B.C. Boat and Sportsmen's Show
How to Properly Store Salmon

I guess a Stupid question is one that isn't asked. I don't keep many fish, 1-2 a year being the going rate so far, and was wondering recommendations for how to properly store Salmonids in the Freezer for later use in order to avoid freezer burn. Thanks, Scott

there are a number of tricks people have developed. I stick with the simple stuff. freeze in dedicated freezer bags. Use a straw to suck as much air out of the bag as possible, seal (either with a self sealing bag like a zip lock or with a twist tie) and then freeze in a dedicated freezer until at it's highest setting. don't use a fridge freezer.

Ralph, So you obviously steak the salmon before doing this? Or? So obviously having as little air near the Salmon is the best possible scenario, so no moisture can condense on the Salmon and freezer burn it, is that right? (more stupid questions). I'm guessing it would be in the person who keeps many salmon per year to own a vacuum sealer then? Scott

And if you steak the salmon, are there any tricks you recommend to steaking the salmon?

You can also store the fish in water.Cut it up and put it into a 2lt milk carton.My buddy uses this method any time he keep,s a fish.I my self use,s a vacum packageing machine.You can pick one up a Costco for around 200.00.I find this has been my best investment yet.You can use it to keep anything.

Saran wrap, then aluminum foil, then wax paper keeps fillets good up to 3 mths. After 3 mths the quality of the meat deteriorates, regardless if there is freezer burn or not. Also, steaks last longer than fillets, and whole cleaned fish longer than steaks.

Master baiter has no clue what he is talking about. You need to catch fish first before you can learn how to freeze them. I find two filets against each other skin side up works very well, as it protects the meat. Use saran wrap and double up on the aluminum foil. I had sockeye 1st week of February that was caught in August and no freezer burn. Whether it was a fluke or not I don't know. I had tried bunch of different ways but that seemed to work the best. The whole fish thing works good as well. The steaks were the worst.

If you have money to burn ,buy one of those elecric sealers you see on t.v .The machine sucks all the air out then seals the bag .The salmon will last well over a year.

http://www.wellscan.ca/ The only way to go, the other suggestions are sincere but amateurish.

Thats the name of it! the bags are three layer nylon/ saran great for freezing.The machines suction is good enough to crush cans so it will definatly suck all the air out.

Scott I generally freeze filets. If they are too big I cut them to fit. My mother used to use the freeze in a block of water method and as I recall it worked weel - but soaking any fish in water is bad for the meat. Another tip I have heard but haven't used is to freeze the fish and then mist with a solution of water and lemone juice (when frozenn) Place back in freezer for a time and then repeat. This coats the fish in ice and stops freezer burn.

I usually cut the salmon into steaks and label it with the date and species so that I know how long it has been in the freezer. If its too long I toss it out. Usually this doesn't happen but better safe than sorry... I put the steaks in a sealable freezer bag and fill the bag with water so that the salmon is covered and add a pinch of salt. This method has prevented freezer burn for me for several years. Cheers,

When freezing the fish whole or in pieces it's always a good idea to do as Ralph says. Spray the ALREADY FROZEN pieces or a quick dip in water, then "flash freeze" them. It only takes a few minutes at this point cuz the salmon is already frozen . Then repeat once or twice and they will have a nice sealed icy glaze on them. Then wrap them appropriately, ideally with the vacuum wrap systems. A friend that crewed on a west coast offshore boat, that catered to the high end Japanese market,once showed me their system, with a huge refrigeration plant complete with lots of stacking racks. This thing was colder than our fridge freezers and had large fans to create a huge blast of icy air. Truly flash frozen. They were often gutted, frozen, glazed, and vacuum packed within an hour of being caught. Something as an aside. They fished a lot for Springs (this was 10 years ago) and the reds would fetch something well over $5.00/lb but the whites only got something around 50 cents so the first cut of the knife determined if you had a $100 fish or a $10 fish. When the fishing was good a number of the whites never made it to shore, whether they were released successfully or not was a question I could never get a straight answer to, I always got a "yes" accompanied by a wink and a nudge.

Scott,you know I always have a few of the popsicled ones around,and they never fall victim to the freezer burn,just pick up the phone. HM

I just wrap them in saran wrap. As long as they're completely wraped I usually don't have a problem. But I'm gonna have to try Ralph's idea, it's one of the better ones I've heard. It's a little more labour intensive, but I like the idea of having the fish frozen in a bit of lemon juice. Damn, now I have to go out and catch some more fish instead of painting the fence. Oh well Tight Lines Dan

BTW in case you are interested, "freezer burn" is dehydration of frozen flesh caused by a process called "sublimation", which is solid turning to gas without passing through the liquid phase (like dry ice evaporation). Notice how old ice cubes in the freezer are shrunken, or snow disappears after awhile, even though there has been no thaw? That is a result of sublimation: solid -> gas. The key to preserving frozen meat is to provide an impermeable barrier to water vapour escaping to the surrounding air, which is what freezer bags, ice glaze, etc. are for. BTW I used one of those 'Seal-A-Meal' devices to preserve (in a deep freezer) a bunch of halibut cheeks a few years ago. They were still good 3 years after freezing. HTH! KW

I've always frozen them in water. I measure the fish out for steaks or a 'roast', trying NOT to open too much of the flesh to water. I use a big freezer zip-lock bag, but the chunk of fish in it then fill it with water until the fish is completely covered. Zip the bag up most of the way then squeeze the air out. It's a bit bulky in the fridge, but I've had salmon come out after about 1.5 yrs. and there's still the protective slime on them...tastes like I just caught 'em as wel
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