When we thaw food, we usually do so to cook it for some type of meal. Meat is a typical food that people will often thaw. However, sometimes there are special circumstances.
You may take out the raw meat from the freezer but decide you don’t want to cook it, so what you do is put it back into the freezer. The same can be said for after it has been cooked.
Refreezing meat comes with some caveats, so you can’t just do this willy-nilly.
One meat people do this with is fish, and in this article, we will find out if you really can refreeze fish and how to do so safely.
Is It Possible to Refreeze Fish?
We will tell you straight out of the get-go that you can refreeze fish that has already been frozen. It doesn’t matter if the fish is raw or has been cooked first. Both can be refrozen.
The details will be discussed in the next section.
Refreezing Cooked Fish
If you have taken cooked fish out of the freezer, let it thaw, and then suddenly decided you want to freeze it again, don’t worry too much because it can be done.
It doesn’t matter how you defrost the cooked fish. The fish can be refrozen no matter the method.
Some flavor might be lost, and the texture of the fish might end up being tough, but it’s still edible.
The cooked fish can keep about 3 to 4 days in the fridge, so it’s not necessary to put it back in the freezer right away.
Never, under any circumstances, should you refreeze cooked fish that has been out of the fridge and left on the counter for more than 2 hours.
If the temperature is 90 degrees, then that period is cut down to an hour.
Refreezing Raw Fish
Raw fish that has been thawed has similar rules to cooked fish that has been thawed. It can last about two days in the fridge, so you have some time to decide if you want to refreeze it again.
The same goes for leaving the raw fish on the counter at room temperature for more than two hours.
The biggest rule difference is that you can only refreeze the raw fish if it has been thawed in the fridge.
If you use any other method, it doesn’t matter which, then you can’t put the raw fish back in the fridge because of bacteria that can grow on it.
It needs to be cooked first, and then, and only then, can it be refrozen.
Time is truly of the essence for both methods of thawing. If you go over the period, then it’s best to throw away the meat or cook it right away.
Hey, the last thing you want is some bacteria growing on the fish!
How to Safely Thaw Fish
Believe it or not, there are several ways to safely thaw fish. These include:
- Best way to thaw a fish is to do it by putting it in the fridge. Doesn’t matter if the fish is raw or has been previously cooked. Put either of them in the fridge and then let it thaw for about a day or so. Remember, this is the only method that lets you safely refreeze raw fish. Any other method requires the fish to be cooked.
- A quick way to thaw your fish is by putting it in a Ziplock bag of sorts and putting it in cold water. Change it every 30 minutes until the fish is thawed completely.
- Finally, putting the fish in the microwave is the quickest method out of all three to thaw your meat. All you have to do is put it in a microwave-safe dish and use the defrost feature to thaw your fish. Now and then, turn the fish, but this is all that is required of you.
Use whatever method appeals to you. Just always use safe cooking practices to make sure you don’t get sick from eating food with bacteria.
How to Safely Freeze Fish
Several things exist that will help you safely freeze fish. These include:
- Before you refreeze or simply freeze your fish, make sure it hasn’t been left out at room temperature for a long time! If it has been, then it has to either be thrown away. Though, to be fair, throwing it away is the safest option.
- Use some type of packaging to wrap the meat in. Use foil, freezer paper, or plastic wrap. You can even eat some kind of freezer-safe container. In the end, just make sure it is airtight. If it isn’t airtight, then you can end up having a freezer burn on your meat. Is it safe to eat meat with freezer burn? Well, yes, but it leads to random spots of dryness on the fish. It’s not unbelievably delicious!
- Always label your fish with the date you first froze or refroze it. There is a specific amount of time fish can be kept in the freezer. You can always check the freshness of the fish by doing a sniff test to see if it smells and looking for visible spots of mold or signs the meat is going bad.
These are the top three things to keep in mind when freezing your first. If you do it, then you’ll ensure your fish is safe for you to consume.
And there you go, all your fish lovers out there! You know that it is possible to refreeze fish that has been cooked and then thawed as well as raw meat that went through a similar process.
There are rules you need to keep in mind because if you don’t, then the food will not be safe to eat.
It sounds complicated, but it isn’t. Once you have thawed and refrozen meat a few times, the rules will become second nature for you.
What does that mean? Well, delicious food, of course!
You might also be interested in the following:
- Can You Refreeze Pork?
- Can You Refreeze Sausages?
- Can You Refreeze Steak?
- Can You Refreeze Beef?
- Can You Refreeze Pork Chops?
- Can You Refreeze Hot Dogs?
- Can You Refreeze Turkey?
- Can You Refreeze Ham?
- Can You Refreeze Shrimp?
- Can You Refreeze Hamburger?
- Can You Refreeze Salmon?
- Can You Refreeze Bacon?
- Can You Refreeze Chicken?
- Can You Refreeze Ground Beef?
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.