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3 Quick and Easy Ways to Thaw Salmon
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Oh, how we love salmon, let us count the ways: You’re healthy and delicious, and you can be ready and on the table in less than 30 minutes. Well, if we remember to take you out of the freezer, that is. (Oops.) Don’t worry: You can still save dinner with one of these easy defrosting methods.

If you have 12 hours, thaw salmon in the fridge. This one takes the most planning—which, to be honest, means that it’s the method we use the least often. But if you’re more organized than we are, here’s what to do: Take your fish out of the freezer approximately 12 hours before you plan on cooking it. Leave the fish in its bag or plastic wrapping and place it on a shallow plate or in a bowl to catch any liquid. (No one likes a fishy fridge.) Expect salmon up to a pound to be thawed in approximately 12 hours while anything larger than one pound will need closer to 24 hours. 

If you have an hour, defrost salmon in water. We like this method the best for its efficiency (get started on the roasted vegetables while you wait) and results (no dryness to speak of). Fill a large pot with cold water. Place the fish in a leak-proof bag and submerge it in the pot, weighing it down if needed. Empty the bowl and refill it with fresh, cold water every ten minutes. Check the fish periodically by pushing the middle of each fillet—you want the middle to feel slightly soft and the fish to be flexible (this can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes). 

If you have five minutes, use the microwave. If you’re really strapped for time, this method will thaw your salmon quickly, but keep in mind that flavor and texture might be affected. First, figure out approximately how much your fish weighs. Then, choose the “defrost” setting on your machine and enter the weight. Check the fish often and stop defrosting when the fish is flexible but still cold (you don’t want to actually cook the fish). Using the microwave will take about six to eight minutes per pound of fish.

Once your fish is thawed, it's ready to be broiled, grilled, fried or baked. Bon appétit.  

RELATED: 50 Easy and Delicious Salmon Recipes

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