Unlocking the Secret: Can You Freeze Scallops? Everything You Should Know

Can you freeze scallops? – All you need to know

Seafood lovers know that the flavors and possibilities of the seafood world are unparalleled. From lobster and crab to clams and shrimp, there are countless delicious choices to enjoy. Among these options, scallops stand out as a versatile and easy-to-prepare seafood dish.
But what if you have some scallops on hand and you’re not sure if you’ll be able to use them in the next few days? Can you freeze scallops to keep them for longer? The answer is yes! Freezing scallops is a simple process that can help you keep them safe and fresh until you’re ready to cook them.

The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Scallops

Scallops are in the clam and mollusk category and are small, round, and shell-less when purchased. The edible part of a scallop is the white abductor muscle, which is responsible for opening and closing the shell. In addition, there is a bright orange section called the coral, which adds flavor to the scallop.
When it comes to storing and freezing scallops, the process is relatively simple. Here are the steps to ensure proper storage:

  1. Check for quality: Before freezing scallops, make sure they are white and bright with no signs of browning or discoloration. It’s important to buy quality scallops to ensure they don’t spoil quickly.
  2. Refrigerate before freezing: If you’re not using the scallops within 1-2 days, place them in the refrigerator. You don’t need to keep them in water. Wrap them and let them chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. For best results, use within 24 hours or freeze.
  3. Freezing process: Rinse the scallops if desired, but it’s not necessary. Place the scallops in a heavy-duty freezer bag or sealable freezer-safe container. Label, date and seal the package for storage. Store the scallops in the coldest part of your freezer, preferably away from the freezer door. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Using Scallops After Freezing

When you’re ready to use your frozen scallops, it’s important to thaw them properly. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Refrigerator thawing: The best method is to place the frozen scallops in the refrigerator the night before you plan to use them. Let them thaw slowly in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Defrosting water: If you need to thaw the scallops quickly, you can place them in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes. Avoid thawing at room temperature as this may cause spoilage.

Once the scallops are thawed, pat them dry if you rinsed them before cooking. Excess moisture can interfere with the cooking process and prevent proper browning. Some chefs recommend soaking scallops in milk to tenderize them and remove any fishy odor or flavor.

Preparing and Using Scallops

Scallops can be prepared in a variety of ways, including sautéing, grilling, baking, or broiling. Cooking time is short, usually less than 10 minutes.
Searing scallops on the stovetop is a popular method, resulting in a golden brown exterior. If cooked by other methods, look for signs that the scallops are breaking slightly at the edges and turning opaque white.
Here are some delicious ways to cook and serve scallops:

  • Lemon Garlic Butter
  • Garlic Basil Butter
  • Scallop Risotto
  • Scallops in pasta
  • Leche de Tigre
  • Grilled Scallop Tacos
  • Salads
  • Hazelnut Crusted Scallops
  • Sweet and sour grilled scallops
  • Baked scallop au gratin

Scallops have a mild flavor that makes them perfect for incorporating various herbs, spices and sauces. Avoid overcooking scallops and remember to use within 1-2 days of purchase or freeze for optimal freshness.

Bottom Line

Freezing scallops is a convenient way to preserve their quality and extend their shelf life. By following proper storage and thawing methods, you can enjoy delicious scallop dishes even when they’re not in season or readily available. Whether sauteed, grilled, or baked, scallops are a versatile and flavorful addition to any seafood lover’s menu.


Can scallops be frozen safely?

Yes, scallops can be safely frozen if you don’t plan to use them within 1-2 days. Freezing is an effective way to preserve their freshness and flavor.

How long can I keep scallops in the freezer?

Scallops can be frozen for up to 3 months. It’s important to label and date them correctly for easy identification and to ensure they are used within a reasonable timeframe.

Should I rinse scallops before freezing them?

It is not necessary to rinse scallops before freezing, but it can be done if desired. Some chefs prefer to rinse scallops to remove any debris or excess moisture before freezing.

What is the best way to thaw frozen scallops?

The best way to thaw frozen scallops is to place them in the refrigerator the night before you plan to use them. Alternatively, you can thaw them by placing them in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes. Avoid thawing scallops at room temperature to prevent spoilage.

Can I refreeze thawed scallops?

It is generally not recommended to refreeze thawed scallops. Once thawed, scallops should be cooked or used immediately. Refreezing may affect their texture and quality.

How can I tell if frozen scallops are spoiled?

If frozen scallops have developed an off odor, unusual texture, or show signs of freezer burn, it’s best to discard them. Trust your senses and use your judgment when determining the quality of frozen scallops. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to eating seafood.