March 10, 2021

How long does frozen salmon take to thaw?

Ready for your wild salmon dinner tonight? Pride of Bristol Bay sockeye fillets average about a pound and a half, and we recommend thawing them overnight, in their original vac-pac placed in a tray or pan, in the fridge. Or, pull a fillet out in the morning for dinner that evening. Thawing a fillet of salmon in the fridge will take 6-8 hours; the slow thaw is the best way to preserve the firm texture wild sockeye salmon is known for. The pan or tray is simply to catch any condensation that will come off the fish package. 

Snip for Safety!

When enjoying any meat, seafood or fresh food, it is important to keep safety in mind. The safest way to thaw your wild sockeye salmon is to cut a small slit in the vacuum packaging to avoid any anaerobic bacteria from growing and to let it thaw in the fridge. Bacteria growth is rare, but a possibility, so it is important to cut a small corner off your vac-pac as it thaws. 

Pride of Bristol Bay flash freezes and individually vacuum packs its wild-caught salmon. This packaging maintains the freshness of the fish, its nutrient value, provides individual servings, and allows the consumer to see the product inside…great, right? We eat with our eyes as well as our mouths.

For safest and best results, when thawing your wild sockeye salmon:

  • Snip the corner or make a small slit in the package to introduce air.
  • Then place on a plate or bowl, and put in refrigerator to thaw overnight
  • Prepare and enjoy!

If you forgot to take your fish out and are in a rush to thaw it, you can submerge the unopened package in a bowl of cold water. This process will take one to two hours depending on the cut of fish. Do not use anything but cold water; warm or hot water will negatively affect the texture of the fish and can increase the risk of food-borne illness. If thawing in a bowl of cold water, it is important to still snip a corner of the package that is outside the water, not letting any water run into the vac-pac. 

The vacuum packaging (vac-pac) used for many seafood products removes oxygen in the processing - before and during freezing - as oxygen is also an enemy to food freshness. If the food item is thawed at too high a temperature (exceeding 38 degrees F), it supports the potential for growth of this harmful bacteria. This is another reason we suggest thawing overnight in the refrigerator. By snipping open the package, or removing the seafood from the vac-pac altogether, you remove the risk of the growth of the Clostridium botulinum bacteria whether thawing in a tray of cold water on the counter or in the fridge.

Once thawed, cook and eat the salmon within 24 hours. Or, don’t cook it! Previously frozen and safely thawed sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay is safe to eat raw, like in a poke bowl or sushi. 


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