How Long Can Cooked Salmon Sit Out

How Long Can Cooked Salmon Sit Out?

Since salmon is a delectable and nutritious fish that graces the plates of countless seafood lovers worldwide, it then calls for concern when preparing salmon is its safety after cooking.

Due to this concern, so many questions have been asked one of which is the duration cooked salmon sit out at room temperature before it becomes unsafe to eat?

I conduct a comprehensive experiment to shed light on this critical food safety issue and the details of my experiment and its findings will help you make an informed decisions when it comes to consuming cooked salmon.

Fresh salmon fillets obtained from a reputable fishmonger were seasoned with salt and pepper and then evenly grilled to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), following the USDA’s recommended safe temperature for fish consumption.

The cooked salmon fillets are then placed on a clean plate and left at an average room temperature of 70°F (21°C). Visual inspection of each fish samples was carried out at regular intervals by testing their internal temperature with a food thermometer.

This process was carried out for up to 4 hours and then overnight to observe changes in the salmon quality and safety. The results obtained were tabulated as shown below.


Experimental findings

No noticeable changes in smell or appearance of salmon were observed after 1 hour showing that the salmon is still in optimal quality as the temperature recorded was 140oF which is still within the safe range.

At the 2-hour peak, the internal temperature of the salmon dropped to 135oF indicating some cooling and showing a slight surface dryness and reduced shine.


The cooked salmons texture became drier after 3 hours as the internal temperature of the fish was found to be 130oF signaling a potential decline in safety.

By the 4th hour, the cooked salmon internal temperature fell below 130oF and had an unappealing texture with some odor emission indicating a potential risk to health if consumed.

After being left overnight, the internal temperature of the salmon had dropped below the “Danger Zone” (40°F to 140°F) thus creating an environment that promotes rapid bacterial growth. Severe deterioration has set in having an offensive odor that have become significantly stronger.

I also carried out this process for how long raw salmon can sit out.

In conclusion, it is best to refrigerate cooked fish within 2 hours of being prepared. In the refrigerator, cooked salmon can remain good for up to 3 to 5 days.

To ensure the safety and enjoyment of cooked salmon, it is best to follow the “2-hour rule,” which recommends refrigerating cooked fish within 2 hours of being prepared. Cooked salmon in properly sealed airtight containers can sit in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days and maintain its freshness.


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