Many people like to preserve delicious meals they are not consuming to avoid wasting them. The most common methods of maintaining these meals are refrigeration and deep freezing. Shrimp being one of the typical seafood, can be frozen while still raw. But the big question people ask is, can you freeze cooked shrimps? This is the question which I will be discussing today.
The answer to this resounding question is a yes. Cooked shrimps can be frozen plain, in a sauce, or as an ingredient of a cooked meal or recipe. Typically, shrimps can be in three forms. They can be just shrimps (plain), cooked in another meal, or even placed in a sauce. They can be frozen in either of these forms.
How Long Can You Keep Raw Shrimp in The Fridge?
Shrimps, like much other seafood’s, are highly perishable under environmental conditions. The shelf life of shrimps depends on various factors. These include the expiration date, how they were prepared, and how they were stored. They should be kept refrigerated all the time.
Shrimps can be kept raw in a refrigerator for 2 to 3 days for the best quality.
Benefits of Refrigerating Raw Shrimp:
- Extend shrimps’ shelf life.
- Prevents foodborne illnesses brought about by bacteria and other microorganisms.
Other aspects that involve refrigeration, and one may consider are the size of the shrimp that is big to miniature, its species, texture, and consistent color.
If you wish to extend the shelf life to your advantage, deep freeze before the indicated period for refrigerating has commenced.
How to Store Fresh Shrimp in a Fridge
Fresh shrimp should be stored in a tightly closed container or wrap them in a plastic bag before placing them in the refrigerator. This is done to keep humidity and /or water off the delicate shrimps. It also locks out any would-be contaminants.
The moisture provides suitable conditions for the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, which bring foodborne illnesses. The average temperature should be 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is also essential to lower the shrimps to the lower compartment of the refrigerator where temperatures are much lower, averaging between 32 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
The general procedure for refrigerating shrimps is:
- Use cold or cool tap water that’s running to rinse the shrimps.
- Pat it dry.
- Cover the shrimp with paper foil.
- Store the shrimp in the coolest compartment of the refrigerator, preferably on a bed of ice.
The main drawback with refrigeration is that the quality of the shrimp suffers.
Can You Freeze Raw Shrimp?
Yes, you can freeze raw shrimps. The average duration for freezing is 9 to 12 months. The only aspect which changes is quality since it will become more rigid. The taste will also diminish, and the texture will be tough to touch. This will make it less enjoyable after cooking.
How to Freeze Raw Shrimp.
You can freeze this seafood as pickled-out meat. To preserve the flavor and the texture, you can freeze the raw shrimp in the shell.
To freeze raw shrimp, the following steps should be followed.
- Remove the head but leave the shrimp fresh in the shell still intact.
- Rinse the fresh briefly with cool running water.
- Pack the shrimp in rigid containers such as yogurt tubes.
- Pack the containers in the freezer. Ensure the space between the m is reduced to the least possible distance.
- Leave some space on top of the freezer, probably an inch.
- Use 2 tablespoons of brine for every quart of water. Add the water into the shrimp until they are about an inch under the water.
- Freeze the raw shrimp.
Frozen raw shrimps will keep for about 3 months at zero degrees Fahrenheit but a bit longer at negative 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Before cooking, drain the brine and rinse off the shrimp.
How to Freeze Fresh Shrimp.
There are various ways to freeze fresh shrimp, as outlined below.
1. Freezing fresh shrimp using ice water in the freezer. (redneck vacuum seal)
Follow this procedure to freeze:
- Fill a container with ice water.
- Pack the shrimp in a freezer bag and submerge it in the ice water. Leave the bag unzipped until half an inch of the bag is left out of water.
- Zip up the bag. The cold water displaces any air present in the bag.
- Label the name and the date when shrimp were kept and (eat by) date three to four months from today.
- Place the shrimp in the freezer.
2. Freezing the fresh shrimp in a freezer using brine as a preservative.
The outline is as follows.
- First, remove the head from the whole shrimp, but the shell can either be present or removed.
- Secondly, wash the shrimp in cool running water.
- Place the shrimp into containers and add a preservative such as brine.
- Cover the shrimp with some water. There must be some headspace in the container to leave room for expansion of ice water when it has frozen.
How Long Can Shrimp Stay in The Fridge
This will depend to some extent on the storage conditions. Under normal conditions, raw shrimp should be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days.
Shrimps should be immediately discarded if left unattended for more than two hours at room temperature. This is because bacteria proliferate at room temperature, resulting in food poisoning, hence causing foodborne illnesses.
You can freeze the shrimps just before the refrigeration period has ended. This helps prolong the shelf life. Freezers maintain an acceptable quality for up to six months. However, the shrimp will remain consumable a little longer after that period.
Cooked shrimp which can either be shelled or unshelled, stays fresh for about 3 to 4 days in the fridge when packed in airtight glass or plastic containers.
Best Ways to Freeze Fresh Shrimp
If you freeze fresh shrimp, you allow its shelf life to increase. Doing it the wrong way leaves your freezer-burned with inedible shrimp. Fresh shrimp may be frozen with head and tail present, although it’s not recommended.
The general procedure for the best way to freeze fresh shrimp is as follows.
- Wash the fresh shrimp with cool running water and remove the heads and the veins which run to the back.
- Use 2 teaspoons of brine for every quart of cold water. Use the water to wash again.
- Pat it dry.
- Pack the shrimp in a moisture-proof container.
- Place or inscribe labels on the container(s), and then freeze your shrimp.
Related: Can you eat shrimp shells
See on Video: Can You Freeze Cooked Shrimp or Not
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How long can you freeze cooked shrimp?
After cooking, do not leave the shrimp on the counter for longer than hours. The average period of storing shrimp in a freezer is 9 to 12 months though the taste and texture will suffer. The following procedure should be followed before freezing.
- Allow the shrimp to cool at room temperature if it has been freshly cooked.
- Wrap the shrimp in an airtight foil.
- Put the shrimp in the freezer.
Q. Can you freeze steamed shrimp?
Yes, you can freeze steamed shrimp. Before freezing, one should bring the shrimp to room temperature by letting it cool completely. Wrap the shrimp in air-tight containers and close the container tightly before putting them in the freezer.
Q. How long can you freeze fresh shrimp?
When properly stored, fresh shrimp will maintain flavor and good quality for 3 to 6 months.
Q. How long does frozen cooked shrimp last
When properly stored, frozen cooked shrimp can last up to a year and be safe for consumption. When stored for an extended period, it may lose its taste, flavor, and texture.
Q. Can you freeze fried shrimp?
Yes, you can freeze fried shrimp. This is important as it extends the shelf life of the fried shrimp.
Q. Can you freeze peeled shrimp?
Yes, you can freeze peeled shrimp. The general procedure for freezing is the same as that of the fresh shrimp.
- Rinse the peeled shrimp with running water.
- Put the shrimp in an air-tight container or wrap them in an air-tight foil. The containers should be packed close to each other, leaving little space in between them.
- Put the containers with the shrimp in the freezer.
Q. How Long Can You Keep Uncooked Shrimp in the Fridge?
Uncooked shrimps can be refrigerated for 2 days. Beyond the 2-days limit, the shrimp will develop unfavorable characteristics such as a change in taste, flavor, and texture may change.
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that shrimp can be preserved either by refrigeration or deep freezing. The main reason for preserving is for the longevity of the shrimp for future use and to keep it away from foodborne contaminants, which causes illnesses to people consuming such foods.