How to Store Fish Correctly

fish in freezer boxes

Although fresh fish may be stored in the fridge, it is always better to eat it on the day it is purchased. If you must store it overnight, wrap it well in several layers of newspaper, and place it in the coldest part of the fridge (usually at the bottom).

Most fish can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days, although some types of fish, such as sardines and herrings, can be stored for up to a week.

In this Article, we will discuss the storage of different methods of storing fish.

Table of Contents

Storing Fish in the Freezer

fish in refrigerator

Unfortunately, the majority of domestic deep-freezers do not freeze quickly enough to prevent large ice crystals forming in the fish. The jagged crystals destroy the flesh, resulting in the loss of juices, flavour and texture.

However, there are some fish that withstand the freezing process better than others; these include fine-grained flesh, such as the sole and its flat relations. Fish with flesh that falls into flakes (such as salmon) can also be frozen, although they will taste better if cooked from fresh.

Where should you store raw fish in a refrigerator?

  • Raw Fish

Raw fish should be stored in the coldest section of your refrigerator. This is where the temperature is closest to 0 degrees Fahrenheit (or -18 degrees Celsius). If you have a freezer, then place raw fish in the freezer compartment.

  • Cooked Fish

Cooked fish can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days if they are wrapped well. Make sure that any bones or other pieces of meat remain intact.

  • Frozen Fish

Frozen fish can be kept in your refrigerator for up to two months. Wrap them well to prevent thawing.

Glazing Fish

One way of preserving the texture and flavour of frozen fish is to use a method called ‘glazing’. Glazing is a cooking technique that involves coating a piece of protein, such as fish or meat with ice. This means that the fish is coated with ice as it passes through a (usually) cold pan, retaining its texture and flavor.


  1. Clean and gut the fish.
  2. Place it (unwrapped) in a freezer set to fast freeze.
  3. When the fish is reasonably solid, take it out and then dip it into cold fresh water. This will cause a film of ice to form around the fish.
  4. Return the fish to the freezer immediately and freeze until the ice has set solid.
  5. Repeat the process two or three times until the fish is completely encased in ice.
  6. Store the fish in a freezer bag in the usual way.

Any fish that has been frozen should be thoroughly defrosted before cooking; otherwise the outside may be overcooked before the inside has had time to thaw out.

How to store fish after catching

After a successful fishing outing, it’s important to take care of your catch. Storing your fish properly will help ensure that they remain fresh and edible for as long as possible. Follow these tips to store your fish safely and effectively:

  • Keep the fish at a temperature of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Leaving it at room temperature for a long time will cause your fish to spoil easily.
  • Do not store your fish together in the same bag , container or cooler. It is always better to use a separate bag for each piece of fish, especially smaller ones and small numbers of larger fish.
  • Wash your hands after handling the fish carefully but see if you can avoid touching your mouth as this will transfer bacteria from hands onto all parts of the outside body, including scales and fins .

How to store fresh fish

If you simply want your fish to last for a few days, place it in the fridge. If you need longer than that, freezer bags are safe and extremely effective at preserving fish quality , flavor and texture.

If necessary, freeze all of your fish immediately after thawing . Exposing uncooked fish fillets to bright light will cause them to spoil in a short amount of time. This can be avoided by first washing the frozen and refrigerated fish with water immediately after thawing, then packaging it up again so that no part is exposed to direct sunlight for more than 24 hours.

Once your main course has been prepared , set aside some leftover chicken for next day’s meal.

How to store cooked fish

Leave fish overnight in a large zip lock bag and refrigerate, securing with bandanas or tape to help seal. Refrigeration will keep it fresh for 1-3 days before you need to consume the remainder of your meal.

How long can I still use my frozen seafood?

The answer to this question in most cases depends on the type of fish and its size. The larger the fillet is, the more oxygen it will absorb so for one pound or less raw cod you can keep up to a week .

How to store fish filets

First, check the expiration dates on your frozen uncooked fillets. If you can’t rely on these in case of emergency, then plan to eat it within 4-5 days and use a good quality freezing method rather than regular storage bags.

How to store fish sauce

Sauces should be served up in about a month.

How to store smoked fish

Again, this is entirely personal taste but I personally would keep mine no longer than a month , though recommended by some experts as long as 45 days (normal humidity).

How long can I keep dried fish?

Dried fish can be kept forever (unfortunately, this doesn’t also mean it tastes good).

What are the reasons that canned/frozen seafoods lose taste and flavor while being stored in a cold place?

This is especially common when seafood was preserved by evaporation method. Here are your three main causes: 1) Shellfish like mussels soak up water due to their high absorbency.

how long can you store fish in the fridge

18 Months. After that, it may only go as far back in the freezer as you want and they are no longer recommended for most uses (for cooking or otherwise). Again this goes with personal taste but if your cans look slightly yellowed or have a weird smell consider replacing them.

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