From the inherently unique texture to the brilliant recipes they’re so often used in, crayfish are gaining more and more popularity. When you get ahold of a bag of crayfish, how can you keep them for longer than a few days?
Can You Freeze Crayfish?
Yes, you can freeze crayfish for up to 2 months. Clean them then place them into an airtight container. The best option is likely a freezer bag. Press out excess air, and seal it then you can transfer it to the freezer.
Does Crayfish Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Crayfish? Yes
How to Freeze Crayfish
Although crayfish are a delicate seafood ingredient, they will actually freeze fairly well when the correct method is used. Below, we have outlined how to freeze raw crayfish:
- Clean: The first step to freezing crayfish is to ensure it’s as clean as possible. As with any similar shellfish, the outermost layer of the creature is literally its skin – it must be cleaned before it’s anywhere near safe to eat or store.
- Bag Up: Once the crayfish is as clean as possible, we would recommend placing it into some kind of airtight container, ideally freezer bags, though rigid plastic containers would work too.
- Remove the Air: Press out as much air as possible, ensuring that you’re delaying the onset of freezer burn as much as possible. To form a rough vacuum seal in a freezer bag, seal the top of the bag most of the way before slowly pushing the base of the bag into a small amount of water.
- Seal: Seal the bag entirely while it’s still primarily underwater, and most of the excess air will have been forced out of the bag.
- Label and Freeze: Pop a clear label onto the outside of the bag, so you know the contents, and then place the bag, carefully, into the freezer.
Yes, cooked crayfish can be frozen. Once cooked and cooled, portion them out into freezer bags, seal them up and then pop them into the freezer. The drawback of freezing cooked crayfish is that it’s easy to overcook them when reheating them back up.
3 Tips for Freezing Crayfish
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing crayfish to have the best results:
Freeze Just the Flesh
A lot of shellfish is thrown away while preparing and cooking it. This means that the majority of the fish doesn’t need to be frozen. Therefore, we suggest preparing the crayfish ahead of time a little so that you can only freeze the meat that you’ll be eating.
Remove Excess Air
Removing excess air from the containers you’re working with is vital for the best freezing possible. Removing excess air in that way will allow you to be sure that you can delay freezer burn as much as possible, extending the period for which the crayfish will store well in the freezer.
Include Prep Work on the Label
If you’re doing a little prep work on the crayfish, then we would suggest labelling the crayfish packages with the prep work that you’ve done. This will allow you to be doubly sure that you’re working with the crayfish parts you ought to be – preventing you from cooking something twice over, for example.
How Long Can You Freeze Crayfish?
You can keep crayfish frozen for around two months. Beyond that point, they will start to succumb to freezer burn, as the water throughout them freezes, damaging the protein structure and, therefore, the overall texture of the crayfish themselves.
Raw crayfish will last for between 1 and 2 days in the fridge. Once cooked, crayfish will last for between 3 and 4 days. In both forms, they should be kept in an airtight container.
How Do You Defrost Crayfish?
The best way to defrost crayfish is to place them in the fridge overnight.
Transfer the crayfish you’ll be using to a bowl or plate in the fridge, and allow them to thaw as they come to fridge temperature overnight. This will ensure that the food is safe to eat since it will be stored at a temperature safe for fresh fish.
Can You Refreeze Crayfish?
Yes, you can refreeze crayfish. With crayfish, the primary concern of damage when freezing comes from freezer burn – refreezing doesn’t have the same effect, meaning that it can be refrozen several times with no ill effects.
Does Crayfish Freeze Well?
Yes, crayfish do freeze well. By this, we mean that for the two-month maximum that we would recommend freezing crayfish for, they don’t lose much, if any, overall quality.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing crayfish or crayfish in general, then these may help:
If you’ve already dressed crayfish with a sauce, you might want to avoid freezing it. The dressing will not freeze well, ruining the fish. Crayfish is a delicate ingredient, after all.
Yes, if you have bought crayfish ready-prepared, then this can be frozen either in freezer bags or Tupperware containers for around 2 months.
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