How Long Does Salmon Last in the Fridge? A Matter of Time

how long does salmon last in the fridge

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Salmon is a popular seafood that not only barbecue enthusiasts love but many people enjoy around the world. That is not a surprise; after all, it’s delicious, and it’s packed with nutrients and healthy fatty acids like omega 3, making it a healthy addition to your meal. If you are a salmon lower, it is important to store it properly to prevent it from spoilage. So how long does salmon last in the fridge? The answer depends on different factors, which I will cover in depth.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • How long does salmon last in the fridge? (cooked or raw)
  • How to freeze salmon?
  • How to reheat cooked salmon?
  • And much more!

How long does salmon last in the fridge?

I prepared Salmon in many different ways over the years, and when I leave it for too long in the fridge, I know that my heart will be broken if I need to throw it away. Also, if you eat spoiled salmon, you can get food poisoning, which is not a pleasant experience. This is why it is important to know how long does salmon last in the fridge. The answer depends on whether it’s cooked or raw.

Read more >> How long does shrimp last in the fridge?

How long does cooked salmon last in the fridge?

cooked salmon with vegetables

So in the case of cooked salmon, you have a bigger time frame, more specifically, 3-4 days if stored correctly. If you will not eat it within this period, it’s best to just freeze it for later. So is that true for smoked salmon as well? 

How long does smoked salmon last in the fridge?

Hot smoked salmon has a slightly longer shelf life, which means it can last up to two weeks if stored correctly. Before consuming, though, it’s always best to check for any signs of spoilage to prevent foodborne illnesses.

smoked salmon

How long does raw salmon last in the fridge?

Okay, so raw salmon should be consumed within two days of buying it. It can last three days if you buy it fresh, but keeping it in optimal condition in the fridge at 40 F or below is important. If you know that you won’t be able to cook it in the next few days after buying it, you can freeze it for later use.

These time frames are general rules, but keep in mind that there are other factors that can affect the shelf life of both raw and cooked salmon. These include: how it was stored before buying, how it was prepared, how you keep it in the fridge, and others.

How long does salmon last in the freezer?

raw salmon

If you want to freeze your cooked salmon, you can keep it in the freezer for up to three months. Keep in mind that the longer you store it, the poorer the quality will be. The texture and flavor will lessen over time.

Raw salmon, on the other hand, can be stored in the freezer for 3 to 8 months. As I mentioned earlier, the longer you store it in the freezer, the lesser the quality will be, so if you want to consume it while it still has good quality, it’s best to use it sooner rather than later.

Read more >> How long does cooked bacon last in the fridge?

How to freeze salmon?

All right, so if you want to freeze them, there are a few things you can do to ensure your salmon stays fresh for as long as possible. 

Keep it in an airtight container: If you want to avoid freezer burn, an airtight container is your best bet. Make sure to label it with the date stored to keep track of its freshness.

Use freezer bags: If you don’t have much space in your freezer, this option may be better for you. For the best results, make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible.

Vacuum seal the salmon: I know this option is not available for everyone, but if you do have a vacuum sealer, it is the best option to keep your salmon fresh for a long time.

No matter which option you choose, labeling with a date is a must to keep track of its freshness. Also, before placing the salmon, whether it’s raw or cooked, in the fridge or freezer, don’t let it sit at room temperature for more than two hours.

When you are ready to use your salmon, it’s best to defrost it in the fridge overnight to ensure even thawing.

Related >> Can you refreeze a turkey?

Can you refreeze salmon (after thawing)?

This is an interesting topic because, as a general rule, you shouldn’t refreeze salmon after it is thawed. However, it is possible to refreeze it if the following conditions are met. The salmon was thawed in the refrigerator and kept there for a shorter time frame, 1 to 2 days max. Anyhow, I would only recommend refreezing salmon if it’s absolutely necessary. Try only to thaw an amount that you will immediately use.

How to reheat cooked salmon?

So here you are, with some leftover cooked salmon. How to reheat them properly? There are a few options to choose from

reheating cooked salmon

Oven: This is probably one of the best ways of reheating your salmon. First, preheat the oven to 275 or 300 F, then place the salmon in a baking pan, cover it, and bake for about 10-15 minutes.

Stovetop: You can also use the stovetop to reheat salmon. Place the salmon in a pan, cover it with a lid, and start heating it over low heat until the internal temperature reaches 165 F.

Microwave: This option is not my favorite since the microwave doesn’t ensure even heating. Still, you can use this method if you are in a rush and have little time to eat a great meal. I suggest using it on low and covering the salmon to prevent it from drying out.

Grill: Now, this is a more specific one, as you’re probably not using the grill daily, but if you happen to grill something and have some leftover cooked salmon, you can easily reheat them by wrapping in aluminum foil and placing them on the grill.

How to tell if salmon is bad?

Can salmon go bad in the fridge? Unfortunately, yes. No matter how you store your salmon, there is still a chance it has gone bad, especially if you’ve stored it for longer. Always check for signs of spoilage before consuming it. There are a few signs that your salmon has gone bad, so let’s see what those are:

Smell: If you notice that your salmon smells sour or rotten, it’s a sign that it has gone bad. In this case, it’s better to discard it to avoid food poisoning.

Texture: If the salmon has a slimy texture, it may be a sign of bacterial growth, so avoid eating it.

Mold: If you notice any mold on your salmon, you should throw it away, even if it’s just a small spot.

Discoloration: A change in color can also be a telltale sign of spoilage. If you notice any grayish-brown, green, or such stains, it’s better to get rid of them.


How long can salmon sit out?

  • You shouldn’t leave salmon at room temperature for more than two hours. Also, if there is a hotter temperature, this time frame will be reduced to one hour.

Can I eat cooked salmon after 5 days?

  • Cooked salmon lasts 3-4 days in the fridge if stored correctly. If it was kept in the fridge at 40 F or below in an airtight container, it might still be safe to eat even after five days. In any case, check your salmon before eating it to ensure safety.

What happens if you eat bad salmon?

  • You want to avoid eating bad salmon at all costs because it leads to food poisoning. The symptoms could go from mild to severe. This includes nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and others. People with weaker immune systems or older people are at higher risk of developing more severe complications.

How to use leftover salmon?

  • There are many ways to use leftover salmon. The easiest is just to reheat it as it is and eat it with some salad. You can also get creative and make sandwiches, omelets, salmon cakes, salmon pasta, salmon Caesar salad, and others. 

Can you eat cold, cooked salmon?

  • Absolutely! In fact, if you prefer salads, sandwiches, or other dishes that don’t require heating, cold-cooked salmon can be a great option. Remember to store it in the fridge correctly for no longer than 3-4 days, and you will be good to go. Before consuming it, though, always check its quality and for any signs of spoilage to make sure it is safe to eat.


There are many great recipes with salmon, which adds great variety to your diet. If you prepare it the right way, the taste will be amazing. Besides cooking it correctly, it is important to know how long does salmon last in the fridge and freezer to ensure it is safe to consume. To make the most out of your leftover salmon, it is essential to know how to reheat it and how to use those tasty leftovers. Whether it’s cooked or raw, don’t forget to check for signs of spoilage, and if you notice any signs that it may have gone bad, it’s better to play it safe and throw it.


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Tom Wilmer

I'm Tom Wilmer, an award-winning pitmaster and BBQ judge. I share my passion for barbecue through my blog, BBQ Soldiers, offering recipes, tips, and smoker reviews. Let's grill together!

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