How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last? How To Keep It Fresh

Every fish lover has had the day when they end up asking how long does cooked salmon last? Fish is notorious for spoiling quickly after being cooked, so it’s a totally understandable concern. Nobody wants to get themselves sick by eating bad fish.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made two beautiful pieces of salmon and then ended up wasting one of them because I wasn’t sure how long I could keep cooked salmon in the refrigerator.

Thankfully, I’ve learned the answers, and I’m here to share them with you today! Find out how long you can keep cooked salmon and how to help it stay fresher, longer!


The Basic Answer: Up To 3 Days

In most situations, cooked salmon can remain fresh in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you have still have salmon left after this time, you should dispose of it, as it might not be safe to eat.

After cooking salmon, make sure that you refrigerate it within two hours of cooking. This is because bacteria can grow on fish very rapidly at room temperatures, and the fish can become compromised if it was left out for more than two hours.

The Fresher It Starts, The Longer It Lasts

The fresher the fish is when you cook it, the longer the cooked salmon will last when refrigerated.

According to Test Kitchen: “If the fish was in good condition before I cooked it (not stinking, no ammonia, skin was firm), I would be sure to eat it within 3 days.”

If the salmon was already quite old before it was cooked, you should not keep any leftovers. Dispose of them immediately to avoid any potential health issues.

How Can I Tell If The Salmon Has Gone Bad?

If your salmon has been in the refrigerator for more than two days, you may be wondering how you can tell if it is still okay to eat it. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to tell when cooked salmon has gone bad.

The two main things you’ll want to do is to smell and look at the salmon. If you notice a sour smell, discard it. Do not taste it; just discard it! Secondly, if the salmon seems to have a slimy texture, discard it. Both a sour smell and a slimy texture are signs that the cooked salmon has gone bad and is not fit for consumption.

How Long Will Salmon Leftovers Stay Fresh?

The rules change a bit if you bought cooked salmon at a restaurant and brought your leftovers home to eat later. Because you did not prepare the salmon, you have no idea how fresh the fish was or exactly how it was prepared, which makes it harder to store.

If you have salmon leftovers from a restaurant, eat them within 2 days. After this, discard it to make sure that you do not get sick.

How Should I Store Cooked Salmon?

Once you’re finished eating your cooked salmon and are ready to store the leftovers, you’ll want to look for shallow airtight containers.

To store the salmon, try one of the two following techniques:

  • Store it in a shallow, airtight container for up to three days.
  • Wrap the fish tightly in plastic wrap or heavy-duty aluminum foil for up to three days.

Both of these methods will keep air away from the cooked salmon which will help prevent bacteria from forming. Always do one of these two things before refrigerating cooked salmon.

Freeze It For Longer Storage

If you have a lot of cooked salmon left over, you may want to freeze it. All you have to do is put it into a covered, airtight containers or a heavy-duty freezer bags before placing the salmon in the freezer.

Or, you can wrap the fish tightly with aluminum foil or freezer wrap instead.

If you have sealed the fish tightly, it will retain it’s quality for about 2 to 3 months. The fish will still be fresh for some months after that, but the quality will begin to degrade over time, so it is best to eat it before them.

How Can I Reheat Cooked Salmon?

Once you’ve refrigerated your cooked salmon, you may be wondering how to make it ready for your next meal!

The Microwave Method

You can reheat salmon in the microwave. Put the salmon in a microwave-safe dish and add a small amount (less than one tablespoon) of water. Reheat in 30 second intervals until it is warm. The water will help to prevent the fish from drying out. This is a great time when you want to reheat leftover fish!

All leftovers should be thrown away after they are reheated in the microwave.

SEE ALSO : Top 5 Best Convection Microwave Options Of 2017

In The Oven

If you’d rather use the oven, preheat it to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap the salmon up inside of it tightly. Then, place this salmon package onto a baking sheet. Put into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the fish at the end of the cooking time. If it is over 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it is ready to be eaten!

SEE ALSO : How To Choose The Best Convection Oven in 2017

Thawing Frozen, Cooked Salmon

If you froze your cooked salmon, you can thaw it in the refrigerator, cold water, or in the microwave. If you thaw it in cold water or in the microwave, you should throw away all leftovers, as the risk of bacteria growth will be even higher.

Eat Your Salmon With Confidence!

Now that you’ve learned how long does cook salmon last and how to identify if the cooked salmon has spoiled or not, you can eat your leftovers without worrying.

Remember that being vigilant about how you store your cooked salmon is a key part of making it sure it stays fresher, longer!


Do you have more tips on keeping cooked salmon fresh? Share with us below, then share this with friends like us who get worried about rotting food!

Sophia Gardner

I'm Sophia, food blogger, dog lover, homemade cooking and travel passion. I really hope you enjoy my blog, i'll do my best to share great recipes, healthy living tips and just general 'food' thoughts!

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