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Before freezing cut large fish into 1-inch thick fillets.
Seafood is a healthy, refreshing ingredient for any meal. But to make sure your seafood stays fresh, follow these guidelines for freezing fish at home.
You can choose from several packaging methods. Packages should not be more than 1 inch thick.
Label packages with type of fish and date.
Fish will freeze quickly in single layers. A 1-inch thick package will freeze completely in about 16 hours. Thicker packages or packages stacked on top of each other during freezing will take several hours longer.
Freezing smoked fish
Freeze smoked fish as soon as you remove it from the smoker. Brush pieces of smoked fish with salad oil, if you desire, to slow dehydration and oxidation during frozen storage. Choose one of the packaging methods described above for freezing fish.
Thawing frozen seafood
Thaw frozen seafood in the refrigerator (about 18 hours for a 1-inch thick package) or under cold running water (about 1 hour for a 1-inch thick package). Don't thaw frozen seafood at room temperature or under warm running water. The thinner parts of the seafood thaw faster than thicker parts, and the outer edges may start to spoil before the center has thawed.
Storing frozen seafood
Store frozen fish at 0 degrees F or colder. The storage life of frozen seafood is longer at lower temperatures. Store frozen shellfish, fatty fish such as salmon, and smoked fish no longer than 3 to 4 months for best quality. Store frozen lean fish such as rockfish, sole, and flounder for no longer than 6 to 9 months.
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