4 Ways to Save Mussels

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4 Ways to Save Mussels
4 Ways to Save Mussels

Fresh mussels are delicious and easy to cook. To keep them fresh, tasty and safe to eat, they need to be stored correctly. You can keep mussels raw for a few days in the fridge or up to three months in the fridge. You can also refrigerate or freeze them for later use after cooking them.


Method 1 of 4: Storing live mussels in the refrigerator

Store Mussels Step 1

Step 1. Place mussels in a bowl or tray

When you bring home live mussels, you'll have to prepare them for storage immediately. Take the mussels out of the wrapper they came in and place them on a bowl or tray. Don't worry about organizing them. Leaving them stacked in the container won't hurt them.

  • If you prefer, you can store the mussels in a colander on a plate. This allows the liquids that come out of them to be drained.
  • Do not store mussels in a sealed jar or plastic bag. They need something open so they can breathe.
Store Mussels Step 2

Step 2. Cover the container with a clean, damp cloth or paper towels

This helps the mussels retain moisture without suffocating them. Do not put water in the container they are in, as this can kill them and make them spoil.

You can keep them cold by placing a plastic zipper bag filled with ice over the mussels, under the cloth or paper towel. Don't let the ice come into direct contact with the mussels

Store Mussels Step 3

Step 3. Place the mussels on the bottom shelf of the fridge

Put them in a place where they won't be able to release water and wet other things that are in the fridge. The bottom of the fridge is usually the coldest, especially at the bottom, so leaving the mussels there will also help them stay cool.

Be careful not to let the mussels start to freeze, as this would kill them. The best temperature range is between 4 and 8 °C

Store Mussels Step 4

Step 4. See how they are every day and drain any liquid that forms

Mussels will release a small amount of water each day. If you don't leave them in a container that drains the water on its own, such as a colander, this liquid will accumulate in the pot. Pour in whatever liquid is available each day to keep the mussels fresh and healthy for as long as possible.

If you store mussels in a colander, empty the tray or plate you keep under it regularly so that no liquid accumulates, after all, it can overflow and dirty your refrigerator

Store Mussels Step 5

Step 5. Store mussels for three or four days at most

If you bought them fresh, they will stay alive for a few days as long as they are stored correctly. Ideally, cook them within two days of purchase.

Throw away any mussels that have been in the fridge for more than four days

Store Mussels Step 6

Step 6. Examine the mussels before cooking to ensure they are still fresh

When it's time to cook the mussels, evaluate them carefully. Look for broken shells and tap any open shells to see if they close. Mussels should have a light, salty aroma, just like the sea.

Wait to clean and peel the mussels until it's time to cook, as this process can kill them

Method 2 of 4: Freezing live mussels

Store Mussels Step 7

Step 1. Clean and peel the mussels before freezing them

Put the mussels in a bowl filled with cold water and scrub them with a wire brush to get rid of sand and barnacles. Then, get a pair of scissors to cut the hard fibers that keep coming out of the shells.

  • While cleaning the mussels, see if any of them appear to be dead or damaged and throw them away.
  • Cleaning and peeling the mussels will likely kill them, so don't do this until it's time to take them to the freezer.
Store Mussels Step 8

Step 2. Freeze the mussels in a plastic bag or freezer-safe pot

Choose a heavy-duty plastic bag for freezing food or a freezer-safe container and place the mussels in it however you like. No need to worry about scattering or tidying them up. Get as much air as you can from the plastic bag or pot and place it in the freezer.

Note the date on the plastic bag or jar using a pilot pen to find out how long the mussels have been frozen before using them

Store Mussels Step 9

Step 3. Use mussels within three months of freezing

If you keep mussels at -18°C they will stay fresh and safe to eat for up to three months. After that, their quality and flavor will start to decline, but they will be safe to eat if they have been properly stored and kept at a constant temperature.

Mussels that have been frozen for several months can be squishy after cooking

Store Mussels Step 10

Step 4. Cook the frozen mussels for up to two days after thawing them

Once you want to eat the mussels, you can defrost them in the fridge overnight. Another option is to place them in a bowl of cold water for an hour or so. After defrosting, you can keep them in the refrigerator (safely food) for up to two days before cooking and consuming.

Do not freeze the mussels again after thawing them. This will drastically reduce their quality and the risk of bacterial contamination will be greater

Method 3 of 4: Preserving Cooked Mussels in the Freezer

Store Mussels Step 11

Step 1. Take the mussels out of the shells

Once the mussels are cooked, set aside the ones you want to freeze. Carefully open the shells and remove the meat from inside. You can remove the meat with a spoon or knife. It will come out easily if the mussels are cooked properly.

  • If you've just cooked the mussels, wait until they cool down before taking them out of the shells or they'll be difficult to handle without burning your fingers.
  • If any mussels are still unopened after cooking, you can run a knife between the shell halves and gently separate them.
  • Contrary to popular belief, it's safe to eat mussels that are still unopened after cooking, as long as you've cooked them fresh!
Store Mussels Step 12

Step 2. Place the mussels in a freezer-safe, leak-proof pot

Choose a sturdy pot with a lid that seals well. You can also use a plastic bag to freeze food, but choose one that seals well and will hold the mussels and broth without leaking.

Arrange the mussels inside the pot as you like. You just need to spread them out enough for the broth to cover them

Store Mussels Step 13

Step 3. Cover the mussels with the broth you used to cook them

After placing the mussels into the pot, pour in a sufficient amount of broth that formed while they were cooking to cover them. this will preserve the flavor of the mussels.

Avoid accidents by waiting for the broth to cool before pouring it into the pot

Store Mussels Step 14

Step 4. Store the sealed pot in the freezer for up to four months

Once the broth is poured, close the pot tightly with the lid or seal the plastic bag tightly. Write down the date it froze on the pot or plastic bag using a pilot pen. Cooked mussels will maintain quality for up to four months.

After four months, the mussels will become soft or lose some of their flavor

Method 4 of 4: Storing Cooked Mussels in the Refrigerator

Store Mussels Step 15

Step 1. Place the cooked mussels inside a pot

Cooked mussels will best retain their characteristics inside a sealed pot. Choose a pot that has a lid that seals tightly, or place the cooked mussels in a resealable plastic bag. If you like, you can add the broth that was formed by cooking them together.

Store Mussels Step 16

Step 2. Store the mussels in the refrigerator for a maximum of four days

Once cooked, your mussels should be kept fresh in the fridge for one to four days. Throw away any mussels that are left over after four days.

Before eating cooked mussels, see if they have an unpleasant smell or sticky texture. These are signs that they have gone bad and should not be eaten

Store Mussels Step 17

Step 3. Keep cooked mussels away from any raw seafood

Avoid contaminating cooked mussels with bacteria or dirt by keeping them away from other raw seafood. Always wash your hands and utensils with warm water after handling raw seafood.


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