How Long Does Smoked Salmon Last In The Fridge?

Have you ever found yourself savoring the deliciousness of smoked salmon but then pondering the lingering question, “How long does smoked salmon last in the fridge?” – if yes, then you’re reading the right article!

Smoked salmon is a delectable delicacy cherished by many throughout the world for its rich, savory flavor and versatile uses in various culinary creations. 

No matter, if you choose to serve it on a bagel with cream cheese, incorporate it into salads, or enjoy it on its own, the popularity of smoked salmon is undeniable. However, savoring this delectable treat comes with a responsibility—proper storage in the fridge.

In this article, we will explore the shelf life of smoked salmon, delve into recommended storage conditions, and provide insights into signs of spoilage.

So, grab your culinary curiosity and let’s unravel the mysteries of ensuring your smoked salmon stays as fresh as the day it hits your plate!

How long does smoked salmon last in the fridge? 

Smoked salmon is a perishable item like all seafoods and it has a limited life in the fridge. Typically, smoked salmon can last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge. However, this period is not exact and can vary for different types of smoked salmon. 

The shelf life of some common types of smoked salmon are written below and it is advised to consume them within this timeframe to enjoy optimal taste: 

Hot smoked salmon

Hot smoked salmon usually has a longer shelf life than cold smoked salmon in the fridge. It lasts for 2-3 weeks in the fridge easily without any flavor change or quality deterioration. 

The reason is, hot smoked salmon is thoroughly cooked during the smoking process at high temperatures. This smoking process kills bacterias and ultimately extends the shelf life of salmon in the fridge. 

Cold smoked salmon 

Cold smoked salmon has a limited lifespan in the fridge. It usually lasts for 1-2 weeks in the fridge if stored properly. 

Cold smoked salmon has unique preparation and it is partially cooked which makes it a little more susceptible to bacterial growth than the hot smoked salmon. Therefore, it lasts less longer in the fridge. 

Unopened salmon

Packaging plays an important role in extending the shelf life of perishable foods. The unopened package of commercially available smoked salmon lasts longer in the fridge. 

Typically, unopened packages of smoked salmon can maintain its freshness for two to three weeks in the fridge. It is because it has preservatives and additives which prevent bacterial growth and spoilage, eventually extending the life of fish. 

Opened salmon

Once opened, smoked salmon has a shorter shelf life than when unopened. In general, opened smoked salmon should be consumed within 3 to 5 days when stored in the refrigerator.

The reason is, when opened, smoked salmon provides a suitable medium for bacteria to settle down, proliferate quickly, and cause spoilage that minimizes its shelf life even in the fridge. 

Leftover smoked salmon 

Leftover smoked salmon should be stored in the refrigerator promptly after use. It should be kept in the fridge for approximately 2 to 3 days. 

The precise duration may vary depending on factors such as the initial freshness of the salmon, the conditions of storage, and the presence of any accompanying ingredients. 

To maximize freshness, you can store the leftover smoked salmon in an airtight container to minimize exposure to air and other odors in the refrigerator.

How to properly store smoked salmon in the fridge?

Like other seafoods, storing smoked salmon is a simple and quick process. It involves only a few key steps that you need to follow: 

  • Seal well: Keep the smoked salmon in its original vacuum-sealed packaging or transfer it to an airtight container. It will minimise the risks of bacterial growth, exposure to heat, and oxidation that accelerate the spoilage. 
  • Maintain the temperature: Make sure the temperature of your fridge is low to preserve the freshness of salmon. 
  • Label the package or container: Label the airtight container or package with dates. This step is crucial as it will help to keep the track of freshness and expiration of your fish. 
  • Place in the refrigerator: Place the package in the refrigerator. If possible, place the smoked salmon in the area where it experiences less temperature fluctuations. It will prolong its shelf life and prevent moisture buildup. 
  • Use within the timeframe: Smoked salmon will last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge. Use it within this recommended timeframe to avoid spoilage and enjoy optimal taste. 

Are there any special storage tips for homemade smoked salmon?

Unlike packaged smoked salmon, homemade smoked salmon requires more attention during its storage because it lacks preservatives and is more prone to spoilage. Here are some quick tips that you can follow to make your homemade smoked salmon last longer: 

  • Keep the homemade smoked salmon in the refrigerator. It will slow down the bacterial growth. 
  • Make sure to keep the salmon in the airtight container or vacuum sealed bags. It will limit the exposure to air and prevent deterioration. 
  • Wrap the homemade smoked salmon tightly in the plastic bag or aluminium foil. It will add an extra layer and maintain the moisture. 
  • Label the homemade salmon with a date of expiration to keep track of its freshness. 
  • Homemade smoked salmon usually has a shorter lifespan than commercial one. Consume it within the recommended time frame to enjoy optimal taste and quality. 
  • If you have no plans to use smoked salmon, freeze it. It will last for weeks without any significant change. 
  • Inspect for spoilage regularly. If you notice any unusual change, throw it out. 

Can you store smoked salmon at room temperature?

Technically, yes you can keep smoked salmon at room temperature but it is not recommended to do so. You should not keep smoked salmon at room temperature for more than two hours. 

The reason is, smoked salmon is a perishable food item and it creates a suitable environment for bacterial growth at room temperature that ultimately leads to spoilage and foodborne illness. 

Therefore, to avoid such complications, it is advised to store the smoked salmon in the refrigerator or freezer. It will not only maintain its quality but ensure safety. 

Can you freeze smoked salmon?

Yes, you can freeze smoked salmon. If you want to keep smoked salmon for a longer period, freezing is an excellent option. Frozen salmon can last for almost two to three months without any noticeable change in flavors and texture. 

However, while freezing the smoked salmon, make sure to wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and plastic paper or vacuum seal it. This practice will prevent the risks of freezer burn and minimise the exposure to air. 

When ready to use, remove the salmon from the freezer and thaw it overnight in the refrigerator for optimal results. 

How long does thawed smoked salmon last?

Thawed salmon (whether cooked or raw) typically last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator and a week in the freezer. 

Once thawed, smoked salmon is more susceptible to bacterial growth and other contaminants. Also, its quality and freshness diminishes over time. 

So, to enjoy optimal taste and ensure overall well-being, it is recommended to consume the thawed smoked salmon promptly or within this timeframe. 

When should smoked salmon be discarded?

Salmon, like any perishable food item, can go bad quickly and it should be discarded if it shows signs of spoilage or if it has been stored improperly. Here are some common indications of when salmon should be discarded:

  • Unpleasant Odor: Give the salmon a quick sniff. If it has an off, sour, or unpleasant odor, it is likely spoiled. Fresh salmon should have a mild, ocean-like scent. Any foul or rancid smell suggests bacterial growth and spoilage so it should be discarded. 
  • Changes in Color: Check the color change. Fresh salmon typically has a vibrant, pink or orange hue, depending on the species. If you notice any drastic change in color such as a dull, dark or grayish appearance, it may be a sign of spoilage.
  • Texture Changes: Texture deterioration is another clear indication of spoilage. Spoiled salmon may feel slimy or excessively sticky to the touch. Fresh salmon should have a firm texture. Any mushiness or any other sort of changes in texture indicate spoilage and you should throw the salmon out quickly. 
  • Visible Mold: Visible mold growth on the salmon is a clear sign of contamination. Mold can grow on the surface of the fish and potentially produce mycotoxins, making it highly unsafe for consumption. So, if you see any mold growth on salmon, it is no longer good to eat. 

What happens if you eat bad smoked salmon? 

Consuming bad smoked salmon or any other spoiled food can pose serious risks to your health and cause foodborne illness commonly known as food poisoning. 

Spoiled smoked salmon becomes a suitable medium for contaminants and can harbor harmful bacterias such Salmonella, Listeria and other pathogens that may cause gastrointestinal problems.

These problems include nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, stomach cramps, dirrhea, fever and low bowel movement. In severe cases, it may lead to some serious health complications that may prove fatal, especially in the individuals with poor immunity. 

Therefore, it is recommended to inspect the smoked salmon regularly and discard it when in doubt to ensure safety and well-being.


Is smoked salmon cooked?

Yes, smoked salmon is partially cooked during the smoking process. The smoking method involves exposing the salmon to smoke at a controlled temperature, imparting a distinct smoky flavor and partially cooking the fish.

Why does smoked fish last longer?

Smoked fish lasts longer due to the combination of smoke’s preservative qualities and the reduction of moisture during the smoking process. Smoking process acts as a method of dehydration and imparts antimicrobial properties, ultimately slowing down bacterial growth and extending the shelf life of the fish.

Why is smoked salmon so salty?

Smoked salmon is salty primarily due to the curing process in which the fish is treated with a mixture of salt and sugar. This curing not only enhances flavor but also acts as a preservation method.


The longevity of smoked salmon in the fridge depends on its storage state. Properly handled smoked salmon can last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge without any significant change in quality and taste.

Maintaining proper refrigeration and promptly identifying signs of spoilage are crucial for ensuring the safety and quality of this delectable seafood.

Whether enjoyed freshly or refrigerated for later use, responsible storage practices enhance the overall experience of savoring smoked salmon.

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