Who doesn’t love smoked salmon, right? Especially when it’s smoked! But can you really freeze it? Wouldn’t it affect meat quality? Let’s find out here!
Salmon is one of the tastiest seafood items I know. Its smooth texture also adds to the overall flavor. Relatively, it is understandable why it comes with a hefty price tag.
Smoked salmon is even better. Not only does it taste great; it is also versatile and can be prepared in various ways. This is why despite the price, I find it to be worth it. However, it is only because I know how to make the most out of what I buy. The best way to do it, of course, is to preserve smoked salmon properly.
So, can you freeze smoked salmon? If yes, how and until when? I know that you have a lot of questions in mind right now. So, let us start finding out the answers!
Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon?
Definitely, you can freeze smoked salmon. Doing so will not just prolong the validity of a batch of a smoked salmon. It will also preserve the taste and texture of your meaty seafood item. In short, freezing it preserves its overall quality for a certain period of time.
Smoked salmon stays fresh when frozen. Why? It is because preservation occurs when the smoked salmon is at its finest quality. In fact, it is probably the freshest type of salmon you can find in wet markets or grocery stores.
A lot of people are worried about compromising the quality of their smoked salmons should they freeze them. It is about time we break that notion! It will remain fresh as long as you are mindful of how long you can freeze it.
How Can You Freeze Smoked Salmon?
Now, the question is, how can you freeze smoked salmon exactly? Of course, you do not just put it in the freezer. There are a few steps you need to observe.
First, slice the smoked salmon into thin strips. This will make everything you do, later on, a whole lot easier than you can imagine.
With the smoked salmon cut into tiny pieces, they can be defrosted quickly. Also, you may defrost only what you need for immediate consumption.
There is no need to worry about these thin strips sticking together once frozen. You would not have to separate them one by one during the thawing process. This is a common beginner’s misconception.
The shelf life of a smoked salmon decreases when you defrost the entire salmon just to get a few slices, then return the excess. This is a wrong practice. So, make sure that you cut them into thin strips before anything else.
After slicing, put the thin strips of smoked salmon in a two-layer plastic wrapper. Seal it tightly to prevent freezer burns. Optionally, you may add an extra layer of aluminum foil to make sure that there will be no freezer burns.
Then, place the wrapped smoked salmon inside freezer bags. Of course, you need to secure it as tightly as possible before getting rid of the excess air inside.
Once you have made sure that air can no longer penetrate through your smoked salmon, label the packaging. All you need to write is the date you first placed the seafood item inside the freezer. This is important, especially for forgetful parents like me. You need to keep track of the date. It will help you know until when you can eat the smoked salmon. More importantly, it helps prevent you from wasting an entire batch just because you forgot its supposed expiration date.
So, how long can you freeze smoked salmon without spoiling it? The answer is six months. It might be quite hard to believe; but I can say it with confidence and from experience. I tend to buy seafood items in bulk, especially when there are promotions and/or they go on sale. Of course, I also prepare them in bulk. So, the freezer is really my best friend here. As a busy mom, it is really convenient for me.
Thawing Frozen Smoked Salmon
So, now that we know how can you freeze smoked salmon, let us discuss how you can prepare it for consumption.
As I have mentioned earlier, it is important that you only take out what you need. This is the purpose of slicing the smoked salmon in thin strips.
When defrosting smoked salmon, first, you need to transfer the freezer bag(s) from the freezer to the fridge. This allows for a gradual change in temperature; you would not want to subject the smoked salmon to sudden temperature changes. Otherwise, it might spoil an entire bag.
Once the thawing process is complete, make sure that you consume the smoked salmon immediately. It is smart to defrost only what you think you can finish at the moment. You would not want to return the excess back to the freezer.
The thawing process should only be done once, ideally. This applies to most— if not all— seafood items, and not just to smoked salmon. You would not want to affect the quality of your food by taking it in and out of the freezer.
To Sum It Up…
Smoked salmon may come off relatively expensive. However, I can attest that it is worth it. I do not mind buying it in bulk because I know how to preserve it.
Learning how you can freeze smoked salmon is not that hard, right? All you have to do is to cut it into thin strips. Then, seal them airtight in the plastic wrapper before putting each set inside a freezer bag. Make sure that no air penetrates the bags to preserve the freshness of the smoked salmon.
Of course, date labels are necessary. They serve as a reminder of the expiration date of every smoked salmon batch. Usually, it is good for consumption until the sixth month since you first placed it in the freezer.
When defrosting, just take the smoked salmon out of the freezer and transfer it in the fridge. Make sure that you only defrost what you can consume immediately.
I hope this helps you make the most out of what you pay for your smoked salmon!
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