Can You Freeze Anchovies?

If you love your anchovies, then we're sure you're thinking of ways of how to extend its shelf life so that you always have your trusted source of umami flavor that's to die for. In case you're wondering if you can freeze this fish, you've come to the right page! We've asked the anchovy lovers and here's what they have to say.

You can freeze your anchovies to preserve their briny flavor. Wrap them tightly with aluminum foil and put them in a freezer bag according to the portions that you need. You can use your fish straight from the freezer. They will turn mushy once thawed but they won't lose their savory flavor that you've come to love.

Continue reading to find out how to freeze anchovies whether they are fresh or canned. We'll also answer questions about keeping your salty fish in the refrigerator and how to tell if your anchovies have gone bad.


Fresh anchovies in black ceramic bowl over chef's hands, Can You Freeze Anchovies?

How to freeze anchovies

Anchovies have a salty taste that gives dishes a certain kick. They can make your toast spread, salad dressing, and pasta sauces more flavorful. And the best part is that they're good for your health! They are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which benefit the heart, brain, eyes, and help prevent Alzheimer's too. But of course, you have to eat your anchovies in moderation as some may have high sodium and fat content which can have adverse effects on your body.

Anchovies may be an acquired taste but once you've learned to appreciate its unique briny and savory flavor, we're sure you won't ever want to let even one anchovy go to waste. Freezing is a good way to preserve this fish. You can store them raw, salted, or oiled and they would all do fine in the freezer. As promised, we'll give you the procedure and tips on the different ways to freeze your anchovies.

Freezing raw anchovies

  1. Wash the fish thoroughly then drain it.
  2. Put parchment paper over your baking sheet.
  3. Place your fresh anchovies on the sheet. Put some space in between each slice to prevent clumping.
  4. Put them inside the freezer for flash freezing.
  5. Once they're frozen solid, you can transfer your anchovies to a freezer bag.
  6. Note the content and date on the packaging before you put it back inside the freezer.

Freezing Salted anchovies

  1. Line your freezer-safe container with parchment paper.
  2. You have to remove your salted anchovies from their original packaging.
  3. Using a paper towel, remove as much salt as you can but do not wash your fish.
  4. Place the anchovies inside your container. Make sure to spread them apart so that they're not close together.
  5. Put the lid on the container and put it inside the freezer.
  6. Flash freeze for 4 hours or until they're rock solid already.
  7. Wrap in aluminum foil.
  8. Transfer the anchovies to a freezer bag. The double wrapping will help seal in the flavor and odor of this fish so that it won't affect the other foods in cold storage. This is also a great way to maximize the space in your freezer.
  9. Label the bag with the kind of fish and date of storage.
  10. Put it back in the freezer.

Freezing Oiled Anchovies

  1. Remove the oiled anchovies from their original container.
  2. Drain as much oil as possible.
  3. Transfer to a labeled airtight container.
  4. Freeze.

How long can you freeze anchovies?

Frozen anchovies stacked upon each other sitting under and on ice

Anchovies do well in the cold. They will last for 3 months when stored properly inside the freezer. While they will last longer in the fridge as they're submerged in oil or salt, freezing helps to preserve the distinct flavor of this fish and you won't have to deal with coagulated oil or remove excess salt.

Can you eat frozen anchovies?

When you store your anchovies in the freezer, there are changes in their texture. They tend to become mushy once thawed. While they are still safe to eat, it is best to use your frozen anchovies for sauces, dips, pizza topping, and other dishes. You can use them straight from the freezer. Just chop them and you're good to go!

How to thaw frozen anchovies

When it's time for you to use your frozen fish, make sure to transfer it to the refrigerator. Just take the portion that you need for cooking. Leave them in the fridge overnight to thaw completely. But if your recipe requires chopped anchovies, you can go ahead and chop them while they're frozen and proceed to use them for your dish as you normally would. You can use them straight from the freezer. So convenient, right?

Can you refreeze anchovies?

When removing your frozen anchovies from cold storage, make sure that you just get what you need. It is recommended that you freeze your fish in batches according to the portion that you need for cooking your favorite dishes. This is because anchovies will become mushy once thawed and their quality will deteriorate if not consumed immediately. For this reason, you cannot refreeze anchovies anymore.

Do canned anchovies need to be refrigerated?

The salt or oil in anchovies preserves their quality. This is why you can leave them out on the counter without worrying about bacterial growth and food spoilage. However, putting them in the refrigerator will extend their shelf life much longer. In fact, anchovies, as long as they are fully submerged in oil or covered with salt, last longer in the fridge than in the freezer.

For unopened anchovies, it's best to transfer your fish to an airtight container and put them in the fridge where they'll be safe for eating for many months.

For leftover anchovies, put them in a container. Make sure you submerge the fish in oil or salt before storing in the fridge. This will help preserve them for months.

For oiled anchovies, expect the oil to harden. But don't worry because once you take out your container and leave it at room temperature, the oil will loosen again and you can get the fish and use them to give your dishes that certain umami flavor that they need.

Can you keep anchovies in the fridge?

Canned or jarred anchovies that haven't been opened yet can last for a year whether they are stored in the refrigerator or not. For leftover anchovies, transfer them to a clean container with a cover. Make sure you submerge them in oil or cover them with salt. Seal tightly before putting them inside the fridge. They will last there for up to 2 months.

How do you know if anchovies are bad?

Fresh anchovies in black ceramic bowl over chef's hands, Can You Freeze Anchovies?

Because of the oil or salt in them, anchovies have a long shelf-life. But if you bought this fish fresh from the market, you can tell if it's bad when it has lost its silvery shine. When you see that its color has turned dark or blue, then it's no longer fresh. It's best not to eat them anymore to prevent scombroid poisoning, which happens when you consume fish that's not processed or stored properly.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! You can freeze your anchovies so that you can preserve their flavor and use them to level up the flavor of your favorite recipes. Just make sure you wrap it properly, double wrap if possible, to maintain its great quality and also to keep its odor from affecting other foods in your freezer.

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