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Can You Freeze Whelks?

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By Ross Young

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Whelks are molluscs that live along the shoreline and have been a popular food option in coastal communities. Although they’re not as common as they once were, they’re still a tasty dish to treat your family to once in a while. So, if you’ve picked up a batch of whelks, what’s the best way to preserve them?

Can You Freeze Whelks?

Yes, you can freeze whelks for up to 3 months. You will need to remove the meat from the shells, before blanching them. You can then bag them up and store them in the freezer, where they will be good for several months until you need to eat them.

Do Whelks Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Whelks? No

How to Freeze Whelks

Freezing whelks is a tad complicated, but you can preserve these delicious molluscs by following the simple steps listed below: 

  1. Remove From the Shells
    Submerge the whelks that you plan on freezing in salt water for an hour or so, which will make it easier to crack the shells. You can then prise the meat away from the shells and set it to one side. 
  2. Blanch
    Bring a pan of water to the boil and place your de-shelled whelks inside. You will need to leave them in the water for anywhere between 5-10 minutes. Next, submerge the whelks in an ice bath as soon as you remove them from the boiling water. 
  3. Dry
    Pat the whelks dry with a paper towel and remove any excess water from the meat. 
  4. Bag Up
    Decide how you want to portion your whelks, before placing them in suitably sized freezer-safe bags. Press as much air as you can from out of the bag, before sealing. 
  5. Label and Freeze
    Write today’s date and the use-by date on the front of the bags and place your whelks in the freezer. Remember, you can freeze whelks for around three months.

3 Tips for Freezing Whelks

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

Freeze Them Fresh
Whelks can spoil quickly, so it’s really important to freeze them while they’re still fresh. If you’ve left your whelks sitting in the fridge for a few days, it’s probably best not to freeze them.

So, if you’ve got a big batch of whelks that you don’t know what to do with, make sure you freeze them right away to ensure they taste great in the future. 

Freeze Other Shellfish Products
You can freeze whelks, but you can also freeze shelled prawns, crayfish, and other types of shellfish. You always just need to be mindful of how fresh the shellfish is before you freeze it, as it should be as fresh as possible to ensure it lasts long into the future.  

Only Freeze Once
You should only freeze whelks once. The edible meat is fairly delicate, and freezing it more than once can negatively affect its texture. So, to be on the safe side, only freeze whelks once and use them within three months of adding them to the freezer. 

How Long Can You Freeze Whelks?

You can freeze whelks for around three months. It’s best not to freeze them for any longer than this, as doing so can cause the texture of the meat to toughen.

While some people think you can freeze shellfish indefinitely, it’s best to stick to the three-month timeframe to avoid disappointment. You should also make sure the whelks are nice and fresh when you place them in the freezer in the first instance.

You Can Freeze Whelks for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Whelks?

When it’s time to defrost your whelks, remove them from the freezer and place them in the fridge. It’s best to do this the night before you plan on cooking them, as it gives them sufficient time to thaw.

Thawing whelks thoroughly before cooking them is also really important as it ensures you can cook them to perfection. Cooking them from frozen may also cause the meat to toughen.

Can You Refreeze Whelks?

No, you should only freeze whelks once. As we’ve mentioned, you need to be careful how you preserve seafood and whelks are no exception.

If you have a particularly big batch of whelks and you’re worried about wasting them, it’s best to freeze them in smaller portion sizes so you can easily remove what you need at any given time. You then don’t need to worry about refreezing them.

Do Whelks Freeze Well?

Although it’s a bit of a hassle, freezing whelks is a good way to preserve them.

That being said, the best way to enjoy these delicious molluscs is to enjoy them when they’re fresh out of the water, so try and enjoy them when they’re fresh for the best results.

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