One of the main reasons why anglers fish is because they want to bring home good meat for dinner! However, it’s a bit tricky bringing fresh fish home, as you need to act quickly to ensure that they stay safe to consume. That’s why knowing how to freeze it is important, so it still tastes great and free from bacteria.
So if you’re planning to catch fish for future meals, read on! I’ll be showing you how to freeze fish in ziplock to ensure they will be safe for cooking later on.
How to Freeze Fish In Ziplock
We tackle a lot of questions regarding fishing, but how about after you’ve caught your target? While it can be a bit tedious, it will be worth the effort for your freshly caught fish to last and stay edible.
Here are the steps and methods you can follow when learning how to freeze fish in ziplock:
1. Once You Get Your Catch
Remember that quality is quality out, so you have to care for the catch the moment it leaves its waters. Do NOT let it stay and flop around on the ground or bottom of the boat, as this would bruise their flesh.
If you have no live well, then place the fish on ice immediately to keep it fresh. Ideally, the fish should be frozen within 12 hours of being caught, or even sooner if you can!
This is because fresh fish is susceptible to bacteria, decomposition, and food spoilage, deteriorating as soon as they leave the water. The quicker you freezings the fish, the better you can maintain and lengthen its quality and shelf life, especially during the hot summer days.
2. Prepping the Fish
Once you’re home, process the fish and clean it, removing its scales, gutting, and filleting it. You may want to cut it according to your preference, it’s up to you!
Once cleaned and filleted, rinse the fish well using cold water. This will eliminate contaminants that can spoil the fish quickly or have it taste off after freezing.
You may also want to treat your fish in a brine solution (a quarter cup of salt mixed with two pints of water). Dip the fish for half a minute then drain, which can give you fish firmer texture and prevent losing moisture from freezing.
If you have fatty fish, then dip it in a mixture of two tablespoons of ascorbic acid and two pints of cold water. This will slow down deterioration from fat rancidity.
3. Freezing and Packaging the Fish
There are various ways you can freeze fish before you seal it in the ziplock back:
- Rinse your fish in salted ice water and afterward, fill a ziplock bag with tap water, submerging the fish inside. Seal the bags then place it in the freezer. The water protects your fish from freezer burns while keeping air away from it.
- Or, you can place your fish directly to an empty ziplock bag. Seal it well and place it straight to the freezer, making sure that there is NO air inside the bag as you seal it. You may place it in a big bowl with ice and water to help prevent freezer burns if your freezer has space.
- You can also freeze fish by placing them in a shallow container and straight to the freezer for an entire night. Afterward, remove the frozen fish from the container and place it in a ziplock bag, putting it in the freezer again.
- Ice glaze your fish by placing it in a polythene bag and placing it in the freezer until it freezes. Remove the fish from the freezer and bag, then dip it in ice-cold water. Place the fish in the bag and freezer again until the water hardens, repeating these steps until there is a 1/4-inch thick glaze. Afterward, place the fish in the ziplock bag and return it to the freezer.
- Another way to keep it fresh is to wrap the bags in butcher paper to prevent the bags from tearing. Also, the freezer should be set to the coldest level for freezing fish quickly.
The key is to prevent your frozen fish from meeting air, which is the main cause of freezer burns. This causes fish flesh to dry out, so it becomes inedible.
You will want to package your fish by sorting it to meal-sized portions. That way, you won’t have to remove the entire fish, as you shouldn’t refreeze previously frozen ones.
Then, label and date it to prevent using spoiled fish. Frozen lean fish lasts for up to six months, while fatty fish lasts for up to three months.
Do you want to learn more about keeping your caught fish fresh for future cooking? Check out this helpful video:
Wrapping It Up
Keeping your fish fresh is crucial, as they are more prone to deterioration once they are out of the waters. With the right methods and quick action, you can freeze fish properly and have them last for months before it’s time to cook. That way, you can enjoy your fresh catch without worrying about it becoming inedible, making it worth the fishing trip.
I hope that this article on how to freeze fish in ziplock bags helped you out! The next time you catch fish for cooking, follow these steps immediately to ensure high-quality meats!