How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 hours

The worldwide consumption of salmon has tripled since the 1980s. Salmon is now a popular food with many preparation methods and recipes. Salmon flesh is orange or red; however, some white-fleshed wild salmons with white-black skin colors exist.

Smoked salmon is the most common preparation method because it is easy to cook and goes well with almost any other food. Grilled salmon is delicious and is also considered a healthy cuisine.

Salmon fish has a high protein and vitamin D content. It also has a high omega-3 fatty acids content, which is regarded as healthy fats.

How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last

How Long Does Cooked Salmon Last

Salmon StateLifespan
Room Temperature2 hours
Refrigerator3-4 days
Freezer6 months

The shelf life of cooked salmon depends on factors like the preparation method and the storage conditions. Cooked salmon is delicious but quite filling too.

It is only halfway while eating the prepared salmon meal that one realizes it is too much to finish in one meal sitting.

cooked salmon

It is dangerous to consume spoiled food, especially for cooked fish like salmon, since it might contain food poisoning. Whether it is at home or from the restaurant, leftover cooked salmon should be stored appropriately to ensure it lasts long.

At room temperature

Never allow cooked salmon to cool down to room temperature. Cooked salmon should not be left on shelves or tables for more than 2 hours.

In a refrigerator

The shelf life of cooked salmon can be maximized by immediately placing it in the fridge after use or after cooking. This ensures it remains safe from contamination, and its quality remains the same.

If stored correctly in the refrigerator, cooked salmon will last for 3 to 4 days.

In the freezer

A long term option to extending the shelf life of cooked salmon is to place it in a freezer. If stored correctly in the fridge, the cooked salmon should last up to 6 months or more.

Salmon in Fridge

Thawed salmon

Thawed raw salmon can still stay in the fridge for 2 or 3 days when cooked. This only applies if it is thawed in the refrigerator.

It should be eaten straight away if it is thawed in water or at room temperature.

Why does cooked salmon last that long?

The shelf life of cooked salmon mainly depends on how properly it is stored. The better the storage conditions of cooked salmon, the longer it lasts.

Cooked salmon once left on the kitchen table, or any other surface becomes contaminated within hours. This is because harmful bacteria are sometimes floating in the open air and can reproduce at room temperatures, thus contaminating the cooked salmon.

The freshness of the fish when it’s cooked also determines the shelf life of the cooked salmon. The fresher the salmon, the longer it lasts when it’s cooked.

Before cooking, one should ensure that the salmon is fresh. If the salmon has a foul smell or has extra firm skin, this shows that the fish is not clean and should therefore not be cooked.

A fresh fish should last up to 3 days in the fridge when cooked.

fresh salmon fish

Unfortunately, in the case of leftovers brought home from a restaurant, the freshness of the fish before it was cooked is not known. These leftovers, therefore, should be kept in a fridge, not more than two days.

Cooked salmon stored in the refrigerator or freezer should always be wrapped or sealed in a shallow and airtight container. Doing this will reduce the chance of bacterial contamination.

Wrapping can be done using a plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Squeeze out all the air between the fish and the wrapper.

Salmon is a tasty and delicious meal. Salmon confers many health benefits to any consumer. It is worth storing the leftovers to be consumed on a later date.

Saving cooked salmon can be done in many different ways and can still be eaten afterward. It is, however, necessary to keep checking the stored, cooked salmon for any signs of spoilage.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. I’m not sure about the bacterial contamination statement, wouldn’t want to scare people away from eating salmon

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