Can You Freeze Salmon?

Published on June 12, 2024 | 0 Comments
Salmon topped with salt and pepper served on a wooden board

Can you freeze salmon? This is a crucial question for seafood enthusiasts who want to preserve the freshness and nutritional benefits of their salmon. Whether you have an abundance of fresh salmon from a sale or need to save leftover cooked salmon, understanding the right freezing techniques is key. How does freezing affect the salmon's texture and taste, for example? This comprehensive guide will explore how you can freeze salmon in various forms, ensuring you preserve the best quality and flavor.


Jump to Section

Book a Gourmet Cooking Class Now
Kick-start your culinary confidence with help from a world-class chef. See what's cooking in your city today.
Book Now

Can Salmon Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze salmon, and it's a recommended practice for extending the shelf life of both fresh and cooked salmon. Freezing helps preserve the nutritional value and provides the convenience of having salmon available anytime. However, it's important to note that freezing can slightly alter the texture and potentially affect the flavor. The ice crystals that form during freezing can cause the fish’s fibers to break down, making the flesh slightly firmer and drier once thawed.

You can freeze fresh salmon
via Canva

Can You Freeze Fresh Salmon?

Yes, you can freeze fresh salmon. Freezing fresh salmon immediately after purchase is an excellent way to preserve its quality. Before freezing, ensure the salmon is cleaned and patted dry. Properly frozen fresh salmon retains most of its flavor and texture, making it nearly indistinguishable from fresh when cooked correctly. This is very useful when buying large quantities of salmon to consume gradually.

You can freeze fresh salmon
via Canva

Can You Freeze Cooked Salmon?

Yes, you can freeze cooked salmon, including baked, steamed and marinated salmon. When freezing cooked salmon, it's crucial to let it cool completely to avoid ice crystal formation, which can degrade its texture. Properly packaged, cooked salmon can last in the freezer for up to three months without losing much quality. This is very useful for meal prepping or saving leftovers.

Cooked salmon served with lime
via Canva

Can You Freeze Grilled Salmon?

Even if it's been grilled, you can freeze salmon, though the unique flavors imparted by grilling may diminish slightly after thawing. To best preserve grilled salmon, wrap it tightly to prevent air exposure and freeze it as soon as possible after cooking. 

Grilled salmon served on a wooden board
via Canva

Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon?

Yes, you can freeze smoked salmon. The curing and smoking processes already extend its shelf life and freezing further preserves it. Smoked salmon freezes very well and can be stored longer than fresh or cooked salmon without significant changes in texture or flavor. This is the best option when it comes to preserving taste and extending shelf life.

You can freeze smoked salmon
via Canva

Can You Freeze Salmon Patties?

Absolutely, you can freeze salmon patties, or fish cakes, for convenient meal prep. Prepared and cooked patties can be frozen and reheated directly from frozen, offering a quick and nutritious meal option. Wrap each patty individually in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. This is a great option for students or parents cooking for their children, providing a quick and healthy meal. 

Salmon patties served on a plate
via Canva

Book an Online Cooking Class Today
Five-star chefs. Step-by-step coaching. Flexible menus. Come see what's cooking in a live online cooking class.
Book Now

How To Freeze Salmon

So, you can freeze salmon, but this guide doesn't stop there. Proper technique is critical when freezing salmon to preserve its quality and safety, and methods change slightly depending on the type of salmon you're planning to freeze.

You can freeze salmon with the proper techniques
via Canva

How To Freeze Fresh Salmon

To maintain freshness, wrap fresh salmon tightly in plastic wrap, then place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Removing as much air as possible from the bag helps prevent freezer burn and flavor loss. This method ensures you can freeze salmon and keep it tasting fresh.

Frozen fresh salmon with lime
via Canva

How To Freeze Cooked Salmon

Ensure cooked salmon is completely cooled to avoid condensation that can lead to sogginess. Wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, or place it directly in an airtight container or freezer bag. This way, you can freeze salmon without losing its quality.

You can freeze cooked salmon by wrapping it
via Canva

How To Freeze Smoked Salmon

Wrap smoked salmon tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil before placing it in a freezer bag. This method helps maintain the moisture content and flavor of the smoked salmon. You can freeze salmon this way to keep it tasting great.

Smoked salmon closeup
via Canva

How To Freeze Salmon Without a Vacuum Sealer

You can freeze salmon effectively without a vacuum sealer by wrapping the fish tightly in several layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil and then placing it in a freezer bag. Press out as much air as possible to mimic the effect of vacuum sealing.

Frozen salmon on plastic bags
via Canva

How Long Can You Keep Salmon in the Freezer

Fresh salmon can be kept in the freezer for up to six months if properly packaged. Cooked salmon should be consumed within three months, while smoked salmon can last up to six months, maintaining most of its original quality. This duration ensures you can freeze salmon and enjoy it later.

Frozen salmon on a cutting board
via Canva

How To Cook Frozen Salmon

Now that you know you can freeze salmon, the next thing to do is learn how to cook it. Cooking with frozen salmon is convenient and versatile, allowing for a range of culinary uses from weekday dinners to special occasions. 

Frozen salmon on a parchement paper
via Canva

How To Defrost Salmon

To defrost salmon safely, place it in the refrigerator overnight. For a quicker method, submerge the sealed salmon in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes until it is fully thawed.

Salmon on top of ice cubes
via Canva

Gourmet Cooking Classes Near You
Take your culinary skills to new levels with guidance from five-star chefs.
Book Now

Frozen Salmon Recipes

Frozen salmon is a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into a variety of delicious dishes. Here’s a more detailed look at some specific recipes that highlight the adaptability and culinary appeal of frozen salmon.

You can freeze salmon for recipes
via Canva

Smoked Salmon Bagel

A smoked salmon bagel is an iconic dish perfect for a luxurious breakfast or brunch. Start with a high-quality, freshly baked bagel. Toast it lightly for added crunch and warmth. Spread a generous layer of cream cheese on each half of the bagel. Take your thawed smoked salmon and layer it over the cream cheese. For a gourmet touch, add capers, thinly sliced red onions and a sprinkle of fresh dill. This dish pairs beautifully with a side of lemon wedges to brighten up the flavors. The saltiness of the smoked salmon combined with the creamy cheese and the crisp, tangy toppings create a balanced and satisfying meal.

You can freeze salmon to create recipes
via Canva

Sake Salmon

Marinating salmon in sake and miso turns a simple piece of fish into a deeply flavorful, Asian-inspired dish: Sake Salmon. To prepare this recipe, start by making the marinade. Combine equal parts sake and white miso paste with a touch of sugar to balance the saltiness. Add minced garlic and ginger for a bit of heat and zest. Place your thawed salmon fillets in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them, ensuring they are well-coated. Let the salmon marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour, though longer is better to allow all the flavors to infuse deeply.

When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Remove the salmon from the marinade and place it on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the salmon is fully cooked and flakes easily with a fork. The final dish should have a slightly caramelized top and a rich umami flavor. Serve with steamed rice and a side of sautéed greens like bok choy or spinach for a complete meal. This recipe shows that you can freeze salmon and still enjoy gourmet meals.

Grilled salmon fillet with vegetables on a plate
via Canva

Salmon Rillettes

Salmon rillettes is a luxurious spread that combines the delicate flavors of salmon with creamy and aromatic ingredients. To make salmon rillettes, begin by poaching salmon fillets in a flavorful broth or simply use leftover cooked salmon. Once the salmon is cooked and cooled, flake it into small pieces, ensuring there are no bones. In a mixing bowl, combine the flaked salmon with softened cream cheese or crème fraîche for a rich base. Add finely chopped shallots, a squeeze of lemon juice, chopped fresh herbs such as dill or chives, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

For an extra layer of flavor, mix in a small amount of horseradish or a few drops of hot sauce. Mix all the ingredients until well combined but still slightly chunky to maintain texture. Pack the rillettes into a small bowl or jar and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld. Serve chilled, spread on toasted bread slices or crisp crackers. This dish makes an excellent appetizer or part of a charcuterie board.

These recipes showcase the flexibility and culinary potential of frozen salmon, making it easy to enjoy sophisticated meals at home. Whether preparing a quick breakfast or hosting a dinner party, these dishes prove that you can freeze salmon to create both simple and refined meals that are sure to impress.

Salmon rillette served with toasts
via Canva

Join a Live Online Cooking Class Today
Your kitchen is now your own culinary classroom. Connect with chefs from around the world right from the comfort of home.
Book Now

Is Frozen Salmon Healthy?

Frozen salmon is nutritionally comparable to fresh salmon. It remains a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential proteins and vitamins. In terms of health, frozen salmon offers similar benefits to fresh salmon, making it a viable and healthy option for maintaining a nutritious diet. Yes, you can freeze salmon without compromising its health benefits.

You can freeze salmon to preserve its nutritional value
via Canva

Hopefully, this guide has provided everything you need to answer your question, "Can you freeze salmon?" Freezing salmon effectively preserves its flavor, texture and nutritional value. Whether fresh, cooked, or smoked, using the proper freezing techniques covered in this guide will ensure you have high-quality salmon for use at your convenience.

For even more ways to explore your favorite foods, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.