While fish is great fresh, it is not always possible to eat it right away. If you have some fish that you cannot eat within 2-3 days, it is a good idea to go ahead and freeze it so it will not go bad. Of course, to make sure your fish is frozen the right way, you need to avoid just throwing it into the freezer. To get the best quality and to keep it tasting fresh even out of the freezer, here are some tips for freezing to keep in mind.
First, realize that air is a big problem when freezing fish. If it is able to touch the fish it will definitely cause problems. The best option is to vacuum seal your fish before freezing. If you cannot do this, tightly wrap up the fish so no air is able to get to it and make it go bad in your freezer. It is a good idea to purchase a vacuum sealer if you are going to be freezing fish on a regular basis, since it will save a lot of money by keeping fish nice and fresh.
Another way that you can avoid allowing air to cause problems is to glaze the fish. This can be done by taking fillets, dipping them into very cold water, and then putting them on a pan to freeze. After the water freezes, you should repeat the process. The goal is to have about ¼ inch of ice as a glaze on the fillets. Once they are well glazed, store in a plastic freezer bag.
Know How Long to Freeze
It is important that you know how long to freeze your fish to ensure you enjoy it while it is still at its best quality. You should not allow it to be frozen for any more than six months. It should be fine up to this point but after six months, the quality is going to begin to decline. If you are freezing fatty fish, like trout or salmon, you will need to avoid freezing longer than three months because they lose quality even faster than other varieties.
Fish You Should not Freeze
Some types of fish do not do well frozen, so it is best to avoid freezing them. The fattiest types of fish are the ones to avoid freezing. This can include sardines, herring, mackerel, and bluefish. While you can glaze these fillets, the quality goes downhill very quickly so it is best to simply use these types while they are fresh.
Thawing the Fish
Not only is it important to know how you should be freezing your fish, but you also need to know how to thaw it back out. Make sure that thawing is done very gradually. It is not a good idea to put fillets into a microwave to try to thaw them. It is a better idea to allow them to thaw out in your refrigerator or put into cold water to thaw them out as well.