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how to thaw frozen seafood and alaskan king crab legs

The Best Way to (Safely) Defrost Your Seafood

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Flash-frozen seafood is the best way to preserve flavor and texture, and is a safer alternative to store-bought “fresh” seafood that you get on ice. (News flash: Those selections in the store were most likely frozen and thawed at one point already.)

But if you have a freezer full of frozen seafood, what’s the best way to thaw and enjoy it?

There’s really only one correct answer to this question: The safest way to defrost your seafood is to put it in the fridge overnight. And if it comes in vacuum-sealed packaging, be sure to remove it from the packaging before thawing. That way, the seafood stays at a safe temperature at all times, without ever dipping into the bacteria danger zone. 

However you choose to thaw your seafood, here are a few DON'Ts to keep in mind...

  • DON’T defrost your seafood by leaving it on the counter. Even at room temperature, you run the risk of bacteria growth and rubbery fish.
  • DON’T defrost your seafood in a bowl of warm water. Not only does this pose a threat of unsafe bacteria growth on the surface of the seafood, but it can also cause an undesirable change in texture and taste.

  • DON’T defrost your seafood in the microwave. Ever. Though your microwave may have a defrost setting, the sporadic heat is just not worth the risk. The huge shift in temperature can mess with the texture of your dish, and it may even partially cook thinner pieces while the center remains frozen.

  • DON'T defrost fish in the vacuum-sealed packaging it comes in. Instead, remove it from the original packaging and place it in a sealable plastic bag to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Still have questions? Here are a few common q’s:

Q: “Can I defrost on the same day I cook?”
A: Forget to defrost in the fridge overnight? There’s still time. Although the night before is a much safer bet, popping your seafood in the refrigerator in the morning is usually enough time to thaw it out in time for a seafood dinner.

Q: "I'm in a pinch – how can I defrost seafood faster than that?"
A: If you must, place your frozen seafood — in an airtight plastic baggie but, again, not in the original vacuum-sealed packaging — in a big bowl and cover with cold water. Obviously, ice-cold water won't defrost anything quickly, but the water needs to be colder than room temperature, and you need to continuously change out the water every 20 minutes or so to make sure the temperature doesn’t dip into an unsafe zone. 

    Reminder: Do NOT use warm or hot water to speed things up — you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot. If the seafood is floating around, use a small bowl or plate on top to hold it down. The goal is to have everything equally submerged so that it defrosts evenly. 

    Of course, a delicious, properly prepared seafood feast begins with high-quality catches. Order yours now!