How Long Does Salmon Last? (Fresh, Cooked, Smoked & Cured!)

Salmon is an easy-to-fix source of protein that's extremely good for you. One of the many health benefits of salmon is the ample supply of omega-3 fatty acids.

Can salmon go bad? Salmon fatty acids can turn rancid with time and will let you know that your salmon is no longer a healthy food and has gone bad. How long that takes depends on the type of salmon that you're keeping.

How Long Does Fresh Salmon Last?

Fresh Whole Salmon & Salmon Steaks

If you're lucky enough to have access to whole, fresh salmon, consider purchasing it dressed right off the boat.

Buy your salmon the day before or the same day that you plan to cook it.

You don't want to freeze your salmon prior to cleaning.

While you will want to leave the skin on, the blood and organs should be removed from the inside of the fish. Some find seeing the eyes off-putting; if so, buy steaks, King salmon portions or wild coho salmon fillets.

Wild caught salmon has a strong flavor and odor and over time this can become overpowering, so much so that it can be hard to tell if your salmon has turned rancid. Fresh is best.

SEE ALSO: What Does Salmon Taste Like?

Fresh Frozen Salmon

If you have access to fresh caught, freshly dressed salmon but just can't eat it all, salmon steaks and filets can be frozen for up to four months in a home freezer.

  • Either freeze them separately in vacuum seal plastic bags or separate them with wax paper.
  • You can also rinse your fresh fish in a mild salt water and freeze it in standing water in a ziploc bag.

Paul Powis offers a simple video instruction for freezing fish filets for the best flavor.

Once they're frozen, authorities with the British Columbia Salmon Marketing Council recommend you place them deep in your freezer so they're not exposed to air every time you open the freezer door.

Never refreeze salmon that's been partially thawed; allow the thaw to finish and use the salmon up within a day or two.

How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last?

Cooked Salmon

Once you've cooked your filets or steaks, you've got two more days of great flavor to reheat and enjoy.

Reheating salmon can be a little touchy; it can get dry or rather rubbery if overcooked. Never refreeze cooked salmon.

Be aware that the strong aroma of salmon will be reawakened if you heat it in the microwave, which may make you unpopular depending on where you heat it up.

Consider flaking your cold salmon into a salad as suggested by food authority Ina Garten. This can be served on crackers or toast for a hearty lunch.

How Long Does Smoked Salmon Last?

Smoked Salmon on a Bagel

Smoked salmon can be refrigerated for up to two weeks if unopened. Once it's opened, you've got a week. Luckily, smoked salmon is stable.

When studying how to tell if salmon is bad on a smoked platter, check the edges of the fish.

Per authorities with Good Housekeeping, if the edges are dry and tough, your salmon is aging and you need to use it up or toss it.

SEE ALSO: What Are Capers?

Frozen Smoked Salmon

Can you freeze salmon after smoking? Frozen smoked salmon can be frozen for up to four months.

Be aware that once you thaw it, your smoked salmon filet or plank may lose a lot of moisture.

Consider thawing it in the package under running water to help the flesh maintain moisture and resist collapsing.

Alaskan Gold Smoked Salmon has a shelf life of 30 days once thawed!

How Long Does Cured Salmon Last?

Gravlax is a method of curing salmon that has Scandinavian origins. Per food authorities with Serious Eats, the term "gravlax" means "buried salmon." The traditional preparation method included burying it in cool beach sand until it was fermented.

You can cure a salmon filet in a brine of salt, sugar, dill and other spices. Rather than placing it in sand, you can bury it in fresh dill and weight it down to force out the moisture.

Gravlax takes just a couple of days and a bit of flipping to prepare, but once you're done you can shave of slices of delicious cured salmon without needing to smoke it.

How long does salmon last in the fridge once you've cured it? Once you've prepared your gravlax, it should be eaten within four days.

Frozen Cured Salmon

You can also freeze it for up to two months. Thawing it partially can make slicing it easier. Be sure to purchase sushi grade salmon for the freshest possible product.

Final Thoughts

Salmon is a delicious addition to any diet and is easily available flash frozen, smoked or cured in many grocery stores.

Should you have access to fresh whole salmon, your dining options on this wonderful fish get even better. If you prefer to order it online and have it delivered, check out these Wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon fillets on Amazon.

No matter which form of the product you purchase, try to use up your salmon on the day of or the day after purchase for the best flavor and aroma.

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