Shrimp is one of the most delicious seafoods out there. This small piece of meat is very versatile and is filled with so much delicious goodness. You can’t go wrong or get tired of shrimp because you can cook them in any way and use them in a variety of recipes and dishes.
Shrimp is great, everyone knows that. But they don’t have that much shelf life, unfortunately. If you have fresh shrimp, you shouldn’t keep them out for too long. If you have cooked shrimp, you shouldn’t let them sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
How do you preserve cooked shrimp, and keep them from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria?
Can you freeze cooked shrimp? Yes, you can. Cooked shrimp can be frozen and preserved for up to 6 months.
You can freeze cooked shrimp, and it is very simple. But, we are talking about freezing shrimp that has been cooked alone and not a recipe with shrimp in it.
You can get cooked shrimp from convenience stores or make them all by yourself at home. It doesn’t matter, if you follow the freezing processes that we are going to talk about, it would freeze well.
How to Freeze Cooked Shrimp
Shrimp can be used in a lot of recipes, It is that versatile. This piece of small meat can be used in more recipes than beef. In some recipes, it is even eaten raw. In dishes like Sashimi, you have to use raw shrimp. However, this is not advisable because eating this kind of food item raw can expose you to food poisoning.
But for this article, our focus is on cooked shrimp. If you have this on hand, you can add it to any recipe that requires cooked shrimp in them. But, you need to know a few things before we dive into details.
Freezing Cooked Shrimp
Step 1: Learn How to Properly Handle Cooked Shrimp
Having the understanding that you cooked shrimp can be a breeding ground for bacteria in just a few hours is very important. When it comes to freezing shrimp, you need to understand how to handle it properly. It is beyond being meticulous about the preparation before freezing them.
To keep your shrimp at its best quality, fresh shrimp should be preserved in the freezer or refrigerator. Whether cooked or uncooked.
When you cook your shrimp remember not to leave it out at room temperature uncovered, for more than an hour or two. Bacteria can begin to grow rapidly if left out for too long.
Step 2: Cool Your Shrimp
After cooking your shrimp, you have to let it cool down to room temperature before you store it.
If you are scared of leaving your shrimp out for too long, you can put it in the refrigerator till it cools down. This method works best, as you do not have to risk leaving your cooked shrimp out for too long.
Step 3: Storage
You need to protect your shrimp from the harsh conditions in the freezer. Pack your shrimp into a heavy-duty freezer bag. Ziploc bags might not cut it, except if you would double bagged.
If you don’t have a heavy-duty freezer bag and do not want to take the risk of using Ziploc freezer bags, there’s something you can do.
Get Aluminum foil, wrap the shrimp in that, then place them into an airtight container. Preferably a Tupperware container. Before you seal your freezer bags, ensure you press them flat to expel as much air as you can.
Step 4: Freezing
Shrimp would last for 6 months in your freezer and keep their quality. However, you might forget they were even kept there in the first place and not remember when you had them frozen.
So, before you place the bags or container in which you have your shrimp stored to freeze, label them with their contents and the date of the freeze.
How to Defrost Frozen Cooked Shrimp
Thawing frozen cooked shrimp is very easy. Bring the pack of shrimp out of the freezer, pick out the amount that you would need, and place them into a colander to thaw. Place the colander into a bowl so that it doesn’t create a mess on your tabletop or sink.
You can also thaw frozen cooked shrimp overnight in the freezer before the day you want to use them.
Can You Reheat Cooked Shrimp?
Yes, you can. You can reheat cooked shrimp in the microwave, or on your skillet.
Using the microwave might seem easier to you, but it doesn’t reheat the shrimp evenly at one go. You will have to check each shrimp to make sure that it has been reheated.
You can also reheat shrimp in batches in a single layer inside a microwave-safe dish to help them reheat evenly.
On your skillet, you would be in direct contact with the shrimp and would be able to tell if it has been reheated properly or not. Although, it takes longer to reheat cooked shrimp using the skillet.
How to Recognize Spoiled Cooked Shrimp
Shrimp that have gone bad would have a sour fishy smell instead of the salty smell that fresh shrimp have. If you notice that your batch of shrimp is slimy, and has that strong fishy smell, then you should throw them out. Eating spoiled shrimp can give you food poisoning so stay away from it.