Can You Freeze Trout?


Trout season is a great time to sit on the water and enjoy some time with a rod in your hand. Not only can fishing be relaxing, but it can also be cost-effective too. 

You could end up catching a few night’s dinners over a single day of fishing. Unfortunately, fresh fish does go bad rather quickly; if you were to catch a lot of trout, how do you preserve them? 

Can you freeze trout and enjoy it at a later date?

3 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers
3 Best Kayak Fishing Coolers
You can freeze trout so it lasts until you are ready for it. These are a few different methods you can use when you freeze your trout. 

  • Lemon Glaze Method: All you need is ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 ¾ cups water, unflavored gelatin, and trout. Mix the lemon juice and the water together. Dissolve the packet of unflavored gelatin in ½ cup of the lemon-water mixture. Bring the remaining 1 ½ cups of lemon water to a boil. Stir the gelatin mixture into the boiling lemon water. Cool the mixture to room temperature. After the mixture is cool, dip the fish into the lemon-gelatin glaze. Wrap the fish in air-tight packaging, label it, and freeze it. 
  • Ice Glaze Method: Place your trout on a cookie sheet in the freezer to flash freeze it. As soon as it is frozen through, about an hour or two, dip the trout in near-freezing ice water. Place the wet fish back into the freezer until a hardened glaze has formed. Take the trout out of the freezer and repeat the process until it is completely covered in ice. Wrap the trout in air-tight packaging, label it, and freeze it. 

These methods will not only allow your trout to remain in the freezer for up to three months but will also preserve the taste and texture of the trout as well. 

To see the most popular freezer containers just click here. 

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Does Freezing Trout Affect Its Taste? 

When you choose to freeze fresh trout, you stop the spoiling process. Freezing your trout will help slow down the activity of the enzymes in the fish. 

These enzymes continue to work even after the trout is dead, and cold temperatures prevent that from happening. While freezing is a great option to keep your trout preserved until you are ready to eat it, is it worth it? 

Will freezing the trout affect its taste or texture? 

The taste and texture of the trout after having been frozen will depend solely on how the trout were treated before being frozen. If you follow these steps, your trout should not change in taste or texture just from being in the freezer. 

  • Clean and gut the trout as soon as possible. If you intend to be on your boat for a while and cleaning and gutting isn’t an option, place the trout in a cooler full of ice. Be sure that your cooler has a false bottom or vent that allows the melted ice water to drain away from the fish. If the fish is allowed to swim around in the ice water, it will end up changing the texture and flavor of the trout. If there is nowhere for the melting ice to go, drain the excess water out every few hours to avoid any change in texture and taste in the future. 
  •  Wash the trout. Before you begin the gutting process, it is important to remove any slime or dirt that is on the trout. Any dirt or slime that is not removed before gutting, can end up ruining the taste of your meat. 
  • Descale and gut the trout. After cleaning the trout thoroughly, move on to the gutting phase. Though trout scales may be small, they do still need to be removed. You can remove the scales with the dull side of your knife by scraping the trout from tail to head. After you have removed all the scales, it’s time to remove the entrails. Cut the entire length of the trout from the vent to the head to properly remove the entrails. After the entrails are removed, you can cut off the head. Remove the large back fin by cutting along the sides of the fin. Do not trim the fins as this will leave bones in the trout. 
  • Wash the trout. After you have properly gutted your trout, it’s time to wash it again. Run the trout under cold water until you feel it is clean and good to go.
  • Place your trout in the freezer. After you fish is all clean again, you can place it in the freezer. If you are freezing several trout, it is best to place parchment paper between each fish for easier separation when you are ready to cook. 

Can You Freeze Trout With Its Guts Inside? 

After a long relaxing trip fishing, the last thing you want to do is go home and take care of the fish. You have unpacking and laundry to do. You have to get your mindset back and be ready to go to work tomorrow. 

The last thing you might want to do is gut and prepare your trout for the freezer. It would be so much easier if you could just place the whole trout in the freezer and gut it later. 

Is that an option? Can you freeze your trout with all the guts still inside? 

You actually can place your whole trout, guts and all in the freezer…if you bled it properly after catching it. If your trout has been bled properly, you can keep the whole trout in your freezer. 

If the trout was not bled, this means that blood is coagulating inside the trout. To avoid any discoloration of the trout meat, it is best to bleed the trout before placing it in any container. 

How Long Can You Keep Trout In The Fridge Before Freezing?

Fishing out on the lake can be quite relaxing. However, when you catch some trout, you’re left with a few options. 

You can gut and eat the trout for dinner that evening. You can choose to place it on ice for a few days before it goes bad. Or, you can also choose to catch and release the trout. 

If you plan on bringing any trout back from your fishing trip, how long will they last in the fridge before freezing? 

Trout will last in the fridge for two days before you need to freeze them. If you don’t have access to a fridge, the trout need to be kept cool at 40ºF or less. 

Trout will no longer be edible if they have not been stored properly in those first two days. Your ice chest can be a great option to keep your fish in until you make it home; as long as the temperature doesn’t rise above 40ºF.   

Final Thoughts

When the next trout season comes around, you can preserve all the trout you catch in your freezer. Be sure to follow the steps for preserving the taste and texture of your frozen trout as well. 

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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