How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last? Fridge Storage Guide

4/5 - (2 votes)

If you love fish then chances are you have cooked some salmon in the past. It’s one of those dishes that can be enjoyed on its own or used to level up a side dish. But here’s How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last In The Fridge?

What Is Cooked Salmon and Why Is It Beneficial?

Cooked salmon is a delicious and nutritious protein source that is loved by many people around the world. It is a lean fish that can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as grilled, baked, or pan-seared. This tasty fish is packed with vitamins and minerals that are great for your health.

One of the most significant benefits of eating cooked salmon is that it offers a wealth of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for good brain function, eye health, and reducing inflammation in the body.

Additionally, salmon is an excellent source of protein, vitamins B and D, and selenium, which are all essential for a healthy diet. With its delicious taste and incredible health benefits, it’s no wonder that cooked salmon is a favorite meal for many people!

What Is Cooked Salmon and Why Is It Beneficial

Why Is Salmon Storage So Important?

Salmon storage is critical since it directly impacts the fish’s quality, safety, and flavor. Proper storage aids in the prevention of deterioration, the preservation of freshness, and the reduction of the risk of foodborne illness. Here are some of the reasons why salmon storage is critical:

  1. Preventing Spoilage: Salmon is a perishable food that spoils quickly if not properly preserved. Spoilage can cause color, texture, odor, and taste changes in salmon, making it unpleasant to eat.
  2. Salmon is prone to bacterial growth, especially when exposed to temperatures in the “danger zone” of 40°F to 140°F (4.4°C to 60°C). Bacteria proliferate quickly and can cause foodborne illness if swallowed.
  3. Maintaining Freshness: Proper storage helps to preserve the natural flavor, texture, and nutritional value of the salmon. Fresh salmon has a bright color and a robust texture.
  4. Minimizing Odors: Salmon has a distinctive aroma that can easily transfer to other foods in the fridge or freezer if not properly sealed and stored. Proper storage helps prevent unwanted odor contamination.
  5. Reducing Freezer Burn: Freezing salmon without proper packaging can lead to freezer burn, where the fish becomes dehydrated and develops unappealing, dry spots.
  6. Preserving Nutrients: Correct storage helps retain the salmon’s essential nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.

How Should Cooked Salmon Be Stored?

You can store cooked salmon in an airtight container or wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss. Or you can store a salmon in different ways:

  • Refrigeration: If you plan to consume the salmon within a day or two, store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator (usually around 32°F to 38°F or 0°C to 3.3°C).
  • Freezing: For longer-term storage, freeze salmon at 0°F (-18°C) or lower. Use airtight packaging to prevent freezer burn and retain quality.
  • Packaging: Properly wrap salmon in moisture-proof and airtight packaging before refrigerating or freezing. Use plastic wrap, vacuum-sealed bags, or a combination of plastic wrap and foil.
  • Labeling: Label packages with the date of freezing to keep track of their shelf life.
  • Thawing: If frozen, thaw salmon in the refrigerator or under cold, running water to prevent bacterial growth.

How Should Cooked Salmon Be Stored

How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last In The Fridge

Salmon is a delicious and healthy fish that can be enjoyed in so many ways. From baked to grilled, salmon is a favorite for many seafood enthusiasts. However, once cooked, it’s important to handle the leftovers with care. So, how long does cooked salmon last in the fridge? According to the USDA, you can safely store cooked salmon in the fridge for three to four days.

It’s important to properly store cooked salmon in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to prevent moisture and bacteria from spoiling it. Keeping an eye on the expiration date of the raw fish and being cautious with storing and reheating can help ensure you get the most out of your cooked salmon.

How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last In The Freeze

The good news is that cooked salmon can last quite a while in the freezer, as long as it’s stored properly. In general, cooked salmon can last for up to six months in the freezer. Just be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and store it in an airtight container or freezer bag. 

What is the shelf life of cooked salmon at room temperature?

Leaving cooked salmon out at room temperature for too long can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria and spoilage. Generally, cooked salmon should be refrigerated within two hours of preparation to keep it fresh and safe to eat. If left at room temperature for more than two hours, the salmon should be discarded. 

Common Cooked Salmon Storage Mistakes

There are a few common storage mistakes that can completely ruin your salmon and take away the flavor you love.

  1. Cooked salmon should not be left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. Bacteria reproduce quickly in the “danger zone” of temperatures ranging from 40°F to 140°F (4.4°C to 60°C).
  2. Improper Cooling: Failure to adequately chill cooked salmon before refrigerating it can encourage bacterial growth. Allow the salmon to cool for about 30 minutes at room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator.
  3. Storing Too Long: Cooked salmon has a limited shelf life even when refrigerated. To preserve freshness and safety, consume it within 3-4 days.
  4. Inadequate Sealing: Air is the enemy of freshness. To avoid air exposure and moisture loss, store cooked salmon in airtight containers or securely wrapped in plastic wrap or foil.
  5. Cooked salmon can absorb scents from other strong-smelling items in the fridge when stored alongside them. To avoid odor cross-contamination, keep it in a separate container or wrap it tightly.
  6. Failure to identify cooked salmon with the date of preparation can cause misunderstanding regarding its freshness. To keep track of storage duration, always label containers with the date.
  7. Incorrectly Stacking Containers: Stacking containers or items on top of cooked salmon can crush and harm the fish. Place it in an area where it will not be crushed.
  8. Refrigerating Hot Salmon: Placing hot cooked salmon directly in the refrigerator can raise the overall temperature, potentially compromising the safety of other perishable foods.
  9. Overcrowding: Overcrowding the refrigerator or freezer can lead to uneven cooling and freezing, affecting the quality of the salmon.
  10. Freezing without Proper Packaging: Freezing cooked salmon without proper packaging can result in freezer burn. Wrap it in moisture-proof and airtight materials to maintain quality.

Common Cooked Salmon Storage Mistakes

How Can You Tell If Cooked Salmon Has Been Spoiled?

Cooked salmon can spoil and become unsafe to eat. So, how can you tell if your cooked salmon has gone bad?

  1. One way to identify spoiled salmon is to trust your nose. If it has a strong, fishy odor that is overpowering, it is likely past its prime.
  2. Additionally, look for any discoloration, particularly around the edges or areas that were exposed to air. Spoiled salmon may also feel slimy or have a tacky texture.
  3. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to err on the side of caution and discard the fish. Remember, eating spoiled salmon can lead to food poisoning, so it is always better to be safe than sorry.

How Should You Reheat Cooked Salmon?

If you’re wondering how to reheat cooked salmon, there are a few ways to do it while keeping the fish moist and not overcooked. Here’s how you can reheat cooked salmon effectively:

Oven or Toaster Oven:

    • Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 275°F (135°C).
    • Place the cooked salmon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil to prevent sticking.
    • Cover the salmon loosely with aluminum foil to retain moisture.
    • Reheat for about 10-15 minutes or until the salmon is heated through.


    • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.
    • Place the cooked salmon in the skillet and cover it with a lid or another pan to trap steam.
    • Reheat for about 3-5 minutes, occasionally checking for doneness.


    • Microwave reheating is convenient but can result in uneven cooking and a softer texture. To minimize this, follow these steps:
    • Place the cooked salmon in a microwave-safe dish.
    • Cover the dish with a microwave-safe cover or damp paper towel to prevent drying out.
    • Use 50% power or the “defrost” setting.
    • Reheat in 30-second intervals, checking for doneness after each interval.

Salmon Cooking Techniques (with Recipes)

Salmon is a popular fish known for its bright color, rich flavor, and high nutritional value. However, cooking this fish can sometimes be a daunting task. Fear not, as there are several easy and delicious ways to cook salmon that will make your taste buds dance. One popular technique is grilling, which adds a smoky flavor and char to the fish. Others can be:

Baked Salmon:

Baked Lemon Herb Salmon:


  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lemon slices for garnish
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried thyme, salt, and pepper.
  4. Brush the salmon fillets with the lemon herb mixture, coating them evenly.
  5. Place lemon slices on top of each fillet.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Pan-Seared Salmon:

Pan-Seared Teriyaki Salmon:


  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sesame seeds and green onions for garnish


  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Place the fillets in the skillet, skin-side down, and sear for about 3-4 minutes until the skin is crispy.
  4. Flip the fillets and pour teriyaki sauce over them.
  5. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes, basting the salmon with the sauce.
  6. Sprinkle sesame seeds and chopped green onions over the salmon.
  7. Serve the salmon over rice or your favorite side dish.

Conclusion: How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last In The Fridge

All in all, cooked salmon is a nutritious and healthy food, but it needs to be properly handled and stored as soon as possible after cooking. The timeline for cooked salmon in the fridge will depend on its storage method and the preventative steps taken to protect it. For best results, store cooked salmon in an airtight container or wrap it securely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. It should also be refrigerated right away if not eaten immediately and kept no longer than 3-4 days before being consumed or frozen. Leaving cooked salmon at room temperature can lead to bacterial spoilage which can cause illness, so be sure to keep cooked salmon out of danger by storing it safely at all times.


Can I reheat salmon that has been in the fridge for a few days?

Yes, you can reheat cooked salmon from the fridge. Follow gentle reheating methods, such as using an oven, stovetop, or microwave, to avoid overcooking.

What signs indicate that cooked salmon has gone bad?

If cooked salmon develops an off-putting odor, sliminess, unusual color changes, or an unpleasant texture, it’s best to discard it.

Can I freeze cooked salmon to extend its shelf life?

Yes, you can freeze cooked salmon to extend its shelf life. Wrap it tightly in moisture-proof and airtight packaging before placing it in the freezer.

How long can I freeze cooked salmon?

When properly wrapped and stored in the freezer at 0°F (-18°C) or lower, cooked salmon can be stored for up to 2-3 months.

Can I thaw and refreeze cooked salmon?

It’s best to avoid thawing and refreezing cooked salmon, as this can affect its quality and texture. Instead, thaw only the amount you plan to use.

How can I tell if cooked salmon has gone bad after refrigeration?

If the cooked salmon has a strong, sour, or fishy odor, an unusual texture, or an off-color, it may have gone bad and should be discarded.


Leave a Comment