Whitefish Shelf Life: How Long Does Whitefish Last?

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

Shelf Life of Whitefish

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

Like all other fish, the shelf life of whitefish increases with proper storage conditions. While buying whitefish, you will see it has a best before the date on it; it is given for the refrigerator. You can put the fish in the freezer before that date ends to extend its shelf life. If frozen properly, white fish can be stored for 6 months without compromising on its freshness.

In the refrigerator, the fish can be kept fresh for 2-4 days. The bacteria in the fish grow rapidly when it is not stored in a cool, airtight place. So if you are planning to cook the whitefish within two days, then keep it in the fridge, otherwise freeze it and thaw it before cooking.

Purchasing Whitefish:

The tip to buying a good fresh whitefish is using your eyes first and then your nose. The qualities of a fresh whitefish are bright transparent eyes, transparent slime on the body, red gills, firm flesh and non-flaky scales.

If you see a yellowish slime on the fish body, pale gills or sunken eyes, then this surely means the fish is not fresh. When buying steaks rather than whole fish, look for a fresh ocean smell. If the fish smells very fishy, then it is certainly not fresh. Moreover, the meat should be translucent.

Storing Whitefish:

While storing whitefish if you keep its head on, the shelf life will increase. Similar to trout, whitefish should be gutted before storing or starved before catching. Non-gutted whitefish can hardly last one day before getting stale. It should be kept in frozen conditions to get a fresh fish for as long as possible.

Other things that matter while storing whitefish are freezer conditions. If your freezer maintains a stable 0 degree Fahrenheit temperature, then it can keep the fish fresh. However, if you plan on keeping the fish in the freezer for a longer period than 2 months, then double wrap it in plastic such that it gets airtight.

Handling Whitefish:

One thing that is a must for handling whitefish is thawing it before cooking. This can be done either by putting in the fridge overnight or keeping it in cold water for 1-2 hours before cooking. Before cooking make sure there is no foul smell coming from the fish. Moreover, the fish should not be kept at room temperature for a long time before cooking, and during cooking. You need to make sure that fish is cooked thoroughly to kill bacteria.

Cooking Whitefish:

The tip to cook a whole whitefish is to use as fewer ingredients as possible. The main dishes made with whitefish are:

  • Steamed fish and rice
  • Baked fish and rice
  • Barbecued whitefish
  • Whitefish curry

Whitefish curry is the most popular type of dish among Asian. It is made by cooking garlic and ginger in oil then by putting whitefish in it. After that, some powdered chilies, onion, salt, tomatoes are added, and the mixture is put on the stove for cooking.