Can you freeze smoked salmon? – The surprising truth

After a family dinner, storing delicate food can be a pain, so proper storage of this food is very important for ensuring its quality and longevity.

Smoked salmons are the perfect food for any occasion or lavish dinner mainly because they have a smooth texture, wider options for usage, and great flavor.

If you love eating smoked fish (like me) such as tuna or salmon, you may be wondering, “can you freeze smoked salmon?” or “what are the proper ways to store it?”

You should not be worried because, in this article, I will share with you some basic information and proper techniques on how to store your smoked salmon.

Let’s get started.

What is the food that can and can’t be frozen?

Before we go, I will first share some tips about freezing any type of food, whether using an upright or chest freezer.

  • Let the food cool down before freezing them. In this way, you can avoid loss of texture and flavour, and spoilage as well.
  • Refreeze the food if you’re cooking it in between. The growth of bacteria usually happens when the food is thawed which is why you should be careful in the thawing process.
  • Fill up the spaces in your freezer. In this way, you can run your freezer economically. You can fill it with other foods and beverages to fill up the gaps.
  • Wrap the foods. To avoid freezer-burn, you should carefully wrap the food and make sure that no air is present in the plastic wrap or freezer paper and the content.
  • Throw out exploited foods. Unfortunately, freezing any food doesn’t kill bacteria, so if you’re unsure about the quality of the food, don’t take any chance and it’s probably the best time to throw them out.
  • Keep the food in its prime. The main goal of freezing is to keep the food’s quality.
  • Label the food package. One practical way to ensure the quality of the food you’ve frozen is to put friendly labels on its contents and the date it was first frozen.
  • Defrost your freezer. If you have an icy freezer, you should always defrost it to avoid ice build-up.
  • Know the kind of food you’re about to freeze. Here some guide to help you determine what foods are great for freezing and not freezer-friendly as well.
  • Not freezer-friendly foods include: raw and hard-boiled eggs, vegetables such as cucumber, radishes, bean sprouts or any high water content vegetables, parsley, basil, chives, or any soft herbs, egg-based sauces like mayonnaise, and dairy products such as yogurt and low-fat creams.
  • Great to freeze foods include: other dairy products such as margarine, cheese, milk, raw pastry, and butter, any kinds of bread except crusty varieties like French bread.

What the types of fish that can be frozen?

Can you freeze smoked salmon? The answer is YES.

Surprisingly, some types of smoked fish can also be frozen, whether it’s a whole or smoked fillet.

Smoked salmon is one great way to expand its natural flavor and deliciousness. It also kills the bacteria, viruses, or parasites lingering in the fish during the smoking process. Once the whole salmon or fillet is placed in the refrigerator or freezer, it could last for about 3 to 6 months.

What the types of fish that can be frozen?

Keep in mind that air can exploit the smoked salmon’s texture and overall flavor, so it is important to ensure that no air can pass through the container where the smoked salmon is. In this way, you can avoid oxidation, leading to freezer burn, loss of natural flavor, and, worst, spoilage.

How to store the smoked salmon in the freezer?

Here are some easy step-by-step instructions on preparing the smoked salmon before putting it into the freezer.

How to store the smoked salmon in the freezer?

1. Cut the smoked salmon into pieces.

Using a good quality knife, you can cut the smoked salmon fillets before freezing them, or you can leave the fish whole. Cutting it into pieces can be practical if ready-to-go uses, and the smaller pieces are much easier to store and wrap.

Smaller pieces are better than large chunks of the smoked salmon or any fishes mainly because you will not freeze the larger chunks once it is thawed. It is a great idea to cut the smoked salmon into smaller pieces after unwrapping from its store packaging, be sure that the amount of pieces is good enough for 24-48 hours of consumption.

2. Properly wrap the salmon.

Most professional chefs recommend properly wrapping the smoked salmon before freezing to avoid loss of flavor and texture. 

Using a good-quality sauce brush, you can start by applying both sides of the whole fish or fillet with vegetable or olive oil. In this way, it protects the salmon from freezer burn and maintains its flavor as well.

Another method to properly wrap the smoked salmon for freezing is by the use of plastic wrap. You can do this by carefully placing the whole fish or pieces into the plastic wrap and taking time to fold and making sure that all of the edges are secured, and there’s no air between the plastic wrap.

For an additional freezer burn protection layer, make sure that all sides of your smoked salmon have at least two layers of plastic wrap and freezer paper as well.

However, if you have the budget, you can also consider using a vacuum sealer that doesn’t require any plastic wrap and freezer paper. It works by sucking all the air out of the food package until it finally seals it. Additionally, investing in a vacuum sealer will keep your hands clean, but keep in mind that always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any fishy smell after use.

What containers should I use when freezing smoked salmon?

Any containers such as boxes or bowls are not a good idea for storing the salmon for freezing, mainly because most of these containers allow too much air, affecting the fish’s flavor, texture, and overall quality. You should consume the smoked salmon fish within six months of freezing it.

It is advisable to use freezer papers and plastic wraps when storing the salmon in the freezer. Putting the label on the plastic wraps also allows you to monitor the date of freezing.

How to thaw and enjoy the smoked salmon?

As mentioned earlier, it is advisable to consume the smoked salmon within six months of freezing it in a chest freezer with maintaining the temperature of 0°F.

You should remove the desired quantity or amount of the salmon you wish to defrost for later use in the thawing process. Allow the salmon to thaw in your refrigerator. This process could usually take up to 24 hours.

How to thaw and enjoy the smoked salmon?

Make sure that the smoked salmon is cold during the thawing process. Don’t use hot water to thaw the fish primarily because it allows the bacteria to grow in the fish, which, once consumed, may cause severe health problems, especially gastrointestinal issues. Remember that you should never (ever) refreeze the previously frozen and thawed smoked salmon.

After it’s completely thawed, you are now ready to enjoy the smoked salmon with its best quality and delicious taste.

Putting the smoked salmon, imitation crab meat, or any delicate food inside the freezer surely is practical while ensuring the food’s quality and flavor at the same time. So try it yourself now! Here are summarized step-by-step instructions:


  • Step 1: Cut the smoked salmon into pieces or leave it as a whole.
  • Step 2: Using a quality sauce brush, apply the fish to vegetable oil preferably olive oil.
  • Step 3: Place the piece(s) on the plastic wrap or freezer paper in tow layers. You could also use a vacuum sealer for better storage.
  • Step 4: Write a label on the salmon package with its content and freezing date. The smoked salmon should be consumed within the 6 months of freezing it.
  • Step 5: Thaw the frozen smoked salmon and place it in your refrigerator for 24 hours and make sure that you should never leave the fish on the counter or use hot water on thawing process. Once it’s completely thawed, you can now enjoy it with having any preparations.

Here’s a simple smoked salmon recipe that you should try in your kitchen right away.

Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta

Instead of bacon, this lighter version of pasta Carbonara uses smoked salmon as a substitute.

Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta


  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 2 cups of skim milk
  • ½ cup of grated Romano cheese
  • 1 cup frozen thawed and drained green peas
  • ½ cup of drained mushrooms
  • 10 ounces of chopped smoked salmon
  • 15 ounce of penne pasta


If you liked this article, you should share it with your family and friends to surprise them how to freeze smoked salmon properly. And oh, if you have any suggestions, let us know by commenting below.

It is storing delicate food like smoked salmon is very important for ensuring its quality and maintaining its texture and flavor. In this way, you can enjoy the delicious taste of smoked salmon during breakfast, lunch, or even dinner without exploiting its quality and taste.

Until next time and happy cooking!

Leave a Comment