Can You Freeze Scallops? – Everything You Should Know
Seafood is one of the most extraordinary meal options on the market. Not everyone has a taste for seafood but those who do know that the flavors are like no other and there is a multitude of seafood options to enjoy. Whether you like lobster, crab, clams, shrimp, or scallops, you are never without delicious options.
Of course, these are just a few options you might find on a seafood menu. You can easily make most of these items at home as well. Scallops are some of our favorite options. You can do so many things with scallops and they are perhaps one of the easier seafood dishes to work with.
A few tasty scallops can often go a long way.
Can you freeze scallops? Yes, you can freeze scallops if you don’t intend to use them within 1-2 days. This is the best way to preserve them for a longer period of time and is a simple process to keep your scallops safe for when you’re ready to prepare them.
In this guide, we will discuss how to freeze scallops. We will provide you with a general overview of the best process for freezing scallops and share with you some other information regarding scallops that you might find useful if you have them or plan to have them in your kitchen.
Keep reading to learn how to freeze scallops and more!
The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Scallops
Scallops are a unique food that actually falls into the clam and mollusk category. They are small and round and you don’t have to pull the meat from a shell or anything of that nature in order to prepare or serve them.
They do come from inside a shell originally, but by the time you purchase a scallop, there is no shell.
The scallop is the meat from a shelled bivalve species. You will not find scallops in freshwater but they are readily available in all of the oceans.
When you eat a scallop, you eat the white abductor muscle that is pulled from between the shells. This muscle is actually what opens and closes the shell when it is inside.
You eat the muscle, combined with the coral, which is a bright orange section within the shell.
Properly Storing and Freezing Scallops
Storing and freezing scallops is pretty simple. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and your scallops will last for quite some time if you make the effort to go through the steps properly.
When you purchase scallops, they are already shucked, so you don’t have to worry about going through that process before you freeze them.
To know that your scallops are good, they should always have a white, shiny color to their flesh. You don’t want to see any browning or discoloration.
You want to be picky about where and how you purchase scallops, simply for the fact that you want to be sure you are getting high-quality scallops that aren’t going to go bad the same day you buy them.
Scallops can be tricky because they don’t last very long outside of frozen temperatures. In fact, most of the time you will either purchase them frozen or you may need to ask for ice to keep them cool while you commute them home.
Sometimes, this is already included in the packaging. You can also store them in a cooler on your way home. This is perhaps one of the things that are most overlooked for scallop storage.
When you are storing your scallops initially, they should go in the fridge as soon as possible. You don’t need to store them in water.
Wrap them up and place them in the fridge for 1-2 days. For the best results, you should either use them or freeze them within 24 hours.
If you aren’t going to use them right, away go ahead and freeze your scallops. It’s very simple to do. Here are the steps to freezing scallops:
- You can rinse your scallops if you like but it’s not required.
- Place scallops into a heavy-duty freezer bag or a sealing freezer-safe container.
- Label, date, and seal the scallops up for storage.
- Place scallops in the coldest part of your freezer. We recommend keeping them away from the freezer door for the best results.
- Store scallops in the freezer for up to 3 months.
See! The freezer and storage process for scallops is totally easy. You can hardly beat this process when you want something easy.
Using Scallops After Freezing
When you’re ready to use your scallops after they’ve been frozen, it’s another very simple process. The best thing to do is place the frozen scallops into the refrigerator the night before and let them thaw there overnight.
You can also thaw them by placing them in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes.
The major thing to remember for thawing your scallops is that you should not thaw them at room temperature. This could make them go bad.
If you rinse your scallops prior to cooking them, be sure to pat them dry. Trying to cook scallops that have too much moisture on them can lead to problems with the cooking process and your scallops won’t brown as they should while you’re cooking them.
Some chefs would tell you to soak your scallops in milk. Again, this is not required but rather just a helpful tip that can work to make the meat juicy and tender. It also can go a long way to removing any fishy odor or flavor that could be lingering with the scallop.
You will find that some recipes recommend milk and others don’t even mention it. It’s primarily a matter of preference.
Preparing and Using Scallops
Scallops can be prepared in many different ways. You can sauté them, cook them in some oil, grill them, broil them, or bake them.
These are just some of the most popular ways to prepare scallops. You can do just about anything you want with them and cooking takes very little time overall.
The best way to cook them is by sautéing them on the stove, which takes less than 10 minutes of cooking time. You know that a scallop is done when it’s golden brown on both sides.
If you are cooking them a different way, you can watch for signs of the scallops breaking apart slightly around the edges. The white part should also turn an opaque color.
Here are some delicious ways to prepare and serve scallops:
- Lemon garlic butter
- Garlic basil butter
- Scallop risotto
- Scallops in pasta
- Leche de Tigre
- Grilled scallop tacos
- Hazelnut crusted scallops
- Sweet and sour grilled scallops
- Baked scallop au gratin
As you can see, there are plenty of options for ways to make scallops. Perhaps the most popular options are to sauté them in garlic and butter.
The other popular option is to grill them. They don’t have a ton of natural flavor so the garlic, butter, and any other herbs or spices really help pull out the flavors and make them really delicious.
You want to be sure that you do not overcrowd the scallops when you’re cooking them. You should always buy your scallops already frozen or take action within 1-2 days of purchasing them. They will not stay fresh or good much longer than that.
Cooking your scallops is the easy part, it’s storing them that you need to ensure you are doing very carefully. However, storage is quite simple and we’re sure you won’t have any issues with the process.
We hope that you find this guide to freezing scallops to be an informative resource for the purpose. Scallops are very easy to prepare, store, and freeze and you really can’t go wrong as long as you abide by all of the timeliness suggestions.
We invite you to review the following question and answer section for some additional information that may be helpful to you.
Is it Bad if Scallops are Undercooked?
There are risks to consuming undercooked seafood, including scallops. If they are not cooked appropriately, they can house harmful bacteria that can make you very sick. It is important that you cook your scallops thoroughly and completely.
Are Scallops Healthy?
Scallops are quite nutritious for you when used properly. They are very high in protein and they have practically zero saturated fat in them.
They also contain minerals like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous. Scallops can be a valuable source of Vitamin B12 as well.
Are Scallops Expensive?
Scallops can be costly to buy, much like almost any other seafood you might try to purchase. Primarily, the increased cost is based on supply and demand.
Scallops can be more challenging to supply, but they are in high demand and therefore the price is high to compensate and try to limit shortages. This is true of many seafood varieties.
Up Next: Can You Freeze Clams? Is It Safe?