Have you ever thought, how did people preserve food before refrigeration came to life? The answer is here.
We can thank the Vikings for discovering the way of preserving fish by smoking. They used to smoke the fish and stock them up. Thus the fish lasted throughout the whole winter.
The idea then spread to England and throughout Europe. The idea then spread to England and throughout Europe.
The native Americans and Canadians also used to smoke Salmon. They had their different ways too. The native Americans used to cut fish filets and cure them with salt. Then they draped in a stick above the fire.
The Canadians in the Pacific used to butterfly the fish, attach it to a stake then insert the stake into the ground beside a campfire. The meat was cooked and smoked at the same time.
Thus the idea of smoking fish came to us.
Can you freeze smoked Salmon?
No other fish is as smoke friendly as the Salmon. Who doesn’t like the smell of smokey Salmon?
There are times when you have bought too much of it. Or maybe you have leftovers from the previous trip. Now you do not want to spoil your favorite Salmon.
You want to preserve them. Freezing any smoked fish can be tricky.
Have you ever thought if you can freeze smoked Salmon? The answer to this question is yes; you can. Still, there are specific steps and precautions you must take.
Doing it right, you can preserve Salmon for later without spoiling its flavor.
How Long Can Salmon Stay In The Fridge?
Before starting the process, you should know how long you can preserve the fish. The shelf life of a smoked salmon in a refrigerator is about two months. It must be perfectly wrapped.
Once the package is open, you can use it for three days. So, if you intend to use it within two months, you can just refrigerate it.
On the other hand, if you want your Salmon for longer, you have to freeze it. You can store it for about six months by freezing. You can also store foods containing Salmon at the same time.
But you have to consider the shelf-life of other ingredients too.
Preparing The Salmon
Before freezing, we need to make it first for the process. Preparing keeps the taste and aroma of the smoked Salmon intact. This includes slicing, packaging, and labeling the packages.
Air is the biggest challenge here. It causes oxidation, which leads to freezer burn and spoiling. Your goal is to keep the air as low as possible while packaging.
You can either store the whole fish or cut it into pieces. I prefer cutting the Salmon into small pieces as it is much easier to pack. Besides, I can make packages according to my family needs.
However, if you keep it whole, use up the entire fish while defrosting. Don’t refreeze it unless you want to spoil the meat.
No matter how much you try, there will be some air. Don’t worry; I have a solution for it too. Before the packaging process, brush the smoked Salmon with olive oil.
The oil creates a layer between wraps and the meat. Thus air can’t touch the flesh. It will keep the flavors intact. There are two ways to wrap up your Salmon.
- If you have a vacuum sealer, it’s effortless. You just wrap your Salmon with those plastic wraps. Then seal and squeeze all the air out of it with the sealer.
- If you don’t have a sealer, there is yet another simple way. Wrap the meat with two plastic bags carefully. Stay cautious while folding the edges so that air does not get trapped. This process takes time. But if you do this in the right method, it works just fine.
Labeling the Packages
After the packaging process, you must label it. You may think labeling is unnecessary. Imagine eight months later; you take out your frozen Salmon. You mix it with your favorite salad or sandwich. Then out of nowhere, a foul smell emerges.
Your Salmon has gone wrong as it expired two months ago. We are humans, and we forget more than we remember. So why take risks. To be on the safe side, label your packages. You can add expiry and packaging dates.
Thawing the Salmon
Thawing a salmon may not be as easy as it seems. If you’re thinking of defrosting the frozen Salmon in the microwave or warm water, think right away.
As it will not only spoil the flavor but also damage the meat texture. The meat can also get a bacterial infestation.
So, the proper way of thawing a frozen salmon is to keep it in the refrigerator in temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you wrap your fish in several layers, remove one and put the Salmon in a freezer bowl. This way, you can separate it from other foods that can absorb its smell.
The time of the thawing process depends on the size of the package. Approximately it will take about 24 hours.
Repeated Freezing Considerations
Most brands of store-bought Salmon have already frozen once. As the retailers find it more economical to keep the stock frozen to prevent degradation and spoilage.
The only way to be sure is to catch one and smoke yourself. In any other circumstances, it’s a better idea to freeze the Salmon right away.
You should know that if you are freezing or thawing is not a good idea. It will damage the meat structure and degrade the meat. Every food contains water and moisture.
Freezing often turns the water molecules into microscopic ice daggers. These make tiny cuts in the fibrous flesh structure. It also has the risk of growing bacterial infestation.
Now you know how to freeze smoked Salmon. If you follow my process accordingly, you can keep it for months. I can guarantee that it will taste like it bought yesterday.