Updated December 28, 2017
Q. My son brought home a whole salmon from his fishing trip, and we cooked it up for dinner. The problem is, the salmon was huge and now there are a lot of leftovers that we can’t possibly eat all at once. My son would be disappointed to see his catch go to waste, but it won’t keep long enough in the fridge for us to finish it. I know that you can freeze smoked salmon, but I’ve never heard whether it’s possible to freeze cooked salmon. It would be great if I could just portion it out and freeze it to eat later. Can you freeze cooked salmon?
A. Not to worry, because you can freeze cooked salmon. Freezing salmon can be a bit tricky, so it’s best to take your time and prepare the fish first for best results. Fish that’s been frozen and then thawed can sometimes have a strong smell, but it’s less of a problem with cooked fish. Still, you may want to make sure that you place it in a part of the freezer where it won’t be in contact with another food that may take on a fishy smell.
How to Freeze Cooked Salmon?
To freeze cooked salmon, make sure it has cooled completely. Cut the pieces into individual serving sizes for easy thawing. Wrap each piece in parchment paper, and then place in a freezer bag. Squeeze out the excess air and seal the bag. Then, label and date the bag. Frozen cooked salmon will keep well for about 2 months. The longer it is frozen, the more the consistency will break down once thawed. When fish is frozen and then thawed, the ice crystals that form when freezing can cause the fish to become a bit soggy after thawing. To minimize this, fish should ideally be frozen as quickly as possible. Placing it at the bottom of a deep freezer will help freeze the fish faster than in the ice box of a refrigerator.
Thaw Cooked Salmon
To thaw, remove the fish from the freezer and defrost in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Pat dry with a paper towel before reheating to remove excess moisture. Frozen fish can also be reheated from frozen. It is advised to reheat salmon in an oven, to preserve both flavour and texture. Consume thawed, cooked salmon within 24 hours for best results. Never refreeze previously frozen cooked salmon.