Last updated on January 12th, 2024 at 09:12 am

Can you freeze fish with dry rub, seasoning or marinate and how to do it right?


seasoned and dry rubbed salmon steak
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Freezing food is a great way to save time in the kitchen. In fact, it can cut your kitchen prep time in half. But can you freeze fish that has already been seasoned or marinaded?

Freezing fish after seasoning is a safe way to prep fish dishes ahead of time. Adding the seasoning or marinade beforehand doesn’t negatively affect the taste of the fish, and can actually enhance the flavor since the meat has time to soak up all the herbs the seasoning has to offer.

Can you freeze fish with seasoning or dry rub

Tuna and other lean fish pair well with dry rubs and seasonings containing garlic powder, thyme, dried basile, and oregano. 

While seasonings and dry rubs with sage, dill, rosemary, basil, parsley, bay leaves, fennel, cilantro, and thyme work best for fatty fish, such as salmon

All of these herbs can be applied to the fish first before placing in the freezer. Keep in mind, however, that it isn’t uncommon for some of the seasoning to come off while in the freezer, and you may have to apply more seasoning once you remove the fish from the freezer and unthaw it.

Furthermore, certain herbs, such as garlic, can actually increase their flavor when frozen and become the most dominant flavor in the seasoning. If you are worried about the garlic overpowering the other seasonings, simply reduce the amount of garlic in the dry rub recipe before applying it to the fish.

ESSENTIAL TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT FOR FREEZING FOOD

Ziplock storage slider bags
Ziploc Gallon Food Storage Slider Bags, Power Shield Technology for More Durability, 26 Count (Pack of 4)
Aluminum pan/containers
55 Pack - Aluminum Pan / Containers with Lids / Foil Containers / Aluminum Pans with Lids / Take Out Containers / Disposable Pans / Aluminum Foil Food Containers / Freezer meals containers (2.25 LB)
Vacuum sealer machine
Vacuum Sealer Machine By Mueller | Automatic Vacuum Air Sealing System For Food Preservation w/Starter Kit | Compact Design | Lab Tested | Dry & Moist Food Modes | Led Indicator Lights
White freezer paper
White Freezer Paper Dispenser Box (17.25 Inch x 175 Feet Roll) - Poly Coated Moisture Resistant Wrap with Matte Side for Freezing Meats, Protects Against Freezer Burn
Plastic storage containers
fullstar 50 PCS Plastic Food Storage Containers with Lids (24 Containers & 24 Lids), Leakproof BPA-Free Containers for Kitchen Organization, Meal Prep, Reusable Lunch Container - (Pack of 50)
Removable freezer labels
300pcs Removable Freezer Labels, Yoget 1 x 3 Inch Food Storage Stickers, Refrigerator Freezer Paper Label Easy Clean Leaves No Residue, 2 Color Food Labels Roll

Most versatile freezing bag, perfect for storing fresh food items like fruits, vegetables, meat, soups,

Must have for microwave and oven dinners
- pasta, lasagna
- casserole
- meatloaf

Best for keeping food fresh for longer
- meat
- vegetables
- fruit

Perfect for wraping meat
- steaks
- small and large meat cuts
- also great for bbq and grill

Best for freezing
- grains
- soups
- vegetables
- fruit

Must have reminder for freezing item - write best before date and content

Ziplock storage slider bags
Ziploc Gallon Food Storage Slider Bags, Power Shield Technology for More Durability, 26 Count (Pack of 4)

Most versatile freezing bag, perfect for storing fresh food items like fruits, vegetables, meat, soups,

Aluminum pan/containers
55 Pack - Aluminum Pan / Containers with Lids / Foil Containers / Aluminum Pans with Lids / Take Out Containers / Disposable Pans / Aluminum Foil Food Containers / Freezer meals containers (2.25 LB)

Must have for microwave and oven dinners
- pasta, lasagna
- casserole
- meatloaf

Vacuum sealer machine
Vacuum Sealer Machine By Mueller | Automatic Vacuum Air Sealing System For Food Preservation w/Starter Kit | Compact Design | Lab Tested | Dry & Moist Food Modes | Led Indicator Lights

Best for keeping food fresh for longer
- meat
- vegetables
- fruit

White freezer paper
White Freezer Paper Dispenser Box (17.25 Inch x 175 Feet Roll) - Poly Coated Moisture Resistant Wrap with Matte Side for Freezing Meats, Protects Against Freezer Burn

Perfect for wraping meat
- steaks
- small and large meat cuts
- also great for bbq and grill

Plastic storage containers
fullstar 50 PCS Plastic Food Storage Containers with Lids (24 Containers & 24 Lids), Leakproof BPA-Free Containers for Kitchen Organization, Meal Prep, Reusable Lunch Container - (Pack of 50)

Best for freezing
- grains
- soups
- vegetables
- fruit

Removable freezer labels
300pcs Removable Freezer Labels, Yoget 1 x 3 Inch Food Storage Stickers, Refrigerator Freezer Paper Label Easy Clean Leaves No Residue, 2 Color Food Labels Roll

Must have reminder for freezing item - write best before date and content

Last update on 2024-05-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to freeze fish with dry rub or seasoning

Whether you have salmon or tuna, both can be safely frozen after applying dry rub or seasoning. Make sure you rub the fish with olive oil before rubbing the dry rub or seasoning over the entire surface area of the fish. 

To freeze the seasoned fish, wrap each fish filet tightly in plastic wrap. Avoid wrapping multiple filets together. Place the wrapped filets in a ziplock freezer bag. 

Use your hand to push out as much air as possible before securing the bag close. If you have access to a vacuum sealer, use that instead of the ziplock bag. Make sure to write the date on each bag. This helps alert you of when the fish was frozen. 

Fatty fish can last up to three months in the freezer, while leaner fish can last up to six months. If the fish is properly sealed in a vacuum-sealed bag, it can last up to two years.

Can you freeze marinated fish

While you can freeze fish that has been marinated, it is not recommended to freeze the fish with their marinade. This can lead to acids in the marinades combing with the damage caused by naturally forming ice crystals to create mushy fish. 

A better option would be to marinade the fish for at least 30 minutes and then remove the marinaded fish from the liquid before freezing. Or you can freeze the fish and its marinade separately and then, when ready to cook, let the fish soak in the marinade for 30 minutes. 

No matter which way you choose, make sure to place the fish in an airtight ziplock bag or vacuum sealed bag before placing it in the freezer. Furthermore, ensure that the bag and fish is laid down flat in the freezer to prevent the marinade from dripping off the fish and down into the bag.

Can all fish be frozen with dry rub, seasoning or marinate

cleaned sardines deguted and wihtout head
Salted sardines prepared for freezing

The short answer is yes, you can apply dry rub, seasoning, and marinade to all types of fish (tuna, salmon, trout, cod, mackerel, sardines, haddock, flounder, haring) before you place it in the freezer. 

It may, however, slightly affect the texture of the fish. 

You can also dry rub, season or marinate fish fillets, steaks and whole fish.

Cod, salmon, trout or tuna usually come in fillets or steaks and are an excellent option for freezer food prep.

Whole fish, such as mackerel, haring, or bass, are usually frozen whole. Appling dry rub, seasoning, or marinade on whole fish is not as common. But if you do, I suggest you only apply salt.

For example, allowing the fish to sit in the marinade for too long can turn the fish soggy, while seasonings containing garlic can increase in potency when stored in the freezer. Another thing to consider is that the way you freeze the fish may change depending on whether you are marinating or seasoning the fish.

Ice glazing is a common method of freezing fish, and it requires dipping the fish in salted water before allowing it to freeze. This method cannot be used with fish that has been dry rubbed, seasoned, or marinated since it can wash off the seasoning. Instead, you will need to wrap the fish in plastic wrap and then place it in a ziplock or vacuumed-sealed bag before storing it in the freezer.

Conclusion

Seasoning fish before storing in the freezer isn’t much different than seasoning it after thawing. The dry rub, seasoning, and marinade can still enhance the flavor of the fish even after being frozen. Just make sure the fish is sealed tightly in a ziplock or vacuum-sealed bag before storing it in the freezer.

Rok

I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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