Crawfish is one tasty delicacy when fresh, so the question on how to keep crawfish alive overnight always comes up among many folks.
After all, the last thing you want is to eat bad crawfish and cause a multitude of symptoms in your body.
When kept fresh, you can count on the amazing flavor and aroma of crawfish. On the other hand, crawfish that has gone bad is best to be tossed away.
So, what are the things you should do to keep crawfish alive for 24 hours? Keep reading to know how to guarantee the freshness of crawfish.
How To Keep Crawfish Alive Overnight
There are many ways on how to keep crawfish alive overnight. Here are simple things you can do that will help them alive, so you can keep them for at least a couple of days after purchasing them.
1. Store crawfish in the original container.
An easy thing you can do to keep crawfish alive is by keeping them in the original packaging. Don’t even bother taking them out. Instead, just give the sack a quick rinse to keep the crawfish nice and moist inside.
However, be careful not to keep the crawfish soggy inside the sack. You do not want to have them drenched in a lot of water. It is also best to keep the sack parallel to the ground instead of letting it stand up. This way, the moisture is retained better, which will prevent the crawfish from drying out.
2. Place the crawfish in a cool place.
Another way to keep your crawfish alive is by choosing the right place for storage. A cool and dry place is ideal, which keeps them moist while allowing the moisture to get out. Ice cubes on top of fresh crawfish helps to do this. You can also use a bag of ice or a gel pack.
Never put your crawfish in water to prevent them from drowning. In the same way, never leave them in the fridge as the temperature may be far too cold for the crawfish.
3. Store the crawfish in a cooler.
If you have just caught the crawfish, make sure you place them directly into a cooler or ice chest. Then, be sure to leave them in a bag or sack, which should have a soaking wet towel to maintain moisture.
Choose the right spot for the ice chest. We recommend a place that is dark and cool, yet away from wind to prevent humidity from causing spoilage.
Lastly, choose a place to store your crawfish that’s away from pets. Never leave them sitting outside, as well. Otherwise, the smell of crawfish will only attract some wild animals that can pose safety issues to you.
Keeping Crawfish Alive With Proper Handling And Storage
Proper handling is key to keeping crawfish alive overnight. Otherwise, it will spoil quickly and easily.
The primary thing to keep in mind is to maintain the right moisture and optimal temperature. You also need to realize that crawfish require oxygen to stay alive. Hence, never place them in a sealed container.
If you are transporting crawfish, place them securely in a cooler. Then, sprinkle some water and don’t seal it up. However, you can place some gel packs or ice bags over them when in a cooler. This is a recommended storage space for long hours of transportation.
Typically, crawfish needs to be stored in a temperature ranging from 42 up to 45 degrees F. This is why you should never put them in the fridge since it is much cooler with lower than 40 degrees average temperature.
Also, never stack them up no matter which storage space you prefer. Their shells are quite brittle, so you need to handle them cautiously. Otherwise, the shells will end up cracking, which will compromise the freshness of the meat.
Enjoying Best Quality Crawfish
Once you are ready to soak your fresh crawfish, you can submerge them in filtered water for up to half an hour. You can then add salt when you have completed the final cleaning process. This is a way to prepare the crawfish for cooking.
There are many ways to enjoy crawfish. You can either boil them for 15 minutes and simmer for another 15. Some people serve them with grilled corn and potatoes, which tastes absolutely fantastic.
We recommend choosing medium crawfish, which has a lot of meat. The larger the crawfish gets, the less meat they have. This is why smaller is better when it comes to getting the most out of your meal.
If you do not plan on consuming leftover crawfish, be sure to peel it before placing it in the fridge. It should be safe to eat after a day or two. But to prolong the lifespan of cooked crawfish, you should keep them peeled in the freezer. This should be good up to about six months.
Final Words On Keeping Crawfish Alive
Crawfish are abundant during the early summer to mid winter. But to take advantage of the peak season, the best time to catch crawfish in Texas, for instance, is in March up to June.
These tasty delicacies are sold in mesh bags, which typically have about 35 pounds inside. If you are not intending to cook them right away, be sure to keep them alive overnight to maintain freshness. You can just keep them in the same original sack and apply certain techniques to prevent the crawfish from going bad fast.
Proper storage and handling are very important when it comes to ensuring the flavor and quality of crawfish. We hope our tips on how to keep crawfish alive overnight have helped you determine the right way to go about it.
Now, you can keep them alive and fresh while at the same time enjoying the great flavor and dishes you can make with crawfish. Happy cooking and munching!