If you’re a seafood lover, chances are good that you’ve thawed shrimp in your refrigerator before. If so, you’re probably wondering how long thawed shrimp last in the fridge before they need to be cooked or thrown out.
The good news is that cooked shrimp (or any seafood) can stay in the refrigerator for several days after it’s been defrosted. But don’t go putting all those leftovers into one container and calling it a day!
There are some important things to know about storing thawed shrimp properly if you want them to last as long as possible before going bad or getting freezer-burned.
Can You Refrigerate Thawed Shrimp?
If you’re wondering how long thawed shrimp can last in the fridge, the answer is yes! In fact, it’s best if you do store your fresh shrimp this way.
Shrimp is a delicate seafood that can freeze well but the flavor could become less intense and the texture could become mushy and rubbery if not frozen properly.
If you are buying frozen shrimp for later use (like making gumbo), it is best if eaten within 2 days of being defrosted at room temperature or 24 hours after being thawed in cold water.
However, if you have already cooked some fresh shrimp or bought them from the store and need to store them for later use, then putting them in an airtight container with some ice cubes will help keep them fresher longer by slowing down bacterial growth while keeping out oxygen.
How Long Can Thawed Shrimp Stay in the Refrigerator?
The answer to this depends on how you thawed the shrimp and whether they’re cooked or raw.
If you thaw the shrimp slowly in the fridge for a few hours, then you can keep them in there for up to 2 days before cooking them. This is the recommendation of the USDA.
Microwave or Cold Water Thaw
If you thaw the shrimp in the microwave or via a cold water bath, you need to cook them right away. By the time your shrimp reaches 40 degrees F (which is easy under these two conditions) any harmful bacteria can start to multiply, and quickly.
Thawed, cooked shrimp can last up to 4 days in the fridge if stored properly.
How Do You Properly Store Thawed Shrimp in the Refrigerator?
The best way to store thawed shrimp is in the refrigerator. You should never leave shrimp out at room temperature or refreeze it once it has been defrosted.
Shrimp should be stored in a sealed container, either plastic or glass (but not metal). If you use plastic, make sure to remove as much air as possible from around your seafood so that there isn’t any chance of contamination by harmful bacteria or odors.
If an airtight container isn’t available, then wrap the shrimp tightly in your favorite plastic wrap.
Thawed shrimp is a great food to have on hand, but you’ll want to make sure that it lasts as long as possible before going bad.
You can store thawed shrimp in the refrigerator for up to 4 days if it’s properly wrapped and stored in an airtight container.
If you’re looking for a longer shelf life than this, keeping it frozen may be your best option!