How to Defrost Frozen Fish Quickly

how to defrost frozen fish quickly
Fish Fixe Norwegian Salmon thawing safely on the countertop.

Your simple guide to defrost frozen fish quickly.

We believe that fresh fish starts with frozen. Flash freezing seafood and shellfish within hours of being caught, preserves its peak freshness and ensures that it stays fresh until you are ready to enjoy it.

Of course if you live on a boat off the coast of Maine or somehow have a direct line to your favorite fisherman, you’ve got a great setup!  But for most of us, that’s not the case and premium frozen fish is the best option when it comes to consistent freshness and convenience. 

Safest Way to Defrost Fish

If you are part of the Fish Fixe Family, you’ll find this simple method listed on the back of your protein bag.  Move the fish from freezer to fridge in the morning, and by evening,  it will be thawed and ready to cook.  You can keep your fish in the vacuum sealed bag – it’s comfortable there.  Gradually thawing your fish in the refrigerator for 10-12 hours is the best method for preparing your fish for dinner.

Thawing frozen fish
Fish Fixe can safely thaw in your fridge for the day.

Bring to Room Temperature

After the protein is thawed in the fridge, we strongly recommend bringing it to about room temperature before you cook.  This will help ensure that the center of the protein is fully thawed and temperature is consistent throughout the portion.  Simply remove it from the vacuum sealed bag and place it on a paper towels atop a plate for 10-15 minutes before you toss it in that hot oiled pan, oven or grill.

Defrost Fish in 30 Minutes

Short on time?  Seafood can be the star of the dish in less than 30 minutes by placing it in a bowl of cold tap water.  The water temperature should not be hot or even warm.  You do not want the seafood to undergo such a stark temperature change and potentially risk bacterial growth.  Leave it in its vacuum sealed bag and submerge in cold tap water for 30 minutes, rotating the water frequently as it begins to cool down.   Make sure to leave the fish in its vacuum-packaging.  Submerging  the fish “naked” can cause  it to be waterlogged.

Can I Cook Frozen Fish?

While we don’t recommend cooking your fish straight from the freezer, it can be done.  We’ve tested a few ways to cook frozen fish, and the best way is using your air fryer.  Simply pull the protein from the freezer and add seasoning.  Try a simple salt + pepper, onion and garlic powder, then spray it with avocado oil to ensure the seasoning sticks to the frozen fish.  Put your air fryer on 400º and let it cook for 12-14 minutes for a 6 ounce filet.   We’ll be honest, this turned out better than we thought.  It kept great texture and taste, and we gobbled it down. 

If you want another great seasoning recipe, try our homemade Blackening Seasoning

A Big NO NO to get from Frozen to Thawed

The microwave, plain and simple, no.  Let’s say it again, do not use your microwave to thaw your fish.  The dramatic rise in temperature may cook thinner parts of the filet, create a breeding ground for bacteria and it can most certainly degrade the texture upon further cooking.

Before you rush off to thaw your fish, here are a few notes to remember when working with frozen fish.

  1. When you bring home your frozen fish or it arrives on your doorstep, be sure to check that the fish is frozen solid then move it directly to your freezer.
  2. Fish Fixe products have been prepared and packaged so that they can be stored in your freezer for up to 9 months.  We recommend consuming your Fish Fixe within 6 months for optimal quality.
  3. Keep it simple.  Don’t complicate an uncomplicated meal.  Season with just a few spices and keep lemon or lime on hand, as citrus flavors pair so well with seafood. 
  4. If you don’t have an air fryer, let this be your sign to purchase one.  There are endless ways to take advantage of it, and it prepares seafood so well! Visit here for more air fryer tips.