Cooked Fish in the Fridge
Almost all types of food are prone to spoilage—cooked fish is no exception. Bacteria and moisture are mostly to blame for this. But somehow, humanity always finds ways to make life a bit easier: we’re talking about refrigerators.
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Refrigerators are a godsend. We take them for granted, but not until we realize the importance of adequately storing leftovers.
Leaving food to rot is impractical and wasteful. So, learning how to optimize the use of our household fridge is a good life hack to learn.
Now, Let’s Cut To The Chase
When stored in the fridge, cooked fish typically lasts for 3-4 days tops. However, keep in mind that this is just a rough estimate. Factors such as the type of fish, proper storage, and consistent temperature can affect how long your cooked fish will last.
Seal It Tight
Keeping your cooked fish airtight and adequately sealed is the most critical practice when storing it for later.
Bacterial contamination—where tiny microorganisms invade unprotected food—is the most common culprit for fish spoilage.
One surefire way to keep them at bay is to deny the moisture they need to thrive in.
Hence, the need to keep the fish sealed and airtight. It’s also a great way to keep other contaminants out.
Fattier Fish, More Spoilage
There’s a reason why most foods need to be kept cool—and this is to avoid oxidation.
Oxidation is responsible for the pungent smell that is common in spoiled food.
It occurs when heat, light, or oxygen interacts with the fats in the food.
The higher the fat percentage, the faster the food oxidizes; the same goes for fish, cooked or uncooked.
Therefore, fattier fish such as mackerel, trout, or tuna have a higher chance of going bad faster than, for instance, tilapia.
Tips On Storing Them Effectively
Of course, the golden rule of every food storage practice is to keep them airtight.
However, there are a few minor tweaks you can do to prolong the shelf life of your cooked fish.
If you intend to store your cooked fish for only a few days, consider packing it with ice and placing it in the coldest part of your fridge.
This practice is to optimize cold temperature use, which can make a small contribution to your food’s shelf life.
The recommended temperature for storing cooked fish is to never go above 40˚F.
On the other hand, if you don’t see yourself utilizing your leftover fish for over a week, it’s best to move them to the freezer.
Frozen cooked fish typically lasts for a month and follows the exact nature of when you’re storing it in the fridge: airtight, sealed, and cold.
Some General Reminders
Frozen fish is generally fresher and more affordable than those you find on grocery store counters when it comes to storing.
They will be much easier to store than their grocery counterparts.
According to the FDA, two days is the ideal timeframe before fresh seafood is under suboptimal cooking conditions.
So, as much as possible, cook them right away!