Catfish Shelf Life: How Long Does Catfish Last?

What is the average shelf life of catfish? How long does catfish last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store catfish to increase its shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:

Shelf Life of Catfish

Fresh1-2 Days6-8 Months
Cooked2-3 Days2-3 Months

Catfish is a delicious source of protein that can help reach your weight loss or maintenance goals. Catfish has a shelf life of about one to two days. This kind of fish is highly perishable, and the most important thing to learn is how to tell fresh fish from not so fresh fish. Catfish whether bought whole or in the form of fillets should have a rich color. Vibrant flesh is a good sign that the fish is fresh. If the pieces have liquid pooling at the bottom of it, don’t worry as long the liquid is not milky a simple wash is enough to use the fish for cooking.

Purchasing Catfish

The best place to buy catfish or fresh seafood, in general, are the places where a lot of buying is taking place on a daily basis. There are still chances of finding rotting fish but way less likely. While buying a whole fish, you need to look for clear, metallic, and clean skin. The gills should be deep red and smell like clean water or brine. A foul smell is an indication of rot. When buying fillets, the flesh should be bright, and there shouldn’t be any noticeable aromas.

Storing Catfish

Catfish can be stored in the fridge and freezer. If you plan on storing the fish in the fridge remember to consume it within two days, otherwise it will not be safe for consumption. The higher the fat content in fish the faster they spoil. A fresh catch can last up to three days. There are two methods to store Catfish in the freezer, wrap the packaging the fish has come in, in heavy duty foil. The second is placing the fish into a ziplock bag and adding an inch of water in it. Zip the bag – not completely – and press to remove the maximum amount of air before locking the bag up. With proper wrapping, the fish can stay fresh for up to six months.

How to Handle Catfish

Before cooking, the fish need a good rinse. Even carrying it in a plastic bag can leave it open to germs present on the surface of the bag. If the pieces of fish are frozen, thaw them at room temperature. The good and bad thing about fish is that very little heat is needed to cook the fish. In most cases, overcooking can ruin the taste of the meat.

Cooking Catfish

One of the most important things to consider is accidentally burning the tender flesh on a fish. Very little heat is required to cook seafood. Using the oil can lead to the skin being burnt to a crisp. To avoid this try substituting oil with butter. Catfish needs five to seven minutes on each side to cook through keeping the heat on medium. For larger pieces of fish don’t let the layer of oil in the pan get too thin as this will lead to the fish having a burnt taste.