How Long Is Salmon Good For In The Fridge? | Storage Time

When it comes to enjoying the delicate flavors and nutritional benefits of salmon, freshness is key. Whether you’re a culinary enthusiast or simply someone who enjoys a healthy meal, understanding the shelf life of salmon in your fridge is crucial. Our comprehensive guide, “How Long Is Salmon Good for in the Fridge,” is designed to empower you with expert knowledge on storing salmon safely and maximizing its quality. We delve into the specifics of salmon preservation, offering insights that not only ensure you enjoy the best taste and texture but also prioritize your health. This article is a must-read for anyone looking to make informed decisions about their seafood consumption. Join us as we explore effective storage techniques, signs of spoilage, and tips to extend the freshness of your salmon. Prepare to elevate your culinary experience and confidence in handling one of the sea’s most cherished offerings.

Shelf Life of Raw Salmon

When optimally stored, raw salmon has a refrigerator shelf life of two to three days from the time of purchase. However, the exact timeframe can vary based on the specific cut and type:

  • Fresh, wild-caught salmon – lasts 2-3 days
  • Farm-raised salmon – lasts 2-3 days
  • Salmon fillets or steaks – lasts 2-3 days
  • Whole salmon – lasts 2-3 days
  • Smoked salmon – lasts 3-4 days

No matter what type of raw salmon you buy, it’s important to use it right away for the best quality. Never leave raw salmon sitting out for over two hours at room temperature. As a perishable protein, salmon can enter the temperature danger zone between 40°F-140°F when left out too long, allowing bacteria to rapidly multiply. After sitting out for more than two hours, it’s best to discard the salmon.

To determine if raw salmon is still fresh and safe to cook, check for the following signs of spoilage:

  • Slimy texture and foul or “fishy” smell
  • Discoloration or graying around the edges
  • Dull, faded appearance overall

If you notice any of these red flags, throw the fish away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when handling raw seafood.

Shelf Life of Cooked Salmon

Compared to raw, cooked salmon lasts a little longer in the fridge. When stored properly in airtight containers, cooked salmon keeps for 3 to 4 days. Make sure to refrigerate any leftovers within two hours of cooking. Split cooked salmon into shallow containers so it cools faster, preventing bacterial growth.

To maximize the shelf life of cooked salmon, consider these tips:

  • Store in air-tight glass or plastic containers.
  • Place containers on lower shelves of the refrigerator, which are colder.
  • Add a marinade, sauce or oil to help seal out air and lock in moisture.
  • Portion cooked salmon into freezer-friendly amounts before freezing for longer term storage.

Check cooked salmon for the following signs that it may be spoiled:

  • Dry, flaky texture
  • Unpleasant odors
  • Mold growth
  • Sliminess

Discard cooked salmon immediately if you notice any of these red flags. Don’t take risks when it comes to seafood that’s been lingering in your fridge.

Freezing and Thawing Salmon

For extended storage, freezing salmon can keep it safe and fresh for 4-6 months. Raw salmon can be frozen indefinitely, while cooked salmon keeps for 2-3 months in the freezer.

Follow these tips for freezing salmon properly:

  • Place salmon in freezer bags or airtight containers.
  • Remove as much air as possible prior to sealing.
  • Portion into amounts ready for cooking/eating.
  • Label bags with type of salmon and date.

Salmon that is flash frozen right on the fishing boat maintains higher quality. However, you can still freeze salmon successfully at home with some preparation:

  • Rinse and pat salmon fillets dry.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined pan or plate.
  • Place in the freezer until firm and frozen through.
  • Transfer to airtight bags or containers for long-term freezer storage.

The safest ways to defrost salmon are in the refrigerator or by submerging sealed bags in cold water. Defrosting can take anywhere from 12-24 hours depending on the portion size. Avoid defrosting salmon on the counter or in hot water due to food safety risks.

Microwave defrosting is not recommended, as it can begin cooking salmon unevenly. If defrosting frozen cooked salmon, plan to eat it immediately after thawing for food safety.

Additional Tips for Storing Seafood

Additional Tips for Storing Seafood

Salmon isn’t the only type of seafood that requires careful cold storage. Here are some key storage timelines for other popular fish:

  • White fish (cod, tilapia, halibut) – 2-3 days raw, 3-4 days cooked
  • Shellfish (shrimp, lobster, crab) – 1-2 days raw or cooked
  • Mollusks (oysters, mussels, clams) – 1-2 days raw, 3-4 days cooked
  • Tuna (fresh) – 1-2 days raw, 3-4 days cooked

No matter the species, the same basic guidelines apply. Store seafood below 40°F, use ice or freezer gel packs to keep fish as cold as possible, and consume sooner rather than later for the highest quality. Proper handling and chilling can prevent a seafood dinner from going south.


When stored properly in the refrigerator, raw salmon will keep for 2-3 days and cooked salmon for 3-4 days. Observe the same two-hour rule for cooked salmon as you would for raw, avoid freezer burn by freezing in airtight packaging, and defrost using the refrigerator method or cold water technique for best results. Keep your salmon safe, delicious and fresh by keeping these refrigerator and freezer storage tips in mind. Knowing exactly how long salmon and seafood will last can give you peace of mind about serving healthy and tasty fish that your family will enjoy without worry.

Leave a Comment