Thawing Flash-Frozen, Vacuum-Packed Scallops

Recently we received a request for information on how to thaw our scallops a little faster than overnight in the fridge. We know: sometimes you just want a taste of scallops at the end of a long day, and don’t really want to wait ‘til tomorrow!

Here’s the quick answer:

One: open the package to allow air inside. Cut just below the vacuum seal.
Two: place the open package in cold water for a couple of hours with the cut opening above the water level.
Three: prepare with your favorite recipe, and
Serve to your favorite people!

Here’s our updated discussion on thawing vacuum-packed scallops.

Question: I tasted your scallops at (a recent cooking demonstration and tasting event) last week and bought a frozen packet because they were so good.  However, nowhere in your literature is the recommended way to thaw them!  We just left them in the fridge for 24 hours and that worked fine but I’m hoping there is a faster way?

Answer: We’re so glad you enjoyed the scallops, and it’s always great to get feedback from folks who have tried them!

For thawing frozen seafood, the FDA does recommend thawing under refrigeration as the safest way: https://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm077331.htm

“Thaw frozen seafood gradually by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. If you have to thaw seafood quickly, either seal it in a plastic bag and immerse it in cold water or — if the food will be cooked immediately thereafter — microwave it on the “defrost” setting and stop the defrost cycle while the fish is still icy but pliable. ”

That being said, as you found, overnight in the fridge is not always the most convenient way. As mentioned on our label, when thawing vacuum-packed seafood (or meat, for that matter), it is particularly important that you open the package to allow air inside. Having done that, you can place the frozen scallops or the opened package inside a clean plastic bag, and set that in a bowl of cold water for up to two hours. With something as small as scallops, they will likely be thawed before the two hours are up.

Hope this helps, and that you’ll enjoy our scallops again!

Additional Thoughts: Please note that the FDA mention of using a microwave for defrosting was applied to “frozen seafood” in general, not specifically to scallops. We haven’t ever tried defrosting our scallops in the microwave, as we generally avoid doing anything that might result in our scallops turning even the slightest bit rubbery. FDA does say to remove “while the fish is still icy but pliable,” but that sounds to us more applicable to fillets of fish than to scallops of slightly different sizes.

So, remember to:

One: open the package to allow air inside.
Two: place the open package in cold water for a couple of hours.
Three: prepare with your favorite recipe, and
Serve to your favorite people!

P.S. We’d love to hear what works—or doesn’t, for you, and how you like to cook Cobscook Bay scallops. Please let us know at: contact@cobscookmarket.com

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