Canned crab meat comes to save crab lovers who love seafood but live far away from the sea. Thanks to this convenient solution, you don’t even have to worry about sourcing.
Although canned crab meat can last long, you must store it properly. Some people recommend freezing the meat, but is it a good idea? Can you freeze canned crab meat?
This guide will help you answer that question. You can also learn some fantastic tips to store canned crab meat correctly. Let’s jump into the details!
Can You Freeze Canned Crab Meat?
Yes, freezing is the best storage method for canned crab meat as the low temperature allows it to last longer. You can apply this idea to both opened and unopened cans.
Please note that unopened cans can last longer because there will be fewer chances of air exposure. You just need an airtight bag for freezing the food.
On the other hand, freezing an opened can is more complicated. You have to deal with the leftover meat while ensuring the same requirements as freezing the unopened can.
To simplify your task, we will discuss both open and unopened cases. Please check out and take some notes right now!
You may open the can but can’t finish all the crab meat at a time. In this case, you can still freeze the leftovers for later use.
The meat will ultimately go bad if you leave it at room temperature for an extended time. The risk of contamination will rise with exposure to air.
Freezing will also depend on the quality of the product itself. If the meat isn’t fresh or has been through changes in odor and color, freezing it will be useless.
Refrigerating leftover crab meat can be an option. However, you have to serve your food within three to four days. Hence, freezing it will be a better solution.
If you want to freeze your food, please follow these steps:
- After removing it from the original can, place the crab meat in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. The open can will give your food a metallic taste and contaminate it.
- Add milk to the container until it covers the meat fully. The liquid will act as a protective layer for your meat, preventing it from becoming damaged in the freezer.
- Put the container in your freezer. When needed, thaw it for usage.
Your canned crab meat can stay fresh for a long time thanks to its robust container. Manufacturers put the meat in an aluminum can and vacuum seal it.
Vacuum sealing is an excellent method to limit bacteria growth. It can also protect the meat from freezer burns and dehydration.
Freezing unopened crab meat will extend your food’s lifespan without sacrificing its quality. But ensure that it hasn’t reached the expiration date and you freeze it correctly.
Before freezing, check the can carefully for any sign of damage. Otherwise, the crab meat inside won’t remain as good as you expect.
Instructions for freezing canned crab meat are as follows:
- Wrap a thick layer of aluminum foil around the canned meat. Make sure to cover it thoroughly.
- Transfer the wrapped can to a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe bag.
- Remove the air from the bag and seal it. A hand vacuum will help you do it properly.
- Put the can in a safe corner of your freeze to avoid possible pressure on it. The excess pressure may make the can explode.
- Note the storage date on the bag. It can last for up to three months in the freeze.
Does Freezing Affect the Quality of Crab Meat?
Frozen crab meat may maintain its quality for three months. It can still be safe beyond that time if you store it correctly under freezing temperatures.
The key is providing crab meat with an optimal environment to prevent bacteria growth. In this case, we recommend the vacuum sealing method.
Please note that the quality of frozen crab meat after thawing won’t be exactly to its original taste or condition; however, the change goes unnoticed. The test of time stays true for all kinds of food as their quality will gradually drop over time.
Tips to Freeze Canned Crab Meat
The instructions we mentioned are enough for freezing canned crab meat correctly. But we have some extra tips for the best result.
Watch Out for Freezer Burn
Any food item placed in the freezer is vulnerable to freezer burn. Your crab meat may have the same problem if you notice these symptoms:
- Color change
- Grainy or dry texture
- Ice crystals on the inside of the bag
All of these symptoms can occur in lump crab meat. With its larger crab chunks, jumbo lump crab will have a more noticeable dry or gritty texture.
Choose the Right Container
The container plays vital in storing your food in the freezer. You can keep it in these containers to protect it and help it last longer:
- Ziploc smart snap container
- Hefty freezer bag
- Reusable freezer storage
How Long Can You Leave the Canned Crab Meat in the Freezer?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that canned crab meat can stay frozen for about two to three months. You can keep it in your freezer without sacrificing its freshness and texture.
It would be best to consume the meat within three months. After this time, the flavor and quality could drip. If left too long, your food will become inedible.
You can keep canned crab meat in your freezer forever as long as the temperature is always 0°F. If maintaining this temperature range is simple, feel free to store the meat for several months.
How to Tell If Canned Crab Meat Is Bad
Canned crab meat has a generally longer shelf life than fresh crab meat because of its pasteurized preservation. However, if you’re not careful, it will spoil.
So before cooking your frozen crab meat, please check out these signs of food spoilage:
- Appearance: The crab meat has formed a weird yellow or gray color.
- Smell: You can smell an intense odor of vinegar acid in the spoiled meat.
- Mold: Check for mold and other growths on the meat surface. Some may penetrate inside your food too.
Once you spot any sign of spoilage in your food, throw it away. Otherwise, you will suffer from food poisoning with the following symptoms:
- Mild fever
- Abdominal cramps
The experience can be worse, depending on how terrible your food has gone bad. So do not risk your life that way.
How to Thaw Frozen Canned Crab Meat
Freezing canned crab meat is important, but it will be equally crucial to thaw it properly. You can do it in three ways:
The best and safest method for defrosting frozen canned crab meat is refrigeration. Depending on how much meat you want to thaw, it might take a few hours or overnight.
Transfer the meat from your freezer to the refrigerator. Remember to put a plate or tray underneath to catch the water drips and keep your refrigerator clean.
It helps to take note of preparation instructions for your recipe and include the defrosting time in it. Then, you won’t leave your fridge empty when it’s time for cooking.
If you forget to thaw your frozen crab meat beforehand or don’t have enough to do it overnight, cold water baths will save your day.
All you need to do is to submerge the bag of crab meat in cold water for 30 minutes or more. Keep replacing the water until the meat softens. This method helps keep the temperature up slowly, making your food safe to consume.
You may defrost frozen crab meat in the microwave. Don’t forget to put it on a microwave-safe tray and set the microwave to its thawing mode.
The microwave and cold water will help you defrost frozen canned crab meat faster. However, if you use one of these two methods, cook the meat immediately and never put it back in the freezer. Otherwise, you’ll have a chunk of crab flesh that tastes terrible.
Read more: Crispy Rice With Crab Mayo
Is Canned Crab Meat Healthy?
Crabs, whether canned or fresh, are high in protein and hence have numerous health advantages. Since it is gluten-free, you may include this sea delicacy in your diet programs.
Furthermore, canned crab meat always lasts longer and costs less than freshly caught crabs. Storing canned products is also easier.
What Is the Best Way to Freeze Canned Crab Meat?
It depends on if you are working with opened or unopened cans. If you haven’t opened the can, you can put it in a bag and vacuum seal it.
If you deal with leftover crab meat in the can, transfer the meat to another bag and fill some milk in the bag.
After preparing the bag, place it in the freezer’s safe corner. This spot should be away from pressure.
Should I Freeze Canned Crab Meat?
Yes. Freezing canned crab meat offers many benefits, such as:
- You can store your food for up to three months.
- The quality of your crab meat doesn’t change much after the storage period.
Can you freeze canned crab meat? Yes, both unopened and opened. It can last for months there without losing its texture and flavor. But remember to check for any signs of spoilage before cooking it.
Hopefully, you will find this guide helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!