taste changes. Cold temperatures help food stay fresh longer. But, there are other aspects to take into consideration.

Let's see how to freeze all that mouth-watering smoked salmon. Carry on reading to understand what you should do when you want to freeze your smoked fish. There's more information on how to expertly keep smoked salmon properly frozen.

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A high angle view of a slate tray with smoked salmon on rustic wood table, How Long Does Smoked Salmon Last In The Freezer?

Freezing Procedure For Smoked Salmon

After a wonderful fishing trip with a magnificent catch, you've smoked and cooled the salmon. What next? To get favorable results, you must freeze the smoked fish accordingly. Ideally, you should do the following steps:

Cooling

Whether cold or hot smoking, salmon should be cooled immediately. The idea of smoking fish is to dehydrate it. This is excellent for storage. Thus, never pack salmon immediately after smoking it. Cool smoked salmon for at least 3 hours. The moisture from condensation will contribute to the fish going bad.

Packaging & Labeling

Wrap the cooled fish well. Use cling film and freezer bags. Make sure you squeeze out as much air as possible. You could dip the freezer bag in a cold bath to help squeeze out the air.

No water should get in contact with the fish! Check to see that there are no holes or openings. Store-bought smoked salmon is packed under pressure to create a vacuum seal.

When packing your home-smoked fish, remember to label it. Put dates and times to keep track of how long your fish stays in the freezer.

Temperature

Place the fish in the freezer. The freezer temperatures should be below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 degrees Celsius). This is the ideal temperature for keeping smoked salmon frozen. Colder, in this case, is better.

Does smoked salmon freeze well?

Close-up of rolls of smoked salmon on a gray background

Smoked salmon freezes very well. This is because it has been thoroughly dehydrated. The water crystallization and expansion are absent. Water makes the fish deteriorate. The smoked fish will keep its structure in the freezer well.

Cold smoking doesn't cook the fish. It just adds flavor and shelf life by reducing water. But hot smoking does cook the salmon. It also dehydrates the fish but reduces shelf life. Thus hot smoked salmon after cooling must be refrigerated or frozen.

For you to get fantastic results, you will need to take a step further. Aim for ideal conditions such as:

Constant Storage Temperatures

Ensure that the temperature in the freezer stays below 32 degrees F (0 degrees Celsius) at all times ideally around 0 degrees F. This means that the smoked fish will not encounter expansion and contraction due to temperature fluctuations. To maintain the correct temperature, use a thermometer for your freezer.

where in the freezer

Place the smoked salmon in the coldest section of the freezer. Make certain it doesn't get in touch with water in the freezer. Put your salmon in wire freezer baskets. These baskets don't hold water, and cold air circulates properly. They are conveniently suspended in the freezer.

Proper packaging

Use heavy-duty freezer bags. Re-wrap store-bought smoked fish too. Do not allow smoked fish to get in contact with the harsh cold air. This will cause freezer burn. Wrapping your smoked fish properly stops it from absorbing moisture and odors. Odors and moisture alter the taste of the fish completely.

Handling

Don’t over-handle your smoked fish before storage. Make certain the smoked fish you want to freeze for long isn’t the one that everyone has been touching. Try as much as possible to package your fish on sterile surfaces. Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the smoked salmon.

Brining

Put the brine for the fish in clean utensils and use distilled water.  There is some level of refrigeration involved before smoking the salmon. During all this time, make certain you cover the fish in brine. Throw away used brine after usage. Although it has salt and spices, don't keep t or re-use it.

Be cautious. Smoked salmon mustn't get contaminated with pathogens like Listeria or Salmonella. They continue to grow even when in the freezer. Both cold and hot smoking dehydrates fish. This slows the fish’s spoilage and retards bacteria growth. Freezing complements the smoking of fish to keep it fresh.

Can You eat salmon that's been frozen for a year?

Yes, you can. The salmon will be edible but not palatable. You can freeze smoked salmon for 9 months. After that, the taste and quality are comprised. Salmon anglers enjoy taking home a palatable price.

But this fish, like any other, is perishable. It should be therefore handled well and not frozen for too long. Both fresh and smoked salmon have the same shelf life.

Does smoked salmon go bad in the freezer?

Smoked salmon with ice and lemon

Smoked salmon doesn't go bad if frozen properly. Commercially frozen fish can be kept indefinitely. The quality and taste suffer after long periods in the freezer. Like all perishables, notwithstanding the conditions of preservation, taste, and texture diminish gradually.

It could go bad if, by an unfortunate occurrence, your freezer was off. Temperature fluctuations are detrimental to frozen perishables like fish. If your smoked salmon was hot-smoked, it must stay cold for it to keep fresh and tasty.

How long does vacuum-sealed smoked salmon last in the freezer?

Vacuum-sealed smoked salmon can keep for 4 months in the freezer. When you defrost this smoked salmon, it'll be tasty as freshly smoked fish. You could keep it up to a year. The nutritional value of the fish won't be the same, though.

For commercially packaged salmon, look at the expiration date indicated on the pack. Based on this information, store the smoked salmon for 2–3 weeks in the freezer. Store-bought smoked salmon may have been frozen for a while before you bought it.

As long as the seal hasn't been broken, you can eat it. Don't freeze it longer than necessary. Though, it won't taste great.

Can you Refreeze smoked salmon that was previously frozen?

This is a no-no situation. Once smoked salmon has been thawed, don't refreeze it. Consume the thawed fish at once. Refreezing it will completely ruin the texture and quality of the smoked salmon. Refreezing is a waste of time and some tasty smoked salmon.

Moreover, you also risk food poisoning. Let's assume that the smoked fish was left sitting on the kitchen counter to thaw. Room temperature activates bacteria. Bacteria leave toxins that are dangerous. Refreezing won't kill the toxins.

The Bottomline

It's clear that this pricy treat should be frozen for a short period of time. When you freeze smoked salmon for longer, you risk being left with fish that doesn't taste good. Even if commercially frozen, the nutritional value of smoked salmon is sure to deteriorate.

Pamper yourself with some highly nutritious smoked salmon. Whichever smoking method you choose, hot or cold, remember to keep your smoked fish sterile.

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