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Thread: To Freeze or Not To Freeze Smoked Salmon? Plus pics, I rule!

  1. #1

    Default To Freeze or Not To Freeze Smoked Salmon? Plus pics, I rule!

    The smoked salmon I froze had a mushier texture when it came out of the freezer as is to be expected. I have noticed that alot of the smoked salmon in the stores is vacuum sealed and not frozen. How long can I keep it unfrozen? I would like to keep the unfrozen texture as long as possible. The pic is from lunch time Fri Caught three in 30 min. One got off right before I landed it.
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  2. #2
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    Nice catch!!

    I freeze my smoked salmon and don't notice any change in texture. I dry brine the meat - no liquids just salt and seasonings and brown sugar and smoke for about 6-8 hours depending on the outside temperature and humidity.

    I let it cool completely and then pack with my Foodsaver. I thaw at room temperature a couple of hours before serving. I have kept salmon for over a year and still had it come out of the freezer with the same flavor and texture it had when put in.

    How do you smoke/pack/thaw your fish? That might have something to do with the texture. As far as how long unfrozen fish will last you might want to contact the University of Alaska Extension service.....they had an office at Lake Otis and Northern Lights in Anchorage a few years ago....the last time I needed information. I would guess there are chemicals added to stabilize the meat and the vacuum packers they use get a VERY high level of vacuum, more than you can get with the typical home packer.

    Any food scientists on the forums???
    Last edited by gusdog44; 09-27-2009 at 12:46. Reason: spelling

  3. #3

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    Dry brine, food saver, then into the freezer. I usually thaw in warm water or on the counter. It's still really good but not quite as good as fresh.

  4. #4
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Just threw some smoked coho in the freezer today.

    Stuff I smoked up last Sunday in the wind and rain (worst conditions possible.) It turned out acceptably. These were the 5 parapalegic DIPAC cohos I snagged the week before.

    Did a smoked salmon dip and cheese/cracker/salmon with the fresh stuff. No one at work or home complained . . .

    Used two different brines - (1) Yoshida's with a little extra water and (2) the "std" - salt, brown sugar, molasis and garlic.

    The Yoshida's was the best, as usual.

    Looks like the DIPAC run is over. It was lame this year. Maybe I can get a few more to can up this week. We'll see. Got a pressure cooker for my barfday.

    Added - Yes, I vacuum pack with a Foodsaver and I NEVER thaw in warm water. You want a sloooooowwwww thaw to preserve taste & texture IMO.
    Last edited by L. G.; 09-27-2009 at 18:23. Reason: Thawing

  5. #5

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    Thanks again LG. Any idea if Montana is still going? This is my last week to fish before I leave for awhile so I am going to be hitting up my spots pretty hard during my lunches.

  6. #6

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    Since "thawing" came up in a few of these posts, I'll repeat something that was mentioned in another thread about thawing your vacuum sealed fish. It was pointed out that the bag should always be punctured or the fish taken out before thawing. Otherwise, you have your fish returning to thawed status while under pressure, thus pulling moisture out of it. Sure makes a lot of sense, and I've been doing it ever since. Coal Point Processing in Homer even has this note on their website:

    VERY IMPORTANT
    for thawing your fish at home.
    Take fish out of the vacuum pack bag and place the fish in a bowl then in a refrigerator to thaw.

    http://www.welovefish.com/seafood-processing.htm

    Food for thought, so to speak...
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

  7. #7

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    That does make alot of sense. Thanks!

  8. #8

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    Another tip shared with me by a commercial processor...If you freeze fish with the intention of smoking it later, be sure to completely thaw the fish in the refridgerator before brining/smoking. If not completely thawed, you will have a soft/mushy product.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by SemperFi View Post
    The smoked salmon I froze had a mushier texture when it came out of the freezer as is to be expected. I have noticed that alot of the smoked salmon in the stores is vacuum sealed and not frozen. How long can I keep it unfrozen? I would like to keep the unfrozen texture as long as possible. The pic is from lunch time Fri Caught three in 30 min. One got off right before I landed it.
    I was wondering the same thing. It seems to me that the commercially packaged products are much more firm than my finished product....

    When I checked for ingredients, there were no mention of additional preservatives either, just salt and alder smoke.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by L. G. View Post
    Just threw some smoked coho in the freezer today.

    Stuff I smoked up last Sunday in the wind and rain (worst conditions possible.) It turned out acceptably. These were the 5 parapalegic DIPAC cohos I snagged the week before.

    Did a smoked salmon dip and cheese/cracker/salmon with the fresh stuff. No one at work or home complained . . .

    Used two different brines - (1) Yoshida's with a little extra water and (2) the "std" - salt, brown sugar, molasis and garlic.

    The Yoshida's was the best, as usual.

    Looks like the DIPAC run is over. It was lame this year. Maybe I can get a few more to can up this week. We'll see. Got a pressure cooker for my barfday.

    Added - Yes, I vacuum pack with a Foodsaver and I NEVER thaw in warm water. You want a sloooooowwwww thaw to preserve taste & texture IMO.
    Was lucky and caught 2 at DIPAC today on pink flying C's. Heading out to cowee creek tomorrow, not sure if they are still out there though...?

  11. #11

    Thumbs up works for me...

    I vac pack and freeze cold smoked salmon strips every year. Like the earlier poster said, poke a hole in the bag so it does not thaw under pressure and draw moisture out.

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