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Freezing fish? (Eating Fish For One)

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    Freezing fish? (Eating Fish For One)

    Hey all,

    I love seafood. I could eat my weight (and then some) in shellfish daily. Obviously, the cost keeps me from doing this, but also my wife hates seafood and is allergic to shellfish.

    For shellfish, I'm doing good. Down here, we get some wonderful shrimp and scallops that are frozen very quickly after they have been caught. They defrost very well and are high in quality.

    Fish, is another story.....for frozen I've got....uh... Mrs. Pauls?

    I want to start eating more fresh wild-caught fish, but those tend to come in large fillets. I enjoy salmon, but I don't know if I want to eat it six days in a row.....and day six is probably not going to taste as good as day one. (As much as I love my cats, feeding them fresh grilled fish fillets seems a bit excessive!)

    I've tried freezing fish before (zip-lock bag style) and it was terrible. The ice crystals just destroyed it.

    I've looked off-and-on at vacuum sealers, back when I thought I might get into sous vide. Anyone have any first hand experience with vacuum sealing and then freezing fresh fish? Has anyone had any good experience with other freezing methods?

    #2
    Freeze in water. We do the same thing ducks. Allow enough room in the bag for expansion.

    Comment


      #3
      I just cut the whole filet into individual size portions then vacuum seal with a Foodsaver. Toss in the freezer. Never any issues with this even after months in the freezer.

      Comment


      • Elton's BBQ
        Elton's BBQ commented
        Editing a comment
        I do it the same way'ish

      • TripleB
        TripleB commented
        Editing a comment
        +1

      #4
      I vacuum seal. Fish stays pretty fresh tasting for about a year frozen this way as opposed to red meat which can last 3 or more years when vacuum sealed.

      Comment


        #5
        Originally posted by Jerod Broussard View Post
        Freeze in water. We do the same thing ducks. Allow enough room in the bag for expansion.
        How do you mean? Wouldn't the water crystalize and harm the fish on the sides without the skin?

        Comment


        • 58limited
          58limited commented
          Editing a comment
          Freezing in water: the water forms a solid block of ice around the fish. What happened to you with the ziplocks was freezer burn, kinda like freeze drying - since it wasn't vacuum sealed there were air spaces in the bag and the cold dry air drew out water from the food causing exposed parts to dry and oxidize which tastes and smells nasty. Been there, done that myself.

        #6
        (Now this is something I didn't consider.....it appears that if one vacuum-seals fresh fish, it can last perhaps up to two weeks in the fridge. Hmm. I could take a filet and freeze half and eat the fresh-sealed ones without the need to eat it every day.)

        Comment


        • 58limited
          58limited commented
          Editing a comment
          I would freeze it, I don't trust seafood for more than a day in the fridge myself no matter how its packaged. Got food poisoning once and now I'm overly cautious.

        #7
        What Jerod Broussard said. I remember that even way back when I was a kid, my grandfather used to save waxed-paper milk cartons. After a fishing trip, they'd get packed with filets and then filled with water. Worked great!

        FWIW, I've avoided vacuum sealing fish because there seems to be some sort of nasty anoxic bacteria that can cause trouble when thawing unless you remember to get them out of the vacuum packs and back into O2 laden air before the thawing begins.

        Comment


        • Elton's BBQ
          Elton's BBQ commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the link MBMorgan !

        • MBMorgan
          MBMorgan commented
          Editing a comment
          Elton's BBQ - Vær så god!

        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          Interesting! This explains why any frozen fish filets I've bought said to remove from the vacuum pack to thaw. I just put them on a plate in the fridge an hour or two before dinner, or if in a hurry into another zip lock bag and under cold running water.

        #8
        I’ve been doing what Jerod suggested for 45 years. Catch, in this case salmon, filet it, put it in freezer bag, fill with water til covered (flat wise), lay ot in the freezer. Haven’t had any problems. Do the same with the shrimp that is trucked up from Galveston. My wife was allergic to em also, so it was always one eatin.
        Last edited by FireMan; June 12, 2021, 12:16 PM.

        Comment


        • Michael_in_TX
          Michael_in_TX commented
          Editing a comment
          Huh...I never would have thought that would have worked, but you have as much experience with that for as long as I have been alive. (That...that's a compliment!) Also, yay Galveston shoutout!

        • Oak Smoke
          Oak Smoke commented
          Editing a comment
          I've been freezing fish in water for most of my life. My dad was one of those old noodlers. He caught catfish out of holes in the creek bank with his hands. We always froze the fillets in water. As an adult I've frozen crappie and striper in water with good results. It's just the way I was taught.

        #9
        Originally posted by MBMorgan View Post
        FWIW, I've avoided vacuum sealing fish because there seems to be some sort of nasty anoxic bacteria that can cause trouble when thawing unless you remember to get them out of the vacuum packs and back into O2 laden air before the thawing begins.
        You may be exactly right about this. I buy some vacuum-sealed, flash-frozen tuna steaks. They clearly state that one must absolutely not thaw them in the vacuum pouch.

        Comment


          #10
          So, what you need to do are two things:

          1) Avoid ANY air. Air leads to freezer burn. Vacseal fixes this, as does water.

          2) Freeze as fast as possible which minimizes the formation of ice crystals

          You might want to consider places like Sena Sea etc that flash freeze and ship to you frozen (though in the summer... there's obvious risk). https://www.senasea.com
          Last edited by rickgregory; June 12, 2021, 12:46 PM.

          Comment


            #11
            Originally posted by rickgregory View Post
            1) Avoid ANY air. Air leads to freezer burn. Vacseal fixes this, as does water.
            Ah, this is what I was missing with the water thing. It's the air that causes the issues. Interesting.

            Comment


            • rickgregory
              rickgregory commented
              Editing a comment
              Specifically, it's the ice crystals that can form in the presence of moist air. Water and vacsealing exclude air and flash freezing minimizes the size of any crystals that do form. What you're trying to do is minimize the formation of those and for any that do form, have them be small.

            #12
            Several comments:

            For a seafood supplier, I can't speak highly enough of Sitka Salmon Shares, as recommend by Meathead last year. Top quality, flash frozen, well sealed, and generally sold in one-person serving sizes, though my wife I have shared a couple of the larger pieces for one meal. Their prices also beat Sena Sea by a good margin.

            We also purchased some salmon (Coho and sockeye) from Costco and delivered to the door at no extra charge. While the price was good, the vac-sealed packages, generally "leaked" and now most, if not all, show freezer burn/ice crystals, starting about 2 months after purchase. A big disappointment for us, given that we are big Costco fans.

            Finally, a question: I have never heard of botulism being a problem with vac-sealed fish, but a quick Google shows it be true--with the apparent exception of the fish being thawed in a fridge at or below 38°F. It seems to me that any vac-sealed product MIGHT be subject to botulism concerns--i.e., beef, pork, chicken, etc. Any thoughts/comments?...
            Last edited by Willy; June 12, 2021, 01:26 PM.

            Comment


            • Jerod Broussard
              Jerod Broussard commented
              Editing a comment
              You actually need contamination first, and many canned products that have potential Botulism problems deal with products from the ground where the spores reside, eg. carrots, potatoes, greens, etc... People have gotten botulism from potato salad, heating the potatoes removed the oxygen from the potatoes creating an anaerobic environment. Oxygen rich environments for beef, pork, and chicken processing don't lend to Botulism problems. Probable? Maybe, not even possible enough to be trained on it.

            #13
            I have also heard good things about these folks https://www.sizzlefish.com/ I have never tried them but plan to.

            Comment

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