Home Fishing Tips & Advice How to Vacuum Seal Fish

How to Vacuum Seal Fish

If you have the right equipment, vacuum sealing fish is incredibly easy and an effective way to extend your catch’s life. All you need is properly cleaned and gutted fish fillets and a well-rated vacuum seal device along with the plastic built for it. Most fish can be vacuum sealed as long as they are prepared correctly.

What is the Purpose of Vacuum Sealing Fish?

When you vacuum seal fish, there’s seven different benefits fisherman greatly enjoy utilizing. The first benefit is that your fish will last longer. Extending the preservability of any type of food prevents waste and gives the Fisher more time to eat their catch. The second benefit to vacuum sealing is that the store to fish will last longer in the freezer, and it will not be destroyed by freezer burn. Vacuum sealing prevents any air pockets from affecting the fish or any type of food inside the seal. So, even the fish with the most delicate types of meat will be protected from air pockets that can damage the food.

The third benefit of vacuuming your catch or any type of meat is that when it comes time to defrost it, you will not have a big mess to clean up. Defrosting fish might cause extra juices or water from within the meat to leak out and get bacteria over the counter or tabletop. But vacuum-sealed fish does not allow any liquids to escape, so your cooking space can stay nice and tidy.

Equipment Needed to Vacuum Seal Fish

So if the benefits we had talked about to vacuum sealing fish intrigue you and you are now interested in purchasing a vacuum seal machine, here are some other equipment you should buy.

Vacuum Seal Device

No longer do you have to buy this piece of equipment, a specialty store, or a restaurant supply shop. Because of the effectiveness of vacuum sealing, they have become more popular within the public realm. These devices can now be found on Amazon, Best Buy, Macy’s, and on multiple shops on the internet. Watch out for how complex these machines are and look for devices that home cooks use. You can also search which vacuum seals are used by fishermen.

Vacuum Seal Plastic

Not every vacuum seal plastic matches every device. But the vacuum seal that you purchase will tell you the type of plastic that it uses and may include some so you can quickly use it for reference and start vacuum sealing your food. If your device uses plastic bags, then you can only purchase plastic bags.

Steps on How to Properly Vacuum Seal a Fish

First, clean, gut, and carve the fish into appropriate fillet sizes. You cannot throw a whole face into a vacuum seal and be lazy. If you are quick with filleting, then it will not take a lot of time.

Second, you must squeeze out any juices or liquids that are trapped within the fillet meat. Performing this step is easy. All you must do is take the paper towel or napkin and gently place pressure on the fish. You can also use your hand to squeeze out any liquids. Do not squeeze the fish too hard, or you can damage the meat.

The third step is to bring out the plastic you’ll use to vacuum seal the fish. Depending on the machine that you have, use must to place it into a plastic bag and then place the open side into the seal, so they can be sucked out, and the seal can be finalized. Or you must place the fish in between two pieces of plastic and set it into the machine where the fish will be sealed on all sides. Always keep the instruction manual to your vacuum seal device in case you run into any trouble, or the machine does not seal for some reason.

Fish that are Best to Vacuum Seal

It may impress you when we tell you that vacuum sealing is the best way to preserve any type of fish you store in the freezer. Even fish with delicate meat like sand trout and tilapia can last for weeks. Without this vacuum sealing method, the meat of these fish would not last at all in freezing temperatures.

Here are just a few types of popular fish that you can definitely vacuum seal:

  • Salmon
  • Swordfish
  • Trout
  • Haddock
  • Tilapia
  • Cod
  • Sea bass
  • Tuna
  • Catfish 
  • Halibut

As long as you properly clean and carve your catch, and make sure there are absolutely no air pockets or liquids within the vacuum seal, pretty much any fish can be stored away.

Extra Tips for Successfully Vacuum Sealing Fish

Vacuum sealing fish makes prepping and cooking your meals easier than ever, but there are some tips that you can do to simplify the vacuum sealing process.

First, you can season your fish before you vacuum seal it. This removes any prep work that you will have to do when it’s time to cook your fish. Just allow the pieces to thaw and then place them on the stove or grill! We suggest you season your fish with spices. If you want to season your fish in a light sauce, let it sit for about an hour and then gently wipe off the sauce before putting a vacuum sealing it.

Another important tip is to mark every piece of fish that you seal. If you’re not planning on eating your fish for weeks to months, you may forget what you caught. A few quick marks with a permanent marker can help you remember what you have stored in your freezer. Our article, “Can You Freeze Fresh Fish?“, answers many of the important questions about freezing fish effectively.

Conclusion

If you are a particularly skilled fisherman and usually keep far more than you can eat whenever you go fishing, then vacuum sealing your fish can provide you with summer fish during cold winter nights. Vacuum sealing also cuts down on unnecessary waste. If you are paid to catch fish for others, then vacuum sealing will preserve the freshness of the food.

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Growing up on the south shore of Long Island, Chum Charlie has always had a passion for fishing. His favorite fish to catch is a striped bass and his favorite bait to use is bunker. Off the water, he enjoys blogging and sharing his favorite fishing tips & tricks that he has learned over the years.