how to defrost salmon
how to defrost salmon

How to Thaw Frozen Salmon

November 3rd, 2022

A Step-by-Step Guide

How to thaw fish is competing with this

Knowing how to thaw salmon properly ensures that you’ll be able to enjoy all of the quality and flavor that your fish has to offer. It’s important to thaw frozen salmon the right way because when done improperly, you run the risk of damaging the quality of the fish. In some cases, improper thawing technique can lead to food safety issues.

Luckily, defrosting fish properly is easy. We’ve got you covered here with two different step-by-step methods:

  • The Best Way (10 to 12 hours)

  • The Quick Way (less than an hour)

If you’re really short on time, consider cooking salmon from frozen. Although we recommend taking the time to thaw your salmon properly for optimum flavor and texture, knowing how to cook salmon from frozen can open up your meal options throughout the week when you don’t have time to plan ahead.

The Best Way to Thaw Salmon

Time needed: 10-12 hours, or until defrosted through

Defrosting salmon overnight in the refrigerator is the best way to preserve the integrity of the fish. This is also the safest way to thaw frozen fish, since it gradually defrosts in controlled, cool temperatures that inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. 


Remove salmon from its vacuum-sealed packaging.


Place your seafood on a plate/tray lined with paper towels or a tea towel that will fit on a low shelf in your refrigerator, arranging them in a single layer if possible. The paper towels will absorb the liquid melting off the salmon. 


Place this on a low shelf in the refrigerator (typically the coldest spot in the refrigerator). 


Once the salmon is thawed — this will usually take 10-12 hours — rinse it to remove any remaining ice glaze, then pat it dry before cooking to remove any excess moisture for best flavor and texture. We recommend cooking your seafood within a day or two of being defrosted.


How to Defrost Salmon Quickly

Time needed: Less than an hour

For those days when you don’t have enough time to thaw salmon the standard way, you can use a safe and quick thaw technique that will have you cooking in under an hour — even as little as half an hour, depending on the thickness of the fillet.

SAFETY NOTE: Keep in mind, for food safety’s sake, you’ll only want to do a quick thaw if you’re planning on cooking your seafood promptly after thawing.

Remove the salmon from its vacuum-sealed packaging. 


Then, place it in a separate, resealable bag that can be sealed tightly. 


Next, fill a bowl with cool water. The bowl should be large enough to hold all of the seafood you’ll be defrosting, and the water should be cool to the touch. Do not use warm water for food safety reasons.


Put the resealable bag of salmon into the bowl of cool water, keeping it submerged with something weighty. At the 20- or 30-minute mark, change out the water in the bowl, refilling with cool water, making sure that everything is still submerged.


Once the salmon has thawed, rinse it to remove any remaining ice glaze. Then, pat it dry before cooking.

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