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How To Store Shrimp

If you adore the delicious, slightly sweet flavor of shrimp as much as I do, you know how essential it is to store it properly.

Correct storage ensures that your shrimp remains fresh, tasty, and safe to eat. But how do we store shrimp, whether it’s raw or cooked?

In this guide, we’ll delve into all the details about storing shrimp.

Frozen shrimp in a metal bowl with red handles.

To store raw shrimp, keep it chilled in the fridge, covered them with cling wrap, and consume them within 2 days. Cooked shrimp should be cooled, placed in an airtight container, and stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Both raw and cooked shrimp can be frozen for up to 6 months.

How to store shrimp

Raw shrimp

When it comes to raw shrimp, you’ll want to keep it cold at all times to prevent any bacterial growth.

When you bring home raw shrimp, pop it in the fridge straight away. It’s a good idea to place the package on a plate to avoid any drips or spills.

Cooked shrimp

For cooked shrimp, allow it to cool down to room temperature after cooking, but don’t leave it out for more than two hours.

Once cool, transfer it to an airtight container and pop it in the fridge.

Also, learn about how to store other kinds of fish as well as how to store salmon.

How long does shrimp last?

In the fridge

Raw shrimp, when properly stored in the fridge, can last up to 2 days. Try to cook it within this timeframe for the best taste and safety.

Cooked shrimp, on the other hand, can last a bit longer. Expect it to stay good for 3-4 days in the fridge. But remember, it needs to be in an airtight container!

In the freezer

If you’ve cooked some shrimp and have plenty of leftovers, don’t fret! Cooked shrimp can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Just ensure it’s packed in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.

How to freeze shrimp

Freezing shrimp is a great way to keep it fresh until you’re ready to cook. For raw shrimp, remove any heads and shells (you can leave the tail on if you like), and wash it thoroughly.

Dry it with paper towels, then place it in a freezer bag. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the bag.

You can freeze cooked shrimp the same way—just make sure it’s cooled down first!

Should I peel shrimp before I freeze them?

If you’re planning to use the shrimp in a dish where they need to be peeled, it can be more convenient to peel them before freezing. This way, you can simply thaw them and they’re ready to be cooked.

However, freezing shrimp with their shells on can help preserve their flavor and texture. The shell provides an extra layer of protection against freezer burn.

So, if you don’t mind the extra work of peeling after thawing, or if you’re going to cook them in a way that benefits from the added flavor of the shell (like in a seafood boil or a stew), then it might be best to leave the shells on when freezing.

Should I devain shrimp before I freeze them?

Deveining shrimp can improve their appearance, and some people prefer not to eat the vein due to its grittiness or because it’s essentially the shrimp’s digestive tract.

In these cases, you may want to devein the shrimp before freezing, as this can save you time when it comes to cooking.

However, the deveining process can also be a bit time-consuming and isn’t strictly necessary from a safety perspective.

The vein in shrimp is edible and doesn’t pose any health risks. If you plan on cooking the shrimp in a manner where the vein won’t be noticeable, or if you simply don’t mind it, you can definitely choose to freeze the shrimp without deveining them first.

Just remember, if you choose to devein the shrimp after thawing, be sure to do it gently to avoid damaging the shrimp.

How to thaw frozen raw shrimp

When you’re ready to cook your frozen raw shrimp, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge and let it thaw overnight.

If you’re in a hurry, you can also run cold water over the shrimp until it thaws, but avoid using warm or hot water as it can start to cook the shrimp.

How to tell if shrimp is bad

There are a few key signs to look out for when determining whether your shrimp has gone bad:

  1. Smell: Fresh shrimp should have a mild, briny smell. If your shrimp smells strongly of ammonia or has a sour, unpleasant odor, it’s likely spoiled.
  2. Color: Both raw and cooked shrimp should have vibrant colors. If your shrimp has faded or has discolored spots, it might not be safe to eat.
  3. Texture: Fresh shrimp should feel firm and slightly moist. If your shrimp feels slimy or mushy, it’s time to throw it out.

Frequently asked questions about how to store shrimp

Yes, you can. However, peeling the shrimp before freezing can save you some work later when it’s time to cook.

It’s not recommended to refreeze shrimp that has been fully thawed as it can lead to a loss of texture and flavor.


And there you have it – your go-to guide for storing shrimp! With these tips, you can keep your shrimp fresh and tasty, ready for your next culinary adventure.

Remember, proper storage is key to enjoying the wonderful, unique flavor of shrimp. So, next time you’re faced with some raw or cooked shrimp, you’ll know exactly what to do.

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