Mussels are a popular seafood dish that is eaten raw or cooked.
Mussels can be purchased live in the shell, frozen, canned, and even dried.
One question I often get asked is “Can you freeze cooked mussels?”
If you cook your mussels but don’t want to eat them right away then this article will help answer your question.
So, can you freeze cooked mussels? The quick answer is yes; you can freeze cooked mussels. All you need to do is to wrap them into a freezer bag or a shallow container.
I also recommend that you label the bag so that you will be able to identify it later.
If you are new to freezing seafood then the following steps will help ensure that you are giving your mussels a good home.
Mussels do not take up much space in your freezer so before you head out be sure to grab an empty container or resealable bag.
You can also wrap them in foil or place them on a baking sheet. But it is important to remember that this is not a long-term form of storage.
How to freeze cooked mussels?
Freezing cooked mussels is a very easy process that only takes a few hours.
All you need to do is make sure that they are completely cooled before placing them in the freezer bag and then be sure to freeze them right away.
Here are the steps for freezing cooked mussels:
- Freeze the mussels as soon as you are done cooking them.
- Once the mussels have been cooked and cooled, place them in a freezer bag or resealable container that will help keep out any air. If you don’t have anything suitable to freeze them in then aluminum foil will work just fine.
- Freeze the mussels for at least 24 hours before you plan on removing them from the freezer. This will ensure that they stay safe for consumption when thawed later on down the road.
- Freeze cooked mussels in small batches so that if one goes bad it doesn’t spoil all of your other food too!
How long do cooked mussels last in the freezer?
Cooked mussels can last in the freezer for up to three months.
As long as you follow the steps for freezing cooked mussels then there will be nothing to worry about.
The only thing that you have to watch out for when it comes to freezing cooked mussels is moisture.
If any of your frozen mussels start to get condensation or frost build-up then they are no longer safe to eat.
If this is the case, then make sure that you place them in a refrigerator where they can thaw and then discard them.
Can you freeze cooked mussels in their shells?
Cooked mussels in the shells are safe to freeze but once thawed they will become rubbery and not very enjoyable.
It is a better idea to remove the meat from the shell and prepare your mussels in a different way.
Freezing cook mussels in their shells works best if you are going to use them later in a recipe where the cooking process needs to be started over again anyway.
In order to freeze cooked mussels in the shell, you will want to first make sure that they are completely cooled.
Once they have been cooled, wash them off under cold water and then lay them out on paper towels for 15-30 minutes so that any excess liquid can be drained from the shells.
You can also use this time to make sure that there aren’t any mussels with broken or cracked shells which could cause a safety issue later on down the road.
Once you have finished draining your mussels you should place them back onto a paper towel to dry out before placing them into their freezer bag.
When storing frozen cooked mussel meat in an airtight container it is important to squeeze out as much liquid as possible before sealing the bag.
Doing this will help prevent any freezer burn from occurring and it is also a good way to save on freezer space as well.
Can you freeze cooked mussels in sauce?
Cooked mussels in the sauce are another type of item that is safe to freeze.
It is a good idea to freeze your sauce separately from the mussels as this will help prevent any freezer burn or frost build-up from occurring on top of your frozen shellfish.
Before freezing, make sure that you are removing all excess liquid and then place the sauce into an airtight container before placing it in the freezer bag with your cooked mussels.
If you have leftover sauce after removing what you need for later use, then be sure to fill ice cube trays and place these in the freezer as well.
These cubes can be used later on down the road for adding flavor when needed instead of having to reheat a large amount of sauce every time.
How long do cooked mussels last in the fridge?
Cooked mussels can last in the fridge for up to two days.
You should never leave cooked mussels out at room temperature for longer than this as they can become an ideal environment for bacterial growth.
How do you tell if cooked mussels are bad?
There are a few ways that you can tell if your cooked mussels have gone bad or not and knowing them is important to keep yourself safe from food poisoning.
Here are the common signs of mussels that turned bad:
Cooked mussels with mold growing on the outside of their shell will be discolored in appearance.
This indicates that they no longer have any nutritional value and need to be thrown out immediately because there is a chance that food poisoning could occur if you eat these particular mussels.
Freeze damage is a big concern with frozen mussels and they will typically have white spots on the meat.
This type of damage occurs when moisture that is trapped within the shell freezes and thaws over time.
If this happens you will need to remove these mussels from your freezer as soon as possible and then discard them to make sure that you keep yourself safe from food poisoning.
Freezer burn looks like little white patches on your frozen cooked mussels that are no longer safe for consumption.
Freeze burned portions should be removed before eating or cooking with the rest of the mussel meat if at all possible.
If your cooked mussels have turned bad, then there may be a strong rotten or fishy smell that emanates from the shellfish.
This is one of the biggest ways to determine if your mussels have gone bad or not and typically you will want to throw them away if this happens.
If you notice any other signs aside from those listed above, then it is probably a good idea to discard your cooked mussel meats.
In conclusion, it is possible to freeze cooked mussels, but you will need to make sure that you are freezing them properly and in safe ways in order for this to work.
You should also know if the frozen cooked mussel meat is still good or not by doing a quick check of each mussel before consuming it.
If you are unsure about how long cooked mussel meat will last before it goes bad then the best thing to do is to check out the USDA website for more information.