How Long Does Salmon Last In The Fridge?

Preparing a delicious salmon dish requires understanding how long does salmon last in the fridge. In this guide, you’ll find a comprehensive answer to this question, along with numerous helpful tips and techniques for handling salmon. Learn about the shelf life of salmon in the fridge and much more below!

How Long Does Salmon Last In The Fridge

Salmon stored in the refrigerator can primarily be classified into two categories: raw and cooked. Let’s explore each of these in detail.

How long does raw salmon last in the fridge? Raw salmon should ideally be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days after purchasing it from your local market. Beyond that, it should either be cooked or frozen.

How long does cooked salmon last in the fridge? Cooked salmon can last longer when properly stored in the refrigerator. When stored in your fridge, cooked salmon can remain fresh for three to four days.

How Long Can You Keep Salmon Frozen?

To preserve salmon for extended periods, freezing is an option. How long does salmon last in the freezer? For the best results when freezing cooked salmon, it can be stored for two to three months.

Raw salmon can also be frozen for longer durations if stored correctly, such as up to eight months. However, it is advisable to use it within the first three months for optimal quality. The shelf life of salmon ultimately depends on the storage method and the temperature at which it is maintained.

Tips for Storing Salmon in the Fridge

Storing Fresh Salmon in the Fridge

Storing raw salmon in the fridge is the most prevalent method. After purchasing from the grocery store, promptly place your salmon in the refrigerator, as it should not be left at room temperature.

The ideal temperature for preserving your fish’s freshness is 32°F. To maintain freshness, you can fill a dish with ice, place your fish on it, and then refrigerate until you are ready to prepare the salmon.

How Long Can Thawed Salmon Be Stored in the Fridge?

Thawed salmon should be kept in the fridge for no more than one to two days. Salmon stored in the fridge should be cooked or frozen before the second day ends. After that, your salmon is likely no longer safe for consumption.

How Can You Determine if Thawed Salmon is Spoiled?

To ascertain if your thawed salmon has gone bad, trust your senses. First, visually examine your salmon. If it appears discolored, gray, or green, it has likely spoiled.

Another way to evaluate spoilage is through smell. If the salmon emits an off or rotten odor, it is no longer edible. Additionally, you can touch the salmon—if it feels excessively slimy or displays mold, it is spoiled and should be discarded.

How Long Does Cooked Salmon Stay Fresh in the Fridge?

The shelf life of cooked salmon in the fridge depends on the storage method. When storing cooked salmon in the fridge, place it in an airtight container. Typically, cooked salmon will stay fresh for three to four days in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F or lower.

Can Salmon Last for 3 Days in the Fridge?

If your salmon is cooked, it can last for three days in the refrigerator. Conversely, raw salmon should not be stored for more than two days in the fridge. Raw salmon needs to be cooked within two days and can then be stored back in the refrigerator after cooking.

Can Salmon Go Bad in the Fridge?

Yes, salmon can spoil when stored in the fridge. Salmon should not be left in the refrigerator indefinitely, as it will eventually go bad. Uncooked salmon can be stored in the fridge for one to two days before spoiling.

Cooked salmon, on the other hand, can last for three to four days in the fridge before going bad. Regardless of whether it is raw or cooked, salmon can spoil if left in the fridge longer than the recommended times mentioned earlier.

How Long Does Frozen Salmon Last In The Freezer?

While storing salmon in the fridge is the most common method, freezing salmon is also a viable option. Let’s examine the freezer life of salmon and the best practices for keeping it fresh.

Is it OK to freeze cooked salmon?

Cooked salmon can last for three to four days when stored correctly in the fridge. If you want to store salmon for longer periods, you can definitely put cooked salmon in the freezer. Freezing salmon allows you to extend its shelf life beyond what can be achieved by refrigeration.

How Long Can You Keep Salmon Frozen?

The duration for which frozen salmon remains good to eat depends on whether it is cooked or uncooked. There are two distinct methods to freeze salmon: in its cooked form and in its raw state.

Cooked Frozen Salmon: As per the USDA guidelines, cooked fish that has been frozen can be safely consumed for up to three months when stored in the freezer. For optimal results, maintain a storage temperature of 0°F or below for cooked salmon.

Raw Frozen Salmon: Raw salmon can be frozen as well, and it typically lasts anywhere from three to eight months when stored at 0°F or below.

Can You Refreeze Thawed Salmon?

Absolutely! Salmon that has been previously frozen can be refrozen, provided it has been consistently stored in the refrigerator. For best results, it is recommended to let the salmon thaw completely before refreezing it.

How Long Can Salmon Sit Out?

It is inadvisable to leave salmon at room temperature for more than two hours. For best results, store your salmon in the refrigerator or freezer. Salmon left out for longer than two hours should be discarded, whether it is raw or cooked.

Has Your Salmon Spoiled?

Visual Inspection

First, examine your salmon visually. Look for any discoloration, gray areas, spots, or mold. Also, inspect the texture of the fish—sliminess or a milky appearance are red flags. If you observe any of these signs, your salmon is no longer safe to eat and should be discarded.

Tactile Examination

Another way to evaluate spoilage is by touching the salmon. If it feels slimy or sticky, it has gone bad.

Olfactory Assessment

Smell your salmon to check for any unusual odors. If your salmon has a musty, rotten, or simply unpleasant smell, it has likely spoiled. When you detect a foul smell, dispose of the salmon and do not attempt to consume it.

Taste Test

If your salmon passes the previous tests, you can try tasting the cooked salmon. However, if it tastes off in any way, discontinue eating it.

Salmon Expiration Date

Checking the expiration date on your package can also give you an idea of how long your salmon may last when stored properly. However, it’s crucial to remember that salmon can sometimes spoil before the expiration date, so relying solely on this is not a foolproof method.

Does Salmon Go Bad After Cooked?

Salmon can still spoil even after being cooked. You can use your senses, as described earlier, to evaluate the cooked salmon. Begin by observing the color—it should be a beautiful light pink, whether it is cooked or raw.

If you notice spots or gray areas on the salmon, it may have begun to spoil. Additionally, examine the smell, texture, and taste of the salmon. If anything seems off, avoid consuming the cooked salmon.

Best Ways to Keep Salmon Fresh

Selecting Quality Salmon: To savor the most delicious taste from your cooked salmon, choosing fresh varieties is highly recommended. Fresh salmon can be easily purchased from your local grocery store, or you may opt for frozen salmon, which is usually more budget-friendly. However, bear in mind that frozen salmon may not offer the same level of freshness as its fresh counterpart.

Refrigeration Techniques: For optimal storage conditions, it’s best to keep your salmon refrigerated at approximately 32°F. As standard refrigerators typically maintain temperatures around 38°F to 40°F, you can achieve the desired level of coolness by placing the salmon on a bed of ice within the fridge.

To refrigerate your salmon effectively, follow these steps: First, transfer the fish to a sealed plastic bag, leaving the bag slightly open. Then, submerge the entire bag, except for the seal, into water, creating a vacuum-sealed storage method. Next, fill a large pan, such as a roasting pan, with ice and place your salmon on top of the ice within the refrigerator. Allow the raw fish to rest in the refrigerator for one to two days before cooking.

Freezing Techniques: Salmon can be frozen in both raw and cooked forms. For optimal freezing results, store salmon in an airtight container, a vacuum-sealed bag, or a sealable freezer bag with all the air squeezed out. Place the prepared salmon in the freezer at a temperature of 0°F or below. Cooked fish can be stored in the freezer for up to three months, while raw fish maintains its quality for a period ranging between three and eight months.

How to Thaw Frozen Salmon

If you need to defrost frozen salmon, several effective methods are available. Below, we discuss three reliable techniques for safely thawing your salmon.

Refrigerator Thawing – The Safest Method

The most secure method for thawing salmon involves placing it in the refrigerator overnight. Begin by removing the salmon from the freezer and setting it inside a bowl. Then, place the bowl with the salmon in your fridge. Overnight, the salmon will thaw while remaining sufficiently chilled. Once fully thawed, it is recommended to cook the salmon within one to two days to maintain its freshness.

Cold Water Thawing

Another option is the cold water thawing method, which allows for quicker defrosting. It is essential to use only very cold water for this method, as hot or warm water could spoil the salmon.

To thaw salmon using cold water, partially fill a bowl with icy cold water. Submerge the frozen salmon in the water and place the bowl on your countertop. Remember to change the water every 15 to 30 minutes to keep it cold. Once the salmon is fully thawed, cook it immediately.

Microwave Thawing

You can also thaw your salmon using a microwave. Start by removing the salmon from its packaging and placing it on a microwave-safe dish. Use the defrost function on your microwave to thaw the fish. For optimal results, cover the salmon filet with a damp paper towel while microwaving.

Once your salmon is defrosted in the microwave, it should be cooked right away. It’s important to note that defrosted salmon should not be returned to the fridge, as it is already partially cooked. Microwave thawing is the quickest method for defrosting salmon.

Can You Put Thawed Salmon Back In The Fridge?

The answer to whether you can thaw salmon and then refrigerate it is somewhat complex. The only acceptable way to transfer thawed salmon to the refrigerator is if the initial thawing process took place in the fridge. If you used cold water or a microwave to thaw your salmon, it should never be returned to the fridge while still raw.

However, any fully cooked salmon can be safely stored in the refrigerator. Just make sure to place it in an airtight container before refrigerating it for 3 to 4 days to prevent spoilage.

How Do You Reheat Cooked Salmon?

If you have leftover cooked salmon and want to enjoy it later, there are several methods for reheating it. The three primary techniques include using a microwave, an oven, or a grill. Let’s explore each method in detail.


Although reheating salmon in the microwave should be considered a last resort, sometimes it’s the only available option. To reheat using this method, place the salmon on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a moist paper towel. Heat the salmon in 30-second intervals, checking its progress after each interval. Continue microwaving until the internal temperature reaches approximately 165°F.


The most effective and recommended method for reheating salmon is by using an oven. Preheat your oven to 300°F, place the salmon in a baking dish, and cover it with aluminum foil. Warm the fish for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until its internal temperature reaches 165°F.


You can also reheat salmon on a grill. Wrap the salmon in aluminum foil or brush it with butter, then place it on the grill at 300°F. Heat until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Tips For Making Salmon Soft Again?

For the best results when reheating cooked salmon, opt for the oven method. This technique helps prevent the fish from becoming overly tough and dry.

Preheat your oven to 300°F and place the salmon in a baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 165°F. If desired, brush the salmon with butter before reheating.


Is salmon OK to eat if it smells?

Consuming spoiled salmon should be avoided at all costs. Bad salmon can cause severe illness and, in some cases, even be fatal. If you have doubts about the freshness of your salmon, it’s best to discard it.

What are some ways to use leftover salmon?

Leftover salmon can be utilized in various ways. You can simply reheat it and enjoy it as is. Alternatively, try making salmon dip, adding it to a lettuce salad, or creating a salmon pasta salad. The possibilities are limitless.

Is it okay to reheat salmon twice?

While some claim that reheating cooked salmon multiple times is acceptable, it is generally not recommended. It’s best to limit reheating to two times for optimal quality and safety.

Can you eat cooked salmon cold?

Yes, it is safe to consume cold cooked salmon. However, ensure that the salmon has been properly stored in the refrigerator and has not exceeded three days.

Final Thoughts

In this guide, we’ve covered how long salmon can be stored in the fridge, proper reheating techniques, and more. Raw salmon can be kept in the fridge for one to two days, while fully cooked salmon can last 3 to 4 days when stored at 40°F or below. Cooked salmon can also be frozen at 0°F or below for up to three months.

We hope you find this information helpful and that it enhances your understanding of salmon, proper storage, and more! Feel free to save this post for future reference or leave a comment below to let us know if it was beneficial to you!






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