Can you freeze smoked salmon? You thought of that, right? Will you get the same texture when you thaw them? And now you want to know if that is possible and if there are special preparations before freezing them. Let’s find out! And while we are at it, let’s answer some interesting facts about salmon too!
On the other hand, if you can patiently wait and smoke your salmon for hours, you will get some smoke salmon for the next few days! I sometimes know, when you had too many catches, and you can’t eat all of them (I know you wanted too, but it was just physically impossible!) you need a way to preserve them longer!
Salmon and its other relatives in its family are anadromous fishes. This means that they migrate from the sea to freshwater to reproduce. Yep, this is the nature of salmon. During breeding season, Salmons migrate from their homes to spawn fries in the freshwater river.
To do this, salmons bulk up before the spawning season and swim against the stream until they reach the freshwater rivers. By the time they reach the rivers, they have become lean because of the enormous lengths they swam!
Yeah, this is an awesome feat salmons do every season to ensure that there will be Salmons on our plate!
Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon?
Freezing salmon is way too easy. I mean, you just stick it in the freezer and nobody would even question you for what you’ve done! Even the salmon can’t tell you they’re no good when frozen! But of course, that answer is too silly!
You are concerned about the palatability of your smoked salmon when you thaw it. But let’ me give you a straight answer if you can freeze your smoked salmon. Yes, you can freeze them. It could last up to six months or beyond that when properly packed and frozen.
Will You Get The Same Texture When You Thaw Them?
Since it’s a cooked fish, you will not get the same texture when you thaw them. They will be much flakier when thawed. The thing is, smoking takes out the moisture out of your fish. When you freeze them, very little moisture is left on it.
If you don’t pack them in a vacuum sealed pack, the dry air in the freezer will suck out the remaining moisture in your fish as it freezes. Another concern is that the remaining moisture in the fish will crystalize (in the molecular level) and will expand like all liquids do when frozen.
This frozen liquid destroys the cell walls of your cooked salmon as the temperature reaches below zero. When you thaw it, since the cell walls are already broken, the moisture will seep out as you thaw the fish. This inevitably happens, and there’s not much you can do about it.
The short answer if you will still have the same texture when you thaw smoked salmon is a no. It will feel a little drier and will be flakier.
What’s the Best Way to Store Smoked Salmon
The fridge can preserve your salmon for up to a week. Beyond that, the mold may start to form, and it will be a health hazard.The best way to preserve it is in your memory! Eat all of them at once, and that time you ate a ton of salmon will be forever preserved in your memory!
I bet you won’t forget how it tasted! But kidding aside, freezing is the most amenable way to preserve smoked salmon for longer.
How to Store Smoked Salmon
Slicing smoked salmon in single servings and placing them in individual zipper bags before freezing them is a great method. This way, you can thaw only the serving you need. Re-freezing, your thawed salmon, will work too. But you as soon as you re-thaw your re-frozen salmon, you will notice the drastic decline in texture and quality.
We may justify that we didn’t let it fully thaw and we only warmed it to the point that a blade can carve it. But, still, the moisture lost during the thawing process can affect the texture of your salmon! So, it’s best to store them sealed in a zipper bag in small servings.
Pro Tip: Before you throw your individually packed smoked salmon in your freezer, write the date so that you will know how old your salmon is!
What To Do with Thawed Salmon
Salmon is a tasty fish. Oops, sorry, tasty is an understatement of how awesome salmon is. I know for al of you salmon lovers out there, you just can’t have enough of this delicious fish. If you are too impatient to cook your salmon, go ahead and slice them! Enjoy them as sashimi or top them on sushi.
Reheating them would suck out some more moisture from your salmon and make the texture drier. Steaming it will rehydrate your smoked salmon but sucks out some of its flavors too. It can be a difficult decision, I know! But if you are persistent, boil them over some teriyaki sauce to add moisture and flavor!
If you don’t find thawed salmon to your liking (as it will have a different texture), you can still make use of them. You can dice them and make a sandwich spread out of them or throw them over a bowl of salad. This will save your salmon, and you will still get a taste of your favorite fish!
We all love salmon. The method of smoking fish enabled us to preserve and extend its life for a few days. The invention of the refrigerator enabled us to save them for a few more days. Can you freeze smoked salmon? The freezer took preservation to new heights!
Now we can enjoy them for a few more weeks (or until supplies last!) as long as you are not too particular with the change in texture!