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Can I freeze a trout without gutting it first?

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I’d like to know if I can freeze a fish without gutting it. It would really help to just freeze my catch and then just ‘gut on demand’ instead of gutting each fish as soon as I return from fishing. Any thoughts?

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3 Answers

  1. Adam on Dec 20, 2012 Reply

    I really wouldn’t recommend freezing a fish with it’s internal organs still in tact. The problem comes when thawing the fish – the internal organs like the liver and intestines will start thawing quicker than other parts of the fish – so bacteria win these organs will become active before the fish is completely thawed. This could end up making you very sick. Rather gut and rinse your fish, then freeze it as quickly as possible.

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  2. George Flooks on Dec 20, 2012 Reply

    It’s always best to completely clean a fish before freezing it. The intestines will contain bacteria that can contaminate the rest of the flesh, both before the fish is completely frozen and while it is defrosting. Cleanliness is of paramount importance when dealing with food.

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  3. Excelsior on Dec 21, 2012 Reply

    Don’t freeze it before gutting it, man, you’re just asking for trouble if you do. It’s true that freezing the trout probably won’t cause any problems, because it’ll still be fresh. But the problem is that it’s got to thaw out before you cook it and eat it.

    Even thawing it by cooking it, it’ll go through a long “warm period” when those fish guts will be roiling with bacteria. And even if all the bacteria end up dead after cooking, which they will, they’ll still have released all their toxins into the fish and you might get real sick from eating it.

    I’d suggest taking the heads off, removing the gills, and gutting them completely before freezing them. Take off most the stuff you’re not going to eat anyway makes the most sense.

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