Defrosting Salmon in a Microwave Safely

If you know you’re not going to be able to eat your salmon quickly as it nears its use by date, you can of course store your favorite dish in your freezer. In fact, salmon is one of the best fish to freeze and defrost while still maintaining a great quality.

This is mostly because it has a high fat content compared to other types of fish. You can also easily thaw your salmon in your microwave so that it can be ready for you to cook.

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So how can you defrost your salmon safely in your microwave? Simply place your frozen salmon on a suitable plate, then blitz it on the defrost setting for between 3 to 5 minutes.

Make sure to turn your frozen salmon over around halfway through the thawing process so that it defrosts evenly.

Another key thing to remember is that you must package it appropriately when you freeze your salmon. You will need to place it in airtight packaging so as to protect the fish from freezer burn.

This can also help the fish to maintain its quality, texture, and taste. As long as you keep the fish protected in your freezer, it will still taste great when it’s been defrosted.

There are of course many different methods for thawing your fish. However, in this article, we are going to discuss some of our top tips for defrosting your salmon in the microwave. This is so that you can do so safely and still maintain a great tasting fish.

We will also cover some frequently asked questions down below.

Is It Possible to Defrost your Salmon in a Microwave?

Yes, it is perfectly possible to defrost your frozen salmon in a microwave. All you will need to do first is ensure that you are using a microwave safe plate, as well as use a microwavable lid to lock in that delicious moisture for your fish.

This will prevent it from drying out too much before you get a chance to cook it.

You will be surprised by how quickly you can thaw your frozen salmon in your microwave. It will only take between 3 to 5 minutes before your fish will be fully defrosted.

Make sure to turn your frozen salmon over at the halfway point so that it will thaw out evenly. 

It will also be crucial to keep an eye on the meat of the salmon to ensure that you’re not cooking it. Microwave heats will vary depending on their wattage. So if you have a higher wattage microwave, your salmon will need less time to defrost.

If you spot any ice crystals still on your salmon once you have thawed it, simply leave the fish out at room temperature. This should help to completely thaw your fish.

Can You Defrost Salmon Safely in a Microwave?

Yes, you can defrost salmon safely in your microwave. To prevent any unwanted bacteria from appearing on your newly thawed fish, it will be important to cook it immediately.

The longer your fish is allowed to sit in your fridge on the countertop before you use it, the more likely it will be to have food borne bacteria start to appear.

If you need to defrost your salmon quickly, then choosing the microwave method will be your best bet. This is perfectly safe, and will take much less time than leaving your frozen fish to defrost in your refrigerator overnight or even running it under cold water.

It will be wise to only use the microwave method if you don’t have a lot of time to spare. This is because the sudden change in temperature can start to cook your salmon meat or even make the flesh and cells start to burst. 

You may notice that your salmon starts to lose its shape or that it even dries out, particularly if you defrost it for long periods of time. If you don’t turn your salmon over when defrosting, this can also cause it to thaw unevenly.

It’s best not to leave your thawed salmon uncooked for over 2 hours, as this will compromise the freshness of the fish. It will be best to use it in your recipe straight away.

Should I Thaw my Salmon Before I Cook It?

Yes, you should always thaw your salmon before you start to cook with it. This is because you will be more likely to have raw fish once the cooking timer goes off. Your salmon may appear cooked on the outside, but it could still be raw inside. 

Trying to cook with frozen salmon instead of defrosting it first will also impact its texture, freshness, and taste. You will notice that your salmon fillet isn’t as tender as it should be if you try to cook it from frozen.

It will always be best to defrost your salmon first, and there are a variety of methods that you can choose to do this.

Cooking with frozen salmon means that you will have to double the time you actually spend cooking your food. You will also have to adjust the heat downwards so that you don’t burn the outside of the fish, but that you also cook it all the way through.

The crux of the matter is that if you cook your salmon for longer, it won’t taste as yummy as it should do. Making sure to properly thaw your salmon before you cook it will also maintain the tasty nutritional value of your fish.

Can You Refreeze Thawed Salmon?

Yes, you can refreeze your thawed salmon – providing that it has been properly defrosted first, and that it hasn’t been left to sit in your fridge or on the countertop for longer than 2 hours.

If your fish hasn’t been thawed properly, then it won’t be safe to refreeze your salmon. It also won’t be safe to refreeze it if it’s been sitting in your fridge for several hours, as it will most likely have started to develop food borne bacteria.

You should also bear in mind that if this is the second time that you have thawed your salmon, it is not a good idea to freeze it again.

You should also bear in mind that refreezing your thawed salmon will start to affect its texture and quality. If you have used other, slower methods to thaw your salmon, then it will be safe to place in the freezer to be refrozen.

It will be best to only purchase salmon in limited quantities so that you are able to maintain its great taste and freshness. This way you won’t need to worry about refreezing your fish after you have thawed it.

How Can You Quickly Thaw Salmon?

The best way to defrost your salmon quickly is to use the microwave method. Make sure that you choose the defrost setting so as to not cook your fish, and make sure to place it on a microwave safe plate.

You will only need to defrost it for between 3 to 5 minutes, making sure to flip your fish over halfway through so that it defrosts evenly.

There are of course other methods for thawing your salmon. You can leave it to defrost in your fridge for around 24 hours. You can also run it under cold water to get the flesh to melt quicker. However, these methods won’t be as quick as the microwave method.

If you have a higher wattage microwave, you may need to adjust the time that you defrost your salmon. If in doubt, always consult with your microwave manual to find the best settings for defrosting your salmon.

How Long Does It Take for Salmon to Thaw when using a Microwave?

It’s important to note that how long it takes to defrost your salmon fillet will depend on several different factors. These include how many fillets you are trying to thaw, as well as their individual weight and thickness.

It will also differ depending on the wattage of your microwave, with higher wattages not needing as long to defrost your salmon fillets.

The average time it will take to thaw your salmon in the microwave is between 3 to 5 minutes.

Make sure to select the defrost function before you attempt to blitz your salmon. This is because if you were to use the normal heat settings, this will start to cook the fish, and won’t defrost it properly. The exterior of the salmon flesh will appear cooked, but the fish will be raw in the center.

The microwave method is ideal if you want to cut down on the time needed to defrost your salmon, or if you don’t have a lot of time to do so.

Top Tips for Thawing Salmon in your Microwave

Defrosting Salmon in a Microwave Safely

We’ve collated a few of our top tips to ensure that you can successfully and safely defrost your salmon fillet in your microwave.

Make sure to select the defrost function before you place the salmon inside your microwave. This is so that your salmon can defrost properly without cooking. It will also be wise to place the thinnest fillet or the thinnest part of your fillet in the middle of the microwavable plate.

You will also need to turn your fillet over halfway through defrosting so that it can defrost evenly. If you don’t do this, you may find that parts of the fish are still frozen when you remove it from the microwave. The microwave may even start to cook your salmon fillet in places.

It will also be wise to cover your fish with a microwave safe lid to prevent any liquids from splattering around your microwave. You may also wish to clean your microwave after each time you defrost fish in it to prevent any unwanted fishy odor from hanging around.

A top tip to prevent this fishy odor from sticking around is to leave the door of your microwave open for around 15 minutes after you have finished using it. You can also use a quick homemade mixture of vinegar, lemon, and water to clean your microwave. Make sure to switch it off before cleaning it.

How To Defrost your Salmon Safely in the Microwave?

The best time to use the microwave method is if you don’t have a lot of time to wait before needing to defrost your salmon. 

To avoid overcooking your salmon fillet, remove it from the microwave before the last of the ice crystals have melted.

You can then leave this on your countertop at room temperature for several minutes to allow it to finish thawing out completely. This will help to maintain the freshness of the salmon as well as prevent it from becoming too dry.

Make sure to fully remove your frozen salmon from any packaging such as styrofoam and plastic as these aren’t safe for microwaving.

Place your frozen fillet on a microwave safe plate, and cover with a microwave safe lid to prevent any juices from splattering around your microwave. You can also use a piece of kitchen paper or microwavable plastic wrap to do this.

Select the defrost setting on your microwave, then set this for between 3 to 5 minutes depending on the wattage of your microwave. Higher wattages will need less time defrosting your fish. 

Make sure to flip and turn your fillet around halfway through the process. You may wish to do this several times if you’re particularly anxious about defrosting your fish properly. Ensure that your fish isn’t becoming too cooked each time you check it, and ensure there are no frozen spots.

Lastly, you will need to ensure that you use your now defrosted salmon straight away with your cooking. The longer you leave it, the more likely it will pick up unpleasant food borne bacteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to defrost salmon in the microwave?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to defrost your salmon in the microwave. Make sure that you are using the defrost setting, and that you turn and flip your salmon fillet partway through the process to ensure that it defrosts properly.

Can salmon be cooked from frozen?

Technically your salmon can be cooked from frozen, but it isn’t advisable to do this. You should always defrost your salmon fillets before you need to cook them to ensure that it can be cooked properly.

How long does it take to thaw a frozen salmon?

If you were to use the microwave method, it will take you between 3 to 5 minutes to defrost your salmon fillet. You can also choose to leave your salmon in your refrigerator for a 24 hour period to thaw it the day before you need to cook it.

In Summary

And there you have it! You now know that yes, it is perfectly safe to defrost your frozen salmon fillet in your microwave.

The average time this will take is between 3 to 5 minutes, however, this will differ depending on the wattage of your appliance, as well as the size and weight of the salmon fillet you are trying to defrost. You will also need to cook your now defrosted salmon straight away.

Jess Smith
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