Salmon wrapped in plastic can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days. But what if you need to put off that home-cooked salmon dinner for a while longer? Freezing is the trick to keeping fish fresh for future meals.
There are a couple of methods for prepping salmon for the freezer. The first involves wrapping the fish in layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil. To use this method, wet the salmon first, then wrap it tightly in several layers of either plastic wrap or aluminum.
You can also store the salmon in a plastic freezer bag. Wet the fish, then place it inside the freezer bag. Roll the top of the bag around the salmon, making sure to squeeze out the air from inside before sealing the bag.
Salmon should be stored at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). It’s hard to keep your freezer at an even temperature throughout, so try to store the fish in the back of the freezer to keep it from being exposed to warmer air every time you open the door.
When stored properly, salmon can be kept in the freezer for two to four months. It’s even possible to store pre-frozen salmon (salmon that was frozen at the market) for up to six months.
When you’re ready to cook and eat your salmon, remove it from the freezer the night before. Unwrap it, place it in a pan or on a dish, cover, and leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. If time is of the essence, you can submerge the fish in cool water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Never attempt to defrost salmon at room temperature; this could lead to the development of bacteria in the thawed outer parts of the fish while the middle remains frozen.
If you’re attempting to freeze salmon that you caught yourself, cut off the head and tail beforehand in order to maximize available storage space.
Storing the fish without gutting it first may cut down on freezer burn, but it might also make it more difficult to cook the fish efficiently later.