Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon? All You Need To Know
Smoked salmon is enjoyed by a lot of people. Homemade smoked salmon is relatively easy to make but takes some time to be done. Thus you will tend to make more than you can consume in one meal.
On the other hand, you may have stumbled on smoked salmon on the supermarket which was on sale and of course you would want to take advantage of the treat. Again, you would buy more than what is enough for one meal.
The question now is can you freeze smoked salmon? The answer of course it yes! However, there is a right way to freeze and handle smoked salmon to make it last longer than expected.
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Smoked salmon is salmon fillet that has been cured and smoked. Curing salmon helps preserve the fish from spoilage and adds a lot of flavor to it. In curing, water from salmon is eliminated and replaced with salt and sugar. Salmon is often cured overnight.
Salmon can be smoked cold or hot
- Cold smoked Salmon. Cured salmon is smoked at between 200°C to 300°C. The salmon does not get cooked. This method is used to preserve the flavor and texture of the fish.
- Hot smoked Salmon. Cured salmon is smoked at between 50°C to 800°C. The salmon gets cooked and will appear drier and flakier.
There are a lot of ways smoked salmon can be enjoyed! You can simply eat smoked salmon plain. You can toss flaked smoked salmon into your salad or with your favorite pasta.
The Right Freezing Portions
Smoked salmon, when stored in the freezer the right way could last for up to 6 months. After 6 months, smoked salmon will still remain fresh and edible however most of its flavor and texture may be almost gone. Six months is a pretty long time to have a batch of frozen smoked salmon.
It is best to store smoked salmon in the freezer to serve portions and in amounts that you and your family can consume in one meal. This method will allow you to thaw only the right amount of smoked salmon at a time. Refreezing thawed smoked salmon will cause its quality to deteriorate.
The Right Packaging
To preserve the flavor and texture of smoked salmon it should be conditioned and packed well for freezing. Before packing the smoked salmon, brush both sides of the fillet with olive oil. This will help keep the flavor and texture of the fish intact.
It will also prevent the smoked salmon from oxidizing and dehydrating. Oxidation and dehydration is a result of air getting in contact with the fish because of improper freezing procedures.
When air gets into direct contact with smoked salmon, it will lose its moisture and will appear discolored and overly dry. In short, air is the worst enemy of frozen smoked salmon and should be eliminated at all times.
There are two best materials to use to properly package smoked salmon for freezing: plastic wraps and freezer papers. There are no containers that can match the air tightness of these two materials. Remember that you need to prevent air from getting in contact with your smoked salmon.
A combination of 2 layers each of plastic wrap and freezer paper will be locked in the flavor and texture of the smoke salmon and will prevent it from developing freezer burn (happens when air gets into direct contact with frozen food).
- Wrap smoked salmon in two layers of plastic wrap. Seal all the edges to make sure the package is air-free.
- Wrap an additional two layers of freezer wrap on the smoked salmon that has already been wrapped in plastic wrap.
Tip: To save the trouble of having to wrap smoked salmon a total of four times (2 layers of plastic wrap and 2 layers of freezer wrap), use a vacuum sealer and special plastic wrap.
Plastic wraps specifically made for vacuum sealers come with built-in heat. The vacuum sealer gets rid of all the air between the smoked salmon and the plastic wrap before it seals the package for good!
Smoked salmon packaged this way for freezing will last for up to 6 months. For best results, label the smoked salmon packages and practice the first in-first out method.
The Thawing Process
If there is a right way to freeze smoked salmon to maintain its flavor and texture, there also is a right way of thawing these delicious fish. Smoked salmon is best thawed by transferring its location from the freezer to the refrigerator.
Leave it in the refrigerator until fully defrosted at a temperature of below 400ºF. Never thaw smoked salmon at room temperature because it will run the risk of losing its texture. Frozen smoked salmon also becomes prone to bacteria contamination when thawed at room temperature.
Make sure to thaw only the right amount of smoked salmon that will immediately be consumed. Refreezing thawed frozen smoked salmon should always be avoided.
Refreezing Thawed Frozen Smoke Salmon
Once frozen smoked salmon has been thawed it is best to consume everything. Re-freezing smoked salmon that has been previously frozen and thawed will make it lose its flavor and texture. This is the very reason why smoked salmon should be stored in the freezer in small packages just enough for one meal.
Smoked salmon can last for up to six months in the freezer with the same flavor, texture and freshness when stored and handled properly. There are basically three important things to remember to achieve best results.
- Make sure to pack smoked salmon well to prevent air from getting in contact with the fish.
- Thaw smoked salmon in the refrigerator and not at room temperature.
- Avoid refreezing previously frozen and thawed smoked salmon.
Can you freeze smoked salmon? Yes, yes, and yes, indeed! The simple to follow tips on how to freeze smoked salmon will allow you to have smoked salmon fresh and ready to enjoy from your freezer the entire year!