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3 Things to Know About Vacuum Sealing Your Catch

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Fishing can be one of the most relaxing and rewarding ways to pass your time, but if you don't know how to preserve your catch, your fridge may quickly fill with unusable and unsavory fish. Typically, a fresh fish will only last one to two days in your refrigerator, according to Real Simple magazine. While this timeframe is fine for those who only catch one to two swimmers, it can be a headache for fishermen who pride themselves on large batches of catches.

Next time you break out your fishing boat, be sure to keep the following tips in mind when preserving your fish with your FoodSaver® GameSaver® Outdoorsmen Premium Kit.

1. Presealing Process Is Paramount
As with most foods you preserve with your vacuum sealer, the steps you take before freezing significantly affect the integrity of your catch. Before freezing for the long term, it's important to freeze the fish first. That way, your catch retains its moisture, juices and form, things that may be lost if improperly stored. Depending on how you plan on serving the fish after its removal, you can either freeze the catch whole or slice it into portions first. Either way, prefreezing is essential. Keep your fish in the freezer for about one to two hours before using your vacuum sealer.

A properly preserved fish can last several months or even years, as the vacuum sealing process ensures that no air can contaminate the food's form or flavor. 

2. Know How Long It Will Last
When frozen by conventional methods - whether by storing in plastic bags or freezer-safe containers - your fish will last anywhere between three and six months, but when you use your vacuum sealer, you may extend your catch's shelf life by years. When preserving with your FoodSaver® GameSaver® vacuum sealer, salmon, tuna, halibut, trout and grouper will last anywhere between one and one and a half years, while shrimp may last up to two years. 

3. Defrost Delicately
The way you thaw your fish is equally as important as the way you freeze it. If you've used your vacuum sealer and consume your fish within the appropriate window, your catch should be freezer-burn-free and just as flavorful as it was when it was fresh. Cool Cookery recommended moving your fish to the refrigerator the day before its use, as allowing it to thaw in a cool climate may further protect the integrity of your fish.