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Freezing fish

Discussion in 'Fish' started by whistler, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. whistler

    whistler Newbie

    So the annual whitefish netting season in MN is upon us.  If my luck this year holds out, I will catch enough fish that I have to freeze some. 

    My question is:  Is it better to freeze the fish first and then smoke or smoke them fresh and then freeze?


  2. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Personally I would try some both ways, if one doesnt work out it's only 50% loss. I've only smoked fresh fish myself. I'm sure some others with more experience will chime in.
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I would smoke first then freeze. I would think that frezzing the fish might change the fish's meat texture or something like that.
  4. whistler

    whistler Newbie

    Thanks for replying.  This past year I have frozen first and then smoked and I thought the end product was pretty good.  Just wondering if anyone has done the other way and had the end product turn out awesome.

  5. jonboat

    jonboat Smoke Blower

    I like to freeze first, then thaw and smoke. I like the texture of smoked fish, and don't trust it to be the same after freezing and thawing smoked fish.

    When freeze the fresh fish, I make sure to do it in ziplock bags, cover with water then bleed all the air out while zipping the bag shut. this prevents freezerburn and the fillets seem to be the same texture after thawing as they were before.
  6. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I agree freeze first, then thaw & smoke. If you are going to use a rub, I like to put the rub on then freeze in foodsaver vacuum bags. When you want to smoke them all you have to do is thaw in fridge & put right on the smoker. I think they are better this way. Much better than just putting a rub on & smoking them fresh. The rub really penetrates the meat.
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Whistler, Good evening. This is off the wall but worth a try on part of your catch.

    When we lived on the coast, Dungeness crab catching, cooking and freezing was important to have fresh crab year around.

    The crab was cooked, cooled, shucked and the meat was put into wide-mouth pint jars. The jars were filled with heavy cream and the air pockets removed. The jars, crab and cream were frozen.

    Now I have eaten a lot of crab fresh. I swear the crab taken from those jars, even after 2 years tasted like it just came out of the cooker. We opened the frozen jars and let them drain, upside down in a strainer, until the cream was gone. If you need to rinse the fish, dunk the strainer in salted water lightly.

    It may be worth your effort to try 1 or 2 wide-mouth pints. If it worked on dungys, it may very well work on smoked whitefish.
    bob nims likes this.