Here is the most comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about freezing and storing smoked salmon.
These methods and tips have worked wonderfully for me, and several other home cooks.
So, let’s get right into it.
- Smoked Salmon
- Parchment Paper
- Cling Wrap
- Freezer-Safe Air-Tight Container
- Prep: Get sheets of parchment paper cut to fit the container. You will be needing these to separate the slices of salmon.
- Lay and Layer: After placing a parchment sheet at the bottom of the container and placing a piece of smoked salmon over it, cover it with another sheet of parchment paper and place the next piece of salmon. Repeat till you reach the top of the container.
- Cover and Seal: Cover the container with some cling wrap and then seal it.
- Label and Freeze: Add a label on the container with the best before date, and you are all set to freeze the smoked salmon.
Freezing Smoked Salmon in a Ziploc Bag
If you are pressed for freezer space, you could also freeze the smoked salmon in Ziploc bags.
Divide the smoked salmon into servings that you can easily manage to use in one go.
Pack and Seal
Transfer the portioned salmon into Ziploc bags and seal them in. Make sure that all the excess air is squeezed out of the bag and it is tightly sealed.
Label and Freeze
Add a label on the bag with the best before date, and you can lay the bags of smoked salmon flat on top of each other and freeze them compactly.
How Long Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon?
You can freeze smoked salmon for 2 to 4 months. But it is best to consume it sooner rather than later. The longer it stays in the freezer, the more it will lose out on its smoked flavor and overall quality.
Also, keep in mind that the more fresh the smoked salmon is before freezing, the fresher it will be once you thaw it. So, it would be best to freeze it as soon as you have bought it.
To ensure that the smoked salmon stays fresh in the freezer for longer, it is very important to make sure that it is not exposed to air or freezer burns.
How to Store Frozen Smoked Salmon?
You can store frozen smoked salmon in any freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bag.
If you have an unopened package of smoked salmon, you can directly leave it in the freezer, unless you don’t think you will use it all in one go.
In which case, you can open and separate the portions before freezing them.
The key is to make sure that it is well protected from being exposed to air.
This can not only cause freezer burns but also leave a fishy odor in the freezer, which is hard to get rid of. You can cling wrap the salmon for added protection.
If you are pressed for freezer space, Ziploc bags are the best option. You can freeze multiple portions of smoked salmon without taking too much space if you use Ziploc bags.
How to Defrost Smoked Salmon?
The best way to defrost smoked salmon is to do it gradually. So, take out the portion you need and leave it in the fridge for a day or overnight, and let it thaw. After defrosting, it can last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
If you are in a hurry, you could quicken the process by leaving the bag or container or smoked salmon in a bowl of cold water and letting it thaw over a couple of hours.
But never thaw the smoked salmon on the kitchen counter at room temperature. There are high chances of the salmon getting bacterial build-up, making it unsafe to eat.
Can You Refreeze Smoked Salmon?
No, it is strongly advised not to refreeze smoked salmon. Repeated freezing and thawing will not only affect the texture, taste, and quality of the fish, but it will also increase the chances of bacterial build-up, making it unsafe to consume.
To avoid having to refreeze or waste the smoked salmon once it thaws, you can portion it beforehand into serving sizes that you can easily consume in one go.
You could also wrap each slice in cling wrap or grease paper to keep it separate and more protected.
Does Smoked Salmon Freeze Well?
Yes, smoked salmon freezes well, and it is a great way to extend its shelf life for a couple of months more. It is best to freeze the smoked salmon after slicing it, to avoid the hassle of working with it once it thaws.
But keep in mind that the longer it stays in the freezer, the more it will lose its smoky flavor and freshness.
Yes, you can freeze smoked salmon that you have bought from Costco or any other store. If the packaging is unopened and you are confident you can use it all up in one mealtime, you can pop it in the freezer with the date labeled on it.
Otherwise, portion the salmon and use any of the methods listed above to freeze it.
Yes, you can freeze hot smoked salmon. You can use any method listed above – portion, separate with grease paper and freeze them in freezer-safe air-tight containers or Ziploc bags. Hot smoked salmons are best consumed within 2 months.
I hope this article helped you freeze and store smoked salmon for the long term.
If you have any doubts or would like to share some of your freezing secrets, it would be great to hear from you.
Feel free to share this article with your family and friends.