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tom32

freezing fish

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when you guys freeze you fish filets,do you add water to zip-lock bags?

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Yes, I add water to the zip-lock bag. Has worked well for me. If anyone in your family thinks frozen fish taste "fishy," one tip my uncle gave me is to soak your thawed fillets in milk (2% or higher) for a bit before frying them. That seems to draw the fishy taste out.

Fishorgolf - do you "pre-freeze" your fillets at all? I've never vacuum sealed fish, but I have sealed steak & chicken. If I don't pre-freeze steak or chicken my vacuum sealer pulls the juices out, which get trapped in the sealed part of the bag. This ruins the my seal. I don't "pre-freeze" very long - maybe 15 or 20 minutes - just long enough to firm the meat up so the juices don't get pulled out.

I have a relatively cheap vacuum sealer, so that could be the problem. Just wondering if you've run into the same problem and how you solve it.

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If you don't have a vacuum sealer then you will want to cover the fillets with water before freezing. They will last for over a year if they are completely surrounded by ice.

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GetaNet, I also vacume seal pack fillets and have not ran into a problem with the seal. It may be the unit you have, try patting the fillets dry on a clean kitchen towl after rincing them and that should help. I started with a cheaper sealer until I saw the benifits of it then I saved up and upgraded, better investment then my 401K crazy

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Patting the fish down with a towel is a must if you get mosture when it vacuums the air out it wont seal

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A couple options for vacuum sealing. Put the fish in a vacuum sealing bag and throw them in the freezer for an hour and then do the final vacuum/sealing. You may need to wipe the condensation out of the bag before sealing. You can also lay a folded strip of paper towel right below the sealing line. The vacuum pulls the moisture into the paper towel and the sealing works great.

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Here's the no fuss way to vac seal, you can wrap the fish wet no patting dry etc in saran or plastic wrap. Stick them in the vac seal bag and hit the button and you're done. This also helps to perserve them if you sometimes get those tiny krinkles where the plastic krinkles and it's air that didn't seal when you hit the button.

Also after cleaning my fillets, I soak them over night in about 1-2 TBL of salt mixed with cold water. This firms them up and cleans off the blood etc. No fishy taste ever, no salt taste, just great tasting fish for the pan.

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I combine with what Hundress and Getanet do. I filley my fish and give them a good washing in cold water to get the blod and any slime off of them. I then take a butter tub (the bigger country crock one) and put a couple of TBL spoons of salt in it. Run some cold water in there, then add about a half cup of 2% milk (though any % would work). I put the fillets in that mixture and put a few ice cubes in it. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the fillets. Stick it in the fridge over night. Next day I take out the fillets and put them on paper towels. Pat both sides. Then I stick them in the food saver and seal them up. Throw them in the freezer and they've outleasted the time it takes for us to eat them. Fresh as the day I caught them. Even if I'm going to eat them right away I put them in the milk, water and salt bath for a little bit.

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I'm with chaffmj,

Clean out a 1/2 gallon milk carton good, put the fish in, fill with water and its amazing how long they last and nothing leaks out in the freezer.

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I've heard of using a milk jug, but haven't tried it. Do you put the cap on the bottle before you freeze it, after it's frozen, or is there so much ice a cap isn't necessary?

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The problem with milk jugs and such is the room they consume in your freezer.

I vacuum pack mine now but I used zipper freezer bags before. This is how I did it to save space and make them easy to stack up.

Place your fillets into the bag and then submerge the bag in water. Any air inside the bag will come to the top side. Work the air out of the bag (all this is done while submerged). Then begin to zip the bag but before completely closing the bag, press down gently on the bag as it lays flat in the bottom to squeeze out most of the water with your palm. You're trying to get most of the water out so the bag can be flat. While holding pressure with your palm, finish zipping the bag shut. When you remove the bag from the water you'll be able to lay it flat in the freezer and as they freeze they can be stacked up.

The process goes quick although it takes some time to explain. You also want to be sure to use good quality freezer bags that you trust will not leak. It's the air that destroys the quality of meat and causes freezer burn. By removing the air, the fillets will keep for a long time.

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Stone ages! I've been using zip lock's that have vacuum pump for everything -- including some photos and photo paper I archive!

Every bag gets at least 5 re-uses. I would never desire an expensive vacuum packer now! Tip: Press out most air (very easy)

then give rapid strokes on the pump (speeds things up and is good

exercise! smile Walmart and others carry these. About $3.50 for the pump (one time investment) and $3 for bags. I use smaller bags whenever possible.

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I use milk cartons or containers like cool whip plastic ones. I put the filets in, cover them with water and freeze. You can leave it in the freezer forever and as long as the meat is covered by water, no freezer burn.

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Yes, I add water to the zip-lock bag. Has worked well for me. If anyone in your family thinks frozen fish taste "fishy," one tip my uncle gave me is to soak your thawed fillets in milk (2% or higher) for a bit before frying them. That seems to draw the fishy taste out.

Fishorgolf - do you "pre-freeze" your fillets at all? I've never vacuum sealed fish, but I have sealed steak & chicken. If I don't pre-freeze steak or chicken my vacuum sealer pulls the juices out, which get trapped in the sealed part of the bag. This ruins the my seal. I don't "pre-freeze" very long - maybe 15 or 20 minutes - just long enough to firm the meat up so the juices don't get pulled out.

I have a relatively cheap vacuum sealer, so that could be the problem. Just wondering if you've run into the same problem and how you solve it.

What I do is dry the fish very well before sealing which helps solve this problem. Clean fish (do not soak) wash well, dry well right away and then seal. I am kind of a clean freak when it comes to fish and very careful in keeping the fillets free of any slim etc. when cleaning and freezing. Doing it this way I have never had a single fillet that had even a slightly fishing smell or taste.

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I have a vacuum packer, but most of the time I use ZipLoc Freezer bags. I throw a couple of fish in each bag, squeeze the air out and seal and sometimes put a rubber band around it. I've kept fish for over a year and have not had burn or deteriation of the meat. I have never packed fish in water.

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i always ziploc, cover fillets with water, sprinkle a litte salt in there, zip the bag shut while pushing some of the excess water out eliminating ALL air from the bag. I've never had issues this way with freezerburn, it jsut takes a litte thawing time before you can cook.

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I have a cheaper vacuum sealer. You just have to wipe the water out from the seal and run it through the sealer again. A "double seal" if you will. No problem.

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SO what does the salt do???

I always soke mine in milk, salt, water mix. It takes some of the "fishyness" out of it. Minimum I do is salt and water. I think the salt helps to preserve it a little.

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The way i freeze fish is real simple.

And people love the fish I make.

this is what I do. when i clean the fish

I cut around the rib cage, I never never drag the blade

thru the guts (ick), the I skin the fillets.

Never place fillets on top one another.

Once all the fish are cleaned, I rinse them out feeling for

bones I may have missed,then I place them in a large bowl

(Big bowl like a gallon and a half)

not a metal bowl (dunno why but it does make a difference)

with about 3 table spoons of salt, I stir the fillets

until salt is dissolved.

Then place in the fridge at least 24 hours, 48 hours is better.

then I take the fillets rinse them off to get all the salt water off. then I place them in a Zip Loc freezer bag.

when I place the fillets in the bag I fill with cold water right to the top. Then I start to zip the bag close while pushing down letting some water flow out of the bag while zipping, to eliminate air and give water room for expansion.

I have been doing this for around 25 years.

I ussally eat my fish with in the year I freeze them.

I have had fillets a few years old. Dont recomend this.

I just hate to throw out fish. The fish was fine.

So this is what I do and people in my family dont like fish but they love my fish!

There you have it

Also take what you only need for a meal please please do not hoard fish, save it for our kids and their kids.

Fins

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Quote:
Also take what you only need for a meal please please do not hoard fish, save it for our kids and their kids.

Interesting how you say that but at the same time are telling us about freezing and keeping fish in your freezer. If you lived by your own advice, you wouldn't have any frozen fish.

Don't mean to be picky but I couldn't help it.

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Quote:
Also take what you only need for a meal please please do not hoard fish, save it for our kids and their kids.

Interesting how you say that but at the same time are telling us about freezing and keeping fish in your freezer. If you lived by your own advice, you wouldn't have any frozen fish.

Don't mean to be picky but I couldn't help it.

Not trying to get anyone's shorts in a bunch, but I don't understand how folks think you can't do both? I keep fish and yes freeze fish to eat later. I also practice catch and release. You can do both. I set my own slot where I don't keep eyes over 20". Also, if I have some fillets in the freezer I won't keep fish.

And again, as long as you stay within the law, do what you want.

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he's not being hypocritical at all - I almost NEVER take my limit, but I usually have a couple fish in the freezer. Therefore a conversation about freezing methods interests me, despite me not hoarding fish.

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