If you love eating and are a foodie, chances are you have some thawed fish stored in your fridge. Now, you might be wondering how long you can even store this thawed fish in the fridge. Well, let’s answer your question!
If you have thawed fish then my recommendation would be to cook and eat it within the first 24 hours you get them. However, you can still store thawed fish in the fridge but make sure to not store it for more than 2-3 days at any cost. Storing it for more than 2-3 days might result in an awful smell coming from the fridge.
Read this article till the end to know every possible related to how long to store thawed fish in the fridge along with some storing information that can help you in the long term.
For How Long Can I Keep Thawed Fish In The Fridge?
When it comes to storing fish in the fridge, there’s a difference between storing thawed fish and fresh fish. Let’s try to understand this difference first.
In terms of fresh fish that hasn’t been frozen before, you will notice it has a better texture and much better taste if it’s stored correctly.
Adding to that, it is also very less likely for it to get spoiled because of bacteria.
Now when it comes to thawed frozen fish, you will notice that this type of fish will not last for a long time in the fridge.
Due to this reason, it is best if you keep your thawed fish in the fridge only for a day. But, if you don’t want to eat it immediately then you can store it for 2-3 days maximum (this is only if you really have to!)
If the thawed fish is kept in the fridge for too long, then there are chances of the fish not tasting good. This is because when the fish is frozen, the ice crystals formed on it end up messing up the structure of the fish.
This in turn makes it less flavorful, juicy, and firm. When you thaw the fish, the structure of the fish can not keep the fish fresh. Hence, this makes the fish not as juicy and tender, less tasty, and limp.
And if you leave it in the fridge for a long period of time, you will notice that the meat starts getting really bad.
To be clear, you can’t keep thawed fish in the fridge for more than 3 days! At that point, it is not safe to eat and it won’t even taste that good.
If you really want to get the best texture and taste of thawed fish, try to eat it within the first day of you getting it instead of storing it for a couple of days. It will also keep you safe!
How Can I Thaw Fish?
Thawing fish in the fridge is the safest and best way to do it. It helps to keep the quality of the fish fresh and even helps in reducing the chances of any harmful germs or bacteria growing on it.
For you to gain a better understanding of how you can thaw fish, take a look at the step-by-step guide given below:
1. Make A Plan
Thawing fish in the fridge takes a lot of time. Due to this, it is important for you to make a plan ahead. Thawing fish can take hours and sometimes even the entire day. This mainly depends on how thick and big the fish is.
2. Take The Packaging Out
After you make a plan, the first thing that you need to do is take the fish out of any tight plastic wrap or plastic bag. This will help air circulate around the fish while it begins to thaw.
3. Put It On A Tray Or Plate
Once you take the fish out of its packaging you need to put it on a tray or plate to catch any liquid or drips that might come out from the dish. This liquid is called Thaws.
4. Put It In The Fridge
Now, you need to put the tray or plate that has the fish in it, inside the fridge. You have to make sure that the temperature in the fridge is exactly 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or you can even put it below that. This will only help to prevent any type of germs to form on the thawed fish.
5. Try To Keep The Fish From Cross-Contamination
Keep the fish away from any other types of food that’s there in your fridge. This will only avoid any germs spreading from the other food to the fish.
To do this, you can put the fish on the bottom shelf of the fridge. You can even put it in an entirely separate compartment in the fridge (only if you have it).
6. Have Patience
You have to let the fish thaw in the fridge naturally and slowly. Don’t try to hurry things up. Do not use the microwave or warm water to make the fish thaw faster. This will only make the fish thaw unevenly and can even affect its texture and taste.
7. Check If It’s Ready
After waiting for the time suggested above for thawing, you can check to see the progress and to understand if the fish is entirely thawed or not. If the fish is thawed then it should be flexible and soft, but still cold if you touch it.
Huge and large pieces of fish will require much more time to thaw. In this case, you need to have patience and give it enough time for the fish to thaw.
If you need to thaw the fish faster you can use cold water. Here’s how you can do it:
- Put the fish in a plastic bag that won’t leak.
- Put the sealed bag in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes to keep it cold.
- It usually takes 1 to 2 hours to thaw using this method, depending on the fish’s thickness and size
- Remember, once the fish is thawed, you should cook or eat it right away. Don’t freeze it again, as it might not taste good anymore.
How Will I Know If The Thaw Fish In My Fridge Has Gone Bad?
When fish goes bad and is no longer safe to eat, you can easily tell by using your senses.
For whole fish:
- Smell: If the fish smells really bad, like too “fishy” or even like ammonia, that’s a clear sign it’s spoiled. It won’t smell fresh anymore.
- Discoloration: Check around the gills of the fish. If you see any weird discoloration, that’s another sign that it’s gone bad.
For fish filets:
- Smell: Just like with whole fish, if the filets have a strong, bad smell, it’s not good to eat. Fresh fish should have a normal, fresh smell, not something really off.
- Sliminess: Fresh fish is moist but not slimy. If the filets feel slimy to the touch, it’s a warning sign that they’ve spoiled and you shouldn’t eat them.
In short, if the fish smells really bad, has strange discoloration (for the whole fish), or feels slimy (for filets), it’s best to throw it away. Eating spoiled fish can make you sick, so always trust your nose and touch to figure out if it’s still safe to eat!
Properly storing fish, whether thawed or frozen, is extremely important in order to maintain the taste and safety of the fish. Thawed fish should be eaten within 2-3 days and thawed slowly in the fridge to preserve its quality.
You need to keep an eye out for signs of spoilage, such as foul odors or sliminess, as they indicate that the fish may not be safe to eat. By following these tips, you can enjoy delicious and safe fish meals!
We hope this article has given you better clarity understanding how long thawed fish can stay in the fridge.