Salmon is a versatile kind of fish that’s available in many different flavors and styles, including raw salmon, smoked salmon, canned salmon, and sushi-grade salmon. Fresh salmon is usually available for $15 to $20 per pound, but that can vary widely based on quality and supply. As salmon becomes more and more popular for its taste and nutritional value, the price may continue to rise.
Luckily, you can freeze raw salmon if you have any leftovers to avoid having to run back out to the store the next time you want to eat salmon for a meal. Plus, since salmon is far from cheap, learning how to freeze salmon properly can help you save money. Although frozen salmon might not taste quite as amazing as fresh salmon, if you freeze the fish properly, you can preserve as much of the original flavor as possible.
Whether you’re talking about sushi-grade salmon or frozen wild bc salmon from the store, there’s a quick solution to making sure that you can freeze and thaw salmon with just freezer bags, cold water, and plastic wrap.
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The Best Way To Freeze Salmon
The best way to freeze fresh salmon or freeze cooked salmon is surprisingly easy. Fresh salmon tends to freeze the best simply because it’s the freshest and least processed, especially compared to canned salmon.
Wild-caught salmon will usually be higher quality than farmed salmon. Wild salmon is sometimes marked with its location of origin using labels like wild bc salmon. But regardless of what kind of salmon you have, you should cut it into single servings. It’s easier to thaw salmon in smaller pieces, and this way, you won’t have to thaw the entire batch just to make one meal.
Wrap the fish tightly in either aluminum foil or plastic wrap to keep out the air. This will help prevent freezer burn and other damage that can impact the flavor and texture of your frozen salmon. Put those pieces into a freezer bag that’s designed for that purpose, such as a labeled freezer bag or a vacuum sealed bag. Avoid sandwich bags since those aren’t necessarily made to go in the freezer. At every stage, you should try to eliminate all the air you can.
Thaw Frozen Salmon
Once you’re ready to cook your frozen salmon, remember that it’s important to thaw frozen salmon safely instead of rushing through the process. The last thing you want is to end up with spoiled salmon because you were impatient.
First, select a piece of wrapped salmon from the freezer and place the frozen salmon in the fridge. Leave the frozen salmon in the refrigerator overnight to allow it to defrost. You can also defrost salmon at room temperature as long as you have access to cold running water. Put the previously frozen salmon in a container and cover it with cold water. Replace the water any time it has reached room temperature. It may be tempting to use hot water, but remember that it takes time to defrost salmon.
When your frozen salmon is thawed, you should cook the salmon immediately. Decide on the ideal recipe and confirm that it’s safe to eat salmon from that batch. Look for any signs that you might have spoiled salmon. You can still eat salmon with freezer burn or small ice crystals, but you should discard any salmon that looks discolored or has an unusual smell.
Best Salmon Recipes
From cooked salmon steaks to salmon cakes, you can cook frozen salmon in most of the same ways as fresh salmon. Salmon burgers allow you to add toppings, breading, and delicious sides to introduce additional omega 3 fatty acids to your diet without having to eat salmon in a large portion by itself.
You can even cook salmon on the grill or substitute it for salads. It pairs well with powerful flavors like lemon and teriyaki, so don’t hesitate to be adventurous. It also works well with some breakfast foods. Smoked salmon can make a wonderful addition to a bagel with cream cheese or a plate of scrambled eggs with cheese.
One of the wisest cooking tips for making salmon is to use paper towels to pat dry the fish before you cook it. This will remove any moisture from fresh or previously frozen salmon and allow you to get a crispy or caramelized texture on the outside of the salmon.
So, can you freeze salmon? Absolutely! It’s as simple as wrapping the raw salmon or cooked salmon to keep out air and then placing it in the freezer in a bag. Freezing salmon shouldn’t have a significant effect on its taste and texture, making it an excellent alternative to canned salmon if you need salmon with a longer shelf life than raw salmon would otherwise have.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon?
You can freeze smoked salmon the same way that you freeze raw salmon. Simply wrap it in foil or plastic wrap and then store it in an appropriate bag. Cold smoked salmon tends to lose more of its original texture than hot smoked salmon, but it will still be safe to eat.
If you have unopened smoked salmon, you can leave it in the original packaging instead of using plastic wrap. For opened packages, you can divide the smoked salmon into smaller portions and then place the salmon in individual bags. That way, if you aren’t going to use all the salmon at once, you don’t need to defrost the entire amount.
Can You Freeze Cooked Salmon?
You can freeze cooked salmon by following the same process as raw salmon. When you freeze salmon that’s already been cooked, you should allow it to cool before putting it into the freezer. This will prevent dramatic shifts in temperature that could affect the texture.
You should also consider whether other ingredients in your meal will survive the freezing process while maintaining the right texture and taste. For example, salmon with potatoes and a thick sauce might not reheat as well as the frozen salmon would by itself.
How Long Does Salmon Last In The Freezer?
If frozen properly, fresh salmon will last for up to three months in the freezer. Storing salmon in vacuum sealed bags will be the most effective since the vacuuming process removes as much air as possible. Smoked salmon may not last quite as long, so it’s best to eat any frozen smoked salmon within two months.
Can You Freeze Salmon More Than Once?
No, it’s not recommended to refreeze salmon once you’ve already thawed and defrosted it. Bacteria can grow when you transition from freezing salmon to thawing it. Even in cold water, the temperature is still high enough for food to become unsafe if left in that range for too long. When you refreeze salmon, you’re not killing off the bacteria that’s already accumulated, and more will grow the second time you thaw it.
The only time you should refreeze salmon is if it’s only been out of the freezer for an extremely short time. You can also refreeze frozen salmon that you bought at the store that began to thaw on a quick drive home.