Fish can be tricky to keep fresh once you have purchased them.
Keeping fish in the fridge also depends on what type of fish it is, how it is packaged, and if it has been previously frozen.
So, how long can you keep fresh fish in the fridge?
In most cases, fresh fish can be kept in the fridge for about one to two days. However, this usually depends on many factors which I discuss later in this post.
Refrigerating fish for extended periods of time usually isn’t advised, but there are some tips that will help keep your seafood fresher for longer.
Keep fresh fish in the fridge
As mentioned, there are many factors that could affect the shelf life of fish.
This means that if not stored in the fridge properly, fish can go bad quickly.
That said, there are things you need to keep in mind when refrigerating fresh fish.
Here are some facts to consider when storing fresh fish in the fridge:
1. Unwashed fish wrapped tightly in plastic wrap will keep for 1 to 2 days, but only if it is not previously frozen.
2. Keeping fish cold is important so it doesn’t spoil. Keeping it wrapped tightly in clear plastic wrap is best so you can see if there are any changes.
3. Keeping fresh fish (not previously frozen) in the fridge for 1 to 2 days is okay, but do not freeze and reheat at a later date because this lowers the quality of the seafood.
4. A thin layer of ice on top of the seafood is okay, but you want to try and scoop the ice off if possible. Keeping it there for too long can cause freezer burn.
5. Larger fish (over 3 lbs.) with thicker skin will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days after purchase. However, only keep these in the fridge for 2 days and do not freeze and reheat at a later date.
6. Lastly, keeping fish in the fridge for over 3 days will cause it to deteriorate and smell really bad.
Reheating previously frozen fish
If you previously froze your fish and kept it in the freezer for 2 months or less, you can reheat it without worrying too much about quality loss.
Using a shallow pan with hot water is the best way to reheat this type of fish.
Just make sure not to place it in boiling hot water or else your seafood will lose its flavor because the proteins are denatured by heat.
How can you tell if fresh fish is bad?
Fresh fish has a clear, firm appearance and has a mild smell.
If it smells sour or too strong then the fish is not good to eat any longer.
When your fish has gone bad, I suggest that you throw it.
This is to keep you and your family safe from any health issues.
How long can you keep fresh fish fillets in the fridge?
Like the whole fish, fish fillets won’t last long in the fridge.
Fish fillets can only last in the fridge for up to two days. Longer than that, they can potentially go bad.
If you want to keep your fish fillets longer, place them in the freezer.
Keeping fresh fish fillets in the freezer is ideal because you can choose how long you want to store them before using them.
Fresh fish can potentially go bad when improperly stored.
Also, fish won’t last long in the fridge. That said, if you are keeping fresh fish in the fridge, make sure to use it within one to two days.
If you want to keep your fresh fish longer, freeze it instead.
This way you can preserve the fish until you use it.
However, it is also important to remember that freezing does not keep the quality of the fish forever.
In fact, freezing the fish for more than 2 months causes quality loss because of freezer burn.
The best thing to do is to use the frozen fish within one to two months. This is to ensure the safety and best quality of the fish.
I hope this helps you store your fresh fish properly.
Thank you for reading.
If you want to learn more about refrigerating foods, visit my guide here.