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Freezing Shrimp

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We recently had a friend tell us that when he gets fresh shrimp, he fills a ziplock bag with water, drops in the shrimp, and freezes them that way. They freeze into a block of ice and he said they don't get freezer burn that way. Has anyone ever done this?

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  1. You should always freeze shrimp submerged in water, whether in a ziptop bag or in plastic containers or at the bottom of repurposed wax-paper milk cartons (what we used to do before ziplock & tupperware). In contrast, the "loose" frozen shrimp sold in bags are IQF shrimp frozen instantly by a dunk in supercold brine...there is no way to make IQF shrimp in a home freezer.

    When buying commercially frozen shrimp, I prefer those frozen into blocks of ice, rather than IQF. They're a bit more of a pain to defrost, and you end up with a lot at once, but I think the quality is a little better.

    1. Yes, that's the method I've always used too.

      1. Yup. My father's been freezing stuff in water (yes, in milk cartons!) for 40+ years. All sorts of fish, game, seafood. Works great.

        1. I grew up shrimping in the waters of South Louisiana. We bought unused quart milk cartons from the local dairy that held 1 pound each to freeze our shrimp catch in blocks of ice.
          I have found shrimp in the back of my freezer that were years old and they had no freezer burn, were perfectly useable.

          The same method works for small fish and fish filets. It extends the time that you can keep things in the freezer.
          Think of things frozen in glaciers that emerge thousands of years later perfectly preserved...

          1 Reply
          1. re: MakingSense

            The milk carton method works great for wild ducks, too. You can fit one large duck or two small ducks like teal into a milk carton, then top off with water. A plus--the rectangular shape makes for efficient stacking in the freezer.

          2. Thanks all! I will definitely do that next time I get shrimp and need to freeze.