Fish fillets are nice and easy to prepare, and are a great addition to any freezer. You just have to know how long they’ll keep before you should probably use them up! Sometimes the freezer can be a bit of a guessing game when it comes to food items, especially when you’re not really sure what they are. This is why I’ve decided to do a bit of a run-down of what to expect when storing fish fillets in your freezer, as well as some tips on how to use them up soon! Let’s get to it, shall we?
Should You Keep Fish Fillets Frozen Or Thawed?
As a general rule of thumb, fish should be kept frozen. Thawed fish is a bit of a grey area in terms of whether it’s safe to eat or not. Let’s take a quick look at the differences between these two scenarios:
- Frozen fish is frozen at the time of purchase. Thawed fish has been frozen and then kept at room temperature for a while before consumption.
- Frozen fish is more nutritious than thawed fish, as it retains the ‘fresh’ flavor of the fish. This is due to the fact that microorganisms such as bacteria and fungus aren’t able to grow at sub-zero temperatures.
- Frozen fish is more convenient to defrost if you’re cooking meals ahead. You can simply pull out a frozen fillet and pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to get a nice, warm meal in a matter of minutes.
- Frozen fish is less likely to spoil if you store it in an airtight container.
My personal feeling is that if you’re going to eat something fresh, then it’s best to freeze it, as it retains more of its original taste. As mentioned by the above list, freezing fish prevents a lot of the issues that you might encounter if you were to cook and consume it immediately. However, there are times when thawing can be a good option as well. If you’re cooking the fish for something in particular, then you might want to consider warming it up first before serving so that it’s more convenient for your guests to eat.
How Long Will Fish Fillets Last In The Freezer?
This is a question that you have to ask yourself, because it depends on a number of factors. For example, if you’re using frozen fish that was defrosted and then refrozen, then it will be pretty well damaged and won’t keep its freshness for very long.
The general guideline is four to six months, but this can vary depending on the type of fish that you buy. If you’re buying wild caught fish, then the length of time that you can keep it frozen will be much longer than what you’d get from a factory farm raised fish. In addition to this, if you’re not buying very fresh fish, then the length of time that it will keep in the freezer will be somewhat shortened.
If you buy whole fish and then cut it up yourself, the pieces will keep for much longer as the texture and flavor are more preserved. The same goes for fillets, as long as they aren’t completely defrosted then you should be able to store them for around three to four months.
To extend the length of time that frozen fish can last in the freezer, you can either remove some of the water that’s inside of it or you can place some ice cubes inside the container. The first option will help reduce the amount of ice that you have to throw away because it starts to melt, while the second one will keep your fish cold for longer.
Should You Eat Fish That’s Been In The Freezer For A While?
As stated by the other questions in this section, the best way to ascertain whether or not you should eat thawed or frozen fish is by looking at the freshness date that’s on the packaging.
If there isn’t a freshness date on the packaging, then it’s best to assume that it’s been frozen and defrosted a few times, meaning that it won’t be particularly fresh and could potentially spoil. It’s also a good idea to look for vegetables, fruit, or flowers that have been freshly sliced or picked, as these will still have the taste of the flower, vegetable, or fruit that they represent.
How To Thaw Fish Fillets Easily?
When you’re ready to eat your fish, you’ll simply need to remove it from the freezer and let it thaw a little in the refrigerator. The best way to do this is by placing the container of frozen fish in the refrigerator for a few hours, or until the solid chunks of ice have melted and the fish is in a liquid state.
You don’t want to leave the fish in the freezer for too long, or else it will start smelling kind of fishy, and you’ll end up sickening yourself with something you’ve never tried before. Once it’s thawed, you can drain off the liquid and serve the fish on a bed of lettuce or other vegetables, or you can use it as a base for a fish sandwich. You can even leave the raw fish unthawed and simply warm it up in the oven for a few minutes before serving so that it has the texture of a rare steak.
Some people prefer their fish cooked, while others like it raw. There’s no wrong answer when it comes to how you want to eat your fish, as long as you’re not hurting yourself or other animals, then you should be able to enjoy a variety of meals without any restrictions.
If you’d like to extend the life of your frozen fish, then there are several things that you can do. First of all, you can remove some of the water that’s inside of it so that less ice is formed and has to be thrown away. Secondly, you can cut back on the amount of salt that you use when cooking the fish. Lastly, you can serve it on a bed of vegetables alongside some lemon or lime, as they both compliment the fish perfectly. Doing any of these will help make your frozen fish last as long as possible in the freezer.