Freezing fresh fish before vacuum sealing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cmayna, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, I have finally started to freeze or partially freeze my fresh Salmon before I vacuum seal it but wonder what is the best way to protect the fish during this initial freeze.  Wrap each piece with a Saran stretch wrap, then remove before sealing?   or just lay pieces on a wax paper covered cookie sheet, partially freeze and then vacuum seal?
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Craig I usually soak my fish in ice cold salt water,for 30 minutes then pat dry wrap and seal.If you have room to freeze before vac sealing that is even better. I catch some fish they say doesn't freeze well,I have kept that frozen for 9 months and it was like fresh.

  3. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do just like you said, wrap in plastic, freeze until fairly stiff, then vac pack.

    I like the salt water soak idea!  I usually do that before I cook it, not before freezing.  Good idea!
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like to individually freeze most "soft" food before freezing... That keeps them from getting crushed.... Raspberries, garlic, fish are first frozen on a sheet pan then put into a container for further freezing... Fish filets are wrapped in "saran" first so it sticks well to the meat... bacon, I bundle and wrap tightly then vac pack and freeze because I think it's important to remove all air spaces between the rashers before freezing..

    When thawing soft foods that have been vac-packed, it is important to cut the bag open, before thawing, or the soft food can be crushed as it thaws... I learned this trick when reading labels on some vac-packed foods, that say, open bag before thawing...
  5. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It sounds like you  leave the saran wrap on the pieces when you vacuum seal?  What about removing the saran wrap prior to vacuum sealing?


    I am so use to simply vacuum sealing fresh raw fish.  This is going to be quite the learning curve.  I have a monster Salmon waiting for me to process when I get home.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes I do.... Removal from the bag is easier and the bag remains clean...

    If you vacuum seal raw salmon, I think it crushes the meat and changes the texture of the flake of meat... also, it makes it almost impossible to get a pellicle that seals in the fats when they are crushed.... just my opinion....
  7. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I leave to plastic wrap on as well, for some of the same reasons. One big reason is that I can put several filets in one bag, leave it long when I vac pack, open it and get out a couple when I only need a few, reseal the bag, and back into the freezer. Then the 2 or 3 I pulled out can be defrosted to cook.
  8. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    WTH... Mine usually never make it to the
  9. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hmm, bad fisherman, can't catch much?

    Sorry, had to take the shot! :biggrin:
  10. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    With the amount of Salmon we catch,  there's no way we could ever consume the amount we just brought in.  That's what freezers are for.
  11. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I really don't understand all this work and expense for seafood. I admit I have never done salmon, but shrimp, crawfish, catfish, red fish, snapper, grouper, ling, ever fish I've ever froze...... we cover it in water and freeze it. As a kid we froze in the waxed 1/2 gal milk cartons. Greatest seafood freezing container ever made, We're talking 20 to 30 years with no freezer burn and no texture change and none of that freezer taste. Now we use ziplocks. just insure that the pouch has zero air and you don't need a vac pump to get it out.

    I know I am just a simple minded country boy but it seems a lot of trouble to par-freeze, warp, freeze, wrap..... Just put 'em in the Ziploc, leaving one corner of the zipper higher than the other squeeze till the water starts to come out and seal. No air, no freezer burn.

    I have specks and strippers and reds been in the freezer for years and years still when thawed they come out exactly as they were put in.

    Its the easiest preservation I can do. Seafood in the freezer and tomatoes in the canner.

  12. delbbq

    delbbq Fire Starter

      If you have a commercial style chamber vac packer then I wouldn't worry about par freezing.

    We usually only par freeze when using a suction style packer to help keep moisture out of the machine.

    The less you process a piece of fish before freezing the longer it will last and nothing will beat freezing in

    a solid block of ice however it takes up more freezer space..!!
  13. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    as i do very large quantities of fish at times i dont have enough freezer space to lay it out and par freeze, i pat my fish (halibut/salmon) dry with a towel. then wrap in saran wrap and then vac seal. seems if ya keep all moisture contained you have less IF ANY bad blown seals after freezing.i do the same with steaks chops, bacon.

    just my way of doing it. i dont like handling the stuff more than i have to, more fun catching and cooking ...  LOL

  14. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    That's the way we do it also. Zip lock bag, fully covered in water. Will keep forever!
  15. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I really appreciate everyone's replies with suggestions I wouldn't have considered.

    The problem I see with the water / milk carton method for us who do a lot of fishing is that I would need a commercial walk in freezer to contain all the fish we bring home.  That's a lot of cartons!!.  We also don't need the fish to last more than 6-8 months for we smoke, eat and give away a lot of it, making room for the upcoming next season. So at this point,  the best method for me is to saran wrap, pre-freeze and then vacuum seal it up. 

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