How Long Does Smoked Salmon Last (And Why)?

How Long Does Smoked Salmon Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 3 weeks

Smoked Salmon is a variety of Salmon, which is a fillet that has been cured and smoked into two types of preparation. Salmon can be smoked into cold smoked salmon or hot smoked salmon. Because of its price, Smoked Salmon is considered a delicacy all over the world.

Smoked Salmon has different stages and durability levels. Some smoked salmon dishes can last for more time because of their packaging type and the skills used to smoke. In general, the shelf life of a smoked salmon on average is not more than 21 days.

Every 100 grams of smoked salmon contains approximately 120-150 calories. The dish has a salty taste with a smoky fragrance that tends to preserve the freshness of the salmon. The dish itself has two primary varieties: Hot Smoked Salmon and Cold Smoked Salmon.

How Long Does Smoked Salmon Last

How Long Does Smoked Salmon Last?

The durability of smoked salmon depends on mainly two factors called packaging and smoking skills. Depending on the factors, smoked salmon can last for anything between 1 to 3 weeks. An unsealed smoked salmon package can last for up to a week after it has been opened.

An unopened smoked salmon package can last for 2 to 3 weeks if stored in cold temperatures, with no exposure to humidity and light. Lox and smoked salmon share the same appearance but lox is saltier to taste and requires a different smoking process. All varieties of smoked salmon have almost the same shelf life, however, the type of salmon used can also influence its durability.

Hot Smoked Salmon

Hot Smoked Salmon is smoked at very high temperatures such as 140°F. To prepare this variety, the salmon is first treated with saltwater and then coated with layers of different sauces that may include teriyaki sauce, maple, and black pepper. Hot smoked salmon has a longer shelf life of 2 weeks when kept in a fridge and 2 to 3 months when frozen in a freezer.

Cold Smoked Salmon

Cold Smoked Salmon is slowly smoked at a lower temperature of 90°F. For the elimination of moisture, the smoked salmon is dry-cured in salt overnight. This variety of salmon is more flavorful and tastier. However, cold-smoked salmon can last in a fridge for only a week and only a month when stored in a freezer.

It is recommended to check the expiry date on the fish’s package and then check its appearance to ensure no spoilage. The presence of mold, change in color, rotten smell, etc may indicate food decay. Consumption of spoiled food can cause food poisoning and other infections such as Listeria infection, and therefore must be avoided at all cost.

In summary:

Smoked SalmonDurability
Sealed 2 – 3 months
Unsealed 1 week
Hot 2 weeks
Cold 1 week

Why Does Smoked Salmon Last So Long?

The shelf life of Smoked Salmon depends on several factors. The packaging type, the state of salmon, and the smoking process are the main factors influencing the durability of the delicacy. Depending on these factors, smoked salmon can last up to a few months if preserved under cold temperature in the absence of light and humidity.

The different smoking procedures used during the preparation of smoked salmon result in different durabilities. Cold smoked salmon does not undergo pasteurization and as a result, get spoiled faster than hot smoked salmon. A cold-smoked salmon has a higher probability of decay and thus, stays fit for consumption for only a week.

Unopened Package

Every unopened package of smoked salmon has an expiry date on its label. Varying with each salmon brand, a properly packed salmon can last for a few weeks. Unopened packages are not exposed to moisture, high temperature, humidity, or light, and thus, remain protected from microbial decay.

Opened Package

Opened packages of Salmon can last for only a week. If stored at low temperature in a freezer, it may last up to a month because of slow decaying. The shelf life is also determined by the type of salmon used. An organic smoked salmon can last for only 2 days after opening.


Smoked Salmon is a popular delicacy enjoyed all over the globe. It is mainly prepared into two types: hot smoked salmon and cold smoked salmon. The durability of each type of salmon depends on several factors.

An unsealed package of salmon can last for up to 7 days, whereas a sealed package can last for a few months when stored in a deep freezer. Hot Smoked salmon undergo pasteurization during smoking and as a result, they last for a longer period when compared to cold-smoked salmon.


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