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Thread: Frozen shrimp turning brown, is this normal

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    Member joebut1985's Avatar
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    Default Frozen shrimp turning brown, is this normal

    Hello, just noticed the other day that the shrimp that I caught this year are starting to turn brown in the freezer. Also noticed that some of them are really mushy. Is there something I can do in the future to prevent this from happening? They still taste good and don't smell bad.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The best method I know of is to freeze the shrimp in water. Fill a ziplock about 2/3 full of shrimp, then fill with water to the top, seal and freeze. Even with this method, though, they've got a limited shelf life. I'd say about mid-winter (now) should be the deadline for eating shrimp if you want them to be good quality.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    How do you wrap them for freezing? I used to do do what Brian does except I would use the disposable ziplock containers. Once frozen you can just dump them out on the shelf and reuse the container. They stack well, too. I purchased a commercial chamber vacuum packer a couple of seasons ago and now I wrap them in freezer paper and them vacuum pack them. The freezer paper prevents the "sharp pokies" from compromising the seal. They eat well even into the spring. Nothing beats them fresh from the sea, though.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    The turning brown sounds like oxidation. I think freezing encased in water is the best bet for shrimp, and adding some lemon juice or citric acid to the solution should help extend the shelf life too.
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    Member joebut1985's Avatar
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    I've been freezing both ways in zip locks with water and commercial sealer but they keep making hole. I will try the paper though. What makes the shrimp mushy?

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Yep air getting at them. I just put then in a freezer bag, fill with water. Seal the bag almost shut and squeeze the air out and seal. I have tried everything else I could think of to preserve them. Freezer bag is the best I have found.

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    If you vac them go to AK Butcher supply and buy some bone guard. It's heavy plastic that you slide into the bags to protect the bag from the pokies. Works great and can be reused. It come in a big roll, not cheap but protecting the shrimp is worth it.
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I have done it two ways. Freezing them and then misting them (twice) is pretty good. Better is to wrap a double layer of freezer paper and then vac pak them.

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    I've posted how i do the shrimp before but here goes, I just put the tails into a 1 qt plastic freezer container and then fill with plain tap water and freeze. Take out from freezer run under water and pull out a frozen block of shrimp, the plastic container is only a mold, wrap in saran wrap and stick back in freezer. I never set a pot last year so the package in the pic is 2 years old, no brown no freezer burn. Done.
    20140225_212848[1].jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    I've posted how i do the shrimp before but here goes, I just put the tails into a 1 qt plastic freezer container and then fill with plain tap water and freeze. Take out from freezer run under water and pull out a frozen block of shrimp, the plastic container is only a mold, wrap in saran wrap and stick back in freezer. I never set a pot last year so the package in the pic is 2 years old, no brown no freezer burn. Done.
    20140225_212848[1].jpg
    This is pretty similar to how we freeze fresh shrimp out of the Gulf of Mexico here in Texas. Take a milk jug and cut the top out of it and fill it with tails, then top it with water and set it in the freezer. They seem to last good for quite a few months (rarely keep from cleaning them up much longer than that). It is the same way we preserve catfish here too.

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    I like the way Steve does his but for me, the 1 qt. freezer bag filled with water seems to fill the bill. I still haven't punctured a bag or made a mess. It's a one shot deal and they store/stack well in my limited freezer space. Being a big fan of "quick soups", I use the melt water for a flavorful soup stock. If there was a downside to this it would be that it clearly it takes longer to thaw them out of a block or bag of ice than those that are glazed.

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    Member OKElkHunter's Avatar
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    Freezing in water is the best way to keep them from turning, getting freezer burned, and keep a fresh taste. It takes up more room in the freezer, but I'd rather lose space than lose shrimp. I use the 1 gallon zip-loc tubs but freezer bags work as well. I also like freezing white meat fish this way. Another option is to mist them and freeze them on a flat cookie sheet and then put them in a vacuum bag, seal and throw in freezer. You still have to contend with the possibility of the barb poking a hole in your bag.
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    Prior to the water/bag method, (which is what we do now), we would wrap them in a couple layers of newspaper to prevent the seal-a-meal bags from getting poked. It was free since we had a daily newspaper.
    The ziplock and water works well though so we don't bother with the seal-a-meal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyak View Post
    I like the way Steve does his but for me, the 1 qt. freezer bag filled with water seems to fill the bill. I still haven't punctured a bag or made a mess. It's a one shot deal and they store/stack well in my limited freezer space. Being a big fan of "quick soups", I use the melt water for a flavorful soup stock. If there was a downside to this it would be that it clearly it takes longer to thaw them out of a block or bag of ice than those that are glazed.
    Hi Gary,
    Hey want more soup water use use a bigger container for a mold to freeze them in like cut a 1/2 gallon milk jug down. Even better put the heads in a cheescloth sack and boil them while your out there for a nice fish stock then put the tails in the stock and freeze the whole mess. I use the plastic containers just for a mold so i can reuse them to freeze more tails, yeah i throw away the saran wrap but its cheaper than throwing away those expensive zip lock bags. I think the blocks take up less room in the freezer cause they stack like bricks with no space between them.
    A easy way to thaw the blocks is put them in the sink and just let the water dribble on the block, they thaw in no time and get washed at the same time !!

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