How to quickly defrost salted herring

Salted herring is a favorite snack on the holiday table. However, often before a special event we do not have enough time to salt the delicious fish. There are two options left: either buy it in the store and hope that you get a successful salting, or prepare it in advance and put it in the freezer. But here a natural question arises about whether it is possible to freeze salted herring. Let's figure it out.

Which fish is suitable for long-term storage?

Herring is an incredibly healthy product that people have long consumed in a variety of ways. Fresh, salted, fried, it is characterized by a large number of useful substances. Unsaturated Omega-3 acids, vitamins B, A, D, E, PP. But, as often happens, at the moment when you really want to eat fish, it is not at hand. That's why today we decided to find out whether it is possible to freeze salted herring. But before we get to that, let’s remember once again how to choose the right fish.

A good herring always has a shiny, intact, silver-colored skin. But rusty or yellow spots indicate improper storage; it is better to refrain from such a purchase. Check the carcass for elasticity. If you press a high-quality carcass, it will immediately straighten out. The eyes should be clear and slightly protruding. The gills are very informative. If they are red, then the fish is fresh. Speaking about whether it is possible to freeze salted herring, it should be noted that for storing for future use, it is best to choose fish caught in the winter. Such specimens will be the fattest and tastiest. If the fish has a wide back and rounded sides, then you should take more and freeze it for future use.

Rules and conditions for storing fresh herring

When the fish has already been purchased according to all the rules, it is worth thinking about how to store it. Let's start by looking at how to properly store fresh herring at home.

  • Fresh fish should only be stored in the refrigerator. Or if you can’t cook it right away, then put it in the freezer.
  • Try to preserve the skin when cutting, this will retain moisture and prevent drying out.
  • Purchased fish with entrails must be gutted.
  • If fresh herring was bought for pickling, then it is advisable to immediately pickle or marinate it.
  • When purchasing frozen fresh herring, it is better to immediately put it in the freezer or cook it.
  • Freezing is best done in two stages. First, lay the specimens individually on a flat surface. And then, when completely frozen, you can put them in one bag and store them further.
  • The whole carcass and chopped fillet pieces must be stored separately.
  • Storing different types of fish together is not allowed.
  • Before putting the herring in the freezer, be sure to wrap it in cling film. You can also use foil. So it will not lose moisture and freshness.

Long-term storage, of course, can be ensured by marinating and salting. There are many ways and recipes on how to do this. The most popular of them are brine with beer, mustard, vinegar, you can also prepare a marinade of apples and horseradish, or just keep it in oil or saline solution. You can easily find and choose a recipe that suits your taste on the Internet.

If you want to prolong the shelf life of the herring, clean it of bones, entrails, skin and cut off the head. Next, the fillet can be marinated with brine prepared to your taste.

Prepare for storage

If you have a large freezer, then you can take a batch of good fish and make preparations. Moreover, speaking about whether it is possible to freeze salted herring, it is worth noting that fresh it also fits well in the freezer. To do this, you need to wash it, remove the insides, dry it and pack it in plastic or foil. If you plan to cook something within two days, you can simply place it in the refrigerator. But make sure that foods, especially butter, are kept away.

If you want the herring to last for several months, then you need to place it in the freezer. To do this, the fish is gutted, washed and dried, and packaged in bags for freezing. You can do it differently. First, place the fish on a tray and turn on the “super freeze” function, and then put it into bags. It is stored for a very long time and at any time you can get fish ready for cooking.

In a refrigerator

Fresh herring is best kept in the refrigerator at a temperature of +2 to +5 °C. Fish that has barely fallen asleep remains usable for 2 days, but only if stored correctly. Such herring should be placed in a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.

The shelf life of salted herring can reach several weeks, depending on exactly how the fish will be stored. So, it can be placed in brine or vegetable oil.

Salted herring in brine (purchased or homemade) can be stored in the refrigerator without harming the quality of the product for up to 4 weeks. Making brine with your own hands is very simple: you need to mix table salt with clean water in a ratio of 1:5, boil and let cool. The herring must be cut into small portions, placed in a storage container and filled with liquid so that it completely covers the fish.

If you like bold experiments, you can try making beer brine for herring. Add black peppercorns and a couple of bay leaves to “live” beer without chemical additives, flavors and preservatives. Bring the mixture to a boil and cool to room temperature.

Herring in oil can be stored for up to 4 days. You can use sunflower, olive or corn. Many housewives prefer to store herring in oil, since this option allows you to take a piece of fish out of the refrigerator at any time and send it directly to a plate.

How to freeze salted herring

To do this, you will need to prepare a tasty brine and place the purchased fish in it for several days. Finished carcasses should be cut into pieces and placed in a food-grade plastic container. If you want to save some for eating, you can pour oil over the pieces and put them in the refrigerator compartment. In this form, it will last for 2-3 days.

Place all fish that you do not plan to eat in the near future in the freezer. Don’t listen to friends who doubt whether salted herring can be frozen. This method is not new at all. In Russia you can often find frozen, gutted, lightly salted herring on sale. It is harvested directly on ships after catching, by dry salting, and then dry-frozen. This fish is very tasty, but capricious in terms of storage; it does not tolerate re-freezing, so if you do not plan to eat it right away, put it in the freezer immediately.

How to properly preserve herring

If you bought fish, taking into account all the above rules, then storing it will not cause you unnecessary problems. The conditions and terms depend only on what type of product you purchased: fresh or salted.

Storing fresh fish

The following rules are observed:

  • If you do not plan to cook the herring immediately after purchase, it must be washed, dried and placed in the refrigerator, or better yet, in the freezer.
  • Fish with entrails must be gutted, as they create excellent conditions for the proliferation of various pathogens.
  • Before placing in the refrigerator or freezer, the herring must be packed in plastic or foil so that it does not lose its freshness.
  • In the refrigerator, fresh herring must be kept at a temperature of about 0 ° C for no more than 2 days. When stored in a general refrigeration chamber, which usually has a temperature of about +5 ° C, this period is reduced to one day.
  • You should not place fish near dairy products, as they will quickly become saturated with the smell of herring and acquire a very unpleasant taste.
  • If possible, save the skin when processing the fish. It will not allow the product to lose its taste and beneficial properties. This will certainly happen when cleaned fillets are stored.
  • When freezing, the herring, previously cleaned and dried, is first placed individually on a plate or tray and placed in the freezer, turning on the “Super Freeze” function. Subsequently, the fish is packaged and placed in the freezer for long-term storage, which should not exceed six months.
  • It is not recommended to store whole specimens and fillets together. It is better to package them in different water- and airtight containers.
  • Another way to store herring for a long time is to salt it yourself. There are many simple and original recipes, by choosing one of which you will provide for your family and delight your guests with a delicious snack.

What to pay attention to

During storage, fish gains salt concentration due to freezing of the liquid. To prevent this from happening, it is important to pack the herring tightly in plastic. You can also add a little brine there. If you are worried that it will become too salty, then make the salting less concentrated.

In general, because of the salt, it does not freeze into stone, so it does not lose anything in taste. If someone claims that after defrosting the fish will become soft and loose, it means that he has never tried to do this, or has defrosted it under the influence of high temperatures.

How to preserve salted fish for a long time

Any salted fish must be stored in a cool place, the best storage place is of course the refrigerator, but you need to constantly monitor it. During storage, the fish may become covered with a white coating, which means that the fish is already beginning to deteriorate. In this case, the fish must be thoroughly washed and cooked. You can also store fish in vegetable oil. In this case, you need to put the fish in the jar and fill it with oil.

If the fish needs to be preserved for a very long time, then only freezing will do, but the taste will be noticeably different.

In any case, salted fish is stored longer than just fish, that is, not salted or smoked.

The best way to store salted fish is vacuum packaging, but this is all done in specialized production.

Well, if we consider storing salted fish at home, then in order for the salted fish to be preserved for a longer time, you need to store the fish in the refrigerator after wrapping it in parchment paper or a clean soft cloth.

Naturally, fish will be stored in the freezer much longer than just sitting on shelves or in refrigerator compartments.

Salted fish immersed in sunflower oil or canned fish in a saline solution can also be stored for a long time.

A very convenient circumstance is the presence of salted fish in the house, which can be used as a “handy” snack.

You can preserve salted fish for as long as possible in the following ways:

  • Immediately after salting, wrap the fish in parchment paper or cloth and put it in the refrigerator. This way it can be stored for up to 5 days.
  • Herring must be stored in the brine in which it was stored in the barrel. You can moisten a cloth with brine and wrap it around the fish.
  • Place the herring in an enamel saucepan or glass jar, pour in vegetable oil.
  • salted red fish wrapped in paper or cloth (not polyethylene) can be stored in the freezer, very cold.

Before the holidays come, you always want to pamper yourself, your loved ones, or your guests with something delicious. One of these holiday delicacies can be salted red fish. However, it is better to salt it yourself than to buy it and sometimes have to store it for even a single day. Freezing or some kind of heat treatment greatly destroys the beneficial properties of fish.

But there are still storage methods. I use one of these myself with success. I put salted fish without skin (only fillets) in a glass jar in a very dense layer. I add bay leaf and black pepper. Then I pour vegetable oil into the jar so that it completely covers the fish, close the top with a plastic lid, and then put it in the refrigerator.

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Products in vacuum packaging must not contain air or liquid. Their presence indicates non-compliance with production technology. Thermal packaging must be hermetically sealed and contain no air.

You should definitely pay attention to the expiration date written on the packaging. Also, you should not buy vacuum packaging stored on the shelves of the sales area, outside of refrigeration equipment


We asked experts, food industry technologists, whether salted herring can be stored in the freezer. It turns out that if you prepare the salt correctly, thoroughly clean the fish from the entrails and dry it, and then freeze it in a high-quality freezer, you will not cause any damage to the product. You are guaranteed to receive a tasty and healthy snack at any time, you just need to serve it correctly.

But this is where many people make a mistake. In an effort to serve the fish faster, they defrost it in warm water, place it on a radiator, or try to warm it in the microwave. This cannot be done. When taking the herring out of the freezer, you need to move it to the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so that it gradually moves away. Only then can you put it on a dish, where it will finally warm up. If you expect situations where you need to quickly get a snack, then freeze the fish in thin pieces. You can immediately pour them onto a plate and pour oil over them. While you are preparing the main dish, the pieces will become suitable for consumption.

In the freezer

Before freezing, fresh herring must be carefully packaged in cling film or foil. This will protect the fish from spoilage and allow it to retain its taste and color for a long time - up to six months. How long frozen herring will actually be stored depends on the tightness of the packaging and the quality of the product itself.

Salted fish can also be stored in the freezer. To do this, you need to cut it into pieces and put it in a food-grade plastic container. By the way, in exactly the same way you can preserve not only salted, but also pickled, lightly salted and even smoked herring for up to several months.

Frozen fish can only be thawed once. Repeated heat treatment will negatively affect its taste and nutritional properties.

To enjoy tasty, aromatic and spicy fish without fear for your health, remember a few simple recommendations.

  • At room temperature, fresh herring can last no more than 3 hours. After this period, it is best to throw it in the trash.
  • Store only well-gutted fish. The insides of herring are an excellent breeding ground for pathogenic bacteria.
  • If the herring has acquired an unpleasant odor or a rusty coating has appeared on its surface, throw it away immediately.
  • Do not place open containers of herring in the refrigerator. The pungent odor will quickly spread throughout the chamber and penetrate into other products. Dairy products are especially sensitive to fish spirits.

No matter how long you plan to store the herring - a couple of hours before preparing a delicious dish or several weeks before the upcoming celebration, the most important thing is to choose a quality product without damage and make purchases only in trusted retail outlets with a good reputation.

Herring or herring is perhaps the most common, tasty and affordable fish in our diet. And it is used not only separately, but also as an ingredient for salads and various snacks. It is believed that the most delicious herring is the Far Eastern, Pacific and Atlantic. But it is not only tasty, but also useful due to the vitamins and microelements it contains, such as phosphorus and silene. In addition, it is low in calories and serves as a source of fatty acids and protein. But no matter how useful it is, you cannot overeat it. This can lead to an exacerbation of various diseases.

Herring is a perishable product. And naturally we wonder how to preserve herring at home. And how long it can be stored in different conditions. Let's try to understand this issue.

Is it just herring?

Another logical question is whether it is possible to freeze salted herring and mackerel, as well as pickled, smoked and other fish. Food service experts and experienced housewives say that almost any fish can be preserved in this way. However, it is very desirable that your freezer supports the function of shock or quick freezing, and defrosting is very delicate. Do not forget that each fish must be packed in individual plastic packaging. Fatty and very tasty mackerel is perfect for these purposes. It will become not just an appetizer, but the crown of your feast, and then guests will ask for a long time how you managed to pickle the mackerel right before their arrival.

Choosing the right herring

Now that we have figured out what kind of herring there are, we can start choosing. After all, if you want your fish to last longer, you need to choose it correctly. To do this, you should adhere to some rules.

  • The gills of fresh herring should have a dark red color. Press on them, bloody smudges appear, which means the cooking technology was violated.
  • The skin on the fish should be silver in color, without damage, spots and definitely without a touch of “rust”. If there is one, it means fat oxidation has begun, it is better not to buy it.
  • The appearance of a white coating indicates that the salting was carried out with low-quality salt with harmful additives.
  • After pressing on the herring, the place should quickly take on its shape.
  • An elastic, non-bloated carcass without any damage on it indicates the quality of the product.
  • Look at the eyes. Must be unclouded.
  • Is your eye color reddish? Here is lightly salted herring.
  • Please note that neither the brine nor the selected herring should have a bad odor.
  • It is better to buy fresh herring for pickling in winter. During this period, it is the fattest and tastiest. You should choose small fish that have a wide, curved back.
  • It wouldn’t hurt to ask the seller for documentation showing where it came from and how it was stored before it hit the counter. If there are none, then it is better not to buy from this place.

By adhering to these simple rules and recommendations, you can easily choose tasty and fresh herring for your table. Thus, protect yourself and your loved ones from unwanted and painful consequences that can occur when consuming low-quality and not fresh herring.

Do not buy fish if it has any damage, stains, or deposits. And also with cloudy eyes and an unpleasant odor.

How to choose in a package.

It is easy to visually determine whether a herring is fresh or not. But what about the product in the package? Is it possible to choose it correctly? Here are some tips on how to do this.

  • If the package is transparent, shake it slightly. A foamy or cloudy marinade indicates that the herring is spoiled.
  • When purchasing in cans, carefully read the expiration date.
  • The fillet pieces should be firm, of the same size, and free of bones. Without any raid.
  • If you choose between canned food and preserves, it is better to choose the second. Because they are not subjected to heat treatment, and retain their qualities, unlike canned food.
  • The packaging of preserves must be hermetically sealed and not dirty your hands during inspection.
  • Products should only be kept in refrigerators.

If, when pressed, the fish fillet does not regain its shape or spreads out, it is better not to buy it.

Types of herring

Let's start with the fact that there are several types of herring based on salt content.

  1. Lightly salted herring contains 4-6% salt.
  2. Lightly salted - from 7-10%
  3. Medium salted, - from 10-14%
  4. Strongly salted, above 14% salt.

It is also sold fresh, frozen and smoked. Herring comes in barrels, cans, and vats. And that, in turn, differs into simple herring (only salt is used), spicy (with the addition of spices), and pickled (vinegar is added to all of the above) salting.

Lightly salted fish is the most delicious, but it spoils faster and has a short shelf life. Pathogenic organisms remain in it, which lead to faster spoilage of the product. A larger amount of salt (from 10-15%) helps to avoid this. Therefore, the saltier the product, the longer it will last.

Type of herring that can be stored in the refrigerator

Today, various companies produce the following types of fish:

  1. Frozen product.
  2. Salted herring with varying degrees of salting (lightly salted, medium salted, highly salted fish).
  3. Smoked, pickled, spicy products of this type.

How to store salted herring so that it remains edible for as long as possible depends on the mode set in the refrigerator and the type of product.

You need to know that herring can be stored without freezing for no more than 2–3 hours. Once frozen, fish is not recommended to be re-frozen. It is best if the herring is stored in brine, since without this the fish can be well preserved for no more than 24 hours.

Preserving fish using a refrigeration unit

Since any fish can quickly spoil without freezing, it is better to store it at low temperatures. Herring will keep well if the temperature in the refrigerator is between 2 and 5 degrees Celsius. How long herring can be stored in such conditions depends on the container. The longest storage period is 6 months, and the usual shelf life of fish in the refrigerator is 3-5 days. Moreover, we are talking about fresh herring, which does not have any damage to the carcass. Therefore, it is recommended to carefully select fish when purchasing, especially if you plan to store it for a long time.

Several options have been developed for long-term preservation of herring in the refrigerator:

  1. The fish is in brine, which is poured into the package.
  2. A person makes his own brine.
  3. Many herring lovers store it in brine with beer.
  4. It is possible to use vegetable oil.
  5. Vacuum packaging is used.

Storing herring at room temperatures is not recommended, as this sharply increases the risk of poisoning. Therefore, fish can be left without refrigeration for no more than 2–3 hours, and then immediately prepare the desired dish from it.

If you do not plan to use the fish in the near future, it is better to place it in the refrigerator.

Storing fish without brine

This storage technology is limited to a minimum amount of time. Without brine, herring can remain edible for no more than 48 hours. At the same time, it must be placed in the best container for such a product. To preserve fish without brine, a plastic or glass container with a tight-fitting lid is suitable. This will limit the access of oxygen to the product, and at the same time protect other food in the refrigerator from the smell of fish, which has the unique ability to be absorbed into any dish in a relatively short time. Herring without brine is stored only if you plan to pickle it in the near future or make various dishes from it. If fish is expected to be stored for a long time, other methods are used.

Preserving herring in brine (or salting it)

Using this method, you can store herring for about 1 month. To do this, you can salt the fish or place it in a homemade brine. To do this, the carcass is cut into pieces and placed in a food-grade plastic container. Then it is generously salted or filled with a concentrated salt solution. The brine should completely cover the carcass. If the herring was purchased in a package with brine, then it can be used for filling by adding a homemade solution to this liquid.

To prepare homemade brine, you need to mix table salt with water in a ratio of 1 to 5. Then this mixture is boiled and must be cooled before pouring.

Some craftsmen use beer brine. To do this, a low-alcohol drink is boiled, adding bay leaves and a few black peppercorns. Before pouring beer into the herring, the resulting solution must be cooled to room temperature.

The salted product can be stored for about 3 weeks. To salt, you need to cover the entire surface of the fish with a thick layer of table salt. To do this, first pour 2–3 cm of product crystals into the container where the herring will be stored, then place the carcass. After this, a three-centimeter layer of salt is poured onto the herring and the container is tightly closed.

Storing herring in oil, vacuum packaging or as preserves

It is very convenient to store the product if it is in oil. You can take out a fish delicacy at any time, eat part of it, and put the rest back into the oil. This form allows you to preserve the herring for up to 3-4 days. The container with oil (plastic or glass) must be tightly closed with a lid.

As a last resort, the oiled fish can be covered with parchment and then tied with thread to prevent the paper from unraveling.

If the product is purchased in vacuum packaging, it can be stored in the refrigerator for a relatively long time. If it has not been damaged or opened, then the herring can be stored in a refrigeration unit for 30–35 days. If the vacuum packaging has already been opened, storage will last no more than 48 hours, but only if the product has not been filled with brine or oil.

When purchasing preserved herring, they must be placed in the refrigerator, where they will be stored at a temperature of 2 to 5 degrees Celsius. If the preserves are opened, it is recommended to consume them within 24 hours. If there is still some herring left after the specified time, it must be thrown away, otherwise consuming preserves 24 hours after opening may cause poisoning or damage to the gastrointestinal tract.

Storing herring in the freezer

Many people use this method of storing fish products, but not everyone knows whether or not it is possible to store herring in the freezer.

If the product is cleaned, salted, and then cut into portions, it can be placed in a plastic container (food grade). In this state, it can be stored in the freezer for a long time. The duration of the storage process can reach ½ year.

Pickled, smoked or lightly salted herring has the same shelf life. Lightly salted frozen herring is often sold in supermarkets. This type of product is produced directly on fishing trawlers. There it is gutted and dry-salted immediately after the fish is caught in the net. After that, it is frozen and then sent to stores. Although this herring is very tasty, it is difficult to store. You need to buy it in a slightly frozen state, and then consume it immediately. This product cannot withstand repeated freezing in the freezer. To preserve it, it is recommended to make brine to pour over the carcass. In this state, herring can be preserved for 2 weeks.

Herring is one of the most common types of fish on our table. Herring is affordable, nutritious and rich in fatty acids and vitamins that are beneficial to humans. Today the range of herring is very wide - different varieties are sold fresh, salted, frozen, pickled and smoked. But when buying herring, it is important to remember that this seafood is perishable and rather difficult to store. How to properly store herring? Let's figure it out.


Many people are interested in whether it is possible to freeze herring. Salted herring can be stored in the freezer. This method is suitable for preparing a lot of fish for future use. Herring can be kept in the freezer in different forms:

  • Portioned pieces placed in a jar and filled with oil;
  • In the form of fillets, packed in thick plastic bags;
  • Whole in vacuum packaging;
  • Whole in a plastic bag with a small amount of brine added.

The frozen product can be stored for 6 months. It is important that the liquid does not freeze out of the fish; for this, the product must be packaged in sealed bags.

In order for frozen fish to retain its taste and texture, it must be properly defrosted. The best option is in the refrigerator compartment. Do not use hot water or a microwave under any circumstances; room temperature is not recommended for defrosting.

How to choose a good herring

In order for the product to be stored as long as possible, it must initially be of high quality and first freshness. You need to choose fish based on the following criteria:

  • The skin is silver-colored, shiny, without damage or “rusty” spots;
  • The consistency is elastic; when pressed with a finger, the carcass should take its original shape;
  • The eyes are convex, light, not cloudy; lightly salted fish have red eyes;
  • The gills are dense, without damage or signs of deterioration, dark red in color;
  • The shape of the carcass is the most delicious with rounded sides and a wide back;
  • The smell is fishy, ​​pronounced.

Good quality herring will better retain its beneficial properties and be tastier. It can be served as a separate dish, appetizer or in salads.

In brine

Salted herring can be stored in a saline solution. In this form, it will retain its taste and benefits for up to 20 days. You can use the brine in which the fish was sold, or prepare it yourself.

How to store in brine? It is better to clean the fish, since the offal is a source of bacteria. Can be separated from the bones or left whole. Place the pieces in a container and pour in the salt solution so that it completely covers the fish. Cover tightly and refrigerate. You can also store it in the cellar, but then the shelf life will be reduced to 10 days.

To prepare the brine, you only need salt (200 g) and water (1 liter). The saline solution needs to be brought to a boil, cooled to room temperature and poured over the herring.

Important! The degree of salinity depends on how long the herring is stored in brine. If you like low-salt fish, you need to eat it within 1 week.

You can also make an unusual brine from beer. Fish can be stored in it for 5-7 days. Preparation:

  1. Put the beer on the fire and bring to a boil;
  2. Add allspice and a couple of bay leaves;
  3. Cool the brine to room temperature;
  4. Pour over fish pieces;
  5. Drizzle a little vegetable oil until a film forms on top;
  6. Seal the container tightly and store in the refrigerator.

In beer brine, the fish will not become saltier and will acquire a pleasant spicy taste.

General rules for storing herring

Whatever method of storing fish you use, you must always follow several rules:

  • Herring has a pronounced odor, which is absorbed by other products, so it must be hermetically packaged;
  • Fish cannot be kept in a metal container, even if it was purchased in one; after opening, it is necessary to transfer the product to another container (glass, plastic or enamel);
  • If the fish loses moisture, it becomes “dry” in taste and saltier as the salt concentration increases, so the packaging must be very tight;
  • If you decide to cut the fish into pieces, do not remove the skin, it will protect the product from drying out and loss of moisture.

Immediately after purchase, you must create conditions suitable for storing it or eat it.

How long can salted herring be stored?

First of all, the shelf life of fish depends on whether it was purchased in factory packaging or by weight.

Shelf life of the product in various types of containers:

  • Tin container. In it, the herring will be suitable for consumption for up to 4 months.
  • Plastic container. The product can be stored in this container for 3 months.
  • Vacuum packaging. Herring will not spoil within 1 month.

The following conditions are common and mandatory for all types of containers: maintaining the integrity of the original packaging, ensuring the ambient temperature does not exceed +5 °C.

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