Can You Freeze Canned Tuna? (Is it Safe)

Tuna is one of the most popularly eaten deep-sea fish that several people enjoy worldwide. It didn’t take long for canned tuna to catch up in almost every local supermarket everywhere.

Along with being delicious, it is super healthy too! It is an excellent source of sodium and omega-3 fatty acids that improve brain and joint health.

All you tuna enthusiasts may have specific questions associated with canned tuna. “Can you freeze canned tuna?” “If so, how do you freeze it?” and other questions are common doubts.  Not to worry, we are here to help you with it!

Can you freeze canned tuna?

Yes, you can freeze canned tuna. After all, tuna fishes are deep-sea fish used to being in the cold; they sure can handle a freezer! You can preserve a good part of its original taste, texture, and quality. While the tin should be kept out of the fridge, the tuna is safe to freeze. 

There is a certain way to freeze canned tuna to ensure that it is adequately packaged, stored, and safe to eat. To learn more about freezing and defrosting methods, continue reading the article! 

How to Freeze Canned Tuna?

Method of storage is critical while freezing food. Appropriately freezing food ensures it stays fresh for a longer duration of time. Freezing tuna incorrectly can affect its taste, texture, and overall quality. Check out these simple steps you can follow while freezing canned tuna:

Step 1: The first step with canned tuna is to separate it from the tin. Take the tuna out of the tin and transfer it to another container. This is essential as the tin doesn’t do well in freezers. It is not rigid enough to withstand the freezer temperatures and puts your tuna at a higher risk of freeze burns

Step 2: Scoop the tuna out and transfer it into sealable freezer bags or airtight containers. Ensure that you have squeezed out all the air from the container or the bag before packing it in. You can use foil or plastic wrap to cover the containers or wrap the tuna in before placing them in bags. You can now store the tuna in the freezer with nothing more to worry about! On proper storage, this tuna stays suitable for up to 3 months.

Step 3: The last step is to note down the freezing date on the container or the bag. This way, you can track precisely how old the tuna is, which determines its taste and quality.

How to Thaw Canned Tuna?

If you want to eat your frozen tuna, it is essential to defrost them the correct way first. Thawing canned tuna is only a few steps and relatively easy. 

The first step is taking the tuna out of the freezer and placing it on a plate. Then transfer it to the fridge and allow it to thaw. Thawing a small piece of tuna will only require a couple of hours, and however, larger pieces of tuna should be left to thaw for at least 5-6 hours.

Do you have a sudden dinner you need the tuna for right away? Or did it slip your mind to take the tuna out of the freezer early enough? Here’s a quicker way to defrost tuna: 

Take the tuna out of the freezer and run it under cold water while keeping it in the freezer bag. Removing the tuna from the bad while doing this may alter the taste. It should take your tuna about two minutes to completely thaw while doing this.

For thawing more significant portions of tuna, fill a bowl with cold water and place the fish in it. Again, ensure you don’t remove it from the freezer bag.

The tuna should completely thaw in 20 minutes at room temperature. You can check if the tuna is fully thawed by sticking a fork or knife to detect any resistance.

If you have a little time before using the tuna, do not let it sit out at room temperature. Place it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. 

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How to Refreeze Canned Tuna

If you still have leftovers from eating frozen tuna, you may wish to freeze it again. But the question is, “is it safe to consume refrozen tuna?”. 

Yes, tuna is safe to refreeze and eat again. People commonly think refreezing a food item may further compromise its integrity and taste.

However, tuna meat is dense and compacted, keeping it at a lower risk of a freezer burn. Due to this property of tuna, it is safe to refreeze them after they’ve been thawed.

Nevertheless, here is one point to remember about refreezing tuna: Ensure that the tuna you’re planning to refreeze hasn’t been out at room temperature for too long. This makes it more prone to spoil due to contamination by bacteria.

Refreezing this tuna means that you are freezing the contaminating bacteria and deteriorating the quality of the fish.

Tuna Freezing Tips

Now that we’ve discussed how to freeze canned tuna appropriately, here are some tips on how you can perfect even more:

  • Using Good Quality Freezer Bags: The last thing you’d want to have a problem with are your freezer bags themselves. Please make sure the bags you use are thick enough and are tightly sealable. 
  • Labeling: Labelling your fish is of great help. Especially if you have a variety of frozen fish in your freezer, it is best to clearly label which one’s which. This way, you won’t thaw the wrong one and compromise the quality of the other fish in your freezer. 
  • Removing the Cans: It is best to remove the can/tin while freezing canned tuna. This applied to both opened and unopened tins. It is best to take it out in a Tupperware container before storing it in your freezer. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you freeze open canned tuna?

Yes, you can freeze open canned tuna. Please remember to transfer the tuna into freezer bags or airtight containers before sticking it in the freezer. Freezing it in the tin is not a good idea as the tin may break because of the temperature. If stored correctly, tuna retains its quality for about three months from the freezing date.

Can you freeze leftover canned tuna?

Yes, you can freeze leftover canned tuna. You can do this by getting multiple small freezer bags and dividing the leftovers into portions. This will allow you to defrost small portions at once instead of defrosting a large piece. Portioning the leftovers into smaller bags also enhances the freezing process. This way, the leftovers stay fresh for a longer duration. Ensure that you remove all the air from the freezer bag before you seal the tuna in it. It would also help label the bag with the date of freezing.

Can you freeze cooked canned tuna?

Yes, you can freeze cooked, canned tuna. But not to forget, tuna is a delicate meat. Before storing it in your freezer, you must follow specific steps to prep it. Prepping your tuna correctly ensures it stays fresh for as long as possible. Storing your tuna properly keeps it suitable for up to 3 months without altering its taste too much.

Can you freeze canned tuna sandwiches?

There are a few things you must remember before freezing canned tuna sandwiches. You need to ensure that you’ve used as little mayo as possible. It is also not good to store tuna sandwiches with veggies such as tomato, lettuce, or cucumber as they spoil. So, if you wish to freeze canned tuna sandwiches, remember to omit these ingredients from the mix. 

Can you freeze canned tuna pasta?

Yes, you can freeze tuna pasta. You can scoop the tuna pasta out and store them in cling film or plastic wrap to ensure airtight storage, which helps retain its original texture. You can then store these portions in freezer bags or airtight containers and pop them in the freezer. 

Can you freeze canned tuna fishcakes?

Yes, you can freeze tuna fishcakes. Once you shape the tuna into fishcakes, wrap them in foil or plastic wrap. You can then place them in a sealable bag and store them in the freezer. Frozen, canned tuna fish cakes freeze well for up to 3 months. 

Can you freeze tuna salad?

Yes, you can freeze tuna salad. You can use small airtight bags or containers to freeze tuna salad. It is a good idea to portion the salad in small quantities, so you only thaw the quantity you wish to use instead of the whole. Freezing a small portion of tuna salad also helps it freeze better, keeping it fresh for longer.   

Can you freeze tuna mayo?

Mayonnaise doesn’t generally freeze too well. So, tuna mayo doesn’t freeze well either. Therefore, it is best to freeze tuna on its own and thaw it when you want to make tuna mayo.

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Final Words

And finally, to the end of this post! Canned tuna is a go-to ingredient in many households, and it is an easy-to-make option readily available at all local supermarkets. Since it is so widely used, it is natural to wonder about its storage conditions and shelf life.

Tuna freezes well because of the density of its meat, and you don’t need to worry about freezer burns or altered quality for three months at least.

We have emphasized enough that its freshness and quality are determined by how well you store it!

As discussed above, you can enjoy tuna pasta, tuna salad, tuna fishcakes, and so much more without hesitating to freeze the leftovers.

We hope this article helped you understand enough about freezing canned tuna.

Bon Appetit! 

Lucia

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