How Long Can Salmon Sit Out

How Long Can Salmon Sit Out?

Have you ever wondered how long you can leave salmon sitting out before it becomes unsafe to consume? Salmon is a popular and nutritious seafood choice, but it’s crucial to understand the proper storage and handling guidelines to ensure its freshness and safety.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the recommended timeframes for storing salmon in the fridge and freezer, as well as the signs of spoilage to watch out for.

So, let’s dive in and discover the best practices for keeping your salmon delicious and safe to eat!

How Long is Salmon Good For in the Fridge?

It’s crucial to remember that raw salmon has a short shelf life in the fridge. The recommended storage time for raw salmon in the fridge is two days.

To maximize its freshness, follow these simple steps. Place the salmon in a sealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent oxidation.

The ideal temperature settings for refrigerators is 32°F; however, most commonly found models tend to fall somewhere around 38°F which still constitutes acceptable performance levels.

For an extra boost in longevity, consider laying the salmon on top of a bed of ice. Once salmon is cooked, it can last another three to four days in the fridge, providing you with additional time to enjoy its flavors.

How Long Will Frozen Salmon Be Good in the Freezer?

If you have excess salmon or want to stock up for future use, freezing is a great option. Frozen salmon can last indefinitely, but it’s best to consume it within three months for optimal quality.

After this period, the texture and taste may start to diminish. Properly freezing raw salmon is crucial to maintain its quality. Rinse the salmon thoroughly before patting it dry and wrapping tightly in plastic wrap to protect it from freezer burn.

Then, place it in an airtight bag or container before freezing it. Cooked salmon will maintain its quality for six months in the freezer before it starts to decline in quality.

How Do You Thaw Frozen Salmon?

Thawing frozen salmon correctly is essential to preserve its texture and flavor. The safest method is to thaw it gradually in the refrigerator. Simply move frozen salmon from your freezer into your fridge overnight to allow it to defrost naturally.

Once thawed, consume the salmon within the next two days for the best results. If time is of the essence, an alternate option for defrosting frozen salmon could be using the microwave.

However, be cautious not to start cooking it unintentionally by knowing the weight and adjusting the microwave settings accordingly.

Note that defrosting frozen salmon in hot water should be avoided to avoid uneven defrosting and potential bacteria growth.

In a pinch, you can place the sealed bag of frozen salmon under cold running water to expedite the thawing process.

How to Tell if Salmon Is Spoiled

Determining whether salmon has gone bad is crucial to avoid consuming spoiled seafood, which can lead to foodborne illnesses. Here are some key signs to watch for:

Off Smell

The smell of salmon is typically the first indicator of spoilage. Contrary to popular belief, fresh salmon should have a neutral odor rather than a strong fishy smell. If you detect a strong fishy, sour, rancid, or rotten smell when you open the package, it’s a clear sign that the salmon has spoiled and should be discarded.

Unpleasant Texture

Texture can also provide clues about salmon’s freshness. Gently press your finger into the fillet—fresh salmon should feel firm and moist, and the flesh should spring back after you lift your finger. If the salmon feels like it will break when pressed or if it feels slimy or sticky, it has likely gone bad and should be thrown out.


Visual cues can be reliable indicators of spoilage. Fresh salmon should have a vibrant pink-orange color with shiny, silver skin. If the skin looks dull or the fillet has turned a faded gray, it’s a sign that the salmon is no longer fresh. Additionally, any milky-white residue, dark spots, or discoloration are definite indications of spoilage.

By paying attention to these signs, you can ensure that you’re consuming fresh and safe salmon, enhancing your dining experience while safeguarding your health.


Knowing how long salmon can sit out and understanding the proper storage methods is essential for maintaining its quality and safety.

Keep in mind, raw salmon should only be refrigerated for two days in the fridge while frozen salmon should be used within three months for optimal flavor and quality.

When thawing frozen salmon, prioritize gradual refrigerator thawing for best results, or use the microwave method if time is limited. Keep an eye out for signs of spoilage such as off smells, unpleasant texture, and discoloration.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy delicious and safe salmon dishes with peace of mind. So, go ahead and savor the flavors of this nutritious seafood, knowing you’re well-informed about its storage and freshness!






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