How to Cook Freezer-Burned Salmon

Raw salmon Steak on grill pan
Get the salmon in a grill pan. (Image: Lisovskaya/iStock/Getty Images)

Grabbing a salmon steak from the freezer can be the start of a delicious meal, or the start of a process to eliminate freezer burn before cooking. Salmon is usually safe in the freezer for up to three months, it may become freezer burned -- the common term for the dehydration and oxidation that occurs when cold air contacts the fish -- from improper packaging. Though the dried out fish may have an undesirable taste or texture, it's safe to eat, and proper preparation and cooking can save the overall flavor.

Step 1

Hold the salmon carefully on the cutting board, and using the fillet knife, cut off any heavily freezer-burned spots, and discard.

Step 2

Cook the salmon for five to six minutes per 1/2-inch of thickness, skin side down the entire time, regardless of your method of cooking. For example, a 1-inch piece of salmon requires about 12 minutes of cooking time on the grill or in a pan.

Step 3

Check the temperature of the meat; if it's not yet 145 degrees Fahrenheit, continue to cook until it reaches that safe temperature. It should also flake easily with a fork when it's completely cooked.

Things You'll Need

  • Fillet knife

  • Cutting board

  • Timer

  • Meat thermometer


When freezing salmon, package it in vacuum-sealed bags to remove any air or moisture to prevent freezer burn. Salmon that has been severely freezer-burned should be discarded.

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