Salmon, with its delicate flavor and myriad health benefits, stands as a culinary delight for many households worldwide. But imagine planning a delightful salmon dinner and finding out that the prized fish you bought a few days ago has lost its freshness and taste.
Well! To avoid such circumstances, understanding the shelf life of salmon in the fridge is crucial (not only for ensuring a delicious culinary experience but also for the safety of this popular seafood).
In this article, we will dive into the intericies of salmon’s shelf life and answer the most burning question: How long does salmon last in the fridge? Providing you with valuable insights on proper storage, health benefits, and signs of spoilage to maximize the longevity of this delectable fish.
No matter, if you’re a seasoned home chef or a novice in the kitchen, unraveling the mysteries of salmon shelf life will empower you to savor every bite with confidence.
So, buckle up yourself and let’s embark on a journey to discover the secrets of keeping salmon at its best in your fridge.
How long does salmon last in the fridge?
Salmon is a perishable food item and has a very short lifespan in the fridge. The shelf life of salmon in the fridge is influenced by several key factors.
For fresh (raw) salmon, the shelf life typically ranges from one to two days without any significant loss in taste and texture when stored in the fridge. After this timeframe, it will likely go bad.
The initial quality of the salmon at the time of purchase plays a crucial role in its preservation. For instance, the fresher fish tends to have a longer shelf life in the fridge.
Secondly, proper packaging while keeping in the fridge is equally important – vacuum-sealing or tightly wrapping salmon slows down the oxidation process and bacterial growth, ultimately preserving its freshness in the fridge for longer.
Therefore, to keep salmon fresh and in the best possible quality in the fridge, make sure to handle and store it properly. Also, try to consume the salmon within its recommended time period to avoid contamination and spoilage risks.
How to store salmon in the fridge?
Storing salmon in the fridge is a super simple and straightforward process that can help maintain its taste and texture. Here are a few key steps that you need to follow to preserve the fish:
- Wrap Properly: Ensure the salmon is well-wrapped to prevent over exposure to air which can lead to oxidation and quicker spoilage. Use plastic wrap or aluminum foil, making sure to cover the entire surface of the fish.
- Place in a Sealed Container: If possible, store the perfectly wrapped salmon in a sealed container or a resealable plastic bag. This adds an extra layer of protection against air and helps retain moisture.
- Store on a Plate or Tray: To catch any potential drips or leaks, place the wrapped or packaged fish on a plate or tray before storing it in the fridge. This also helps maintain cleanliness.
- Adjust Refrigerator Temperature: Set your refrigerator at a low temperature between 32°F to 38°F. Maintaining a cooler environment will slow down bacterial growth and preserve the salmon’s freshness for longer.
- Utilize the Coldest Section: Store the salmon in the coldest part of the refrigerator, typically the back of the bottom shelf. This minimizes temperature fluctuations and ensures a consistently cold environment.
- Avoid Cross-Contamination: Store salmon away from other raw foods (meat or seafood) to prevent cross-contamination.
- Store the fish: Keep the wrapped salmon in the fridge. It will stay fresh and best in taste for 1-2 days easily.
How long does cooked salmon last in the fridge?
Unlike raw salmon, cooked salmon has relatively more shelf life. Cooked salmon, if stored and handled properly, can last for 3-4 days in the fridge.
The reason is, when you cook salmon, the high temperatures kill the bacteria and other harmful contaminants present in it which ultimately increase the shelf life of fish. Secondly, cooked salmon maintains its taste and nutrition for longer.
However, before putting the cooked salmon in the fridge, make sure to cool it for a few minutes and then wrap properly. It will prevent moisture buildups and spoilage.
How long does marinated salmon last in the fridge?
Marinated salmon can be stored in the refrigerator for a slightly shorter period compared to raw or cooked salmon. Typically, marinated salmon remains fresh for around two to three days in the fridge if handled properly.
This is because of the high moisture content, type of ingredients, and acidic nature of marinade. The acidity in the marinade helps to enhance flavors but also begins to break down the fish over time, affecting both texture and taste.
Therefore, to maximize the shelf life of marinated salmon, promptly refrigerate it after marinating and consume it within the recommended time frame to avoid spoilage.
How long does canned salmon last in the fridge?
Canned salmon (if opened) can last for 2-3 days maximum while unopened canned salmon can last for years in the fridge.
This is mainly because canned salmon has added preservatives and additives which increase its shelf life. Also, the cold temperature of the fridge extends the lifespan of canned salmon.
When unopened, canned salmon last longer. The fridge temperature inhibits bacterial growth and prevents spoilage.
While opened salmon can last for only a few days. The relatively short time frame in the refrigeration is due to the fact that once opened, the salmon is exposed to extra air and moisture. Also, the contaminants grow faster in it which accelerate spoilage. .
Can you freeze salmon?
Yes, of course. You can freeze salmon. Freezing is an effective way to preserve the freshness and taste of salmon for an extended period. Frozen salmon can last for weeks and even months in the freezer.
To freeze salmon nicely, ensure it is properly cleaned, pat it dry, and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the wrapped salmon in an airtight container or a resealable freezer bag to prevent freezer burn and protect it from odors.
Can you refreeze thawed salmon?
It is generally not recommended to refreeze salmon once it has been thawed. When salmon is thawed, ice crystals melt and the fish undergoes changes in texture and moisture content.
Refreezing can further degrade its quality, leading to a loss of flavor, texture, and nutritional value.
Additionally, the process of thawing and refreezing creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth, posing potential food safety concerns. Therefore, it is better to avoid refreezing thawed salmon to prevent contamination and other risks.
Is salmon healthy?
Yes, salmon is widely recognized as a highly nutritious and healthy seafood. It is rich in essential nutrients and offers numerous health benefits. Some key health benefits of salmon include:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These fatty acids are known for their heart health benefits including reducing inflammation, improving cholesterol levels, and supporting overall cardiovascular health.
- Protein: Salmon is a high-quality source of protein, essential for muscle repair, immune function, and overall body maintenance.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Salmon is rich in vitamins such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6. It also provides minerals like selenium that are highly important for antioxidant defense and thyroid function.
- Astaxanthin: This is a powerful antioxidant found in salmon mainly responsible for its pink color. Astaxanthin has been associated with various health benefits including reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
Signs of spoiled salmon
Here are few common signs that indicate if the salmon has gone bad:
- Off odor: First sign is odor. Fresh salmon has a mild, oceanic scent. If you ever detect a strong, unpleasant fishy or sour odor, it may be a sign of spoilage.
- Changes in Color: Look for color change. While raw salmon typically has a vibrant pink or orange hue, spoiled salmon may exhibit a faded or dull color. Any unusual discoloration such as a grayish tint can signal spoilage.
- Texture Changes: Fresh salmon should have a firm and moist texture. Spoiled salmon might feel slimy or excessively sticky to the touch, indicating a breakdown in its quality.
- Visible Mold: Mold growth is a clear indication of spoilage. Inspect the surface of the salmon for any fuzzy or unusual mold patches, especially around crevices or areas with moisture.
- Sliminess: Sliminess might be a clear indication. If the surface of the salmon feels excessively slimy, it is likely past its prime. This sliminess is often accompanied by a deterioration in texture.
- Excessive Drying: In some cases, spoiled salmon may appear excessively dry or have a tough texture. This can happen when the fish loses moisture over time.
- Unpleasant Taste: Usually, it is not recommended but if you notice any spoilage sign, taste a little salmon. If there is unpleasant or rancid taste when consuming the salmon, it is a strong indication of spoilage. Trust your taste buds and refrain from eating it if the flavor seems off.
Is it ok to eat old salmon?
No, it is not ok to eat old salmon. Eating old salmon can pose health risks as it may harbor harmful bacteria or spoilage. Consuming spoiled or expired salmon can lead to foodborne illnesses such as vomiting, nausea, stomach cramps, and abdominal pain.
What is the white stuff on raw salmon?
The white stuff on raw salmon is typically a coagulated protein called albumin. It usually emerges during cooking as the heat causes the muscle fibers to contract and push albumin to the surface.
Do you eat salmon skin?
Yes, salmon skin is edible and is a good source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. When cooked properly, the skin becomes crispy and adds a delicious texture to the dish. However, make sure to remove scales and thoroughly clean the skin before cooking.
Why do people squeeze lemon on salmon?
Squeezing lemon on salmon enhances its flavor by adding a bright acidity that complements the rich and fatty taste of the fish. The citrus also helps cut through the natural oiliness, providing balance to the palate.
Understanding how long salmon lasts in the fridge, recognizing signs of spoilage, and employing proper storage techniques are vital for enjoying this nutritious and flavorful fish at its best.
Whether fresh salmon, cooked, marinated, or canned, mindful handling and adherence to recommended storage times ensure both safety and optimal taste.
Patti began her writing career as a staff writer for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Still based in Florida, Patti serves as editor for Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap. She regularly writes about environmental, home improvement, education, recycling, art, architecture, wildlife, travel and pet topics.