Can You Refreeze Salmon? – Is It Safe?
Salmon is one of the most commonly consumed seafood around, as it is also one of the most accessible. That said, it never fails to make for a highly nutritious and tasty meal if you know what you are doing in the kitchen.
Aside from being a matter of food safety, it is also a matter of convenience. After all, we’d all like to have this delicious fish on hand whenever possible.
It is wholly unsurprising, then, that most people ask the question: can you refreeze salmon? Yes, it is perfectly safe to refreeze salmon for up to 8 months. Just be sure the salmon is fresh and safe to eat, that it thawed properly the first time, and has not been left out too long.
Keep reading to learn more about how to properly refreeze salmon, as well as some safety and practicality considerations you’ll want to keep in mind.
Why Refreeze Salmon?
So, before we get into the specific methods of how you can refreeze salmon, we’ll look first look at the reasons why you might want to do that in the first place.
- Longevity – Fresh salmon has a very short shelf life. Even if you put it in the fridge, chances are that it will spoil quickly. This is a basic fact that everyone knows.
- Remember, even the salmon you get from the grocery has been frozen to ensure that it doesn’t go bad. So, if you’ve just bought a fresh batch of salmon or if you have thawed any but never got around to cooking it, then you need to ensure that you stick it back in the freezer to make sure that it doesn’t turn.
- Preventing Food Waste – Leftovers after a big meal is pretty commonplace. However, when it comes to salmon, you should consider refreezing them. This way, you can reheat them later on. After all, the last thing that you’d want is to waste perfectly good food.
- Practicality – Another reason why you should refreeze salmon is practicality. Let’s put things in perspective. Unlike other types of fish, salmon is by no means cheap. So, letting it go to waste by not putting it back in the freezer is tantamount to throwing away your hard-earned cash for no good reason.
- Accessibility – As one of the healthiest types of seafood around, salmon should always be in arm’s reach. After all, if you are serious about eating healthy, then you should also prepare accordingly. By refreezing your salmon, you are effectively safeguarding the sustainability of your diet by always having a healthy source of protein on-hand.
These are just a couple of reasons why you should consider freezing salmon. Despite far from being an exhaustive list of reasons to do so, the reasons listed above should give you a clear idea of the specific circumstances that would warrant such a procedure.
Things to Consider Before Refreezing Salmon
There are a couple more things we have to discuss before the actual freezing methods. Most of these have to do with the freshness and the state of your salmon.
Remember, most of the salmon that are available in your local grocery store has undergone a freezing process beforehand. This should come as no surprise. After all, most places don’t have the privilege of having a nearby source for wild salmon.
So, it only makes sense for it to be frozen. This is done to maintain its freshness as it goes into transit and as it arrives in your trusty grocery. It is also worth noting that in most places, it is highly recommended that you purchase salmon frozen.
That said, there are a couple of things you need to ask beforehand:
How long has it been left out?
If you want to ensure that your salmon is still fresh, then you need to ensure that you can refreeze it within two hours of being left at room temperature. Going over that limit would raise serious food safety concerns and you run the risk of freezing salmon that has already gone bad.
Moreover, if the salmon has been left out in temperature over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then you need to ensure that it is refrozen in less than an hour.
How long has it been in the fridge?
If you left it in the fridge, then you also need to keep track of how long it’s been there. Salmon, like most fish, can only last so long after thawing even in the refrigerator.
At best, it can last you three days. So, be sure to put it back in the freezer if you aren’t planning on cooking it within that time.
Was it properly defrosted the first time?
Now, this may seem like an odd question, but it will affect how you get to enjoy your salmon later on. Remember, if your salmon was properly defrosted after being flash-frozen then it is safe to refreeze it after.
However, you shouldn’t refreeze the fish if it wasn’t thawed properly. This is because improper thawing will damage the salmon’s cell structure and drain it of its moisture and flavor. So, you will end up with a tough and dry fish.
Remember, freezing food is not a magical solution. It doesn’t turn back time and restore freshness.
Rather, it just works to preserve the salmon in its current state. That means that if your salmon has been left out at room temperature for four hours, then refreezing it will not solve your problem.
That is why you must follow the basic food safety guidelines regarding freezing and thawing salmon. As a rule, you will want to use the salmon sitting in your fridge within a couple of days. Otherwise, you will need to refreeze it to ensure that it remains fresh and edible.
Now that we have discussed the reasons why you should refreeze salmon, as well as the different things you need to consider, we can now look at how you can go about refreezing salmon.
Fortunately, the process of refreezing salmon is as straightforward as it can get. Be sure to follow these steps closely:
- First, lay out some parchment paper and wrap the salmon pieces individually. This will give the salmon additional protection from freezer burn and prevent them from sticking together.
- Place the wrapped salmon in freezer-safe bags. Make sure to get the sealable types.
- Squeeze out any excess air from the bag before sealing.
- Properly label the bag. Using a permanent marker, write down the date of freezing so you can always keep track of how long your salmon has been sitting in the freezer.
- Place the bag on a flat surface in the freezer.
It is worth noting here that freezing salmon is the best course of action if you want to ensure salmon’s longevity. If done correctly, a properly refrozen salmon can last for as long as eight months in the freezer.
Make sure to put in the time and effort to properly follow the steps presented above. The procedure is specifically designed to ensure that your salmon is not only kept fresh in the freezer, but it also ensures that it is protected from freezer burn.
Thawing and Using Refrozen Salmon
Now that you know how to properly refreeze salmon, it is time that we also look at the right way to thaw it. After all, you aren’t refreezing for its own sake. Instead, you refreeze the salmon so you can use it at a later day.
That said, you also need to ensure that you are following the proper thawing method if you want to enjoy salmon the way that it should be.
There are two ways that you can thaw you refrozen salmon:
- Refrigerator Method – The first way is perhaps the easiest though it takes longer. All you need to do is take your pack of refrozen salmon out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator. Usually, it will thaw over 8 hours. So, do yourself a favor and take it out the night before. This way, the salmon will be able to thaw overnight as you sleep.
- Cold Water Method – The second method involves immersing your frozen salmon in a bowl of cold water. Then change it every 30 minutes until the fish has completely thawed. Needless to say, it is a tedious method that requires your attention but it gets the job done.
That said, the last thing you would want to do is to defrost the salmon in the microwave.
As stated earlier, if you let it thaw too quickly then you run the risk of damaging its cellular structure which will inadvertently affect the fish’s texture and taste.
Salmon is one of the most widely enjoyed seafood around. It is incredibly luscious, tasty, and nutritious. That is why it only makes sense for you to always have it conveniently within arm’s reach.
That said, you need to ensure that you closely follow the steps presented here so that you can properly refreeze your salmon.
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