Freezing uncooked mussels seems to be a controversial topic.
Some people say freezing uncooked mussels is fine, and others disagree.
So, can you freeze uncooked mussels?
The answer is yes. You can freeze uncooked mussels and should not find any problem. All you need to do is to make sure that you store it correctly in the freezer.
What this means is that the fresh mussels should be put in an airtight container before freezing.
If done correctly, uncooked mussels can last in the freezer for up to 1-3 months.
This is because freezing uncooked mussels will slow down the decay process.
So, as you may have guessed, freezing raw mussel meat that has been placed in an open container would not be the best idea.
How to freeze uncooked mussels properly?
Freezing uncooked mussels is easy but freezing them properly takes a bit of practice.
However, freezing uncooked mussels can be quite straightforward if you follow these simple rules:
1. Do NOT remove the mussels from their shells
Freezing raw mussels is more effective when they are still in their shells.
2. Get an airtight container
Freezing uncooked mussels will last longer if you place them in an airtight container.
When shopping for freezing containers, make sure that they are resealable and air-tight.
3. Freeze the mussels quickly
You should try freezing uncooked mussels as soon as possible after purchasing them.
You do not want to allow the bacteria to grow faster in the mussels’ meat.
The longer the mussels are exposed to room temperature, the higher the risk of being contaminated.
4. Freeze raw meat separately from cooked food
Freezing uncooked mussels is best when you freeze them separately from cooked food.
This is to make sure that freezing uncooked mussels does not affect other foods in the freezer.
5. Thaw the mussels under cold running water
You do not want frozen uncooked mussels to thaw directly in the refrigerator as they may contaminate existing food inside your fridge.
If freezing the mussel meat for only a few hours, you can place it in the fridge and let it defrost naturally.
But, if the uncooked mussels were frozen for too long, then it is better to thaw it at room temperature.
This is a quicker way to go. However, make sure that you do not leave the mussels on the countertop for more than two hours.
The bacteria can rapidly grow in the meat making the mussels unsafe to consume.
6. Eat fully cook them when eating frozen mussel meat
Raw frozen uncooked mussels can carry bacteria, so cooking the meat thoroughly is highly recommended.
As mentioned earlier, freezing increases shelf life but it does not eliminate all spoilage or food-borne illnesses.
So when freezing uncooked mussels, you may want to consider freezing them for the shortest time possible and eat them as soon as they are cooked.
Tips for freezing uncooked mussel meat
1. When freezing uncooked mussels, keep in mind that freezing will not make the meat totally safe.
The freezing process slows the growth of microorganisms but does not eliminate them completely.
So, freezing raw seafood will make it last longer but still risky if you don’t observe the proper freezing procedure and thawing process.
2. To avoid frozen food from freezing solid in the freezer, place the freezing uncooked mussel container inside a plastic bag before freezing it.
This is done to isolate the freezing uncooked mussels from contact with other freeze-sensitive foods in the freezer.
3. Make sure that you do not place freezing uncooked mussels near the food you intend to eat raw or cook soon such as meat, vegetables, or fruits.
Placing frozen uncooked mussels in the same freezing container as raw meat can contaminate it and make freezing uncooked mussels not safe to eat.
4. To prevent freezing uncooked mussel from becoming too soft, speed up the freezing process by covering it with cold water before freezing for several hours.
You can safely refreeze freezing uncooked mussels if you do not notice any unusual smell or color when you take out freezing uncooked mussel to thaw.
5. Freezing raw uncooked mussels does not kill all bacteria, but the freezing process slows down the growth of microorganisms.
6. Thawing uncooked mussels under cold running water is faster than thawing in the refrigerator.
How long can you freeze uncooked mussels?
Uncooked mussels can last in the freezer for up to a year. But for best results, I highly recommend that you consume them within a month or two.
Uncooked mussels should be frozen quickly and without freezing any air in the container.
It is not advisable to refreeze freezing uncooked mussels once they are completely thawed.
Wrap each fish individually with plastic wrap, moisture-proof freezer paper, or aluminum foil.
Label each packet with the date, type of mussels, and freezing date.
How long can uncooked mussels stay in the fridge?
Uncooked mussels should be kept in the refrigerator for no longer than a day.
The temperature in the fridge is higher than the freezing temperature required to keep mussels or other meats safe.
So storing uncooked mussels in the refrigerator for too long is not advisable.
How to thaw frozen uncooked mussels?
Uncooked mussels should be thawed in the refrigerator before cooking.
You can also use the microwave to thaw them.
Transfer the mussels from the freezer bag into a bowl with a lid and set for defrosting.
Still, make sure that no air is trapped inside the bowl as that might increase the risk of contamination and food poisoning.
What can you do with frozen uncooked mussels?
Frozen uncooked mussels can be used for a variety of recipes.
They can be added to seafood or pasta dishes, soups, stews, salads, and more.
Here are some of the recipes where you can use the uncooked frozen mussels:
- Garlic and white wine mussels
- Spaghetti with clam sauce
- Mussels and clams’ broth
- Chorizo mussels’ pasta
- Spicy sushi mussels’ rolls
- Seafood casserole
As you can see, there are many recipes you can use frozen uncooked mussels.
Creativity is only the limit in this case.
In sum, freezing uncooked mussels is a great way to preserve their quality.
However, there are a few things you need to take into consideration when freezing uncooked mussels.
So be sure to check this freezing uncooked mussels tip the next time you are planning to cook them.
I hope this helps. Thank you for reading.
You can learn more about freezing foods here.