Can You Refreeze Shrimp? 7 Very Dangerous Risks!

Can You Refreeze Shrimp? 7 Very Dangerous Risks!

Can you refreeze shrimp after thawing and even cooked shrimp? Let’s find out!

We all have a good stock of shrimp in the freezer. And why not? Nothing like having frozen shrimps ready to be cooked whenever you need them. They are easy to cook, taste delicious, and are healthy as well. No matter what you are cooking, adding shrimps to your dish completely changes the look and flavor. It goes in salads, pasta, gravies, sauces and instantly makes your food fancy.

And goes without saying they require less processing. Buy them in bulk, clean and freeze them and take out as many as you need.

At times, you end up defrosting more than you require. So now the question is what to do with the leftover shrimps. Can you refreeze them? Are they safe to be eaten later if refreeze and so on? 

In this article, we have you covered. We have discussed everything you need o know relating to freezing shrimps and refreezing them. 

Can You Refreeze Shrimp?

Can You Refreeze Shrimp

Shrimps are versatile. They fit in any meal. You can eat them hot, cold, and in so many ways. We all know that shrimps can be frozen. They stay good in the freezer for up to 6-9 months. 

But what we don’t know is whether we can refreeze the shrimps after they are out of the freezer. It’s a bit tricky. As the answer to this simple question varies in each situation. 

The simple answer to this question is yes, and shrimps can be refrozen depending on how they are defrosted in the first place. 

Shrimps that have been taken out and placed on a countertop to defrost are not safe to refreeze at all.

However, that does not mean you cannot refreeze a large batch left and put it back in the freezer as well. You can certainly do it, but only if the shrimps are defrosted in a refrigerated.

7 Risks of Refreezing Shrimps

Shrimps

You are never supposed to refreeze protein if it has thawed outside. Especially seafood meat and poultry should not be put in a freezer, and here is why.

Freezing ruptures the cells of shrimps. When you thaw shrimps, these cells open, and moisture erupts from them as well. The thawed food develops harmful bacteria fast especially thawing the shrimps out on the counter is not good

If shrimps are defrosted on 420 F, you can use it safely and put it back in the freezer as well. 

Here are some risks involved in refreezing shrimps that have been defrosted outside of fridge.

1) Shrimps are not fresh

Even frozen shrimps are no match when it comes to taste with the fresh shrimps. And refreeze shrimps can also become mushy and lose texture. The amount of moisture in shrimps can also freezer burn them.

While freezer burn shrimp are not hazardous for you to eat, they fail to give perfect results in recipes. 

2) Bad Taste

Eating seafood that has not been properly frozen is not a good idea. There is nothing like fresh food.

Especially when it comes to shrimp, we all love having fresh, and the taste certainly changes slightly if shrimps are refrozen improperly, even when you don’t have them contaminated. The first and foremost risk is to lose taste. 

3) Foul Smell

Refreezing the shrimps that develop bacteria in the shrimps. If your shrimps are giving the scent of fish or ammonia, it’s not good at all. So refreezing shrimps that are contaminated can develop a foul smell in them. 

4) Change of Color 

As we said, defrosting ruptures the cell on the shrimp’s surface. When you thaw them out, these cells are opened more and leached. So you can definitely see a change in color and texture of shrimps if they are not properly frozen.

5) Mushy Texture

One thing we notice in refreeze shrimps is their mushy texture. They never look fresh and in one piece. The cell walls break down. So even when they are not contaminated, they look mushy and may overcook soon.

6) Release Water

During the freezing process, the frozen shrimps have pools of water which, once released, can turn your food into the soup if not processed before.

7) Contamination

Contamination is the biggest risk involved in freezing, defrosting, and refreezing. As the cellular structure of shrimps breaks down due to freezing, the risk of bacterial growth increases. So when we thaw the shrimps, we introduce more bacteria in them.

When you put the same food back in the freezer, it does not change anything.

Refreezing may stop the bacteria, but it does not kill them. So the bacterial growth starts the moment food is thawed.

Can I Refreeze the cooked Shrimps in the freezer?

Refreeze the cooked Shrimps in the freezer

So as we said, you can certainly refreeze the shrimps if you take the necessary care. 

Before we get to the topic of refreezing, it is also important to discuss how to freeze shrimps in the first place.

Freezing the shrimps properly can not only elongate the life of shrimps but also retain their body and taste. Not to say, even freezing your food can be attached with freezer burn. 

How to Freeze Shrimps?

How to Freeze Shrimps

Raw shrimps retain their taste and texture better if they are frozen in shells. Clean them properly. After removing heads, you can leave the shells on.

You can freeze the shrimps in:

  • Water: Put the shrimp in a container and fill it with water. Freeze them with the container, and the shrimp stays fresh until thawed. 
  • Air-tight Bag: you can pat dry the shrimps and put them on a baking tray. Put the tray in the freezer until the shrimps start to harden. Put them in an air-tight bag and freeze for as long as you like. Putting them in a tray at first prevents them from clumping with each other.
  • Freeze in Brine: storing raw shrimps in brine solution not only keeps them fresh. You can clean the shrimps and put them in an air-tight container leaving no space between them.

Fill the container with the brine solution and leave an inch on the top to allow the water to expand. You can leave the container in the freezer as long as you like. The brine solution keeps them fresh for the long run. Only you need to wash the shrimp in freshwater before cooking.  

A properly frozen batch of shrimps stays good for 6-9 months. 

How To Refreeze Shrimps Safely?

How To Refreeze Shrimps Safely

First, you can only refreeze the shrimps that have been thawed in the refrigerator. If you have thawed the shrimps by using other methods like leaving them in water, on the countertop, or in an oven, you cannot refreeze the shrimps. The best way is to consume the shrimps immediately and cook them. 

For shrimps that have been thawed in a refrigerated can be put back in an airtight bag. You can take any air-tight bag as long as it traps the air outside. Eliminate the air trapped in the bag with hands and seal the bag. 

Place your shrimps in the freezer, and they can stay good for up to six to nine months. 

How to Refreeze Cooked Shrimps?

Cooked Shrimp

Cooked shrimps can stay even longer in the freezer if you have a bag of ready-to-cook shrimps they are supposed to reheat, and you can eat them as it is. 

You can refreeze all types of shrimps, from plain shrimps to those cooked in sauce or stew. It is important to freeze them as soon after cooking to retain their freshness. 

Let the cooked shrimp chill before putting them into the freezer. If you put hot shrimps in the freezer, the steam will trap the moisture inside that can risk food burn. 

So let them cool outside and pat them dry to remove any moisture. Put them on a tray in a single layer. Put the tray in the freezer and leave it there for 15 minutes or until the shrimps start to get hardened. 

Once the shrimps are a bit hard, you can transfer them into a sealed plastic bag and store them for longer periods. If you put everything in the bag in the first place, shrimps will freeze like clumps and will be had to separate if you need to thaw a few of them at a time.

How long can you keep the cooked shrimp in the fridge?

The precise answer depends on your method of keeping it in the freezer. If it’s a soup or stew, you can put them in an air-tight container.

For shrimps that have been boiled or pan-fried, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil.

Cooked shrimps can stay good in the fridge for up to four days if refrigerated properly. However, many conditions like fridge temperature, container, cooking method, or the quality of shrimps can affect the quality of frozen shrimps.

How long do the cooked shrimps last in the freezer?

When cooked and frozen correctly, shrimps can stay good in your freezer indefinitely. You can keep using it for up to 12 months easily.

How to Thaw Shrimps Safely?

For a tender food like shrimp, the process of defrosting is very important. Like we said, if you thaw the shrimps properly, you can refreeze the other leftover batch of shrimps again. 

For defrosting shrimps, the best practice is to thaw them in a fridge. Like if you plan to make shrimps keep the bag of shrimps in the fridge section overnight and you can have safely thawed shrimps in the morning that you can refreeze as well.

However, life does not always go as planned. So what to do if you happen to decide to cook shrimps on whims and need thawed shrimps in less than an hour.

You can certainly use other methods of defrosting like:

1) In an Oven

Just put them in an oven and hit the defrost button. However, you can run the risk of overheating the shrimps, and they may lose their texture as a result as well.

2) Keep Them in Cold Water

Place the shrimps in a mesh container and leave them in cold weather for ten minutes. After ten minutes, discard the water and fill the container with fresh cold weather. They should be defrosted after two drains, or you can repeat the process until the shrimps are properly thawed.

Can I Refreeze the Thawed Shrimps?

Refreezing the thawed shrimps is safe if you have thawed them in the refrigerator. 

However, if thawed shrimps are left outside for more than two hours, they should not be refrozen at all.

The controlled temperature in the refrigerator does not allow any contamination of bacterial infection in shrimps.

Can I put Thawed Shrimps in Fridge?

Ideally, you should thaw the shrimps a day earlier, or the same day you are cooking them. 

If you have thawed the shrimps in a microwave or out on the countertop, you should consume them the same day. However, if you have thawed the shrimps in a fridge, you can keep it in there for up to two days. Leaving more than two days in the fridge is also not recommended.

Tips of Refreezing Shrimps

Freezer

Here are a few tips for freezing and refreezing shrimps.

  • Buy fresh shrimps if you intend to freeze them. Buying frozen shrimps and putting them in the freezer may have already exposed them to develop bacteria.
  • If shrimps do not look good or have a foul smell after defrosting, you better not cook them.
  • If you intend to refreeze the thawed shrimps, boil them in water and then refreeze them safely. Cooking will eliminate any risk of contamination.

Final Words

Shrimps

Shrimps are versatile and easy to cook. We all love stocking them up in the freezer for putting together a quick meal. However, it’s one of the most tender food and goes bad easily if you miss any step.

From bringing them home to putting them in the freezer, you have to be extra careful to prevent any bacterial growth.

Don’t put them back in the freezer carelessly if they are left on the kitchen counter. You can always cook them and refreeze them if you don’t want to consume the leftover batch.

So, do you already know if you can refreeze cooked or normal shrimp after thawing? Please, feel free to leave your comments below!

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Can You Refreeze Shrimp? 7 Very Dangerous Risks!

Can You Refreeze Shrimp? 7 Very Dangerous Risks!

4 from 1 vote
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • Shrimps are not fresh
  • Bad Taste
  • Foul Smell
  • Change of Color 
  • Mushy Texture
  • Release Water
  • Contamination

Instructions
 

  • How to Freeze Shrimps:
  • Water: Put the shrimp in a container and fill it with water. Freeze them with the container, and the shrimp stays fresh until thawed. 
  • Air-tight Bag: you can pat dry the shrimps and put them on a baking tray. Put the tray in the freezer until the shrimps start to harden. Put them in an air-tight bag and freeze for as long as you like. Putting them in a tray at first prevents them from clumping with each other.
  • Freeze in Brine: storing raw shrimps in brine solution not only keeps them fresh. You can clean the shrimps and put them in an air-tight container leaving no space between them.
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