View Full Version : Need help

05-04-2016, 07:21 AM
We cooked crappie last night with some friends didn't have enough fresh fish so we pulled some from the freezer. I also wanted to compare fresh and frozen fish. The results were not good, the frozen fish did not hold the meal and were tough on the outside. You could see the difference in the fish laying on the platter. The fresh fish were great, you could see the meal stayed on the fish when taken out of the cooker. We cook in a cajun fryer at 350 degrees and bread with white corn meal. We have cooked fresh fish all spring and always turn out great. The frozen fish we cook in the off season are ok but now after cooking them together they are not ok. We vacuum seal, I know some don't like sealers but many do. I don't understand why the frozen fish didn't hold the meal and I think this is the problem, any advice out there. Thanks

Tony the Tiger
05-04-2016, 07:40 AM
I freeze my fish in zip loc freezer bags with the bag filled with water and all the air forced out and they keep well for months. Can't tell the difference from fresh

05-04-2016, 08:08 AM
How did you thaw the frozen fish? I always get them out of the freezer a day in advance. Never rush the process by placing them in hot water.

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05-04-2016, 08:20 AM
Hello: Like feeshman says thaw slowly. I also soak the fish over night in milk. Works great for me. Good Luck. O - R

05-04-2016, 08:29 AM
I just rinse the fillets, put them in a zip lock bag, push out the air, cover the bag with aluminum foil, and put them in the freezer. when ready to eat, just set em on the counter for 6/8 hours and let em thaw. taste like they were caught today six months later. been doing it this way for 40 years. see no reason to make it any harder than that.

E-Z Poleholder
05-04-2016, 08:42 AM
Like Feesh said, if you rush the thawing process by using hot water, or even warm water, they will be tough as whet leather. Freeze them in water. Put them in a bowl of cold water and let them stay until they are thawed out, then you are good to go.

05-04-2016, 09:01 AM
Sounds Like Dehydration and Freezer burn?

I also vacuum seal without issue...here are some tips and a In-Fisherman article.

Pretreating Fish
Fish are categorized as either fat or lean fish, by the amount of fat in their flesh. “Fat fish” includes varieties such as mullet, mackerel, trout, tuna and salmon. “Lean fish” includes flounder, cod, whiting, redfish, croaker, snapper, grouper, sheepshead and most freshwater fish.

Before freezing, fish can be pretreated to improve the quality.
Fish should be dipped for a couple minutes in a brine of 1/4th cup sea salt to 1 qt. water, to draw blood and impurities and kill bacteria.....then dip for another couple minutes in an ascorbic acid solution made from 2 tablespoons crystalline ascorbic acid to 1 qt. of cold water to control rancidity and flavor change, and firm the filets...this also decreases drip loss from thawing. Instead of crystalline AA, you can also use APPLE CIDER VINEGAR or LEMON JUICE which is pretty much the same!

Freshly caught fish spoil easily and need to be properly preserved. The four most popular methods of fish preservation are freezing, canning, smoking, and pickling.
Of all flesh foods, fish is the most susceptible to tissue decomposition, development of rancidity, and microbial spoilage.
Keep freshly caught fish alive as long as possible. A metal link bag will permit fish to remain alive longer in the water than a stringer. Spoilage and slime-producing bacteria are present on every fish and multiply rapidly on a dead fish held in warm surface water.
Fish begin to deteriorate as soon as they leave the water. To delay spoilage, clean the fish as soon as possible. Thorough cleaning of the body cavity and chilling of the fish will prevent spoilage. Fish spoilage occurs rapidly at summer temperatures; spoilage is slowed down as freezing temperatures are approached.

How To Keep Fish Fresh In-Fisherman (http://www.In-Fisherman.com/recipes/how-to-keep-fish-fresh/)

Several articles on the Interweb, state that if you freeze fish in water, it leeches out all of the nutrients??????

05-04-2016, 09:07 AM
I recall that my folk's put fillets in a waxed paper 1/2 gallon milk jug, and then filled with water. Same as others have mentioned. This is the old way, and still works as well any IMO. 5

05-04-2016, 10:06 AM
We vacuum seal, I know some don't like sealers but many do. I don't understand why the frozen fish didn't hold the meal and I think this is the problem, any advice out there. Thanks

A couple weeks ago, I had a fish fry for 29 people and used frozen fish from November of 2015 right up until March of 2016. Some were froze in zip lock bags, then I bought a vacuum sealer and the rest were done that way. The fish came out excellent, couldn't tell from fresh!! I had to thaw these out slowly in the fridge, I did find out the vacuum seal fish thawed a lot quicker than the ones in the zip lock bags.

When I freeze my fish, I "DRY" them with paper towels before sealing.

Also for me anyhow, I make sure to "DRY" them again, with paper towels before breading or batter, seems to stick better to the fish.

05-04-2016, 01:16 PM
Thanks for the replys, I just put them in a sink cover with tap water in about 30 minutes they are ready, maybe. My fish are always alive when I clean them, I will wash them good and dry with paper towels then vacuum seal them with a folded paper towel in front of the fish. We have vacuum sealed our fish for about 3 years and don't remember this bad of a problem. We did have one of the older foodsaver sealer but it died and I bought a gamesaver was not happy with the first one they replaced it. I don't think either one pulls as hard a vacuum as the one that died. We also think the tough problem has to do with the meal not cooking on the fish. My wife cooked the frozen fish first and then the fresh fish using the same bowel of meal you could see the difference when the fish came out of the cooker.

05-04-2016, 07:29 PM
I use a food saver but I generally put my fillets on a cookie sheet and get the outside stiff so I don't have any water going into the sealer and it also pulls out the air better in my opinion.

05-04-2016, 07:47 PM
i like the freezing in water method i use on rabbits ducks and fish items keeps for 9 to 12 months with good end results...... yep!