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I just found a couple of salmon fillets in my freezer that seem to have been there for about two years. Are they still edible, or should I bin them?

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My personal approach is to bin anything that I'm really unsure about. – yossarian Jan 14 '11 at 15:07
@yossarian: Well I usually use it if it smells and looks okay, but with frozen food you can't really tell. I figure it'll either be perfectly safe to eat or a complete no-go, but I've no idea which, hence why I'm asking! – Will Vousden Jan 14 '11 at 15:11
How are they packaged? (Vacuum-sealed, wrapped in paper, zipper bags?) – Monica Cellio May 27 '13 at 1:19
up vote 12 down vote accepted

I agree with yossarian, if I question it, I chuck it. Although in this case, the salmon probably will not harm you, it might just taste bad. Loss of moisture (freezer burn), taking on of flavours, etc. I wouldn't eat it because it wouldn't taste great. My father-in-law would eat it, because you don't throw out food (his rule). Bottom line, if it has been in the freezer for those two years straight, it won't give you food poisoning or harm you. It's just a matter of palate. But rest assured, it won't taste great.

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+1 for agreeing with me. ;o) – yossarian Jan 14 '11 at 15:23
I guess I'll go buy some more then; thanks! – Will Vousden Jan 14 '11 at 15:24
Depends on freezer temp too. If your freezer is just barely freezing, there's a chance (albeit a small one) something could spoil in the freezer. If it's good and cold though, nothing will ever spoil in there, it'll just, like you said, taste bad. – Instance Hunter Jan 14 '11 at 18:53
The other reason to chuck if you're worried about it is that even if it's fine, you're going to be fretting about it the whole time and won't enjoy it. – Aaronut Jan 15 '11 at 19:12

I guess I would take a different approach. I would first thaw the salmon and see if it looked and smelled OK, and if it did I would find a way to use it. True, it probably won't taste as good as it would have the day it went into the freezer, but would probably be palatable in some way. Maybe used in salmon cakes? or a salmon chowder.

I have found and used walleye fillets in my freezer that were several years old (I used to bad at labeling) that tasted just fine. I figure an animal died to provide me this meat, so I should do everything I can to make sure that it is used.

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I take the same approach with frozen foods I find in the back of my freezer from back when I was terrible at labeling things. I maintain my freezer below 0 and regularly check it, so I know it's "safe" in the "not going to kill me" sense, so I just turn it into something that can mask the freezer burn. Soup/chowder sounds great to me. – stephennmcdonald Jan 14 '11 at 16:03
@stephenmcdonald: you have your freezer below zero? Isn't that what a freezer is meant to do? Oh... I see, Fahrenheit. ;-) – Jürgen A. Erhard Jan 14 '11 at 18:10

My grandfather was a commercial fisherman on the NW Pacific coast. He used to salmon charter fish. When he had fish that was "aged" in the freezer he used to make sure he thawed it COVERED in milk. If it was overly fishy, the milk caused the fish to sweeten. You can smell the fish when it is completely thawed and check it's consistency. If it smells fine, and has good consistency for salmon just prepare it with a nice lemon sauce. You can always cook it and then mash it as a pate with herbs and onion for wonderful cracker snacks.

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And thank you for that tip! I will definitely be using it in the future (if needed). – mrwienerdog Jan 15 '11 at 3:12

I fish in Alaska and have eaten 2 year frozen Salmon that was so freezer burned that I had to cut half of it away, but after 45 minutes on my Treager wood pellet grill it was delicious.

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