How Long Can Salmon Sit Out – Raw, Cooked & Freezed

We can agree that salmon steals the show from every other fish out there.

Salmon is a popular fish at mealtime, in part because it is a rich source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. Also, salmon is one of the perishables that should not be left out for too long.

But how long is too long? How long can salmon sit out?

How Long Can Raw Salmon Last?

The amount of time salmon lasts depends on many factors, including if it’s raw or cooked. When it comes to fresh salmon, it doesn’t last very long without being in the refrigerator.

Raw salmon generally last for approximately two hours when left at room temperature. After this time frame, it will start to break down and will no longer be good to eat.
Also, leftover salmon can go bad if you leave it at room temperature for hours.

The longer it sits out, the greater the opportunity there is for new pathogens to infect it. The main reason for this is that a warm environment provides a medium for rapid bacteria growth.

Can I Eat Raw Salmon Left Out Overnight?

No, of course not! Bacteria can grow quickly and can make the food become unsafe to consume. Eating raw salmon left out overnight can cause health issues such as food poisoning.

overnight salmon

It is extremely important to be aware of how long your salmon has been out of the refrigerator. Also, the warmer the room is, the less time the fish should be left out.

How Long Can Cooked Salmon Last?

The salmon’s freshness depends on how you cook and keep it. Cooked salmon in the refrigerator is good for 3-4 days in the freezer. You should store your cooked fish properly so it will last longer.

At room temperature, cooked salmon can last up to 2 hours. However, it shouldn’t be left out of the fridge for more than 3 hours. If that happens, the salmon shouldn’t be consumed.

How To Tell If Salmon Has Gone Bad?

You want to make sure the salmon has the maximum nutritional content and the utmost optimal taste. Of course, you want to be clear of all risks, that’s why it’s important to check if raw salmon has any signs of spoilage.

quality salmon

Fresh salmon is usually bright pink or at least an attractive rosy or slightly orange color. You should stay away from grayish salmon. Raw salmon should smell fresh, so a strong fishy smell is a sign to avoid it. Fresh salmon has defined white lines all across it, so one sign of spoilage is the absence of these lines.

When you press it with a finger, fresh salmon flesh should bounce back. When fresh, it has a firm flesh that won’t break apart when you press into its flesh.

What Happens If You Eat Bad Salmon?

It is very dangerous to consume spoiled fish. This can enhance your risk for the fish containing bacteria that will cause food poisoning. Three types can occur when eating fish and they are ciguatera and scombroid poisoning.

Ciguatera poisoning can have a variety of symptoms, but the most common are abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Scombroid poisoning develops symptoms almost immediately or within 20-30 minutes after consumption.

Salmonella is the worst type of poisoning to get, especially from fish. Salmonella occurs because of potentially harmful bacteria that can be found in raw fish.

How To Store Salmon Properly?

To prevent raw or cooked salmon going bad, you can store it to prevent bacteria spread on high temperature. Here’s how to do it.

How to Freeze Raw Salmon?

Freezing raw salmon is easy. You should clean it and cover it with plastic wrap. The air should be pressed out and seal the raw salmon. We recommend you seal the salmon in a vacuum pack.

Guide To Store Cooked Salmon

You can choose between these two methods – storing in the fridge or freezer.

In the fridge – make sure your cooked salmon has cool off. Use airtight bags or containers for storing cooked salmon. Plus it’s a good idea to write down the date that you put your salmon in the fridge.

cooked salmon

In the freezer – let it cool off and cut it into smaller portions. Wrap it with parchment paper or foil before storing. Remove the excess air and seal it tightly. Also, you can label the date and the title on your freezer bag.

Is it Better to Freeze Raw or Cooked Salmon?

The main advantage to store food in the freezer is to extend its life longer. Both raw and cooked salmon can be frozen. However, cooked salmon tends to last longer in terms of quality in the freezer than raw salmon.

If you freeze the cooked salmon correctly, 2 to 3 months is ideal for it to maintain its finest quality, but it can last up to 6 months. The raw salmon will last up to three months.

Make ensure the temperature in your freezer is always at 0 °F ( or -17°C).

If you place your raw salmon in the freezer (make sure that is wrapped properly), it will last up to three months. So, if you don’t plan on cooking it, freezing it will probably be your best option.

How To Choose High-quality Fresh Salmon?

Choosing the best salmon is essential in order to have a healthy meal. There are some things you should pay attention to if you want to buy high-quality salmon.

  • Appearance – So, first consider how the salmon looks. It should be light pink if it’s a framed salmon and dark pink if it’s a wild-caught salmon. If the muscle of the salmon has fractures in it, it’s an indicator of mishandling or rotting. It should look moist and firm.
  • Smell -If you can, smell the salmon before buying to make sure it has a fresh, clean sea smell. Avoid those too-fishy smells, strong odors and sour.
  • Texture – Feel its texture by touching it. When you softly push the salmon meat, it should bounce back if it is fresh and of good quality. Don’t buy sticky or too soft salmon.

choosing salmon

Bonus Tips

Salmon is safest when cooked at a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62.7°C). When it reaches this temperature, you’ve killed or damaged any type of pathogen that may be in the fish.
Make sure you prepare your salmon on a clean surface. Anything that’s been in contact with raw salmon should be washed thoroughly.

To Wrap It Up

Although salmon is extremely yummy and healthy, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check it before use. It’s still meat that can easily go bad and cause serious health issues. It is very important to take all the right precautions from purchasing it at the store to the proper storage of it once it’s cooked.

Ivana is always desirable for adventures so she was working in restaurants on the Croatian coast, participated in Caffe barista tournaments, led a gardening business, and more. She is a healthy food enthusiast, prefers vegetarianism, and practices yoga. In her free time, she likes to study ancient Buddhist scriptures as well as psychology.