One of the most popular types of seafood is squids. With its tender texture, this seafood is versatile and can be steamed, fried, or used in salads. Squids are highly perishable and will not last very long once it’s caught. It needs to be kept cold at all times. If you’ve bought some squids at the grocery stores and want to keep them fresh longer, would freezing squid be an option?
Can you freeze squid? Yes, you can freeze squid, both cooked and uncooked. Squids bought from the grocery store frozen can be stored in their original package. For fresh squids, they need to be cleaned and gutted first. Then stored in an airtight container or freezer bag. Properly stored, squids will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Does Squid Freeze Well?
Squid freeze very well due to their high moisture content. This seafood is highly perishable and it’s usually clean and gutted right after it’s caught.
For that reason, squid found in grocery stores is usually frozen and packaged.
There are fresh squids available for purchase and these are found in grocery stores as well. You can find them in the seafood section and it’s placed on ice to keep them fresh.
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How To Freeze Squid
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Most of the squid sold in supermarkets will already be frozen. Squids are perishable and they are usually clean and gutted right after it’s caught. If you bought frozen squid, there’s no need to prepare them. Once you get home, immediately place them into the freezer.
Besides frozen squid, you can also buy fresh-caught squids as well. You can find them at the grocery stores and at seafood markets. The squids will be placed on ice to keep them fresh. If you bought freshly caught squids, you’ll need to prep them first before freezing them.
Below are the methods for freezing squids:
Freezing Fresh Squid
- Start by cleaning and gutting the squids.
- You can either freeze a whole squid or cut them into smaller pieces.
- On a tray, place a sheet of baking or wax paper.
- Place the squids on the tray keeping them spaced from each other. This step will prevent the squids from sticking to each other during freezing.
- Put the tray into the freezer and let it sit for about 2-3 hours.
- Once it’s completely frozen, take the squids out of the freezer.
- Immediately transfer the squids into an airtight container or freezer bag.
- If using a freezer bag,
Freezing Cooked Squid
- Let the squid cool to room temperature. Avoid letting cooked squids sit at room temperature for longer than 30 minutes.
- Place the squids in an airtight container or freezer bag.
- If using a freezer bag, press on the bag to remove excess air from it before sealing the bag.
- Label the bag or the airtight container with the freezing date.
- Place the container of cooked squids into the freezer.
For cooked squids, it’s best to use them within a month for the best results. However, you can keep them frozen longer and it’ll still be safe to eat, but the taste and texture of the squid will deteriorate.
How Long Can You Freeze Squid?
Squid can be frozen for up to 3 months. However, it can be kept for a couple of months longer if it’s kept at about 0 degrees Fahrenheit constantly.
After 3 months, the quality of the squid will start to deteriorate. This is normal as the extreme cold starts to cause freezer burn on the squid.
For that reason, for the best result, try to use the squid within the 3 months period.
Another option for extending the squid shelf life in the freezer is to vacuum-seal them. By vacuum-sealing the squid, all the air will be removed from the bag. Since there is no air in the bag, the squid will be less likely to get freezer burn.
How Do You Defrost Squid?
There are two methods to defrosting squid. If you’re not in a hurry, simply take the number of squids from the freezer and place them into a bowl. Then put the squids into the refrigerator and let them sit in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours.
If you need to use the squid sooner, you can defrost them in water. Below are the instructions on how to properly thaw squid:
- Place the frozen block of squid in a wire mesh basket.
- Fill water halfway into a pot and heat it until it’s around 80°F.
- Turn off the stove and immerse the squids into the pot.
- Let it sit in the hot water for about 30-40 minutes.
- Once it’s completely thawed, place the squids into a colander or sieve.
- Tilt the colander at a 30-degree angle for about 3 minutes. This will help remove moisture from the squids.
- After that, you can use them for cooking and making a delicious meal.
Can Frozen Squid Go Bad?
Yes, frozen squid can go bad by either being left in the freezer for a prolonged time or it’s left to thaw for too long.
The shelf life of squid stored in the freezer is 3 months. After that, the quality of the squid will start to deteriorate. You’ll still be able to eat it, but it won’t be as fresh as it should.
When the squid has been frozen for 6 months or more, it has gone bad and it’s best to throw them out. At this point, the squid is still safe to eat, but due to the severe freezer burn, it will not have a taste to it.
Another way the squids go bad is when it’s left to thaw for too long. Like most other seafood, squids are highly perishable and will go bad once it’s exposed to warm temperature.
For that reason, once it’s completely thawed, you should use the squid within a couple of hours. Always make sure to thaw squid in the refrigerator to avoid contamination from harmful bacteria.
Can You Refreeze Squid?
You can refreeze squid only if it has not completely thawed. Once it does, you should not freeze the squid again.
When the squids are completely thawed, a lot of moisture will leak from the flesh. This will cause the squid to become soft due to the fiber being broken down.
As you freeze the squid once more, it will damage the texture of the squid even more. It will freeze just fine, but the problem is when it thaws. The squid will become even more soft and mushy.
Can you freeze calamari?
Yes, you can freeze calamari. Since it’s more tender than squids, calamari can be frozen for up to 9 months. The process of preparing and storing calamari is similar to squid.
Can you freeze fried calamari?
Yes, you can freeze them, but it’s highly not recommended. Once the squid has been fried, it will leave them soggy when it’s frozen. Also, the oil will seep into the squids causing it to change the flavor.
Therefore, it’s best to freeze the squid without any batter. After thawing it, you can add batter and other ingredients and enjoy crispy calamari instead of soggy ones.