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Thread: Roe storage during off-season

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    Default Roe storage during off-season

    Does anyone store roe during the off-season? Does anyone use a method that does not require keeping it frozen all winter?

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    I stockpile roe from all the silvers I catch n the fall. I cure them then into quart size mason jars, then into the freezer.

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    Default Everyone freezes?

    Does everyone freeze their eggs for the winter? I heard of a guy packing them in mason jars, vacuum packing the jars, and leaving them inside his heated garage. Certainly there was air left inside the jar, but he claims it worked fine.

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    Default Freeze 'em... it's what all the "cool" kids do.

    The problem with storage at room temps (or higher) is that many of the "hot" chemical cures out there keep curing and eventually "burn" your eggs.

    A fridge slows that reaction considerably but it still keeps going... 3 month old eggs in the fridge get pretty soupy.

    You can stop the curing process cold by freezing. One cure even advertises so-called "freeze-lock" technology to stop and lock the curing process. Truth is they all do that! But what they don't tell you is that the curing process is reactivated as the eggs thaw and further accelerated as they warm up.

    Mason jars are a great storage solution in the home, but they are a pain to pack around to the fishing grounds... not to mention they don't bounce very well if dropped afield.
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    When I used to fish with Roe back in Ontario I would cure it first, then put it in the freezer for a few hours on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. After the roe has hardened up some I would vaccume pack it in single use (one day's worth) portions and freeze it. My roe done this way would last for years in the freezer with out getting freezer burnt. The firming up on the cookie sheet makes the eggs tough enough that they don't crush when vaccume sealing them.

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    Default garage

    I left mine over the winter in quart jars in the cool/cold garage and they worked good last weekend - no fish tho.

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    Default Let me rephrase

    Let me rephrase the question. If your life depended on storing roe for 11 months (a bit melodramatic, I apologize) without the use of a refrigerator/freezer, how would you do it?

    Would you do a short freeze like Drifter to harden the eggs and vacuum pack them before storing them? Or would you suggest to store them in mason jars? Either way, would you cure them first?

    I use the quart mason jars to cure, but never on the boat. I use the small plastic sandwich boxes for my bait. Easy to have a box near each angler and it holds a perfect amount for an average outing. Lots of advantages to using the boxes over bags. No glass afield for me, whether its holding roe or fluids.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I always cured before freezing as it seemed to work better that way.
    I found if I tried curing after freezing a lot of the time the eggs would not cure properly and turn to mush. If you have to store it for more than a couple of months freeze it. If less than a couple of months toss in the fridge. Uncured eggs won't last long at all in the fridge, don't ask how I know.

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenai In July View Post
    Let me rephrase the question. If your life depended on storing roe for 11 months (a bit melodramatic, I apologize) without the use of a refrigerator/freezer, how would you do it?
    Not that I've ever stored eggs without freezing for that long, but....

    Heavily salt-based cure (as in good old fashiones NaCl) .... not nitrate, nitrite, sulfate, sulfite, meta-bisulfite based... packed and carefully vaccuum sealed in mason jars. Those commercially-available hot "chemi" cures are the ones that will burn the eggs with prolonged exposure outside the freezer.

    Would recommend adding some color like Pro-Glo (color only, not cure) or a small amount of color preservative to the cure as the simple salt-based cures tend to darken the eggs... especially sockeye or chinook eggs which will turn a very dark maroon... less so with coho, and even less so with chum. Just look at page 38 of the current issue of Alaska magazine to see what happens to plain old salted eggs when hung to dry at ambient temps. Not very visually appealing!
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    Smile food saver canisters...

    My Food Saver machine has lexan jars that seal all clusters of eggs that have been cured.....when you release that seal in the spring time the eggs appear and feel as they were when they were sealed......sorry, I can't say that I have tried 12 months without refrigeration....I store mine in my egg refrigerator in the garage until its time to use them...

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