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Frozen Salmon Question??

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
A buddy brought me a large filet from a salmon he caught a few years back and wants me to smoke it for him. It's been vacuum sealed and frozen but is marked Aug 2005. I realize the the quality will be gone but is it even safe to eat?
Any input is greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 12
If it shows no freezer burn then it's fine. It may have lost some quality but it is perfectly safe to eat
post #3 of 12
I'd smoke it! If it has some freezer burn, just fillet that off.
post #4 of 12
After almost 4 yrs in the freezer I would bet it won't be too tasty..lol. The fish will be pretty dehydrated and have a pretty poor texture. Give it a try, but toss on something else as a backup plan. PDT_Armataz_01_01.gif
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info. If it were mine I would just toss it and not take a chance. I'm just smoking it for a buddie and giving it back to him. I wont eat it or serve it to anyone. Just thought I'd make sure I'm not cooking poison.
Thanks again!
post #6 of 12

Vacuum Packed Salmon

I would venture to bet that the fish will have weathered the freeze quite well in the vacuum package. I have frozen stuff going on 3 years now that is still good as long as the vacuum is still intact with no freezer burn and still tastes great.
post #7 of 12
Yep because it was vacumn packed it won't be dehydrated.
It might be a little soft, but other than that should be fine.
post #8 of 12
Defrost and you will be able to tell if it is still good or not. What type of salmon was it?
post #9 of 12
Along with the comments above, some other things you would have to take into account are how the fish was processed in the first place- quickly and cleanly or "better get that sucker frozen before it goes bad".

At what temperature has it been frozen at: big difference in shelf life over that amount of time between -10 degrees and +10 degrees. Any power outages over that period?

http://seagrant.uaf.edu/bookstore/pubs/ASG-30.pdf This is an article showing relationships of time to temp for the time it's on the boat or on ice. A bit in depth, but if you go down to page 4, table 2, you have a list of fish including 6 or 7 different salmons (LUCC was asking what kind probably because of the differences shown) and how long the max shelf lives are based on their assumptions, including:

Assumes fish were chilled immediately, handled gently, and held under clean conditions at each step of harvesting, processing, shipping, and display."

So, while this article doesn't talk about vacuum storage and much lower temperatures of a freezer, it does give you a relative guideline by type of salmon you might be able to use.

I've used fish up to a couple of years old that were either frozen in a bag of water (works with dove too- the sealers tend to make the cut/snapped wing bones go through the bags unless I'm real careful) so no air issues causing freezer burn, and some about a year old with a sealer. All still had that "fresh" smell unless the bag got stuck somehow and air got in there.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
It's labeled "Chinook salmon 2 3/4lbs 8/05" this is all I really know about it. I took it out of my freezer last night and put it in the fridge to thaw for smoking on Thursday. I guess I'll know when I get home if the bag was completely sealed or not.

Edit: Thought I'd also add that this was not caught commercially. We are less than a mile from the Columbia River witch is where it was caught, probably dumped right in a cooler taken home, butchered & frozen in the same day. Fillet is approx 12"X12" 2" thick.
post #11 of 12
Yup, there are a couple variables in play here to tell if the fish is still good or not. In this case the fillet should be a pinkinh redish color and still firm to the touch. If mushy, discolored or visible freezer burn it's no good. If you have an idea about fish and what they should look like you will not have a problem knowing if it is okay or not. PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #12 of 12
Living in Alaska most of my life, I can honestly say that from time to time a package of salmaon has slipped past us and has sat in the freezer longer than it should have. once defrosted, it has been very easy to tell if it has been in the freezer too long as it will have a strong and slightly off odor to it.

If this is not present, then it is probably safe. As a general rule, we date all packages of fish and place them in an apple box with the oldest on top so as to avoid having this issue. The only exception would be newer fish that have broken seals (for whatever reason) and these are placed on top and used as soon as possible.....Oh darn icon_rolleyes.gif
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