We all know that fish can be frozen. Freezing is the best way to keep the fish safe for future use.
But can you freeze fresh fish from the supermarket? Yes, you can freeze fresh fish from the supermarket. You can keep the fish frozen for up to 6 months as long as it is stored in an airtight container.
There are several types of fish you can freeze from striking. They include boneless chicken breast, salmon, cod, shrimp, and tuna.
But if you plan on freezing a lot of fresh fish from the supermarket then it would be best to buy frozen or fresh whole fish as they will not only taste better but they are cheaper than buying individual fillets.
Why Freeze Fresh Fish?
Freezing is the best way to store fish because it keeps bacteria away and maintains its quality for consumption purposes.
As long as the fish is kept in an airtight container with very little or no oxygen present; it should stay good for at least 6 months.
Thawing should be done gradually so that ice crystals do not form in the flesh of the fish.
Fish should be bled immediately upon capture to prevent discoloration. When you freeze them, fish meat becomes crystallized and any odor is removed.
Freezing will also help keep the color in the fish, which otherwise tends to lose its bright hue after some time.
The best way to make frozen fish ready for consumption, later on, is by thawing it at room temperature or in warm water.
You can either rinse off the excess water before cooking or pat dry with a kitchen towel after draining.
How to freeze fresh fish from the supermarket?
If you want to freeze fresh fish from the supermarket, it is best if you store them individually after cleaning and drying your catch.
It is better not to clean them while they are still alive as this could cause an infection during freezing.
It would be a good idea to remove the gills and guts of live fish before killing them as these can sometimes contaminate the blood.
This will not only ruin the taste but spoil the entire batch by contaminating other pieces of flesh as well.
To store the fish with a minimum loss of nutrients and flavor, it is better to freeze them as soon as possible.
If they are stored for too long, they will lose their elasticity and can become brittle which results in cracking.
This may affect any frozen meat that sits beside it in the freezer giving you an unpleasant odor.
You need to ensure that your freezer is cold enough before going ahead with freezing your catch.
Usually, at -18°C, most fish can be kept frozen without taking up too much space in your storage unit or causing too much ice build-up.
It would be a good idea if you could place pieces of meat from different fish together so there is less chance of cross-contamination.
What types of containers can you use for freezing?
There are several airtight containers that can be used for storing fish in order to keep bacteria away when defrosting or thawing at a later point in time – opaque cling film, metal containers, or airtight plastic bags.
It is better to use containers that have no air in them and are well sealed to prevent bacteria from spreading further when the fish thaws out.
Freezing the fish immediately after you have caught it would also make sure that there is no contamination of the flesh by any microorganisms present.
Within 15 minutes of catching your prey, put it in a container with ice and add salt if required for long-term preservation.
This will kill the eggs and any bacteria that are present in the body of the fish. If you cannot freeze it immediately, wrap it tightly in a wet cloth and then put it in a container with ice immediately to prevent spoilage.
If the fish is not cleaned, it is best if you store them on ice separately for about 3 hours before freezing them as this will kill parasites or other small bugs living inside their body.
How do you freeze fish in a ziplock?
You can use a ziplock bag to store your fish in the freezer. Make sure that you have removed the guts and any bones from your catch before freezing them.
Make sure to also remove the gills so that they do not get contaminated by any other piece of flesh when stored together in bags or containers.
Put them in a plastic ziplock bag with some ice cubes along with salt for better preservation. This will keep your catch fresh for up to 6 months.
Freezing should be done as soon as possible after you have caught the fish so that all microorganisms are eliminated.
You can also deep freeze your catch if you feel that it is far too many and you do not want to deal with them immediately.
What types of fish can be frozen?
You can freeze almost any type of fresh fish from the supermarket, including tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, basses, or sea basses, and also shellfish like crabs and shrimps.
These days there are even readymade freezer packs available at most stores selling seafood that allow you to store your catch very easily after cleaning without using ice or salt before freezing it.
Once it has been cleaned properly with no traces of guts or bones inside the body, you can put the fish in these bags.
You can also freeze your catch without removing its head as long as it is completely cleaned out nicely and there are no traces of bones or guts left inside the body.
Should fish be washed before freezing?
Yes, it is very important to wash fish before freezing them. This helps remove any traces of chemicals or residues from the processing plant that could contaminate your catch and ruin its taste completely once defrosted.
You should also wash it with some ice-cold water to kill any microbes that could spoil the flesh when frozen.
You can use a good liquid detergent and then rinse it under running water in order to clean the fish thoroughly for storage.
Can you freeze whole fish with guts?
You can freeze whole fish with guts and even remove the head as long as it is completely cleaned out.
If you are not able to clean the fish properly, it is better to remove the guts before freezing so that there will be no contamination of other pieces of flesh once thawed.
It is fine to leave the head on and freeze it, especially if you plan to use it for making soup later on.
However, I recommended that you clean the head thoroughly in order to remove any remaining traces of guts or bones.
What are the advantages of freezing fish?
Freezing fresh fish will allow you to store a lot more than if you were planning on eating them right away fresh.
Freezing also slows down all bacteria present in the fish so that it does not spoil prematurely once defrosted and eaten later on by placing it close to other pieces of frozen food like fruits or vegetables, which causes rapid spoilage.
Also when stored correctly, frozen fish can last for up to 6 months without spoiling even if kept at room temperature after they have been cooked.
However, it is always better to keep them at minus 18 degrees Celsius instead since there is a lesser chance of spoilage there.
What are the risks involved in freezing fish?
There is a possibility that bacteria from seawater or other pieces of flesh stored together in bags or containers will spread rapidly if frozen at room temperature because it is harder to keep them separate after they have been thawed out.
The best option is to store your catch in smaller bags and then place these inside larger freezer packs available commercially.
This will help prevent contamination between different types of meat and fish when defrosted later on for consumption.
How long can you leave fish in the freezer before it gets spoiled?
If properly stored, your catch will last around 6 months inside freezer packs without spoiling as long as it has been cleaned and washed properly.
Never leave fish in the freezer for more than 6 months because there is a high risk of spoilage after that period of time.
In conclusion, freezing fresh fish from the supermarket is possible. It is the best way to keep the fish safe for a long period of time.
Freezing your fresh fish after cleaning it properly will allow you to store fish of different types for future consumption.
It is easy to do and does not require much time in preparation since most cleaning can be done beforehand while the fish is still fresh.
Fish are very healthy options when it comes to eating healthily as they contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce heart disease and stroke risk in older adults.
These days there are lots of readymade freezer packs available at supermarkets that will allow you to store your catch after cleaning properly without using ice or salt for up to 6 months.
If you want to learn more about freezing foods, feel free to visit my guide.