How long does salmon last in the fridge? Today’s guide will explore the shelf life of different kinds of salmon cuts, specifically when they are cooked, smoked, and uncooked (raw). This will enable you to safely store and use this delicious creamy cut without worrying about getting ill or wasting expensive produce.
And, if you are looking for some dishes to make with your fresh salmon, you have to try my Grilled Salmon Skewers or my Baked Salmon Recipe. You can also check out some delicious side dishes I have including roasted vegetables, fresh crunchy salads, and crispy air-fried treats.
How Long Does Salmon Last In The Fridge?
There are a couple of ways that you can look at this question depending on whether you have cooked or uncooked salmon. And today, we will look at both options.
We will also take a look at how you should store both of these to help preserve their shelf life for as long as you possibly can.
How Long Can Fresh Salmon Stay In The Fridge?
First things first, what does fresh salmon look like?
No matter what cut you are working with, if you have fresh salmon, it should have a firm texture that is soft to the touch. The meat shouldn’t be mushy, slimy, flaky, or squishy. Remember, you are working with FRESH meat.
The color should also be bright, and the meat shouldn’t have any smell, especially not a fishy or meaty one.
If you don’t understand what fresh meat looks, feels, and smells like when working with it, you won’t be able to determine how long it will last in the fridge.
On average, fresh salmon can last between two and three days without any problems. This is relatively short, but seafood is highly perishable. It’s better not to risk keeping it any longer.
This timeframe (2-3 days) applies to any raw fresh piece of salmon, whether it has been vacuum sealed or not.
It’s crucial that you check the freshness before using the piece, as there are many factors that can shorten the shelf life and spoil the meat before you’re ready to use it.
How Long Can Smoked Salmon Last In The Fridge?
Smoked salmon has essentially already been cooked, despite still looking pretty raw. This product usually comes in vacuum-sealed packages.
If unopened, you should be able to keep them for up to two weeks in the fridge. However, once you’ve opened the packet, you have about 2-3 days to use the meat.
Larger smoked pieces of salmon won’t last as long, even if they have been vacuum-packed. Always check the recommended use-by date and use the guide below to look for signs of spoilage.
How Long Can Cooked Salmon Stay In The Fridge?
If you cooked fresh salmon, it can last between three to four (3-4) days. However, it’s crucial that you check for spoilage signs before reheating and eating the meat.
Also, you cannot reheat the cooked salmon twice. If you reheat it for the first time, you have to eat it immediately. You cannot let it cool, store it in the fridge and reheat it again.
How To Store Raw Salmon In The Fridge
There are a couple of ways you can store fresh salmon in the fridge. This method is the one I use that helps keep my meat fresh for as long as possible.
You will need reusable kitchen wipes like these, some plastic wrap, and a large roasting tray or baking sheet (anything that will catch potential juices from flowing out).
First, wipe the fish cut down with a paper towel. Make sure it isn’t excessively moist or has any debris on it.
Then, wrap the fish in DRY kitchen wipes. This helps absorb more moisture. Do not wet them before wrapping the fish in them. This will motivate bacterial growth.
Once wrapped in blue cloth, wrap the fish with plastic or saran wrap. You don’t have to wrap the fish very tightly, but also not too loose.
Once wrapped up, you can add another layer of foil, but I find it unnecessary.
Place the fish in the baking or roasting tray and put it at the bottom of your fridge (where it is the coldest). Do not store it close to any cooked meat, dairy products, or raw vegetables. Keep these items separated.
How To Tell When Salmon Is Bad
Now that we know how long salmon lasts in the fridge, let’s look at the signs to tell if salmon is bad.
To summarize, the most common signs include:
- Smelly or fishy odors coming from the meat
- Flaky, dry, mushy fish (the flesh)
- Slimy film layer on the top of the meat
- Pale color or discoloration in some areas
For a more in-depth guide on signs of spoilage, check out my guide How To Tell If Raw Salmon Has Gone Bad. The signs also apply to other seafood so it comes in VERY handy.
How long can you keep uncooked salmon in the freezer?
If you properly store frozen salmon, it can easily last between 6-12 months. However, if you store the meat for too long, it’s highly likely that it will be ruined by freezer burn.
Can raw salmon last 4 days in the refrigerator?
Unfortunately, it’s not likely to last more than two or three days. The only real way to keep salmon fresh for four days is if you store it at 32.9⁰F (0.5⁰C). It won’t freeze, but it will delay bacterial growth significantly. But even then, it’s not guaranteed.
Can salmon smell bad without being expired?
No. If meat or fish (including salmon) smells bad or fishy, it has gone off. The odor is produced by excessive bacterial growth, which is a sign of spoilage. If you smell anything strange, rather discard the meat.