How to Store Shrimp (raw or cooked) and Its Cocktail

Shrimps are a group of crustaceans that inhabit all parts of the world; you can find them in fresh and saltwater. However, regarding where they come from, let’s see the basic guidelines for how to store shrimp. 

You should always keep shrimp cold; otherwise, they could be damaged quickly. If you refrigerate them, they will keep for 1 or 2 days, but if you freeze them, they will last between 3 and 6 months.

Store Shrimp

If you want to know how to preserve shrimp in detail, continue reading.

How to select a fresh shrimp

Before explaining how raw shrimps should be preserved, you should know that they can come in different sizes, as there is a great variety. But to understand if they are fresh, you must check them independently.

Fresh shrimp will present a hard shell. In addition, they must smell like the sea, although this only applies if they are saltwater; discard those that smell of chlorine or bad. 

You can also check their level of freshness by pulling their legs and antennae. If they come off easily, the shrimp will rot soon. 

Another characteristic that reflects the freshness of shrimp is their uniformity in color. In other words, they lack spots with another color. 

You should check if they are refrigerated and have an ice base, so you will know they are preserved well before buying them.

Whenever you think about buying them, do it at the last moment, since they should not be too long at room temperature. 

I recommend you bring a bag or container filled with ice cubes to keep the shrimp as fresh as possible on your way home. Or ask the vendor to put some ice chips in the bag with the shrimp.

How to store shrimp in the fridge (cooked or raw)

There are two ways to store shrimp in the fridge, and it will depend on whether they are cooked or raw.

How to preserve raw shrimp

The first format and usually how you purchase shrimp is when it is fresh and raw.

To store fresh shrimp in the refrigerator, you have to do what I tell you below:

  • Step 1: Put the fresh shrimp in a bag.

The bag does not have to be airtight so that the air circulates.  

  • Step 2: Place the shrimp on an ice bed.

Add a layer of ice to a flattened container and place the shrimp on top. Then, cover them with a clean, damp towel.

  • Step 3: Store raw shrimp in the fridge.

Place the shrimp in the coolest area of your refrigerator. That way, the raw shrimp can be 1 or 2 days in the fridge. [1]

How to preserve cooked shrimp

You extend their shelf life a bit when you cook the shrimp, so in this case, you should: 

  1. First, wait until the shrimp cools.
  2.  Then, transfer the shrimp to an airtight container, although you can also use a bag.
  3.  Later, put the shrimps in the coldest area of your fridge, and the cooked shrimps will stay refrigerated for 3 or 4 days.

How to freeze shrimp

Can shrimp be frozen? That’s right; shrimp can be frozen, cooked, or raw, with or without the shell. However, I advise you to freeze them uncooked and headless because, in this way, they preserve their flavor better.

  • Step 1: Wash the shrimp.

To wash the shrimp correctly, I advise you to do it with cold water. In a bowl of water, pour the shrimp and stir well to remove any traces of dirt on them. 

Then, cut off their heads, and if you want, remove their shell, and rewash them with water. If you removed the cover, I advise you to remove their intestine. To do this, cut the shrimp along the top; pull a black strip with a fork or put the shrimp under the stream of the tap and wait for it to come out alone.

  • Step 2: Perform the first freezing of the shrimp.

Place the shrimp on a tray with waxed paper or a nonstick sheet, side by side, leaving enough space between them so they do not stick later.

If you don’t have enough space, you can put them in several smaller sturdy containers in the same way, and you can even make several layers, separating them with wax paper.

Leave the shrimp in the freezer for 1 or 2 days to freeze well and not end up damaged. 

  • Step 3: Transfer the shrimp into sturdy containers.

Once the shrimp are well frozen, transfer them to an airtight, freezer-resistant bag or container.

  • Step 4: Write the storage date of the shrimp.

Write down the storage date on the bag, but if you use a container, you can stick a piece of tape to write the date with a marker or put a label with that information. 

  • Step 5: Store the shrimp in the freezer.

Raw shrimp can be frozen for 3 to 6 months, while cooked shrimp can be between 4 and 6 months in the freezer. [2]

Note: For a cooked shrimp, start the procedure from step number 2.

You can cook or heat the shrimp directly frozen. To reheat them, I recommend using the pan over medium-low heat. However, you can use the oven at 390°F (200°C) for 10 minutes or the microwave in batches of 30 seconds over medium power.

Pero if you want to thaw the shrimp, you can spend them a night before in the fridge, where they can be up to one more day. 

You can also thaw the shrimp at room temperature inside a bowl with cold water, but the shrimp must be in an airtight bag so that the water does not leak. Thawed shrimp cannot be re-frozen.

By the way, if you bought frozen shrimp, these could last a year in the freezer. [3]

When you go to buy it, you mustn’t break the cold chain. In addition, frozen packaged shrimp thawed in the fridge can last between one or two days longer there.

How to preserve the shrimp cocktail

The shrimp cocktail is a hugely popular recipe, using peeled and boiled shrimp paired with various vegetables, lemon juice, a sauce, spices, and more.

Also, if you are interested in knowing how to preserve shrimp soup, you can follow the same guidelines that I mentioned below:

  • Step 1: Put the shrimp cocktail in an airtight container.

Whether you have leftover some cocktail or shrimp soup or have prepared it in advance, you should store it in an airtight container. 

In the case of shrimp soup, you should first wait until it is completely cold.

  • Step 2: Store the shrimp cocktail in the fridge.

If you put the container in the coldest part, you will keep the cocktail or shrimp soup in the fridge for 3 or 4 days

But if you need to freeze it to last longer, I advise you to use resistant containers and put the preparation date.

You should also check if all the components of the shrimp cocktail can be frozen so that you only add them to the recipe before serving it. 

The shrimp cocktail, or soup, can be frozen for three months.

To thaw it, leave it in the fridge overnight. Then, the soup can be reheated directly frozen, either over medium or low heat in a pot, or the microwave, in several batches of 30 seconds at medium power.

How to know if the shrimp spoiled?

Well, as I mentioned before, if the shrimp do not have a uniform color, and suddenly spots or lines of different shades appear, it is no longer fresh.

If the shrimp smell or taste bad, do not eat them; you could become intoxicatedIt is also not a good sign that the shrimp are viscous since they indicate their lifetime is over.

Finally, if the shrimp get white, blue, green, or black spots or lint, they develop mold, and eating them is no longer safe, so you will have to get rid of them.

How long does shrimp last?

Fresh shrimp in the fridge1 – 2 days
Cooked shrimp in the fridge3 – 4 days
Fresh shrimp in the freezer3 – 6 months
Cooked shrimp in the freezer4 – 6 months
Store brough shrimp package in the freezer1 year
Shrimp cocktail or soup in the fridge3 – 4 days
Shrimp cocktail or soup in the freezer3 months

What is the best way to preserve shrimp?

The best way to preserve shrimp, whether raw or cooked, is to store them in the freezer to maintain them for several months.

Although you can also store fresh shrimp in the fridge, I recommend keeping them there when they are cooked because when they are raw, they do not resist long.

The shrimp soup or cocktail can also be kept in the fridge or freezer, but unlike storing the shrimp alone, storing them in the refrigerator would be best.

In the freezer, the soup and cocktail can lose flavor, plus the consistency of the ingredients can also change. However, it will keep them longer.

If you are interested in learning how to preserve some other seafood or seafood, this site has several topics about it that may be useful, as well as how to store several types of food and dishes.




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