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Can You Freeze Fish Stock?

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By Ross Young

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If you love cooking with fish then you probably also love using fish stock. This type of stock is a delicate tasting stock that can really add flavour to many fish-based dishes.

It’s a handy stock to have around but it only really keeps in the fridge for two to three days which often isn’t long enough to use it all. No one wants food to go to waste which is why you are here wondering how else can you store it?

So, Can You Freeze Fish Stock?

Yes, fish stock can be frozen for up to 2 months. You can freeze fish stock in large quantities in thick freezer bags. If you only want to freeze small amounts then you can also freeze fish stock in an ice cube tray.

Does Fish Stock Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Fish Stock? No

How To Freeze Fish Stock

When it comes to freezing, you have two different options to choose from. Which method you choose all depends on how you are planning to use it. If you know you need a large amount of stock for your recipes then you can freeze in large portions.

However, if you just want to add a little stock for the flavour to a dish then there is an option for this too.

How to Freeze Large Portions of Fish Stock

This is the method to use if you want to use large amounts of fish stock to use in chowders, soups or stews.

  1. Cool
    Let the fish stock cool. This is to help it freeze well and to also ensure the rest of the food in your freezer doesn’t heat up.
  2. Portion
    Pour the fish stock into a freezer-safe and airtight container. If you prefer to use liquid safe freezer bags then you can, just be careful with these as you don’t want any to spill in the freezer.
  3. Seal
    Seal the container tightly. To be safe it is worth putting the container into a freezer bag just in case there are any leaks before the fish stock is frozen. Label with the date and the contents.
  4. Freeze
    Pop the whole thing into the freezer and freeze.

How to Freeze Fish Stock Cubes

This method works fantastically if you want to have fresh fish stock cubes ready to use whenever you need them.

You can either choose to reduce down the stock so that each cube really packs the flavour in or for a more delicate taste leave the stock as it is and freeze without reducing it.

  1. Portion into Ice Cube Trays
    Grab yourself some ice cube trays. These are the perfect size for stock cubes. Pour a little of the fish stock into each cube section. Allow some room for expansion as the fish stock will expand as it freezes and spill over if you are not careful.
  2. Flash Freeze
    Pop the ice cube tray into the freezer. Keep it flat so it doesn’t spill. Let it freeze for a couple of hours.
  3. Bag Up
    Once the fish stock ice cubes are frozen take the ice cube tray out of the freezer. Pop the fish stock cubes out of the ice cube tray and put them in a freezer bag. Label the freezer bag with the date and contents. Seal the bag tightly and put it back in the freezer.
  4. Shake
    After about thirty minutes take the bag out of the freezer and shake it gently to separate out the ice cubes. This helps to stop the cubes from freezing together in a large lump.
  5. Final Freeze
    Put the bag back into the freezer. Whenever you need some fish stock just open the bag, grab out the number of fish stock cubes you need then reseal the bag and keep the rest in the freezer.

3 Tips for Freezing Fish Stock

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing fish stock to have the best results:

Consider Uses
Consider how you use fish stock and then freeze it accordingly. If you make big batches of fish soup for family gatherings then freeze it in one big bag, for example. 

Use Good Quality Bags
The last thing you want is for your freezer to honk of fish. Make sure you use good-quality, thick freezer bags which are purported to be leak-proof and odour-proof to prevent your entire freezer from smelling of fish. 

Label It
Although the smell tends to be a giveaway, it’s still a good idea to label fish stock clearly so you don’t grab it accidentally when you were expecting something a little meatier perhaps…

How Long Can You Freeze Fish Stock?

One thing to be careful with fish stock is that it doesn’t have a super long freezer life. You should be fine to keep the fish stock in the freezer for up to two months but after this time there is a risk of it degrading and spoiling.

You Can Freeze Fish Stock for Around 2 Months

How Do You Defrost Fish Stock?

Thawing out fish stock safely is of the utmost importance. Bacteria growth can be a problem in food as it heats up, especially if the food stands at room temperature for too long. With this in mind, the safest way to defrost fish stock is in the fridge.

Pop it into a bowl and put it in the fridge to defrost for several hours before using. As long as it is kept in the fridge it shouldn’t ever reach the optimum temperature for bacteria to grow.

If you do need your fish stock quicker and you plan to use it straight away then you can defrost it in the microwave on a defrost setting.

Just be careful to use the fish stock straight away because the microwave will also heat the fish stock a little.

Can You Refreeze Fish Stock?

No, you can’t refreeze fish stock once you have thawed it out. This is primarily a safety issue as the process can encourage bacteria growth and the more chances the fish stock has to be at the optimum temperature for bacteria growth.

So be safe and if you are in doubt then throw out any leftovers rather than risk freezing them for a second time.

Does Fish Stock Freeze Well?

Fish stock does freeze well. You shouldn’t notice too much difference between fresh and frozen fish stock. Especially once it has been used in your delicious cooking.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing fish stock or fish in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Fish Soup?

Like most soups, fish soup can be frozen. This works particularly well for a smooth soup and a broth-based soup. The only caveat is when you come to freeze cream or dairy bases soups. These can split and the texture will, therefore, be ruined.

Can You Freeze Fish Bones?

If you haven’t got time to make up the stock, then can you freeze the fish bones and heads? Yes, you can! Just bag the bones up, seal the bag removing as much air as possible and then place in your freezer. You can then use these bones to make up a stock, fresh, in future.

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