Can You Refreeze Shrimp After Thawing? (Fact Based)


Wondering if you can refreeze shrimps?

Here is a comprehensive guide on whether it is safe to refreeze shrimps after thawing.

Can You Refreeze Shrimp After Thawing?

Yes, according to USDA, you can refreeze thawed raw shrimp for 1-2 days given that it has been thawed in the refrigerator. If the raw shrimp has been thawed in the microwave or in water, it needs to be cooked right away and should not be frozen.

The reason for the difference is when thawing using microwave or water, the temperature of the food rises above 40 F, which is a danger zone for harmful bacteria to go rapidly in the meat. Thus, even if you freeze these shrimps, you may end up with spoiled ones.

If you want to refreeze shrimp thawed in microwave or water, cook it first and then freeze it. Cooking ensures that bacteria are killed and thus making it safe for freezing.

Here are some great guidelines by the Good Housekeeping channel on best practices on refreezing thawed meat –

How Long Is It Safe To Refreeze Shrimp?

According to USDA, you can safely refreeze shrimp for up to 2 days if it is thawed in the refrigerator. But You cannot keep shrimp thawed using water or oven or water at all to freeze.

How To Know If The Refrozen Shrimps Have Spoiled?

The best way to know if the refrozen shrimps have spoiled is to look for changes in their appearance. Spoiled shrimps will often be discolored, slimy, and have an off odor. If you notice any of these changes, do not eat the shrimps.

There are a few potential issues that can arise when consuming bad or spoiled shrimp. The most common issue is food poisoning, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Additionally, eating bad shrimp may also lead to an infection due to the presence of harmful bacteria. This infection may cause fever, chills, and muscle aches.

How Many Times Can You Refreeze Shrimp?

You should not refreeze shrimps several times, especially if they have been taken out of the freezer for a long time or thawed.

Refreezing shrimps will spoil them as temperature increases will increase the bacteria activity in the meat.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Frozen Raw Shrimp?

It takes about 8-10 minutes to cook frozen raw shrimp. This time is around 50% longer than cooking fresh / thawed shrimps.

Frozen shrimp takes about 30 minutes to defrost. If you have no time to wait, just put them straight into boiling water for cooking.

Here is how you can do that –

What Is Thawing?

Thawing of food is a process where food is taken out from the refrigerator and allowed to warm up slowly so that it will not be damaged by rapid temperature changes. The process of thawing can take anywhere between 2 hours to 24 hours depending on the type of food being thawed.

What are the different types of thawing methods?

There are three basic ways in which you can thaw your food:

1) In the refrigerator
2) In an ice bath
3) In a microwave oven

Check out our detailed guide on defrosting shrimps in the microwave here>

The method you choose will depend upon the time you have in your hand. Here is a quick guide on using microwave –

How to Defrost Shrimps in a Microwave?

How to Defrost Shrimps in a Microwave?

Prep Time: 1 minute
Active Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 2 minutes

To defrost shrimp, place them in a microwave-safe bowl filled with cold water.

Microwave it in defrosts mode in short intervals of 15 seconds, leaving 30 seconds between each interval.

Repeat this until the shrimps are defrosted.


  • Chilled water
  • Microwave safe bowl


  • Plastic wrap to cover


    1. Setting the microwave - Put the bowl prepared before in the microwave and set it in defrost mode for 30 seconds.

    2. Defrosting in the microwave – Defrost it in intervals of 30 seconds leaving a gap of 15 seconds in between for the shrimps to get cooled a bit. Repeat until the shrimps are defrosted.

      Take it out if the water gets heated and resume again after a couple of seconds.

    3. Check for overcooking - Check the shrimp after every interval to prevent overcooking.

      One way to know if the shrimps are defrosted is to look at the opaqueness of the shrimps. Defrosted shrimps are more transparent than frozen ones.

    4. Cook right after - Once they are defrosted, cook immediately.


Temperature: Use default defrost settings in the microwave

Do You Need To Thaw Frozen Shrimp?

No, you do not need to thaw frozen shrimp before cooking or serving them. You can directly cook them too. The key difference is that they will take up to 50% longer time to cook than thawed ones.

So if you are in a hurry and want to serve the shrimp right away, you can cook frozen shrimps. Otherwise, thaw them and then cook.

Final Words

Hope this guide helped you in deciding when you should be refreezing thawed shrimps and how to do that safely.

In case of any queries or suggestions, please comment or write to us.

Please do share this with friends and family who love shrimps!

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About Marie Thomas

Marie is a food enthusiast who has always wanted to have her own food blog. She loves cooking and experimenting with new recipes, and she can't wait to share them with the world when she finally launches her blog! When Marie isn't in the kitchen cooking up something delicious or writing about her adventures at home or on vacation, you might find Marie taking care of her family and enjoying time with friends.

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