Can You Refreeze Cooked Shrimp?

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Shrimp is one of the tastiest fish dishes you can experience. Frozen shrimp is typically purchased in large bags, so unless you have a large family that loves shrimp, it’s unlikely you’ll get through the whole bag before the use-by date. This is why so many people want to refreeze shrimp.

Cooked shrimp that is bought from a store will last for up to 12 months in the freezer, while raw shrimp can only be frozen for roughly 9 months.

But can you refreeze cooked shrimp? This is what a lot of people ask when they have leftover shrimp. If this is you, then read on to find out exactly what you should and shouldn’t do when refreezing or freezing cooked shrimp.

Can You Refreeze Cooked Shrimp? – The Short Answer

It is possible to freeze shrimp after it has been cooked; you can even refreeze it. However, it is not widely recommended to do this. Your cooked shrimp will keep its taste for up to 2 days if kept in the fridge; after this time, the shrimp will not taste as fresh.

If you decide to refreeze your shrimp, it should be frozen within 2-3 days of cooking. The shrimp will still be safe to eat, but it will not have the same amazing taste. You can, however, consume your refrozen shrimp for up to 6 months after refreezing it.

But if you choose to refreeze shrimp that has been cooked, you must follow the process listed in this article. Not doing so could lead to food poisoning.

How to Thaw and Refreeze Cooked Shrimp Safely

To refreeze cooked shrimp, ensure it has been completely thawed before returning it to the freezer.

If you’re thawing your shrimp in the fridge, every pound of shrimp should take a day. This is the safest way to thaw shrimp, whether you plan to refreeze thawed raw shrimp or cooked shrimp.

To thaw your shrimp faster, you can use your microwave if it has a defrosting setting. Put your shrimp in the microwave on the defrosting setting for 2 minutes per pound. Unfortunately, refreezing thawed shrimp is not recommended if you choose to thaw your shrimp this way; the shrimp should be cooked immediately. This is due to the food’s temperature rising, which is avoided if thawed in the refrigerator.

Once the defrosted shrimp is ready to be refrozen, you should put the shrimp on a baking tray and lay the tray in the freezer until the shrimp freeze. The shrimp can then be transferred into an airtight bag or container, which should be put into the freezer immediately. This method to safely refreeze shrimp is only applicable if you use the fridge method of thawing.

How Long Does Cooked Shrimp Last?

Storing cooked shrimp in the fridge should last up to 7 days before losing its delicious taste. After 7 days in the fridge, you should dispose of your shrimp as it may be unsafe to eat. This is the same as frozen cooked shrimp, which has been thawed correctly and then stored away.

If you’re unsure about the shelf life of your shrimp, check the use-by date on the packaging. This should tell you when it will be safe to eat your shrimp by. If you cook shrimp in your home, you can store it in your fridge for up to 2 days before it loses its texture.

How to Determine if Cooked Shrimp is Safe to Eat

By tasting your cooked shrimp, you’ll be able to find out if it’s still in good condition. However, this may not be safe; food poisoning is a risk of eating unsafe shrimp. Spoiled shrimp often show telltale signs that can be seen or smelled.

Although freezing temperatures can stop bacteria, mold, and other microbes, these pathogens can reoccur once the shrimp are under certain circumstances, such as being at room temperature. So, if you’re unsure whether your stored shrimp is still good, make sure to follow these steps:

1. Smell It

If your shrimp smells sour or like ammonia, it’s definitely gone bad. This is a potential sign of bacteria growth, so do not eat the shrimp and throw it away.

2. Check the Color of Your Shrimp

If your shrimp looks discolored and is no longer pink, it’s gone off. You should also check if the shrimp have gone slimy or slippery, which means they have spoiled. Shrimp can also decompose; signs of this include the bodies being loose in the shells or the shells having black spots.

3. Check the Packaging

As previously mentioned, the packaging on your cooked shrimp to see the date you bought it. If it’s been over 3 months, throw away your shrimp.

Tips for Effective Storage of Cooked Shrimp

When buying cooked shrimp, make sure the shrimp smells fresh and has been wrapped/packaged well. This applies to fresh shrimp, too.

Once your shrimp has been cooked, ensure it’s stored in the freezer when it has finished cooling down. This will stop bacteria from growing on your shrimp, which would make it unsafe to eat. Cooling down your shrimp before freezing will also help to prevent freezer burn.

Your cooked shrimp should be stored in either a container or a zip-seal bag. When using a container, clean it out and wipe it to ensure the container is dry before inserting your cooked shrimp. If you’re using a zip-seal bag, the zip must be 100% sealed to prevent bacteria from getting inside.

These tips are essential to remember when refreezing shrimp.

To Sum Up

You can refreeze cooked shrimp, but it will not keep the same quality of taste and texture for a long time. If you decide to refreeze thawed shrimp that has been cooked before, consume it within a few days. Remember to refreeze your cooked shrimp in the correct manner to prevent bacteria from growing onto your shrimp.

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