Can You Freeze Lox?

Lox comes from the belly portion of salmon and is typically cured in brine or salt and sugar. Might sound alien to some but it is a most sought-after delicacy and it is quite rich and succulent. It tastes great on its own and can also be paired with cream cheese on a bagel.

You might be wondering what to do when you have a large quantity of lox. It is important to store it properly to prevent the spread of any food-borne bacteria.

You can safely freeze lox to keep it tasting fresh for a few months. With a few steps, you can keep it in the freezer and keep the texture intact as well. Doing this makes it super convenient to thaw and reheat whenever.

How to freeze lox

Lox has a small window of freshness so there are some things to keep in mind when freezing. Following the tips/precautions provided will help retain as much of the quality, flavor, and texture.

If you have unopened lox from the supermarket, you can proceed to freeze it straight away. Since it’s still in the vacuum-sealed container/packet, it will contain no bacteria or air. If it is opened or fresh then:

It is recommended that you slice the lox first. This saves you the stress of having to thaw the entire lox if you only need a portion of it. Slice it into thin portions.

  • Put the lox slices on a baking tray.
  • Separate them so that they do not stick together.
  • After flash-freezing the strips, wrap them in saran wrap.
  • Make sure to remove as much air and moisture as possible.
  • Place the wraps in a sealable freezer-safe vacuum bag.
  • Label the bag with the date and contents.
  • Put the bag in the freezer away from anything that could pierce it.

Once lox is frozen, it can stay good for about six months in the freezer. To get the best out of it, thaw and use within three months for optimum flavor and texture.

How to thaw lox

Lox is highly perishable and very delicate. The thawing process should be taken seriously to avoid any safety concerns.

The best way to thaw lox is in the refrigerator overnight. This allows it to defrost at the ideal temperature of 40 degrees F preventing the spread of bacteria.

You can also defrost using cold water if you are in a hurry. Leave the lox in some cold water making sure to change the water in 30-minute intervals until fully thawed. Do not be tempted to use hot water, that will ruin the texture of the fish and encourage bacterial growth.

How long will lox last?

If you have unopened packets of lox slices, you can store them in the fridge at 40 degrees or lower. They will last for up to two months as long as it hasn’t been opened. If it is then used within three days.

In the freezer, unopened or sealed lox can stay good for six months. For best quality, use before the shelf life is up.

Is it safe to refreeze lox?

It is generally not advised to refreeze food of any kind. That said, you can still refreeze lox as long as it has thawed in the refrigerator. If it’s been sitting out of the fridge for more than two hours, you shouldn’t refreeze it.

The quality of the lox will definitely be affected after refreezing. Also, repeatedly thawing it will expose it to different temperatures which will most likely result in contamination. This can cause food poisoning so you should try to use the lox after freezing it the first time.

How to tell if lox has gone bad

It is quite easy to tell when lox has gone bad, the signs are not subtle at all. You don’t want to risk getting food poisoning so you should know what to look out for.

The smell

This is the quickest way to tell if your lox has gone bad. If you notice a pungent or rancid smell, it has definitely started to spoil. The smell should be almost neutral and if it isn’t, discard it.

The color

If the lox looks pale or has a white mucous layer around it then it’s likely moldy. If it’s no longer pink and looking fresh then it isn’t safe to consume anymore. Don’t take the risk, better to be on the safe side.

The texture

If the lox is slimy, it is most likely spoilt. It also shouldn’t be soft or mushy, if it’s not firm then throw it away.

These are some of the telltale signs that your lox has definitely gone bad. Keep yourself safe by discarding any spoilt lox, and properly too, to avoid spreading any contamination.

Bottom line

Freezing will usually have some effect on the quality of food. This guide aims to help retain as much of the freshness and flavor of your lox. Thankfully, it freezes very well as long as it stays properly stored for not more than six months.

Ensure you don’t thaw lox constantly as this will reduce the quality drastically. Also, keep in mind that safety precautions should be followed when thawing occurs.

While it is definitely imperative to extend the shelf life of lox, it’s also important to follow safety precautions. You can enjoy lox whenever you want without risking your health. Follow the steps, look for any signs of spoilage, and always do the needful.