The Best Ways to Keep Shellfish Fresh

Oysters, mussels, and clams are shellfish that make for tantalizing appetizers and main courses. Knowing the best ways to keep shellfish fresh is imperative. The great payoff is that you can enjoy a delicious lean protein packed with health benefits. Shellfish have a short shelf life. So, starting with undeniably fresh shellfish means shopping at City Fish Market. We’ve been perfecting seafood freshness for nearly a century! The following are essential tips to keep shellfish fresh once you get home with them.

cooking with fresh oysters in milford western ctBest Ways to Keep Shellfish Fresh

There are some similarities to oysters, clams, and mussels, but it’s important to understand their differences. The time frame for shellfish to stay fresh once you bring them home differs for each. It’s all about keeping them alive until you are ready to cook them, and details follow.

How to Keep Oysters Fresh

It helps when you know about shellfish because instructions to keep them fresh will make more sense. Oysters can only be kept fresh if they are alive. When oysters have been opened, the organs and liquor are exposed to air, and they are “dead oysters.” These must be preserved and eaten within a few hours. 

When oysters are still alive, it is possible to keep them fresh for up to 2 weeks if they were harvested recently and are properly stored. Keeping them cold and limiting the exposure of oysters to air are the primary factors for keeping them fresh. Tips follow to keep oysters fresh after they are purchased:

  • Place them in a large bowl or tray while making sure they aren’t on top of each other.
  • Cover them with a damp cloth or towel.
  • Place them in the refrigerator between 1°C and 4°C.
  • Do not submerge oysters in water or store them in a bag or sealed container.
  • Healthy oysters should stay shut or snap shut when you touch them. Discard any with broken or loose shells.

The Best Way to Keep Mussels Fresh

Depending on when they were harvested, mussels can be kept fresh for up to 5 days. We recommend eating mussels within 1 to 2 days after purchase, however. Quick and easy tips for keeping mussels fresh:

  • Place the mussels in a mesh bag or loosely in a bowl so that they can breathe.
  • Cover them with a damp cloth.
  • Keep them in the refrigerator between 1°C and 4°C.
  • Do not place mussels in a sealed container because they will die.
  • If stored on ice, be sure the melted ice can drain because mussels cannot be submerged.
  • Any mussels that don’t close when tapped and partially open mussels should be discarded.
  • If any mussels smell off or smell “fishy,” discard them.

How to Keep Clams Fresh

Clams can be preserved for the briefest time. Eat them within 48 hours. Tips to keep clams fresh follow:

  • Keep clams in a bowl or pan. They need to breathe. So, keep them exposed to air.
  • Cover the clams with a damp cloth.
  • Store them in a refrigerator, but be sure to eat clams within 2 days.

freshest seafood in Marlborough CTVisit City Fish for the Freshest Shellfish

City Fish Market has the freshest shellfish as well as a seemingly endless variety of other fresh seafood. Preparing delectable clam, oyster, and mussel recipes is easy when you use the best ways to keep shellfish fresh. We are also the place for live Maine lobsters, shrimp, crabs, scallops, sport fish, white meat fish (such as cod, flounder, and swordfish), dark-meat fish (including red sockeye salmon, Pacific snapper, ocean perch, and Boston Pollock), and more. 

Stop by City Fish Market at 884 Silas Deane Hwy in Wethersfield CT for all your seafood recipes. For delivery, call 860-522-3129 or fill out our online form

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