Making smoked fish at home is so much fun. It’s a great way to introduce your family and friends to all the delights of the sea, and it’s very affordable. However, since we all love to eat fresh salmon and trout whenever possible, let’s take a look at how long does homemade smoked fish last before we end up throwing it out?
The Truth About Fresh Smoked Fish
The majority of us have been there. That moment at the shop when you’re thinking about what luxury you can afford after all, and then you see the most fantastic piece of salmon, simply screaming to be bought, and you say yes, without even thinking. That’s what happens when you’re faced with incredibly fresh salmon that hasn’t been sitting around for too long.
Well, what’s the cost of such an extravagant purchase? Let’s dive into that, shall we?
How Long Does Homemade Smoked Fish Last?
There are several reasons why fresh smoked fish doesn’t last too long. The first and foremost reason is that it is really, really good.
Even the best seafood restaurants struggle to keep their fresh seafood on the menu due to overfishing and poor ocean conditions that make it increasingly harder to catch fish, especially when you compare it to the high demand for seafood. The good news is that you can easily avoid this by making your own.
Another important factor that determines how long your fresh smoked fish will last is cooking it correctly. To ensure that your salmon tastes as amazing as possible, follow these easy tips:
Do Not Overcook It!
Overcooked food destroys the natural flavors of the food, rendering it almost inedible. Avoid this by taking out only what you need and making sure the fish isn’t over four to four and a half minutes per side. You can also use a food thermometer to check for doneness. When the internal temperature of the fish reaches at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s ready.
Salmon is highly perishable, which means that it will only stay fresh for a limited time. The best way to ensure that your salmon doesn’t go bad is to store it properly afterward. The refrigerator is the ideal place for fresh salmon, keeping it cold and fresh, so make sure you store it therein. Do not place raw fish on ice, as this will cause bacteria to multiply.
Keep It Away From Light!
Light is one of the biggest enemies of all living things, including food. This is why it’s important to keep your fresh salmon away from light, especially direct sunlight. Exposure to light causes the color of the food to fade, making it look less appetizing.
If possible, try storing your salmon in a dark place, out of direct sunlight. You can also ask a family member or friend to watch it for you while you’re away, or cook it and have it ready when you return. Uncooked food shouldn’t be stored in the fridge, as the enzymes within it will cause it to become inedible. You should prepare everything beforehand so that when you return home, it’s already done.
Use The Right Vessel!
When preparing your salmon, you must use the right vessel. The traditional way to cook fish is to use a stainless steel vessel. These are the most effective materials for trapping the natural flavors of the fish. Avoid ceramic vessels, as they break down under high heat.
If possible, use a sieve to drain the liquid that the fish were cooked in, as removing as much of the liquid as you can will make your fish more flavorful. Be careful not to use a sieve-lined tray or bowl, however, as this could block the small holes on the top, thus causing you to strain when you cook your fish.
And Finally, Always Try A Little Bit Of This And That!
When you’re cooking a type of fish that you’re unfamiliar with, it’s a good idea to experiment with different spices and herbs to discover how they affect the taste of your food. If possible, use an ingredient or two that you normally wouldn’t have combined before, and see what happens!
For instance, if you’re making salmon, but you’re not sure whether or not it’ll taste the same once you add garlic, you might as well try it and find out. You can’t make assumptions about what will or won’t work based on your previous experience, because flavor is a subjective matter. Each bite is a new adventure, and you may find that a bit of cayenne pepper enhances the flavor of your fish, while the addition of fennel seeds might just make it less savory. We can’t say for sure what will happen because this is why we call food ‘taste’, so everyone should try new things and discover new flavors, otherwise, it becomes extremely dull and monotonous to eat the same food over and over again. It’s all about having fun and enjoying life, which is why we encourage you to become more adventurous in the kitchen!
Since fresh smoked fish is such a luxury when prepared at home, let’s take a look at how long it will last. It’s always better when freshly cooked, so don’t hesitate to make extra once you’ve tasted it. You can store the leftovers in the fridge, but make sure you eat them as quickly as possible, as the flavor will begin to deteriorate the instant you stop cooking it. This is why it’s best to use it as soon as possible after cooking, so that all the nutrients remain intact, thus making it last a lot longer, as much as a day or two, before it becomes completely inedible.
So there you have it. The truth about how long does homemade smoked fish last. Even the best chefs struggle to keep their fresh salmon on the menu, so it’s high time that you learned how to make the most of the raw fish that you catch yourself, especially if you’re an avid fisherman. Making your own fresh smoked fish is not only easy and fun, it’s also very rewarding when you see how much your friends and family enjoy it. What are your thoughts? Will you be making any changes to this recipe? Let us know! We’d love to see how much you enjoy making this luxury ingredient at home.