An extremely popular seafood option, mussels are delicious when prepared with tasty white-wine sauce and served with crunchy fries and fresh veggies. But what’s the best way to preserve mussels? Can you freeze mussels safely?
Can You Freeze Mussels?
Yes, you can freeze mussels for up to 3 months. When they’re fresh, you should inspect the shells carefully before adding them to freezer-safe bags. Once sealed, you can freeze mussels for 3 months raw or 6 months if they’ve already been cooked.
Do Mussels Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Mussels? No
How to Freeze Mussels
You can freeze raw or cooked mussels, and the process is similar for each. When you’re dealing with fresh mussels, they’re likely to still be alive until you freeze them.
Let’s look at the steps you need to take to freeze fresh mussels to ensure they’re safe to eat in the future:
- Check the Shells: Before freezing mussels, you need to check the shells individually to make sure they’re closed. If your mussels have opened, tap the shells to see if they close themselves. If not, you will need to discard them.
- Add to Freezer-Safe Bags: Tip your mussels into heavy-duty freezer-safe bags. It’s a good idea to freeze them in portions, as this makes things easier when you come to defrost and enjoy them.
- Seal: Make sure you don’t overfill your bags and leave at least an inch or two headspace. Then, press out as much air as possible from the bags before sealing.
- Label and Freeze: Write today’s date, as well as the use-by date of the mussels on the front of the bag. Remember, you can freeze mussels for around three months.
3 Tips for Freezing Mussels
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing mussels to have the best results:
While the steps above cover the process of freezing fresh mussels, you can cook them first if you prefer. If you’re freezing cooked mussels, wrap them tightly in tin foil before placing them in freezer-safe bags. You can store cooked mussels for up to six months in the freezer.
You Shouldn’t Eat Dead Mussels
After cooking your mussels, you should only eat those whose shells have opened. Mussels that remain closed or are cracked are dead and shouldn’t be eaten. The reason for this is that they carry a much higher risk of causing food poisoning, so you should only eat those that have opened during the cooking process.
Always Clean Mussels Before Cooking
Remember that your mussels have come out of the ocean and have probably been in contact with all sorts of debris and dirt before arriving at your plate. Therefore, make sure you wash the shells thoroughly before cooking them, as you don’t want to cause yourself a stomach upset.
How Long Can You Freeze Mussels?
You can freeze raw mussels for around three months. As mentioned, cooked mussels can be frozen for up to six months, so you’d be better served cooking them first if you want to make them last longer.
You need to be careful with the way that you prepare mussels, as failing to clean them or eating ‘dead’ mussels can lead to food poisoning. If you suspect that your mussels are dead after freezing them for three months, it’s best to dispose of them.
How Do You Defrost Mussels?
While mussels can be cooked from frozen, it’s always better to defrost them first. To thaw mussels, remove them from the freezer and place them on a plate in the fridge. You can leave them in their packaging, and they should thaw within 5-6 hours.
If you remember, remove them from the freezer the night before you plan to cook them, as this will give them more than enough time to thaw. You can then safely store mussels in the fridge for 3-4 days before you need to use them.
Can You Refreeze Mussels?
You should only ever freeze mussels once. Refreezing mussels may cause them to spoil and may render them unsafe for consumption.
What’s more, the refreezing process is likely to affect the texture of the meat inside the mussels, which can cause them to go rubbery. Therefore, it’s best to freeze mussels only once and to use them within three months if you can.
Do Mussels Freeze Well?
Mussels, either raw or cooked, freeze extremely well. The main thing to remember about freezing mussels is that you should only freeze those that are still alive, and any mussels that are ‘dead’ after being cooked (their shells are closed or cracked) should be discarded.
Otherwise, you should encounter no issues when freezing mussels, and this delicious seafood option should last for several months in the freezer.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing mussels or mussels in general, then these may help:
Yes, cooked mussels can be frozen. Once cooked and cooled, wrap tightly in tin foil before placing the wrapped mussels into a freezer -bag. Seal the bag up and place it into the freezer.
We would avoid freezing mussels in a white wine sauce. The white wine sauce can split and become grainy. Instead, make up a fresh batch of the sauce when you come to serving the frozen mussels.
Other shellfish can be frozen using the same method you would use for freezing mussels. If you want more information on freezing shellfish then click here.
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