How Long Does Fish Last in the Freezer? The Ultimate Guide

How Long Does Fish Last in the Freezer? The Ultimate Guide

How long does fish last in the freezer? Before losing their best qualities, most fish can be frozen for up to six months. Fish, however, can remain safe for up to two years.

We’ll show you how to properly freeze fish in this guide, along with how long it will keep in the freezer.

To ensure you are aware of all of your options and how they might impact the freezing process, we will cover a variety of topics, such as freezing fish in water and freezing fish vacuum sealed.

How to Freeze Fish?

Being aware that fish can be frozen is a good start, but how you freeze fish will determine whether you enjoy eating it or not.

There are several methods you can use to freeze fish, including:

  • Vacuum seal
  • Plastic wrap
  • Wrapping in freezer paper
  • Glazing the fish

Fish are often frozen in water, as was previously mentioned, and this technique is widely used. Because it damages the flavor and texture, we don’t advise doing this.

A fish can, however, be glaze. Fish are submerged in cold water as part of the glazing method’s freezing preparation, then placed on a pan. Fish are dipped in cold water once more and that layer is frozen after the first layer has froze around them.

Continue doing this until your fish has a glaze that is about ¼ of an inch thick. After that, you should put these fish in a freezer bag and remove as much air as you can before putting the bag in your freezer for long-term storage.

No matter which technique you use, your aim when freezing fish should be to keep as much air out of the packaging as you can. In addition to preserving the flavor of your fish, an airtight seal will shield it from freezer burn.

Freezer burn is not dangerous to human health, despite what many people think. However, it results in a dryer, less flavorful meal because moisture is lost when air has access to frozen fish.

Because of this, we advise applying a vacuum seal. If you don’t want to spend the money on this machine, wrapping your fish in freezer paper or plastic wrap can also work.

In either case, you must wrap the fish in several layers of plastic wrap or freezer paper before putting them in a freezer bag. The purpose of this, as you have probably guessed by now, is to keep air from getting to your fish.

How Long Does Frozen Fish Last?

You can expect most fish to stay good in your freezer for six months. To make it simpler to track how long the bags have been in the freezer, label the bags with the date you placed them there.

However, fatty fish don’t tolerate freezing as well as other fish do. As a result, you ought to consume fatty fish within three months of freezing it.

Examples of fatty fish include:

  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Bluefish
  • Mackerel

We won’t bore you with the details, but there’s a biological reason why you shouldn’t keep fatty fish in the freezer for too long. When they oxidize, they release foul odors and undesirable flavors. The likelihood that a fish will experience oxidation sooner increases with the amount of unsaturated fat it contains.

You might be wondering how to defrost your fish, assuming you used the airtight freezing techniques we discussed above and that you removed your fish from the freezer at the proper time.

Although it is possible, we don’t advise defrosting frozen fish in the refrigerator. It does this by allowing bacteria to flourish.

It is preferable to run cold tap water over your fish to defrost it instead. Be sure to keep the package turned on. Otherwise, your fish will lose some of its flavor.

One last word of caution: never thaw frozen fish on the counter. In comparison to defrosting it in your refrigerator, this creates the possibility for even more bacterial growth.

Read about How Long Does Bass Live?

How Long Will Fish Frozen in Water Last?

As promised, let’s discuss fish that have previously been in water. Freezing fish in water is only necessary if you do not vacuum seal your fish to store it.

If you are able to securely seal your fish in an airtight manner, we actually recommend skipping the water as this could reduce the flavor of the fish when you defrost it.

In contrast, using water is the next-best option to vacuum sealing if there is even a remote possibility that air will contact your fish.

Whether or not your fish is dry after freezing may depend on whether it was frozen in water or not.

Your fish is more likely to be dry if air can get to it and you didn’t use water. But the truth is that adding water doesn’t always extend the life of your fish.

Lean fish can be stored for up to 6 months when frozen with water, while fatty fish can be kept for up to 4 months.

Glazing, whether with water or ice, does not lengthen the time that food is frozen, but it may have an impact on the fish’s flavor and dryness when it is later defrosted. Water aids in preventing freezer burn on the fish.

How Long Does Fish Last in the Freezer The Ultimate Guide
How Long Does Fish Last in the Freezer? The Ultimate Guide

How Long Does Vacuum-Sealed Frozen Fish Last?

If we’re being honest, the best was really saved for last. It would be well worth the investment to purchase a vacuum sealer for your home if you prepare and freeze a lot of fish.

The length of time fish remains in the freezer may be significantly extended if you can vacuum seal your catch.

While other freezing methods mostly only afford you 4-6 months of freezer time, using a vacuum-sealed packaging method could potentially get you 2 years of frozen fish preservation.

You did read that correctly, I assure you! Your fish may remain fresh in the freezer for up to two years if you vacuum seal it.

That airtight packaging has a certain something about it. There is no watery mess to deal with, and it is protected from freezer burn.

If you are equipped with the proper tools, this procedure is fairly straightforward. For storing and preserving fish for any extended period of time, we strongly advise vacuum-sealing it.

Here are our recommended steps to vacuum sealing fish and freezing it:

  1. The fish should first be cleaned and prepared, if necessary. Cut into filets or the cut of your choice.
  2. We do recommend apre-freeze process as well. Wrap fish in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. But don’t let it linger too long.
  3. Put pieces or portions into freezer bags or rolls for your vacuum sealer. Make certain that whatever you use is freezer-safe.
  4. packaging with a vacuum seal.
  5. Date the packaging’s label.
  6. This method of freezing fish can be used for up to two years. What kind of fish is used for this process is irrelevant.

We advise a pre-freeze procedure because you don’t want to completely dry the fish out but also don’t want the moisture to interfere with the sealing procedure.

Since fish naturally contains a lot of moisture, getting a good seal can be difficult.

When you pre-freeze the fish, you not only preserve this moisture but also prevent it from getting inside your vacuum seal, breaking it, and potentially ruining your fish!

How to Tell If Frozen Fish is Bad?

So, below are some signs to look for that you have a case of rotten frozen fish on your hand:

  • A strong “fishy” or ammonia smell
  • Slimy film
  • Lightweight
  • Flakes or patches that are white or grey

The first two symptoms suggest that your fish has likely been exposed to bacteria and is rotting. Even though bacteria can’t survive in temperatures much below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, a broken freezer or a power outage could raise the temperature to a place where they can survive.

The last two symptoms point to freezer burn. Eating fish that has been burned in the freezer is completely safe. The fish will have a dry texture and an unappealing flavor from a taste perspective.

It should go without saying, but freezing fish that is about to spoil will result in the same results. We advise freezing fresh fish within 48 hours because of this.

Fish in Freezer for 2 Years – Can You Eat It?

This question might contain hidden meanings. How was your fish prepared and packaged for freezing would be our first question.

If your fish was vacuum-sealed, you can definitely eat it two years after it was originally packaged.

The distinction can become a little hazy if it wasn’t vacuum sealed. Remember that the recommended freezing time is 4-6 months for other freezing methods.

Your fish will probably be okay to eat if the packaging is undamaged and nothing looks fishy.

If it tastes good, that is the question. A freezer burn could have occurred. We advise not eating the fish if your packaging wasn’t airtight for any reason.

The fish is still safe to eat if it appears and smells fine, according to a good rule of thumb.

Read about How Long Can Cooked Fish Stay Outside?

Related Questions

We hope that you will find this comprehensive and enlightening resource on how long fish can be frozen to be useful when freezing your catch.

To learn more, we encourage you to read the section with the questions and answers.

Do You Wash Fish to Freeze It?

It’s a good idea to clean and wash the fish before freezing it, regardless of the freezing technique you choose, to lower the risk of bacteria growth.

How Long Can Birds Eye Products Be Frozen?

This one depends on what you’ve decided to pick from our delicious range! Whether you’ve gone for our frozen fish, chicken or veg, our team of nutritionists have carefully selected a use-by date for each product so that you know when to enjoy our food when it’s at its very best. You won’t ever have to toss the Captain’s finest in the trash if you follow this straightforward rule (we just cringe at the thought).

How Long Can You Freeze Chicken Or Turkey For?

Never eat a piece of bad chicken or turkey because you might end up falling prey to it. However, how long does it take for your delicious poultry to go bad. First of all, it depends on how much of it you plan to freeze.

If you only have the various parts of the bird (thighs, wings, breasts, etc.), they should only stay in your freezer for nine months. However, if you have a whole chicken or turkey, it should keep well for about a year. But you must remove cooked poultry from your freezer within six months.

How Long Can You Freeze Red Meat For?

Your cut of beef or pork can be placed in the freezer uncooked and kept there for up to a year. However, you should try to finish your meat within six months for the best flavor. It’s a different story if you have a chop; those need to be cooked within four to six months of being frozen.

If your red meat has already been cooked when you put it in the freezer, you should take it out again to use within a few months.