Do you love to cook and eat salmon? If so, one of the most important things you should know is how long does salmon last in the fridge. The answer might surprise you — while some people think salmon can go bad almost overnight, that’s simply not true. In fact, with proper refrigeration techniques and storage guidelines, it’s possible for salmon to stay fresh and edible for up to two weeks! We’ll discuss here all of the factors that come into play when determining how long your uncooked salmons will remain safe in cold storage. You don’t want any unwanted guests in your fridge – let us help ensure that this doesn’t happen.
What Is Salmon?
Salmon is a type of fish that is commonly found in both saltwater and freshwater environments. It belongs to the family Salmonidae and is known for its distinctive pink color, firm texture, and rich flavor. There are several different species of salmon, including Atlantic, Chinook, Sockeye, Coho, Pink, and Chum. Salmon is considered a healthy source of protein and is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to have numerous health benefits. This makes it a popular choice among seafood lovers and health-conscious individuals.
Understanding Salmon Storage Basics
As a delicately flavored fish, salmon is prone to quality deterioration if not stored correctly. Proper refrigeration preserves salmon’s healthy fats, extends its shelf life, and prevents spoilage or foodborne illness. Let’s review some storage basics:
- Nutritional Benefits – Salmon provides healthy fats like omega-3s along with protein, vitamins A, D, B12, selenium, and astaxanthin. Proper storage retains these nutrients.
- Safe Handling – Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw salmon away from ready-to-eat foods. Use separate cutting boards and utensils.
- Proper Temperature – Store salmon at 40°F or below. Consistent cool temperatures prevent bacterial growth.
- Moisture Control – Wrap or cover salmon to prevent moisture loss which can dry it out.
How Long Does Salmon Last In The Fridge?
Raw salmon can last in the fridge for about 1-2 days after purchasing, depending on its quality and freshness. With proper storage and handling, fresh salmon from your local supermarket might last about 4-5 days in the fridge. It is recommended to keep the temperature of the fridge at 40°F/4.4°C or colder to ensure the salmon stays fresh for the intended duration
Different Types of Salmon Storage
From raw fillets to smoked salmon, storage needs vary based on the type of salmon product. Here are some common varieties and how to store them:
- Wrap raw salmon tightly in plastic wrap or place in a shallow dish and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface.
- Store in the coldest part of the refrigerator, usually the back. Raw salmon will last 1-2 days.
- Store cooked salmon pieces or leftovers in an airtight container.
- Refrigerate for 3-4 days. The flavored oils in cooked salmon are prone to faster spoilage.
Thawed or Defrosted Salmon
- Defrost salmon in the refrigerator overnight to safely thaw.
- Use defrosted salmon within 1-2 days and don’t refreeze previously frozen salmon.
- Keep smoked salmon tightly wrapped once opened. Refrigerate for up to 14 days.
- Unopened smoked salmon can last 2-3 weeks refrigerated.
- Marinate salmon in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.
- Marinated salmon keeps for 1-2 days. Discard used marinade.
- Store unopened canned salmon up to 2 years at room temperature.
- Once opened, transfer contents to a container, refrigerate, and use within 4-5 days.
As you can see, proper storage varies based on the salmon type, preparation method, and packaging. Follow these tips specific to each variety.
Maximizing Shelf Life and Quality
Proper handling and storage lets you maximize salmon’s shelf life and quality. Follow these best practices:
- Rinse fillets before refrigeration and pat dry with paper towels. Excess moisture speeds spoilage.
- Place salmon on a plate and cover with plastic wrap directly touching the surface. This prevents drying.
- Store salmon on the lowest and coldest refrigerator shelf away from foods like tomatoes that can impart flavors.
- Freeze salmon if not using within 1-2 days. Properly frozen and stored at 0°F, salmon may be kept frozen for 2-3 months.
- Check for signs of spoilage like dull flesh, sticky texture, and unpleasant odors. Discard if salmon has an off smell, color, or slimy texture.
- Avoid freezer burn by using airtight packaging and limiting frozen storage time to 2-3 months.
Responsible salmon sourcing also optimizes freshness. Look for sustainable wild-caught or responsibly farmed salmon.
Safe Handling and Preparation
Safe salmon handling reduces your risk of foodborne illness:
- Defrost frozen salmon on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Avoid room temperature thawing.
- Marinate salmon in the refrigerator. Acidic marinades at room temperature provide opportunity for bacteria growth.
- Cook salmon to an internal temperature of at least 145°F. Check temperature with a food thermometer.
- Refrigerate cooked salmon within 2 hours and divide into shallow containers to chill quickly.
- When reheating cooked salmon, ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Avoid cross-contamination by using different cutting boards, utensils, and plates for raw versus cooked salmon.
Following basic food safety provides peace of mind when enjoying this tasty fish.
How To Tell If Salmon Is Bad?
After knowing how long salmon can last in the fridge, it is crucial to know how to tell if it has gone bad. Some common signs that indicate your salmon may have spoiled are:
- Expiration date: Check the salmon’s label for the expiration date. If it has passed, it’s best to discard it.
- Smell: Fresh salmon should have a neutral or mild smell. If the salmon smells fishy, sour, or ammonia-like, it’s an indication that it has spoiled.
- Appearance: Fresh salmon fillets should be bright pink or orange with no discoloration, darkening, or drying around the edges. Any dull or gray coloring, dark spots, or filmy white residue is a sign of spoilage. Whole fish should have clear, shiny eyes and red gills. Dull or faded eyes, as well as pale gills, are indications that the salmon is not fresh.
- mon has a firm texture, and the flesh should spring back when pressed. If the texture is mushy or slimy, it suggests that the salmon is no longer good to consume.
Creative Culinary Ideas and Recipes
Beyond basic preparations like salmon fillets and patties, this versatile protein shines in appetizers, salads, pastas, and more. Try these tasty recipes:
Baked Salmon Salad
- 4 salmon fillets
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 cups mixed greens
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Red wine vinaigrette
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place salmon fillets on a baking sheet. Squeeze lemon juice over top and season with salt and pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
- Toss greens, avocado, and tomatoes in large bowl. Add several tablespoons of vinaigrette and toss to coat.
- Break salmon into large chunks and add to salad. Serve immediately.
Cajun Salmon Pasta
- 1 lb salmon, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 1 cup Alfredo sauce
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
- Toss salmon cubes with Cajun seasoning. Sauté over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Add broccoli during last 3 minutes of cook time. Drain and return to pot.
- Add salmon, Alfredo sauce, tomatoes and Parmesan to pasta. Toss to combine and heat through.
- 1 salmon fillet, roasted or smoked
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise or tartar sauce
- 1 cup spinach or arugula
- 2 slices tomato
- 1/4 of an avocado, sliced
- Layer salmon, greens, tomato, and avocado between bread slices.
- Spread mayonnaise or tartar sauce on both pieces of bread.
- Panini press or grill sandwich until bread is toasted. Slice in half and enjoy!
Conclusion: How Long Does Salmon Last In The Fridge
With proper refrigerated storage, salmon retains its fresh flavor and nutrient content. Following the storage guidelines for different salmon types allows you to enjoy its full shelf life. Pair proper storage with safe preparation, and salmon becomes a go-to ingredient for nutritious and delicious meals.
Bobby Kelly is a bartender at Molly Magees, an Irish pub in Mountain View. He’s been working there for two years and has developed a following among the regulars. Bobby is known for his friendly demeanor and great drink specials. He loves interacting with customers and making them feel welcome. When he’s not at work, Bobby enjoys spending time with his friends and family.