How to Freeze Fresh Tuna

If you’ve found yourself with far too much tuna, or you bought a bunch early before a dinner party, you’re probably wondering if you can freeze it to make it last a bit longer.

Well, you can absolutely freeze tuna. The best way to freeze fresh tuna is to first dip it in saltwater, wrap the tuna tightly in plastic wrap, then seal the tuna in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. 

Read on to find out more about how to freeze fresh tuna. It isn’t like freezing other meat, like pork.

Can you freeze fresh tuna?

Fresh tuna absolutely can be frozen. It lends itself well to freezing, unlike other types of fish. 

In fact, in order to make sushi – which will require raw tuna – it’s frozen first in order to kill off harmful bacteria.

The texture isn’t going to be affected when you freeze tuna properly, however, there can be a stronger fishy flavor afterward once it’s been thawed.

How do you store fresh tuna safely?

The first thing you need to do when you’re going to freeze fresh tuna is to rinse it off under the tap and then pat it dry.

Wrap the tuna securely in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the coldest part of your freezer.

If you need a little extra chill, you can make yourself an ice block to freeze the tuna in. This process is very simple.

Put the fish into a ziplock bag and cover it with water. Squeeze out all the air, then pop it into the freezer. The extra layer of ice directly around the tuna will keep it fresh a little bit longer.

How long does fresh tuna last?

Fresh tuna, just like most seafood, isn’t gonna last very long.

In the fridge, you can store it up to 2 days – but it’s best to use your fresh tuna immediately to avoid potential food spoilage and the growth of harmful bacteria.

When frozen, this extends the potential shelf life of the tuna quite significantly. It can be safely stored for up to 3 months without any quality loss.

How to freeze fresh tuna?

In order to freeze tuna effectively, you’ll first need to soak the fresh tuna in a solution of salt and water. Leave it for up to 5 minutes, before withdrawing and patting it dry with a paper towel.

Once the tuna is dry, wrap it securely with aluminum foil or ideally plastic wrap. 

After the tuna is wrapped, place it into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag, then directly into the freezer.

If you want a little extra security, you can make a mini ice block around the tuna by putting the sealed bag into a shallow dish of water, then freezing that all together. This will give a more effective and even freeze, and won’t risk thawing out a bit if your freezer isn’t that cold.

How to thaw frozen tuna?

Thankfully, thawing your tuna after it’s been frozen is just as easy a process as freezing it was.

Ideally, you’re going to want to let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. You can also thaw it a bit more quickly by placing the Ziploc bag directly into some warm water to defrost in the sink. 

It’s suggested to avoid thawing in the microwave, as the delicate meat of the tuna will likely begin cooking instead of simply defrosting – ruining the texture once you do cook it.

Final thoughts

It’s not too difficult a process to freeze fresh tuna, and in fact, it can prolong the life of it quite significantly. Tuna can only safely last about 2 days in the refrigerator, so do yourself a favor and freeze it if you’re not going to be using it immediately. This will protect you from food spoilage and bacteria growth.