Smoked salmon is a great food source of protein and people widely enjoy it because of its rich smoky pop of flavor and its tender texture. However, salmon is an expensive fish and it doesn’t sound fair to spend so much money and time on preparing it and then having to throw away the unused fish.
So, you might be wondering whether can you refreeze smoked salmon?
Refreezing cooked smoked salmon is completely safe. For raw marinated smoked salmon, check for the ingredients before wrapping it. Methods like flash-freezing and vacuum-sealing enable you to refreeze salmon safely with minimum loss of flavor. It is recommended not to refreeze salmon more than once as repeated thawing and refreezing spoils the food.
For safe refreezing of smoked salmon, here is a list of guidelines that will prove beneficial for retaining the texture and taste.
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Is It Safe To Refreeze Smoked Salmon?
Smoked salmon is prepared through methods like smoking, curing by rubbing salt, sugar, and other spices onto the fresh fish, and marinating the fish in a mixture containing different ingredients. So, you get a smoked salmon rich in its taste and texture.
Also, how well the cured salmon refreezes depends upon the type of salmon you are trying to refreeze. Therefore before getting started with the refreezing process, here are four common types of smoked salmon:
The most loved type of smoked salmon is the hot-smoked salmon. Hot-smoked salmon is prepared by cooking or grilling the salmon at a high temperature of 120°F or higher so that the fish has a rich smoky flavor and quite flaky texture.
This type of smoked salmon is cured and then smoked at a temperature of 80°F or even lower and has a smooth and silky texture.
Lox is prepared by curing the salmon belly in a mixture of salt, sugar, herbs, spices, and sometimes citrus zest. After curing the salmon, it is cooked with wood smoke. Due to this reason, the salmon adopts a salty and woody flavor of the cure and smoke.
Nova gets its taste from cold smoking the salmon after bringing or curing. It is cooked over a low temperature and imparts a smoky flavor.
Gravlax salmon is prepared by curing the fish in a mixture of salt, sugar, and dill. It is then cut into thin slices. Gravlax is served as an appetizer and is either raw or slightly cooked.
All these smoked salmon refreeze well, given that you follow the refreezing guide properly. The only thing that affects how well the salmon refreezes is the ingredients used in preparing smoked salmon.
Note: The cream-based ingredients don’t freeze well, so you should avoid adding cream if you are interested in the safe refreezing of smoked salmon.
Things To Consider When Refreezing Smoked Salmon?
If you let the raw salmon sit in the refrigerator for any more than 24 hours, the chances are that the taste and quality of the fish have already started degrading.
After cooking, smoked salmon can safely be refrozen. However, if you don’t wrap up the salmon properly, there is a considerable risk of going bad.
For safe refreezing, you should immediately place the cold-smoked salmon and avoid leaving it on the counter for more than 1-2 hours as room temperature greater than 90°F for more will promote bacterial growth.
Most importantly, refreeze the frozen fish before the ice crystals have melted away, or the fish has become soft. If you think the recommended time limit has passed, it’s better to toss out the salmon.
Therefore, refreeze the leftovers only if you are sure they have not been sitting out for longer than the advised time limit. However, if you are not certain or in some doubt, it’s best to discard the leftovers right away.
Remember that store-bought smoked salmon should be immediately popped into the freezer or refrigerator, depending on how long before you use it.
Two Best Ways To Refreeze Smoked Salmon
After defrosting the salmon in a refrigerator, you can follow one of the two refreezing methods given below to ensure the safe refreezing of smoked salmon.
Wrap And Refreeze
- Once defrosted, divide the salmon into portions by cutting it into small pieces. It will let you take out the required portion of salmon and save the remaining fish from ruining.
- After cutting it into small pieces, coat both sides of salmon pieces with olive oil. It will reduce the risk of air exposure and will seal in the flavor of the smoked salmon.
- Next, tightly wrap the fish in cling-film or Ziploc bags but make sure you remove the extra air before sealing. You can even use vacuum-sealed bags to ensure no excess air gets in contact with the fish pieces and helps lower the contamination risk.
- Once sealed properly, label the bags with the refreezing date and put them inside the freezer.
- To get started, first carefully place the smoked pieces on a freezer-safe tray in a single layer in such a way that no pieces are in contact with the other. Flash-freezing the salmon, will help store most of its freshness.
- When the smoked salmon pieces have frozen completely, take them outside the freezer and start wrapping them tightly in plastic wraps or Ziploc bags. Make sure to press out the extra air before wrapping them up.
- After you have carefully wrapped and sealed the salmon pieces, you can put them inside a freezer-safe bag or container to avoid freezer burns.
- Label the container or bag with the date of refreezing so that you may keep track of how long before the salmon goes bad.
- Now you are ready to place the packaging inside the freezer safely.
How Long Can You Refreeze Smoked Salmon?
Refreezing salmon is safe and it can be kept refrozen for up to 3-6 months, depending on how well you prepare it for refreezing.
However, it is advised to use the salmon as soon as possible. Because the longer it is kept refrozen, the greater is the quality loss.
Is It Safe To Refreeze Smoked Salmon More Than Once?
Refreezing smoked salmon repeatedly is not recommended because refreezing the fish repeatedly will lead to further loss of quality and flavor.
Instead, you can refreeze the smoked salmon in portion sizes as it will help you save the unused fish from losing stored flavor.
Therefore, it is best to choose the flash-freezing method to save the remaining fish from further degradation.
Refreezing smoked salmon is completely safe and can be stored for up to 6 months. However, after this period has crossed, you must discard it.
As long as the ingredients used in marinating the smoked salmon are freezer-friendly and follow the refreezing instructions cautiously, you can successfully refreeze the smoked salmon.