What Is The Best Way to Store Fresh Oysters?


Oysters belong to the family of bivalve molluscs and are among the most popular species of commercial marine invertebrates. Even though they are very similar to mussels, they are much more expensive. To not lose money and not get poisoned with seafood, you need to know how to store oysters at home. What is the best way to store fresh oysters? Let’s find out.

What is the best way to store fresh oysters? The best option to store fresh oysters is on ice. Freeze ice packs for cocktails in advance and place them in a separate bowl. Put the oysters on top and store them on the fridge’s top shelf at a temperature of  +2°C. Change the ice when needed, and oysters will last for 5-7 days.

Ultimate Guide on How to Store Fresh Oysters — How Do You Store Oysters At Home?

Ideally, you need to buy oysters just before serving. But if you plan to eat oysters later, you can put fresh oysters in the fridge. If there are grains of sand and algae left on the shells, they can be brushed with an old toothbrush, but real gourmets say that it is better to serve them unwashed as this way, the naturalness of the delicacy is preserved.

How do you store oysters in the fridge? How do you store unshucked oysters? Freeze ice packs for cocktails in advance and place them in a separate bowl. Put the oysters on top on the top shelf of the refrigerator. The ice will not melt quickly if you set the temperature in the chamber to + 2°C. If you periodically change the ice, then the shelf life of oysters will increase to 5-7 days.

You can also place your oysters on top of something frozen from the freezer, such as a piece of meat. In the refrigerator, at a temperature not higher than + 5 ° C, the meat will defrost for a long time, and thus, you can store the oysters fresh and very cold for up to 2 days, after which you can make ice and continue storage in one of the above ways.

The methods can be combined — on ice, in a towel or on frozen food, oysters will be stored even better since it is important to keep them as cold as possible.

How long can you keep oysters in the fridge? Oysters can be kept in the fridge for 5-7 days. Oysters remain safe to eat for up to a month if stored in a saltwater aquarium at +2 to +5 degrees. If the oyster is open and won’t close, throw it away right away.

Live oysters sprinkled on ice can be refrigerated for an average of 7 days. You need to use wet towels as well to preserve the juiciness of oysters. The shelf life of oysters in shells and without them does not differ. On average, it is 5-7 days, provided the shellfish are placed on the top shelf of the refrigerator. The optimum storage temperature for oysters is from +1 to +4 degrees.

Freezing Oysters

Can fresh oysters be frozen? Fresh oysters can be frozen. Freezing oysters is simple — put them on a plate and wrap them tightly on top with cling film and a bag. Store in a freezer no longer than 30 days at a temperature of -18°C … -21°C. They should be gradually defrosted in the refrigerator.

  • Oysters can be frozen, but it is recommended to remove the clams from the shells;
  • Defrosting oysters should not be at room temperature, but in the refrigerator (thawing should take place naturally, do not use water);
  • Before freezing, the oyster must be put in water;
  • Do not freeze shellfish in bags or cling film, but in containers that can be closed with a lid.

However, after defrosting, an oyster loses its taste. Therefore, frozen oysters are not eaten raw. The shelf life of frozen oysters is 3-4 months. Refreezing is not allowed. Thawed oysters must be eaten right away. If they are frozen again, their meat’s consistency will change, the taste will be disturbed, and their use in food can become dangerous to health.

If you want to prepare closed oysters for future use, you will need a special ice container. Ice is put at the bottom, after which oysters are laid out and frozen. The shelf life of oysters frozen in shells is no more than 3 months at a temperature of -18 ° C ..- 21 ° C. Before serving, the oysters should be kept in the refrigerator until completely defrosted, for at least 3 hours, and then served.

All of the above methods for keeping oysters fresh are good and reliable. Periodically check for open shells among the oysters. No matter how correct the term and storage conditions are, it is difficult not to avoid the fact that individual mollusks may die.

Before opening the oysters, you need to make sure they are edible. Live oysters inside the shells react to any external stimulus: tapping or lemon juice. This serves as a signal that the oyster is alive and can be safely eaten. In the second, the flaps open after a few minutes, after which you can taste the product. If the shell valves are open, then most likely, the mollusk is dead.

Fresh oysters have a sweet-salty flavor and a sea-like aroma, while the fishy or offensive smell of rotten meat emanating from the shell is a sign of a toxic product. The oyster should be weighty since there is seawater inside the valves after catching. The lightness of the delicacy indicates the absence of liquid and staleness of the shellfish.

Do not store live oysters in a package — they must have constant access to fresh air. Otherwise, all the shellfish will quickly deteriorate, and the shells will open.

Therefore, you should carefully sort out all the shells and throw away open ones. It is strictly forbidden to eat dead shellfish to avoid severe poisoning. Oysters’ storage conditions cannot be changed since they remain alive for a long time only at low temperatures. Therefore, oysters should be stored in only one chosen way, either in the refrigerator or in the freezer.

It is best to store oysters in the refrigerator on the top shelf. Although these mollusks live in warm waters, they should be kept fresh only at temperatures no higher than + 3 ° C and no longer than 7 days.

How to Store Cooked Oysters

Ready-made mollusks in a marinade can be stored in a refrigerator, in a glass container, for up to 7 days at a temperature not exceeding + 7°C. To do this, they need to be boiled and put in a clean, dry jar filled with olive oil and tightly closed with a lid. This is the best way to store cooked seafood.

Ready-made salads with oysters do not have a long shelf life, and the period for how long they can be stored is up to 6 hours from the moment of preparation, at a temperature not higher than + 7 ° C.

How to Store Opened Oysters

Fold oysters into a container and put it on ice or wrap it in a towel dipped in ice water. The shelf life of oysters without a shell is short and is up to 3 days. Carefully check the appearance of the shellfish. If they turn white, then it’s time to throw them away. However, gourmets claim that the taste deteriorates after 6 hours, so it is better to freeze open oysters.

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