Here is the most comprehensive guide on how to freeze and store prawns for the long term.
I have found these methods and tips to work like a charm.
So, here is how you can go about it.
- Freezer-Safe Air-Tight Container
- Clean and Prep: Wash and clean the prawns thoroughly and cut the antennas off. You can prep them based on how you plan to use them later on.
- Portion and Pack: Divide the prawns into portions that you can easily manage to consume in one go and pack them into freezer-safe air-tight containers. Make sure that there is enough space for water and ice and that it is not stuffed.
- ill and Seal: Place ice cubes on the prawns to keep it cold while it freezes completely and tops it with water. There should be enough water to cover the prawns completely. Then seal and close the container.
- Label and Freeze: Add a label on the container with the best before date, and you are all set to freeze the prawns till you need it next.
Check out this video tutorial by “Home cooking with Somjit” on YouTube to see how it is done -
Freezing Prawns in Freezer-Safe Air-Tight Containers
If you have a couple of prawns, you want to fit into a container but don’t want them to freeze into a block, here is an easy solution.
Clean and Prep
Wash and prep the prawns by cutting off the antenna and other inedible parts.
Pack and Layer
Place the prawns in the freezer-safe air-tight container, and after each layer of prawns place a sheet of greaseproof paper or sheet of plastic and separate the next layer. Repeat till the prawns are all packed in.
Seal, Label, and Freeze
Seal the container tightly and label it with the best before date. You can now leave it in the freezer for the long term.
Here is a video tutorial by “The Burning Kitchen” on YouTube to help you out –
Freezing Prawns in Ziploc Bags
If you are pressed for freezer space, these flat Ziploc bags of prawns might be your best bet.
Clean and Prep
Clean the prawns, remove their antenna, and prep them to be frozen for the long term. If you have shelled the prawns, you can keep them dipped in a brine solution to let them last longer.
Divide the prawns into portions that you can easily consume in one sitting.
Pack and Seal
Transfer the portioned prawns into a Ziploc bag and seal them in, after making sure to squeeze out all the excess air in the bag.
Label and Freeze
Add a label on the bag with the best before date, and you are all set to freeze the prawns.
To get a clearer picture, check out this video by “Leslie Tay” on YouTube –
Freezing Prawns after Cooking Them
If you have cooked the prawns are looking to freeze some leftovers, you can follow these quick steps.
Cook and Cool
Cook the prawns and then let them cool down to room temperature.
Divide the prawns into portions that you can easily manage to use up in one sitting.
Pack and Seal
Pack the portions of prawns into a freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bag and seal them in. If you are using a Ziploc bag, make sure to squeeze out all the excess air in the bag before sealing.
Label and Freeze
Add a label on the bag with the best before date, and you are good to go.
How Long Can You Freeze Prawns?
You can freeze prawns for two to three months without losing much of their taste or quality. But as in the case of any seafood or meat, keeping the prawns in the freezer for long will affect their taste and texture. So, it is best to consume it sooner rather than later.
Cooked prawns will also last in the freezer for a couple of months. But to get the most out of its taste, eating it within a couple of weeks is the best option.
How to Store Frozen Prawns?
You can store frozen prawns in freezer-safe air-tight containers or Ziploc bags. Leaving the shell on the prawns is the best way to add an extra layer of insulation and keep it fresh for longer.
You could also leave the shells on when you cook them and then get them cleaned afterward.
The key to storing prawns for the long term is to make sure that they are completely covered and protected from being exposed to air, bacteria, or freezer burns.
How to Defrost Prawns?
The best way to defrost the prawns is to let them thaw gradually. Take out the portion of prawns you need and leave it in the fridge overnight or at least a couple of hours.
Once it is defrosted, you can leave it in the fridge for up to 3 days, but it is best to use it up quickly.
If you are in a hurry, you can place the portion of prawns in a bowl of cold water and let it thaw for an hour or so.
Do not use hot or warm water because sudden temperature changes can affect the quality of the prawns, and the water can also cook the prawns if it is too hot.
Do not leave the prawns out for too long as it can increase the risk of bacterial buildup. So, use it up as soon as it is defrosted or leave it in the fridge.
Can You Refreeze Prawns?
No, it is best recommended not to refreeze prawns. Repeated freezing and thawing will affect the taste and texture of the prawns making them mushy and unappealing.
Moreover, if the prawns had been left out for long, they are most likely unsafe to eat due to bacterial build-up.
To avoid having to refreeze or waste the prawns once it thaws, you can pack them in small portions that you can easily manage to eat in one sitting.
Do Prawns Freeze Well?
Yes, prawns freeze well and are a great way to extend their shelf life for a couple of months. But the longer it stays in the freezer, the less fresh or flavorful it will be.
So, it is best to keep it in the freezer for a couple of weeks rather than a couple of months.
Quick and careful handling is essential to keeping the prawns fresh for longer.
It fares well in the freezer if it is not left out for too long and is not exposed to air; store and packed in air-tight containers.
Although you can, it is best advised to remove the head and instead keep the shell on to ensure that the prawns stay fresh for longer in the freezer. Once you have removed the head, you can follow any of the methods mentioned above and freeze them for up to 3 months.
I hope this article helped you freeze and store prawns for the long term.
If you have any doubts or would like to share some tips and tricks of your own, it would be great to hear from you.