Can You Freeze Anchovies? Freezing Guide

If you bought some anchovies and have some leftovers, you may wonder if you can freeze them.

So, can you freeze anchovies? Yes, you can freeze anchovies. If you’ve bought them from the store, they will either be preserved in oil or salt. If it has not been opened, there’s no need to freeze them, as they will last the same amount of time at room temperature. However, if the package of anchovies has been opened, you can freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Properly stored, it will last for up to 3 months.

Does Anchovies Freeze Well?

Anchovies freezer very well. Properly stored, it will taste as if they are fresh when you’re ready to eat them.

By freezing anchovies, it will help preserve the taste and texture of the fish. Make sure to freeze the fish individually so that they don’t stick to each other.

How To Freeze Anchovies

When it comes to freezing anchovies, it will depend on how it’s bought. If the anchovies are bought and preserved in a jar of olive oil, you don’t need to freeze them.

It’s better to store them in the refrigerator. As long as the anchovies are fully submerged in olive oil, they will last for up to 9 months.

However, if you’ve bought fresh anchovies, or it’s preserved in salt, you can store them in the freezer.

Below are the details to freezing anchovies:

Step 1: Preparation

On a clean tray, lay a sheet of parchment paper. This will help keep them from sticking to the tray.

Step 2: Lay Anchovies On the Tray

Remove the anchovies from the can or tin. If there is salt or oil, use a paper towel and gently rub them off the fish. You do not need to wash the anchovies.

Then lay each anchovy onto the tray. Make sure to space them out so that they don’t touch each other.

Step 3: Flash Freezing

Cover the tray with a sheet of cling wrap. Then transfer the fish to the freezer. Leave it to sit for about 3-4 hours, or until it’s completely frozen.

Step 4: Transfer to Freezer Bag

Once the anchovies are completely frozen, remove them from the freezer. Immediately transfer them to a freezer bag.

Step 5: Seal the Bag

After all the anchovies are in the freezer bag, press on the bag to remove excess air. Then seal it tightly.

Step 6: Label and Freeze

With a marker, write down the date of freezing on the freezer. Then place them into the freezer for storage. To keep the anchovies fresh for a long time, place them at the farthest end of the freezer. This is where there will be less fluctuation in temperature when the freezer is opened and closed.

How Long Can You Freeze Anchovies?

Properly stored, anchovies will last for up to 3 months in the freezer. It can last for much longer than that, but the quality of it will start to deteriorate.

Also, the anchovies will still be safe to eat, but you may not enjoy the taste of it very much.

To ensure frozen anchovies taste at their best quality, try to consume them within 3 months. Of course, the earlier you eat it, the better it will taste.

If you have anchovies that are preserved in olive oil, it’s better to store them in the refrigerator. It will actually last much longer than in the freezer. Also, you won’t need to go through the hassle of digging the anchovies out of the oil.

How Do You Defrost Anchovies?

The best method to defrost anchovies is in the refrigerator. This will ensure that the texture and flavor of the fish don’t change.

Remove the anchovies from the freezer and place them onto a plate. The plate is there to help collect the melted ice.

If you’re going to use anchovies in a dish that required them to be chopped, it’s best to chop them up when they are frozen.

Either way, leave them in the fridge overnight to thaw. In the morning, the anchovies should be completely thawed and ready to be eaten or used to prepare a meal.

Can You Refreeze Anchovies?

You can refreeze anchovies, only if they have not been thawed. This means you’ve removed the fish from the freezer, and it’s been no longer than 20 minutes. You can safely refreeze anchovies without the quality of them being altered.

If the anchovies have thawed some, you will find that they will become texture will be mushy. Be freezing them again, the texture will only deteriorate further.

To ensure that you don’t need to refreeze anchovies, it’s best to remove the amount that you need from the freezer.

How To Tell When Anchovies Go Bad

Consuming bad anchovies can make you sick. Once this fish goes bad, it will show signs of spoilage. Below are some of the signs to look for:

The color of the anchovies is blue or dark

Fresh anchovies should have a silver color. When they go bad, their color will change to either blue or a dark color. It’s best to discard the entire jar or can of anchovies when you see this.

The anchovies smell

Like any other seafood, when anchovies spoil, it will give off a bad smell. The smell will be enough to make you turn your head away. Discard the entire content of anchovies.

Buildup of mold

When there is mold growing on the anchovies, this is a clear sign that they are bad.

Mold will usually start to grow when the anchovy has decayed or rot. This is usually the result of improper storage of handling.

Check the expiration date

For jarred anchovies, there will be an expiration date on it. Once it’s past that date, the anchovies are usually bad.

Manufacturers have calculated the time which the anchovies will stay fresh. Therefore, once it’s past the expiry date, you will need to discard them, even if you see no signs of spoilage when opening the jar.

Other Questions about Anchovies

Can you freeze anchovy butter?

If you have some leftover anchovy butter, you can freeze them. Simply roll the butter into a sausage shape. Then wrap it in cling film a couple of times around, and freeze it.

When you need some anchovy butter, remove them from the freezer. With a serrated knife, slice the amount you need. Then wrap the cling film back and refreeze it.

Can you freeze marinated anchovies?

If the anchovies are marinated, you can freeze them. However, it’s unlikely that you will need to. It can be stored in the fridge and will have the same shelf life as is if you would freeze them.

If you still do want to freeze marinated anchovies, make sure to drain the oil from the fish first. If not, the oil will congeal when frozen.