Yes, you can freeze smoked salmon. In fact, freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of smoked salmon and keep it fresh for longer. When stored properly in the freezer, smoked salmon will retain its quality for up to 6 months
How To Freeze Smoked Salmon Properly
If you want to freeze your smoked salmon properly to extend its shelf life, follow the tips below-
Step 1: Cut the Salmon Into Pieces
If you have a whole side of smoked salmon, it is best to cut it into smaller pieces before freezing. This will make it easier to thaw and cook later on.
You can cut the salmon into thick or thin slices, or even dice it into small cubes.
Step 2: Prepare the Pieces of the Fish Before Freezing
Doing this will help to protect the flavor and texture of the fish.
If you are planning to use the smoked salmon in a recipe, such as a salmon pasta dish or a salmon quiche, you can cook the salmon before freezing it. This will make it easier to thaw and use later on.
Just be sure not to overcook the salmon, as this can dry it out and make it less flavorful. Squeeze all of the air out of the freezer bag before sealing it. This will prevent freezer burn and keep the salmon fresh for longer.
Step 3: Label the Packages
Once the salmon is cut into pieces and seasoned or cooked, you can then place it in freezer-safe bags or containers. Make sure to label the packages with the name of the contents and the date that they were frozen.
This will help you keep track of how long the salmon has been in the freezer and ensure that you use it before it goes bad.
A Bonus tip: Vacuum bags, followed by food wrap, and finally containers, are the finest materials for pre-freezing smoked salmon packaging. When these components are present, the airtightness steadily declines.
LEARN MORE: Can Beef Jerky Go Bad?
Things to Consider Before Freezing Smoked Salmon
If you are thinking of freezing your smoked salmon to use later, keep these below-mentioned things in mind to do it perfectly.
Quality of the Smoked Salmon
When it comes to freezing smoked salmon, the quality of the fish is important. Salmon that has been freshly caught and properly smoked will have a better texture and flavor after being frozen than salmon that is not as fresh.
If you are buying smoked salmon from the grocery store, make sure to check the expiration date before purchasing.
The Type of Smoking Process
There are two main types of smoking processes: hot smoking and cold smoking. Hot-smoked salmon is cooked during the smoking process, while cold-smoked salmon is only partially cooked.
Hot-smoked salmon will have a softer texture after being frozen and thawed, while cold-smoked salmon will retain its firm texture.
The Airtightness of the Original Packaging
Smoked salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for good health. These fatty acids are characterized by a high oxidation susceptibility. Scents are swiftly replaced by disagreeable aromas after they have oxidized.
As a result, the less smoked salmon is exposed to oxygen, the better. If you do this ahead of time, your frozen product will last as long as feasible.
Always put your smoked salmon in an airtight original packaging as a sealed bag with all the air squeezed out, or better yet, vacuum packed.
LEARN MORE: Can I Freeze Rotisserie Chicken?
How to Defrost Smoked Salmon
When you are ready to use the smoked salmon, take it out of the freezer and thaw it properly to preserve its flavor and texture. Here are the best ways to defrost your smoked salmon perfectly.
In the Refrigerator
This is the most effective way. Although this procedure will take a long time, possibly a day or night, it is the safest. Remove the frozen smoked salmon from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator’s cool section to slowly thaw.
Place the frozen salmon in a sealable bag and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, you will have perfectly thawed smoked salmon that is ready to be eaten or cooked.
This method is recommended since it allows for progressive, rather than sudden, temperature changes in your frozen salmon. As a result, the ice crystals are able to melt slowly without separating.
In Cold Water
If you need to thaw your smoked salmon faster, you can place it in a bowl of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the salmon is fully thawed.
Because water carries heat more efficiently than air, thawing your smoked salmon in water will be quicker. To speed up the defrosting process, fill a basin with cool water and place the frozen smoked salmon slices in it.
In the Defrosting Tray
A defrosting tray is a special kitchen gadget that helps thaw frozen food quickly and evenly. There are various defrosting trays available on the market.
This is the most comfortable and simplest method. All you need to do is put your salmon on the tray and wait for it to thaw.
The defrosting tray is comprised of a particular, highly conductive substance that securely accelerates the thawing of frozen smoked salmon. When compared to thawing in the refrigerator cooler, using this tool to thaw smoked salmon can cut the time in half.
Some Recipes for Frozen Smoked Salmon
Once you have thawed your smoked salmon, you can use it in a variety of recipes. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Smoked Salmon Pasta: This dish is simple and delicious. Just cook some pasta and mix it with smoked salmon, cream, lemon juice, and dill.
Click the link for a detailed recipe: simplyrecipes.com
Smoked Salmon Quiche: This recipe is perfect for brunch. Mix smoked salmon, eggs, cream, and spinach in a quiche dish and bake it until set.
Go to the link for the recipe: allrecipes.com
Smoked Salmon Bagel: This is a classic breakfast sandwich. Just put smoked salmon on a toasted bagel with cream cheese, capers, and red onion.
Here is the link for the recipe: feelgoodfoodie.net
Smoked Salmon Salad: This is a healthy and light meal. Mix smoked salmon, greens, avocado, and lemon juice in a salad bowl. You can also add some chopped hard-boiled eggs or crumbled feta cheese.
Click the link for the recipe: acouplecooks.com
Smoked Salmon Pizza: This is a fun and unique way to use smoked salmon. Top a pizza with cream cheese, smoked salmon, dill, and red onion. You can also add some capers for an extra salty flavor.
Check out the link for the recipe: laughingspatula.com
Smoked salmon is perfect for freezing. According to the FDA, properly maintained smoked salmon can be preserved for up to two months in the freezer. Follow the given tips to freeze it and defrost it to have a perfect smoked salmon.
You can also use it for various recipes like smoked salmon pasta, quiche, bagel, salad, and pizza.