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Can You Freeze Oysters?

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By Ross Young

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Oysters are a delicacy loved and hated in equal measure! But if you and your family enjoy oysters once in a while, there’s no doubt that knowing how to store them correctly is important. So, what’s the best way to preserve them?

Can You Freeze Oysters?

Yes, you can freeze oysters for up to 3 months. The best way to freeze oysters is while they’re still in their shells by placing them directly into freezer-safe containers. Because their texture changes during the freezing process, you can only enjoy oysters cooked once they have been frozen.

Do Oysters Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Oysters? No

How to Freeze Oysters

Freezing oysters is relatively straightforward, but you need to make sure they’re fresh when you place them in the freezer.

You should also be mindful of the fact that your oysters will change texture during the freezing process, meaning you can’t enjoy them raw further down the line. 

The following steps explain how to freeze oysters the right way: 

  1. Wash
    Before freezing your oysters in their shells, you will need to wash them thoroughly by rinsing them under the cold tap. 
  2. Place in a Suitable Container
    Next, line a suitable container with greaseproof paper and place your oysters directly on top. You will need to use a container that is relatively shallow, as leaving too much space between the oysters and the lid will lead to freezer burn. 
  3. Seal, Label, and Freeze
    Once you have placed your oysters in a container, affix the lid and write today’s date and the use by date on top before placing them in the freezer.

3 Tips for Freezing Oysters

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

Shuck Them
Although you can freeze oysters in their shell, you can also shuck them to save on freezer space.

To shuck an oyster, you need to lever the shell open with a suitable knife before moving the knife around the rim of the oyster, removing the meat. You should then drain the liquid from the shell and preserve it for freezing.

Once you have shucked all of the oysters, you can combine the meat and liquid in a freezer-safe bag and add them to the freezer.

Freeze Quickly
It’s really important to freeze oysters as soon as you get them home. If you leave oysters sitting out for more than a day or so, they will start to turn. As such, prepare your oysters for the freezer right away, so you can enjoy them as they’re meant to taste when you have thawed them in the future.

Cook Them After Freezing
Remember, frozen oysters are not safe to eat raw. As such, you will need to cook them once you have thawed them. Oysters are a delicious addition to various soups and broths and can make a glamorous appetiser for a swanky dinner party.

How Long Can You Freeze Oysters?

You can freeze oysters for around three months. While some people might be tempted to keep oysters for longer than this, we’d recommend enjoying them within this time frame.

Doing so ensures your oysters won’t be affected by freezer burn and will taste delicious when you come to prepare them.

You should only freeze oysters for three months, whether you’ve shucked them or preserved them in their shells.

You Can Freeze Oysters for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Oysters?

The only way to defrost oysters is to transfer them from the freezer to the fridge.

You will need to do this the night before you plan to cook them, as this will ensure your oysters have thawed completely. You should never defrost oysters at room temperature or in the microwave, as doing so will cause them to spoil.

While it takes a while for oysters to defrost completely in the fridge, it’s the only safe way to thaw them.

Can You Refreeze Oysters?

No, you should only freeze oysters once, like most shellfish.

Generally, the best way to enjoy oysters is when they’re fresh out of the water and can be enjoyed raw. However, if you want to keep them for more than a couple of days, freezing them is your best option.

But freezing them more than once will ruin the texture of the oyster meat and will almost certainly cause the oysters to spoil. As such, if you’re freezing them at all, you should only freeze oysters once.

Do Oysters Freeze Well?

Overall, oysters freeze reasonably well. However, once they have been frozen, they’re only suitable for cooking and should not be enjoyed raw.

It’s really important that you consider this if you’re planning to freeze oysters, but if you’re happy to cook them, then you shouldn’t have any issues during or after the freezing process.

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

Is It Safe to Freeze Oysters?

Yes, it is safe to freeze oysters as long as you only freeze them for 3 months. It is vital that you don’t refreeze them, however.

Can You Eat Frozen Oysters Raw?

No, you should not eat frozen oysters raw. Unfortunately, the texture of oysters changes drastically when frozen so you’ll only want to use them in a cooked dish.

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