Salmon wrapped in plastic wrap can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days. But what if you want to keep fish for a longer period of time? Freezing salmon in your freezer can help extend its shelf life and keep it fresh for future meals.
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There are several ways to prepare salmon for freezing. One such method involves wrapping the fish in layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil. To freeze fish using this method, wet the salmon first, then wrap it tightly in several layers of either plastic wrap or aluminum. You can also wrap the salmon in a plastic freezer bag. Wet the salmon, then place it inside the bottom of the freezer bag. Roll the top of the bag around the salmon, making sure to squeeze out the air inside. Then, once you've removed as much of the air as you can, seal the bag. You can also fill a freezer bag or clean, empty milk carton with water, and place the salmon pieces inside. Seal out the air inside the container, make sure the container is closed securely, and place it in the freezer.
Salmon should be stored at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). As it is hard to keep your freezer at a uniform temperature, try to store the fish in the back of the freezer unit, up against the back wall. This way, the fish won't be exposed to the warmer air every time you open the freezer door.
If salmon is properly stored in the freezer, it can be stored for two to four months. It is even possible to store pre-frozen salmon (that is, salmon that is purchased already frozen at the supermarket or farmer's market) for up to six months.
When you are ready to cook and eat your salmon, remove it from the freezer the night before you intend to use it. Unwrap it, place it in a pan or on a dish, cover it, and place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. If time is of the essence, you can submerge the fish in cool water for between 30 minutes and an 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 of the fish remains frozen.
Freshly Caught Fish
If you are attempting to freeze salmon that you caught yourself, cut off the head and tail before freezing in order to maximize your available storage space. Storing the fish without gutting it first may cut down on freezer burn, but it may also make it more difficult for you to cook the fish efficiently when you are ready to use it.