How Long Does Salmon Last In The Fridge?


How Long Does Salmon Last In The Fridge?

When you are preparing delicious salmon, it is important to know how long does fresh salmon last in the fridge. Below you can find a very easy answer to this question, as well as many other helpful tips and tricks you should know when handling salmon. Be sure to learn how long can salmon stay in the fridge and much more below! 

Salmon with lemon cooking

How To Store Salmon

Knowing how to properly store salmon is important when preparing any kind of salmon dish. Today we are going to look at the different ways that salmon can be stored, as well as how long it is good in each storage method. 

How Long Can Salmon Stay In The Fridge?

Salmon stored in the fridge can be broken into two main categories, raw and cooked. Let’s look at each one of these. 

How long does raw salmon last in the fridge? Raw salmon is best stored in the fridge for one to two days after it has been purchased from your local grocery store. After that, it should either be cooked or frozen. 

How long does cooked salmon last in the fridge? Cooked salmon can last longer when stored properly in the fridge. Salmon that has been cooked my last between three and four days stored in your refrigerator. (USDA)

How Long Can Salmon Stay In The Freezer?

Salmon may also be frozen if you wish to keep it for longer periods of time. How long does salmon list in the freezer? For best results when freezing cooked salmon, it can last between two and three months.

Raw salmon may be frozen for longer amounts of time if stored properly, such as up to eight months, but for best results, you want to use it before the first three months have passed. Ultimately, how long salmon is good for can depend on how you store it, and what temperature it is stored at. (USDA)

Salmon Storage Tips: How Long Salmon Lasts in the Fridge

Storing Raw Salmon In The Fridge

Storing raw salmon in the fridge is the most common method. When you get home from your local grocery store, you will want to place your salmon in the fridge for storage, as it should not be left at room temperature.

The best temperature to keep your fish at is 32°F, so if you want to keep your fish as fresh as possible, fill a dish with ice, and set your fish in it, then refrigerate until you are ready to cook the salmon. 

How Long Can Thawed Salmon Stay In The Fridge?

Thawed salmon should only stay in the fridge between one and two days. Salmon stored in the fridge should be cooked or frozen before the second day has passed. After that, your salmon is likely to not be good any longer. 

Salmon streight on

How Can You Tell if Thawed Salmon is Bad?

The best way to tell if your thawed salmon has gone bad is by using your senses. First, take a look at your salmon, if it appears to be discolored, gray, or green, your thawed salmon has likely gone bad.

Another way to tell is to smell your thawed salmon. If it smells off, or rotten your salmon is likely no longer good. You may also try touching the salmon, if it is excessively slimy, or moldy, the salmon is bad and should be thrown out. 

How Long is Cooked Salmon Good For, In The Fridge?

How long cooked salmon is good for when stored in the fridge, may depend on how it is stored. Cooked salmon should be placed into an airtight container when stored in the fridge. Your cooked salmon will typically last between three and four days in your refrigerator at 40°F or lower. 

Can Salmon Last 3 Days in the Fridge?

If your salmon is cooked, it can last for three days in your refrigerator. Raw salmon on the other hand should not be stored longer than two days in the fridge. Raw salmon needs to be cooked before two days have passed, and then may be stored back in your fridge after it has been cooked. 

Can Salmon Go Bad in the Fridge?

Yes, believe it or not, salmon can go bad when stored in the fridge. Salmon may not be left in the fridge indefinitely, as it will go bad eventually. Salmon may be stored in the fridge as uncooked salmon for one to two days before going bad.

Cooked salmon on the other hand may last between 3 to 4 days in the fridge before it goes bad. No matter if it is raw or cooked, salmon can go bad if left in the fridge longer than the recommended times stated previously. 

Storing Frozen Salmon: How Long Will Frozen Salmon Be Good In The Freezer?

Although storing salmon in the fridge is the most common, can you also freeze salmon? Yes, salmon can be frozen if you wish to store it for a longer amount of time. Below, we are going to learn all about the salmon’s freezer life, and the best way to keep salmon fresh in your freezer. 

Should I Put Cooked Salmon In The Freezer? 

Cooked salmon can last between 3 to 4 days if stored properly in your fridge. If you wish to keep salmon for longer amounts of time, you can most definitely put cooked salmon into the freezer. Freezing salmon will allow you to store cooked salmon for a longer amount of time than you can by storing it in your fridge. 

How Long Can You Keep Salmon Frozen?

How long salmon is good for in the freezer will depend on what form your salmon is in. There are two different ways you can freeze salmon when it is cooked and uncooked salmon. 

Cooked Frozen Salmon. According to the USDA, cooked fish that has been frozen can last for up to three months in your freezer. Cooked salmon should be stored at 0°F or below for best results.

Raw Frozen Salmon. Raw salmon may also be frozen but may last between three to eight months when stored at 0°F or below. 

Can I Refreeze Previously Frozen Salmon?

Yes! You can refreeze salmon that was previously frozen. To refreeze previously frozen salmon, the salmon should have been stored in your fridge the entire time. For best results, you will ideally want to allow the salmon to thoroughly thaw before it is refrozen. 

Salmon with lemon

How Long Can Salmon Sit Out?

Salmon should never sit out at room temperature for any longer than two hours maximum. You will want to store your salmon in the fridge, or freezer for best results. Salmon that has been left out for any longer than two hours should be thrown away, no matter if it is raw or cooked. 

How To Tell If Salmon Is Bad

There are a few basic ways you can examine your salmon to tell if it has gone bad. These ways use your senses to examine the fish to see if there is anything out of the ordinary. If anything appears to be off with your salmon, it is best to throw it away and not risk getting sick from eating it. 

Is Your Salmon Spoiled?

Using Your Eyes To See

First, use your eyes and take a good look at your salmon. Check to see if your salmon is discolored, has turned gray, has any spots, or mold on it. You can also look to see if your salmon is slimy or has a milky appearance. If you see any of these, your salmon has gone bad and should not be eaten.  

Using Your Hands To Touch

Another way you can tell if your salmon has spoiled is to touch it. If your salmon feels slimy, or gooey, it has turned bad on you. 

Using Your Nose To Smell

You can also take a whiff of your salmon to see if it smells off at all. If your salmon smells musty, rotten, or just off, your salmon has most likely gone bad. When you detect a bad smell in your salmon, throw it away and do not attempt to eat it. 

Use Your Mouth To Taste

If your salmon passes all of the other tests, you can try tasting your cooked salmon. However, if your salmon tastes off in the least, do not continue eating it. 

Salmon Expiration Date

Another way you can tell if your salmon is spoiled is to check the expiration date on your package. Although sometimes your salmon may spoil and your date still be good, this is another check that will indicate how long your salmon may last if stored properly. 

How to Tell if Salmon Is Bad after Cooking

After your salmon has been cooked, it can still go bad. You can use your senses as mentioned above to determine if cooked salmon is bad. Begin by looking at the color of your salmon, it should be a lovely light pink, no matter if it is cooked or not.

If you see spots or gray on your salmon it may have started turning. You can also check the smell, texture, and taste of your salmon to determine if anything is off. If you think it might have gone bad, do not eat your salmon after cooking it. 

How to Tell if Raw Salmon Is Bad

You can also use the above mentioned ways to tell if your raw salmon has turned bad. Examine your uncooked salmon with your eyes to see if the coloring is off, smell it to see if your salmon smells rotten, and look at the texture of your fish to see if it is slimy. If it appears to be off on any of these, then your salmon has most likely gone bad. Do not eat salmon that has gone bad, but throw it out. 

How to Properly Store Salmon

Buy Fresh. Fresh salmon often is the kind that tastes the best after it has been cooked. If you want to give this a try, you can pick up fresh salmon at your local grocery store. You can also purchase frozen salmon as well. You may find that frozen salmon is lower cost. Frozen salmon is also very good, it just may not have the fresh taste to it. 

How To Refrigerate. It is recommended that your salmon be refrigerated at 32°F. Since most refrigerators run around 40°F to 38°F you can accomplish this by allowing your salmon to lay in a bed of ice in the fridge.

First, transfer your fish to a sealed plastic bag. Leave the bag slightly open and immerse the entire bag except for the seal into the water. This will give you a vacuum sealed type storage method.

Next, fill a large pan, such as a roasting pan with ice. Set your salmon on top of the pan of ice in place in the refrigerator. Allow your raw fish to sit in the refrigerator for up to one to two days before cooking. 

How To Freeze. Salmon may also be frozen in both raw and cooked forms. To freeze, your salmon will be best if stored in the air tight container, vacuum sealed bag, or sealable freezer bag with all of the air squeezed out. Then, simply placed it into your freezer at 0°F or below. Cooked fish can last up to three months in your freezer, and raw fish may last between three and eight months when stored in your freezer. 

How To Defrost. You can defrost your frozen salmon by placing it into your refrigerator overnight, sitting you are sealed salmon in a bowl of cold water, being sure to change the cold water every 30 minutes so that the water does not become warm, and microwaving your fish on the defrost function. Please note that if you use your microwave, your salmon must be cooked right away. 

Salmon on the grill

Thawing Salmon

Now, let’s look in detail at how you can thaw your salmon that has been frozen. To do this, there are three main methods you can use. You can refrigerate your salmon, thaw it in cold water, or thaw the fish in your microwave. Below are the details on how to safely thaw your salmon using these three methods. 

Thaw in Refrigerator – The Safest Method

The safest method to thaw salmon is to place it in your refrigerator overnight. To do this, you’ll remove it from your freezer, and set it inside a bowl. Place the salmon inside of the bowl in your fridge.

Your salmon should thaw overnight while it sits in the refrigerator. Your salmon will stay cold, but it should no longer be frozen. Please note that once your salmon is fully thawed, it should only remain in the refrigerator for one to two days before it is cooked. 

Thaw in Cold Water

Another way is to thaw your salmon in cold water for a faster thawing method. Please note that it is important that you use very cold water to thaw your salmon. Under no circumstances should you ever use hot water or warm water as you will run a chance of causing your salmon to go bad. 

To thaw salmon in cold water, fill a bowl part of the way with very cold water. Add your frozen salmon and submerge it in the cold water, place it on your countertop to thaw. Change your water every 15 to 30 minutes so that your water stays cold. Once your salmon is thawed, cook your fish right away. 

Thaw in the Microwave

You may also thaw your salmon in the microwave if desired. To do this, you will want to remove the salmon from its packaging and place it on a microwave safe dish. Use the defrost function on your microwave to thaw the fish. We suggest covering your salmon filet with a damp paper towel while it is microwaved.

As soon as your salmon is defrosted inside your microwave, cook it right away. Salmon that is defrosted in your microwave may not be put back into your fridge, as it is already partially cooked. Using your microwave to defrost your salmon is the fastest way to thaw it out.

Can You Defrost Salmon and then Refrigerate?

The answer to if you can defrost salmon and then refrigerate it is yes, and no. The only way you should ever place and defrosted salmon into the refrigerator is if your salmon has been thawed in your refrigerator. If you thawed your salmon in a bowl of cold water, or in the microwave it should never be placed back into the fridge while still raw

On the other hand, any salmon that has been fully cooked may be placed back into the refrigerator to store. Be sure to place your salmon into an airtight container and then refrigerate for 3 to 4 days before the leftovers go bad. 

How To Reheat Salmon

Cooked salmon may be reheated to enjoy the leftovers if you wish. There are three main ways you can reheat cooked salmon. Those three ways include using your microwave, oven, and grill. Please see the details for each of these methods below. 


Using the microwave to reheat your salmon should be your last resort, however, sometimes it is your only option. To use your microwave, you want to place your salmon and a microwave-safe plate, and cover it with a damp paper towel. Place your salmon into the microwave and microwave for 30-second intervals checking on your salmon in between. Microwave your salmon until it reaches an internal temperature of approximately 165°F. 


The best way to reheat your salmon is to warm it inside of your oven. To do this, preheat your oven to 300°F. Then, add your salmon into a baking pan and cover with aluminum foil. Place your fish into the oven, and warm for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of your salmon reaches 165°F. 


You can also use your grill to reheat the salmon if desired. To do this, it’s best to cover your salmon in aluminum foil or brush it with butter. Then place it onto your grill at 300°F and warm your salmon until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. 

How can I reheat my cooked salmon without making it too tough and dried?

The best results of reheating cooked salmon can be enjoyed when you reheat your salmon in the oven. This allows your cooked salmon to reheat without making it too tough and dried out. 

To reheat your salmon in the oven, preheat your oven to 300°F, and place your salmon inside of a baking pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of your fish reaches 165°F. You may also try brushing your salmon with butter before reheating it if desired. 

Salmon top down

How long can cooked fish sit out?

No matter if your salmon is cooked or raw, your fish should only sit out for two hours or less. If the fish that’s ever at room temperature any longer it runs the risk of growing unwanted bacteria, which can make you ill by eating it. To be safe, allow your fish to sit out only while it is being served and then refrigerate afterward. 

Please note that the two-hour rule applies to fish when it is kept between 40°F and 90°F. If your fish is exposed to a temperature that is 90°F or above, it should only be stored at room temperature for one hour or less before it goes bad. 

How long is cooked salmon good for?

Cooked salmon is good for a different amount of time depending on how it is stored. Cooked salmon stored at room temperature is good for two hours or less. Once your salmon is refrigerated, after it has been cooked, it will last between 3 to 4 days when stored at 40°F or below. Cooked salmon may also be frozen at 0°F or below and can last up to three months in the freezer. 

How To Choose High-quality Fresh Salmon

There are some easy ways you can keep in mind that will help you choose high-quality fresh salmon when you are shopping at your local store. These main ways include appearance, smell, and texture. All of which will play a factor in helping you choose high-quality salmon. 

Salmon Appearance. Examine the salmon fillet. If you see any kind of fractures in the fish’s muscle, do not buy that salmon. It could be a sign that the salmon has started to rot. Look at the color of your salmon to help determine the freshness.

Ideally, you’ll want to choose a salmon that is bright pink or orange-colored. You can also look at the packaging to help determine freshness. If the packaging is not vacuum sealed, examine it closely for any collection of water. You’ll want to avoid buying salmon that has water collecting inside the package. 

Salmon Smell. If you are able to smell the salmon, determine if it has a strong fishy smell, or smells sour or rotten. If you detect any of these, avoid buying that fish. You’ll want to try and find a salmon fillet that has a nice clean sea smell to it. 

Salmon Texture. Another way you can examine the salmon is to look at the texture of the meat. If the meat is nice and pink and bounces back when pressed, this is an indication that it is fresh. Avoid buying any kind of salmon that is sticky, soft, or slimy. 

For Choosing Frozen Salmon

When choosing frozen salmon, you can also look at the color and appearance of your salmon. You will also want to examine the packaging of your frozen salmon. If there appears to be any kind of damage to the packaging, avoid buying the salmon as it may have grown bacteria. You will also want to examine the salmon for any kind of frost inside the packaging. That salmon is likely freezer burnt and has been frozen for a long time. 


What happens if I eat bad salmon?

You want to avoid eating bad salmon at all costs. Bad salmon can make you very sick, and in some cases could even result in death. If you are in doubt as to whether your salmon is good or not, throw it out. 

Will I have food poisoning after I eat cooked salmon?

As long as your salmon is fully cooked, the USDA recommends cooking your salmon to an internal temperature of 145°F (62.8°C), and it has been properly stored, there is no reason why you should get food poisoning by eating cooked salmon. However, if your salmon has not been stored properly, or has gone bad, then you could risk food poisoning by eating bad salmon.

What is the best way to use my leftover salmon?

There are different ways you can use leftover salmon. Some include simply reheating your salmon and enjoying it again. You could also try making salmon dip, adding salmon to your lettuce salad, or making a salmon pasta salad. Your options are limitless. 

Can I reheat my cooked salmon more than 2 times?

Many say that you can reheat cooked salmon as many times as you want. However, we would not recommend reheating your salmon more than two times. 

Is it safe to eat cold cooked salmon?

Yes, you can eat cooked salmon that is cold. Be sure that your salmon has been properly stored in the refrigerator, and has not exceeded three days in the fridge. 

Grilled Salmon With Lemon

Now the question is, how long can the salmon last in the fridge?

Not only have we learned about how long salmon can stay in the fridge, but we have also learned much more. Salmon can stay in the fridge for one to two days when it is raw, and 3 to 4 days after it has been fully cooked. We hope that this helps you and that you have learned a lot about salmon, proper storage, and much more! Please be sure to save this post for later, or comment below and let us know if this was helpful to you!

Before you go, we are excited to share one of our favorite salmon recipes with you that is super easy to make. If you were looking for an easy go-to salmon recipe, check out this one below! 

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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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