Conditions and periods of storage of salted fish (in the refrigerator, freezer, brine)

Red salted fish is a valuable source of essential omega acids. This product gives beauty, youth, is useful for men, women, children, and the elderly. Previously, it was considered a delicacy. Nowadays it appears more and more often on our tables and is present in the daily diet. Therefore, every housewife should know the storage rules, expiration dates, and signs of spoilage.

Fish of the salmon family has a delicate taste and light aroma, so it is often used lightly salted. This option is most susceptible to damage. If there is insufficient salt in the product, bacteria actively develop and the risk of poisoning increases. Let's look at how to store salted red fish at home, how much and where it is better to do it, what kind of dishes and packaging to choose.

How to choose

When you are certain about what type of fish you need (weighted, sliced, fillets in vacuum packaging from the manufacturer, etc.), you can go to the store.

  • Weighted salmon or pink salmon (lightly salted) should be light pink. If they are dark in color, the product may be expired. And the light appearance of the meat with a grayish tint is an indication that it was frozen.
  • The meat of high-quality fish after salting has good density and elasticity (there should be no separation). If you put a little pressure on such a product anywhere, there should be no deformation left.
  • When choosing a steak, you need to take into account that the grayish layer that exists between the flesh and the skin should have a small thickness, and the bones cannot lag behind the meat.
  • The side cut of the fish fillet should be even. Then we can assume that high-quality fish was used for salting.
  • An increased number of white veins in the meat indicates that it was taken from the part of the fish that is closer to the tail. It is usually lean and dry. The fillet closer to the head is more tender in taste and contains more fat.
  • If the product is packaged in vacuum packaging, it is important that there is no air or liquid in it. This will be an indicator of a violation of production technology. It is important that the date of issue is clearly indicated on the label.

It is not advisable to purchase vacuum-packed seafood packages that lie on shelves instead of the refrigerator.

What if the fish is lightly salted?

Light brining means that the salt concentration in the brine intended for processing is minimal. If we mean the low-salt nature of the wet salting method, then it tends to increase every day. That is, if today the salmon placed in brine is lightly salted, then in 3-4 days it will already be medium salted, and then it will become a heavily salted fish if preserved in brine.

The advantages of lightly salted fish are considered to be its delicate taste, juiciness of meat and density of fibers. This quality cannot be achieved by heavily salting each layer. Therefore, many housewives prefer to cook lightly salted fish, and then carefully monitor its quality and further process it if necessary.

Reference! With weak salting, the salt concentration does not exceed 5% of the total volume.

Lightly salted fish can be stored for 2 to 4 days. It should be checked every day for plaque. The inspection includes examining each piece from both sides. To preserve quality, it is necessary to process the product in time and apply methods that extend the shelf life. If you follow all the recommendations, you can preserve fish products at home for a long period.


In a refrigerator

When the fish is completely salted, it is immediately wrapped in cotton cloth or paper and placed in the cold.

The shelf life of salted fish in the refrigerator is about 5 days.

Lightly salted fish can be stored in a cloth soaked in table vinegar and packed in a plastic bag. This method of storing salted fish helps to extend its freshness for up to 10 days.

Being in brine, salinities can persist much longer. The shelf life also directly depends on the concentration of salt in this liquid.

  • The shelf life of lightly salted fish is 6 days.
  • Whereas medium-salted will remain fresh for 2 weeks.
  • In a concentrated salt solution, products will remain fresh for up to 1 month.

Bacteria may be present on the surface of vegetables and eggshells, which affect the shelf life of fish: they can accelerate decomposition processes. Therefore, such products cannot be kept on the same shelf with pickles.

Salted fish is stored in vacuum packaging for the time indicated on it. But the storage period should not exceed:

  • 1.5 months at a temperature of -8°С –4°С,
  • 30 days at a temperature of 0°C -+6°C.

After opening the vacuum packaging, the product should be consumed within 24 hours.

Optimal storage conditions and periods

Salted fish is one of the most popular snacks on the holiday table. Usually you do the salting yourself or buy already salted fillets of pink salmon, red fish or herring. Several centuries ago, salted fish was considered a common dish on the table of the poor. This was due to the fact that the ambassador extended the shelf life of the catch without the use of additional devices. It was believed that the lack of refrigeration chambers and cellars among the poor led to the need to salt seafood.

Over time, the situation has changed. Salted fish began to be considered a delicacy, and salting options began to be passed down from generation to generation. The question arose about how long you can store salted fish at home. The answer to this question depends on the degree of salting, the type of fish and the type of packaging:

The main requirement for storage is compliance with the temperature regime. It is best to place seafood on a refrigerator shelf or on a cellar rack, where the temperature does not exceed 0 °. If the air temperature exceeds + 8 °, the product will begin to deteriorate within 120 minutes.

Attention! Unpackaged salted fish, covered with a cloth or foil, will remain edible on the refrigerator shelf for 2-3 days.

Storing salted red fish

Red fish (salted trout, salmon, etc.) can be stored well in severely frozen conditions.

  • It is cut into large pieces, then wiped with a napkin or disposable towel until no moisture remains.
  • Parts of fish with a dry surface should be wrapped in cling film and placed in a bag. Then close the bag tightly, trying to remove the remaining air.
  • Salted fish can be stored in the freezer for 6 months. But the less time it stays in the freezer, the juicier and tastier it will be.

You cannot freeze herring, mackerel and other fish with white meat. After defrosting, it will lose its taste and dense structure.

Thaw salted fish gradually, under conditions as close to natural as possible. First, it is moved from the freezer to the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. After this time, the fish is removed from the refrigerator and then defrosted at room temperature. With this defrosting, the taste and structure will remain the same.

Is it possible to freeze

Many housewives prefer to buy seafood at a promotional discount in the supermarket, and then store it in the freezer, that is, additionally freeze it. This option requires compliance with several mandatory rules:

  1. Only red varieties are suitable for freezing; they are preserved without loss of quality for 4-6 months.
  2. White varieties cannot be subject to additional freezing, since after defrosting they become watery and lose their taste.
  3. For storage, red varieties are cut into large pieces, dried with a towel, wrapped in cling film without access to air and put on the freezer shelf.

See also

How to properly store beans for the winter at home

Attention! Salted herring or mackerel should not be frozen!

How long can salted fish be stored?

At a temperature of 0°C -+3°C, the shelf life of salted fish is:

  • normal salted herring – 2 – 3 weeks;
  • mackerel (fatty) – 7 – 10 days (with additional processing);
  • salmon (lightly salted) - 2 - 3 days (vacuum packaging will help preserve salmon for up to 1 month);
  • lightly salted varieties of other types – 5 – 6 days;
  • marinated and medium-salted seafood – 2 weeks.

In cases where there are any doubts about the quality and degree of freshness of the product, when the storage conditions for salted fish have been violated, it is better to throw away such a product without regret. After all, fish poisoning is very dangerous.

Storage temperature

As noted above, it is recommended to store salted fish at a temperature not exceeding 10-12 degrees. Otherwise, its shelf life is several hours.

The optimal temperature is considered to be -8 degrees and below. In this case, if the packaging is used correctly, it is possible to maintain the freshness of the product for one and a half or even two months. A mandatory additional condition is the use of fresh and high-quality fish for salting.

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Frozen fish should be kept at a temperature of -8°C and below.
Freezing at -18°C (deep) can make the shelf life of fish in the freezer
longer (6 – 10 months). Freezing is well tolerated by both fresh products and those that have undergone pre-processing (smoking, salting).

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The shelf life of frozen fish compared to chilled fish increases sharply, but there are also limitations:

  • Temperature. The lower it is, the longer it can be stored.
  • Fat content. The fatty fish varieties are stored the longest: beluga, carp, catfish, pike, mullet, cod, salmon, etc.

The maximum shelf life of any frozen fish is 1 year. Photo:

  1. How long can you store fish in the freezer?

GOST 32366-2013 Frozen fish. Specifications

Abbreviated table of shelf life of frozen fish.

Type of fishShelf life
-18 °C-25 °C
Salmonidae7-9 months9-11.5 months
Sturgeon7 months9 months
Whitefish8 months9 months
Freshwater6-8 months7-10 months
Flounder7-8 months9-10 months
Mullet8 months10 months
Herrings7-8 months9-10 months
Mackerel7-8 months8-10 months
cod7-10 months8-12 months
  1. How to freeze fish correctly:
  • Before freezing, make sure the fish is of good quality;
  • Gut the carcass and rinse it in cold water.

It is not necessary to clean the fish:

  • Freeze small fish whole;
  • large - it is better to cut into portions;
  • Dip the whole fish in the salt solution, this will create a glaze that will preserve the fish for a longer period;
  • pack each fish in a plastic bag and remove the air from it;
  • fillet pieces are also stored individually;
  • indicate the freezing date on each bag, so you don’t miss fish that are about to spoil;
  • place the fish ready for freezing in the freezer.

Maintaining product proximity in the freezer will preserve the taste and smell of each product. Store fish separately from meat and dairy products. Photo:

  1. How to defrost fish correctly:
  • In natural conditions. Place the packaged fish in a plastic container on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Wait. This is a long process - about 6-9 hours. But this way you will preserve the taste and nutrients.
  • In salt. Mix 25 g of coarse salt with 1.2 liters of clean cold water. Place the fish in the solution. The carcass will completely defrost in 1.5–2 hours.

Is it possible to freeze salted red fish - yes, you can. The salted defrosting method is suitable for sea and fatty fish, as it removes all the moisture from the carcass. Photo:

  • Running water. Place the packaged fish in a bowl and place it under running cold water. Small fish will defrost in 1.5–2 hours, large fish will take up to 3 hours.
  • Microwave. The “Fish Defrosting” function will calculate the defrosting duration based on the weight of the product.

When defrosting in the microwave, you need to turn the carcass over every 3-4 minutes for uniform exposure. Photo:

  1. Can fish be re-frozen?

Thawed fish should be cooked immediately. A new freeze will kill the taste and all the beneficial substances. When you defrost the fish again, it will turn into mush.

Homemade salted pink salmon recipe with lemon

Almost any fish is sprinkled with lemon before cooking or eating. For what? Opinions differ here, and that’s not the point. Those who believe that lemon improves the taste of pink salmon can be advised to salt the fish according to this recipe. To do this you need to take (per 1 kg of fish):

  • regular coarse salt (not sea salt) – 2 tablespoons;
  • granulated sugar – 1 tablespoon;
  • refined vegetable oil – approximately 100 ml;
  • lemon – 1 pc.

The salting process is similar to the previous recipe. Rub the fish pieces with a mixture of salt and sugar and place in a glass tray on a layer of thin slices of half a lemon. The citrus fruit must be cut with the peel. The second part of the cut lemon should be placed on the fish. In this case, pink salmon can be laid in several layers, placing each of them with a layer of citrus fruits. Be sure to place lemon slices on the top layer. Now all that remains is to fill the contents of the tray with oil, cover with a lid and put in a cool place for a day.

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