Here’s How You Should Freeze Mussels to Preserve Them

Almost everyone loves their seafood, especially shellfish, freshly caught. But you can freeze many of them to keep them fresh for a long time. Mussels are one of the shellfish that you can freeze. You can store extra mussels or stock up on them in your freezer.

Freezers really should come with a handbook that details what you can freeze and what you cannot. But since they do not, you can count on Cheffist to give you answers to your questions on what you can and cannot store in the freezer.

This article explains why and how you can freeze mussels and still have them looking and tasting fresh.

What Are Mussels?

Mussels are bivalve mollusks that live in saltwater and freshwater habitats. They are one of the most commonly eaten kinds of seafood, and are known for their distinct shell color and shape. Mussels look a lot like clams and oysters. They are either eaten raw or cooked.

Furthermore, mussels come in closed shells that should open after cooking. You should also note that mussels should remain alive at the time of purchase. It ensures that they are fresh and they still have their flavor and texture.

Can You Freeze Mussels?

Yes, you can freeze mussels. Although mussels are best served if you cook them while they are alive, you can freeze them to keep them longer. Freezing mussels will kill them, but they’ll remain fresh and safe to eat.

You can freeze your mussels raw or cooked. But if you are freezing them raw, they must be alive. Also, you have to do it correctly to avoid contaminating the mussels.

SEE: You Probably Didn’t Know Mussels Provide These Nutrients

Can You Freeze Mussels in Their Shell?

Yes, they can. Mussels should be kept frozen in their shells, especially when you’re freezing them raw. If you’re freezing cooked mussels, it’ll be nice to remove their shells before freezing them. This is because once you thaw frozen cooked mussels, they’ll feel rubbery, which isn’t great.

However, there’s a condition that you can freeze cooked mussels in their shells. If the recipe you want to add the mussels to requires that you cook them all over again.

Can You Freeze Mussels After Cooking Them?

If you don’t want to freeze your mussels raw, you can make them into any mussel dish of your choice and freeze the cooked meal. Moreover, as said earlier, you can remove the cooked mussels from their shells before you freeze them.

SEE: How You Can Freeze Oysters to Preserve Them

Can You Freeze Mussels in White Wine Sauce?

Freezing mussels prepared in white wine sauce is not a great idea. This sauce is cream-based and will split upon thawing. It could give you an unappetizing grainy texture. Moreover, there will be frost build-up on the mussels’ shells.

The best way to preserve mussels prepared in white wine sauce is to freeze the sauce and mussels separately.

Why Should You Freeze Mussels?

Mussels have a very short shelf life. Therefore, the best form of storage is to store them in the freezer. If you know how to freeze mussels correctly, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of stress by buying and freezing large quantities of mussels.

How to Freeze Mussels

1. Freezing raw mussels

  • Run the mussels under running water to rinse off dirt, salt, and possible contaminants
  • If you need to scrub the mussels of dirt, do it under running water
  • Afterward, examine them individually for dead mussels. If you find any mussel with a cracked shell, throw it away. If you find anyone with opened shell, gently tap it to see if it closes. If it doesn’t open, throw it away
  • To avoid waste, freeze the mussels in small portions. This way, a few bad mussels cannot spoil a whole batch. Also, you won’t have to thaw all the mussels at a time
  • Transfer them into small freezer bags and squeeze out as much air as you can. Leave about an inch headspace before you seal the bags
  • Thereafter, double-proof with a big heavy-duty freezer bag or an airtight container
  • Label the bags with the freezing date so you know how long it’s been in the freezer

2. Freezing cooked mussels

  • If you’re freezing cooked mussels, allow them to cool properly before you freeze them
  • If the mussels were in a dish like a cream-based sauce, you might want to remove the mussels and rinse off the sauce before you freeze them
  • When the mussels are cool enough, wrap them in aluminum foil
  • Then, double-proof with a heavy-duty freezer bag or an airtight container and seal
  • Afterward, label the cooked mussels with the freezing date

SEE: Mouthwatering Seafood Delights To Try on Bag o’ Crab Menu

How Long Should You Freeze Mussels?

Cooked mussels can stay frozen for up to six months. Raw mussels, on the other hand, can stay frozen for up to three months. In both forms, they may last longer than this, but you shouldn’t freeze them beyond this time.

Pros of Freezing Mussels

  • Freezing mussels is your best bet at keeping them longer
  • If you know how to freeze live mussels correctly, you’ll be able to retain a good deal of their flavor and texture
  • In addition, with frozen cooked mussels, some recipes will be ready in less time

Cons of Freezing Mussels

You’ll get the best of the flavor and texture of shellfish if you cook and eat them fresh. Freezing can help you preserve them, but it can also water down their flavor and texture.

SEE: Tell Pollo Campero & Get Free Meal

How to Cook Frozen Mussels

There isn’t much difference in how you cook frozen mussels meat and frozen mussels in their shells. The first thing to do in both cases is to thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. If you need them urgently, run cold water over them.

Afterward, steam the thawed mussels in a covered saucepan until they are no longer cold in the least. Then, you can add them to your meals. But, do not refreeze thawed mussels. You can store them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

FAQs

Can you refreeze mussels?

No, you can’t. If you have taken out frozen mussels, do not freeze them again after thawing. The best way to preserve mussels is to freeze them once and use the thawed mussels within 2-3 days.

Moreover, refreezing mussels can affect the taste and texture of the meat. It can also expose them to microorganisms contamination.

Do mussels freeze well?

Yes, they do. Raw or cooked mussels freeze perfectly well. You just need to carefully prepare them for freezing.

How do you know mussels have gone off?

If a mussel has gone off, it’ll have a foul odor and may feel unusually weighty or too light. If you notice any of these signs, you should not eat the mussels. Throw them away instead.

What happens if you eat dead mussels?

If you eat dead mussels, you’re at risk of contamination and consequently, food poisoning. To identify a dead mussel, it won’t open its shell after you have cooked it. Moreover, if you notice any crack on the shell, the mussel is probably dead.

Conclusion

You can freeze almost anything, and there are some food items or ingredients you should not freeze. Wonderfully, mussels are one of those foods that you can freeze.

Storing these shellfish in the freezer will keep it up to four months and maybe longer. I hope you got answers to your questions on freezing mussels in their different forms. With this knowledge, you can buy more mussels than you need for a meal and freeze the rest.

Thanks for reading.

Cheffist has more related articles on food storage and preservation.