Can You Freeze Imitation Crab?

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By Lewis Brindley

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Although it might not be fashionable to eat, plenty of us enjoy eating imitation crab. If you’ve stocked up on a little too much of the stuff, what’s the best way to store it?

Can You Freeze Imitation Crab?

Yes, you can freeze imitation crab for up to 6 months. Remove the crab from its original packaging and place it into a sealable plastic container. Seal the container well, and then place it in the centre of the freezer.

Does Imitation Crab Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Imitation Crab? No

How to Freeze Imitation Crab

Freezing imitation crab meat isn’t as simple as it might seem at first glance. Instead, there are some critical steps to bear in mind to ensure success:

  1. Remove From the Container: Removing imitation crab meat from the original container is essential, as the first container typically contains quite a lot of moisture. If that freezes, the ice crystals will damage the texture.
  2. Place Into a Sealable Container: Place the imitation crab meat into a sealable plastic container, being sure that you select a tub that’s around the correct size. Some spare room is okay, but loads of it can lead to freezer burn via condensation.
  3. Seal: Ensure that you seal the container around the edge. We’ve made this a separate point as it’s imperative here – imitation crab is typically many types of fish combined into one food item. This means that freezer burn will affect it intensely.
  4. (Optionally) Bag Up: This is optional but recommended. By sealing the container in a freezer bag, you decrease the chances of moisture getting to the imitation crab and causing freezer burn, which would ruin the texture of the meat itself.
  5. Freeze: Place the container in the centre of the freezer to keep it at a distance from the frost front where it will keep for around 6 months.

3 Tips for Freezing Imitation Crab

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

Keep It Away From Raw Meat
As imitation crab is technically formed from cooked fish and other ingredients, we would insist that you store it away from raw meat. This would lead to cross-contamination, which is the most common method for food poisoning to take place. 

Freeze With a Sheet of Paper Towel
Freezing the imitation crab with a small piece of paper towel will ensure that any excess moisture in the container is absorbed without damaging the crab itself. This can lead to a better final texture. 

Consider Shapes and Sizes
Typically, imitation crab is sold in small sticks. If your imitation crab is sold in slabs or chunks, though, you would be better served by wrapping the crab in baking paper, then cling film, and freezing for up to 3 months. 

How Long Can You Freeze Imitation Crab?

You can freeze imitation crab for up to 3 months before it’s likely to lose flavour or become poorly textured due to freezer burn.

To ensure you get all of this time, using an extra layer around the container will prevent moisture from gaining access to the crab meat itself.

How Long Does Imitation Crab Last in the Fridge?

Imitation crab will last for up to 5 days in the fridge when kept in a sealed bag or airtight container.

How Do You Defrost Imitation Crab?

The simplest way to defrost imitation crab meat is to place the container it’s stored in onto a tea towel in your fridge. The ice will thaw, and any condensation will be easily absorbed by the tea towel itself.

Defrosting any fish product at room temperature could be disastrous as this is when bacteria is likely to form.

Can You Refreeze Imitation Crab?

We would wholeheartedly advise against refreezing imitation crab. For one, fish can succumb to bacterial growth while out of the freezer, making the food unsafe to eat.

Also, ice crystals can damage the imitation crab while frozen, increasing the chance of bacterial growth while it’s out of the freezer. Therefore, it’s not safe at all to refreeze imitation crab.

Does Imitation Crab Freeze Well?

Yes, imitation crab does freeze well.

The reason for this is that it’s mostly made up of fish, a dense protein. Dense proteins tend to freeze well, leading to imitation crab freezing well.

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

Can You Freeze Seafood Sticks?

Yes, seafood sticks can be frozen in an airtight container that is then popped into a freezer bag for around 3 months.

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