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Can You Freeze Winkles?

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By Ross Young

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Winkles are a simple yet delicious seafood option that is often overlooked. Once an East End favourite, winkles are nowhere near as prevalent as they once were, but they’re still a delicious treat. But what’s the best way to preserve them?

Can You Freeze Winkles?

Yes, you can freeze winkles for up to 3 months.  It’s best to buy winkles that have been pre-cooked, as you can place them directly in the freezer in their wrapping. You can then reheat them after thawing them and they will taste delightful.

Do Winkles Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Winkles? No

How to Freeze Winkles

When it comes to buying winkles, it’s best to purchase those that have been pre-cooked. This makes your job so much easier when you store and then reheat them, as it’s easy to overcook them.

So, assuming you have purchased pre-cooked winkles, here’s how to freeze them: 

  1. Wrap them Tightly
    If your pre-cooked winkles come vacuum packed, you should place them directly in the freezer as they are, as this is the best way to protect them from freezer burn. If not, place the winkles on a sheet of tin foil and wrap them tightly, ensuring there are no gaps or tears in the wrapping. 
  2. Bag Up
    Place the wrapped winkles in a suitably sized freezer-safe bag. Then, press out as much air as possible before sealing the bag. 
  3. Label and Freeze
    Write today’s date and the use-by date on the front of the bag and place your winkles in the freezer.

3 Tips for Freezing Winkles

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

Buy Pre-Cooked Winkles
Although you can buy fresh winkles, if you’re planning to freeze them you should opt for pre-cooked winkles. These are much easier to store and then re-heat than raw winkles, so it’s best to opt for the pre-cooked variety if you want to make your life that little bit easier. 

Only Freeze Once
You should only freeze winkles once. This is primarily because you have no way of knowing how they were preserved in the first instance, and they were likely frozen soon after being caught.

So, to avoid spelling the winkles, freeze them as soon as you get home and ensure you only freeze them once. 

Don’t Overheat
When it’s time to reheat the winkles in the future, make sure you don’t overdo it. Doing so will cause them to go rubbery and it will spoil both their taste and texture.

When reheating them, do so only for a short period of time to ensure they’re as delicious as you would expect if you were cooking them from fresh. 

How Long Can You Freeze Winkles?

You can freeze them for around three months. While some people are happy to freeze winkles, whelks and other shellfish for longer than this, we’d recommend using them up within this timeframe.

While freezing them for longer than this probably won’t do them any harm, you might notice a slight deterioration in their texture if you leave them in the freezer for too long.

You Can Freeze Winkles for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Winkles?

Defrosting winkles is easy. The night before you plan to reheat and enjoy them, transfer the winkles from the freezer and place them in the fridge.

They will then be ready for you to reheat them in any way that you choose the following day. Remember, don’t overdo it when you’re reheating winkles, as you don’t want to spoil their taste or texture.

Can You Refreeze Winkles?

No, you should only freeze winkles once. This is because they’re relatively delicate and they don’t respond particularly well to the freezing and thawing process.

If you have a particularly big batch of winkles, you should freeze them in smaller portions so you can easily remove whatever you need at any given time, without worrying about wasting them.

Do Winkles Freeze Well?

Generally, winkles freeze well. But it’s fair to say that pre-cooked winkles store better than raw winkles, so bear this in mind when you’re planning to buy them.

You should also remember that you can only really freeze them once, so be mindful of the way that you portion them before adding them to the freezer.

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