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No Vacpac - keeping fish fresh for eating

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (3) Likes(3)   Quote Joker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: No Vacpac - keeping fish fresh for eating
    Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 5:40pm
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Just eating the weekends fish for dinner prompted me to pass this really good tip on.

Take a large dinner plate and invert a smaller tea plate over it then drape your fillets over the inverted plate so all the blood & juices drain out and collect underneath. Cover with glad wrap and refrigerate.

Its the sitting in the juices where all the bacteria is that makes fish go off quickly. With this method its fresh for a week and doesn't stink the house out.

Do it and you'll see all of the rubbish gunk that drains out 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote The cook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 6:10pm
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Yep good advice, I only use these now for fish storage
The important bit is the plastic rack in the bottom. Does the same thing Joker is talking about.

Another good tip but much harder to do, keep it as close to 1 deg c as possible. Last twice as long.
Most home fridges are closer to 4c and given how much they are opened average up to 2 deg higher than this. I'm so obsessed with fish & fishing I have a dedicated fridge in my back shed for fish.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 6:12pm
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We have square plastic container that has a grill thingy in the bottom.
Similar to you method above, except maybe holds more.

Thu fish fillets definitely doesnt last a week here

I also use for marinating fish before smoking.

Another thing that I recon helps is to gut the fish at sea, before throwing in the bin...
 Keeps bin free of poo etc, and the filleting boards/ benches far less contaminated.  And maybe it keeps nicer longer  (???)
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MightyBoosh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 7:54pm
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I have learnt through experience that water is the enemy. I can also recommend dusting fillets in flour or some kitchen towel in the bottom of a storage container to achieve the same effect. The flour needs to be topped up every now and then and the kitchen towel needs to be changed out every so often. It's amazing how much water comes out of unwashed fillets.

Steps - I'm sure you're right about the guts/poo. That's where the bacteria are concentrated and I don't want them anywhere near my fillets. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 8:36pm
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Originally posted by The cook The cook wrote:

Yep good advice, I only use these now for fish storage



Interesting, Cook. I use Sistema containers as well, with two layers of paper towel on the bottom, then layers of paper towels between each 'tier' of fillets - no fillets in contact with each other. Topped with a final layer of paper.
But i've not seen those racks. 
I'm sure the racks can be moved into a larger Sistema if required. I'll look out for them.

Plastic??
One thing re Joker's method is that I've been told to never let fish come into contact with plastic bag, cling film etc. Not sure of the rationale. Anyone got a view on that?

So if I'm bagging any to give to friends I wrap each fillet in paper towels first, then put in a ziplock bag.

The gut question
I reckon that if you fillet carefully, with no breaking into the stomach cavity, and also wiping the filleting surface as you go to get rid of scales, fresh blood etc, there would be very little or nil poo or innards getting in contact with the fillet. Certainly not enough to affect the fish quality.

If you gut and then chill in slurry, or rinse at sea to get rid of any remnants, surely some residual juices or sea water still drains out on the surface as you fillet?? 

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Snappa Geoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 2019 at 9:45pm
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Good Tip there Joker, on the Containers Tupperware made good ones years ago with drainage tray sitting a good cm up from bottom. Have a big one which is perfect for draining a big lot of fish. Some serious gear the team taking North Joker, have a great trip, catch plenty!Beer                         
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote John_Ra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 6:35am
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Like the container with a drain layer, cool.... will look for them...
I gut fish at sea too steps... fillet at home, head & bodys, whanau grab those... 
Did a charter in Oz, they bleed all the fish. So have started doing that here with everything, makes a diff to the flesh, no bloodlines.
No idea on plastic vs fish thing I use zip locks, have been for ages.
Seems fine to me. I put fillets in seawater after filleting for raw fish mmmm.....

Usually have fish for dinner & lunch & by Tuesday cat food......

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote bazza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 7:14am
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Originally posted by John_Ra John_Ra wrote:

Like the container with a drain layer, cool.... will look for them...
I gut fish at sea too steps... fillet at home, head & bodys, whanau grab those... 
Did a charter in Oz, they bleed all the fish. So have started doing that here with everything, makes a diff to the flesh, no bloodlines.
No idea on plastic vs fish thing I use zip locks, have been for ages.
Seems fine to me. I put fillets in seawater after filleting for raw fish mmmm.....

Usually have fish for dinner & lunch & by Tuesday cat food......
 
Any particular brand of cat food you prefer John ?
Remember, if you lose a sock in the dryer, it comes back as a Tupperware lid that doesn't fit any of your containers.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Telecaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 7:23am
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I find if you ice the fish whole (guts in) overnight before filleting, you get a lot less water coming out of the fillets in the fridge. Using this method I get up to 7 days with no spoilage (if they last that long before getting eaten which is unusual). I fillet without breaching the gut cavity and I wipe each fish down with a paper towel as I remove from the ice to keep moisture levels on the board to a minimum. I also have a wadded up paper towel pinned under the corner of the board to regularly wipe the knife on.

Some of my boat-fishing mates prefer to fillet on the night while some of the crew are washing the boat etc. When we do this, I always find I get less shelf life from the fillets, they seem to go stiff and not as smooth to the touch and a lot more water comes out of them.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 8:39am
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Like the container with a drain layer, cool.... will look for them...

Ours is a bit bigger.. Shopped around the $2 shops.. the bigger ones to find ours.
Initially got it for marinating as fish or whatever (bacon pastrami etc) sitting on the bottom doesn't get as good contact with marinate.


I gut fish at sea too steps... fillet at home, head & bodys, whanau grab those...
 Yep we put the word out on heads and frames as well. Only thing that gets dumped is scales and skins
Down side of filleting at sea is when its all on, the stackable buckets (3) get full of fish, the floor can get a bit messy with fish also.
Boat rule is who ever is free, guts any fish that need to be.
End of the day they are going to be shared out even.

 Most bait boards have a ridge along the front edge.. its a bloody pain if gutting or fillet a bait etc. I brought a large plastic type chopping board and screwed to the inside. Left a gap about 30mm wide along the back for sinkers and draining. Drain hole opposite side to the engine cables in the engine well Wink
We  also fillet when get home..SS stainless  kitchen bench and cabinets in shed..good lighting warm in winter.. get a chain going... and a few beers.. bit of a social time.

We  bring home a 5L container of clean sea water to rinse off the fillets.

 Another trick.. after washing out containers bins, plastic just holds a fish smell...cut a lemon and wipe all the surfaces, then rinse 1/2 hr or when convent later.
 A trick extented from a bit of advice on a trip with Bazza re non fishy hands.

Fillets get divided up and put into zip lock bags, air pushed out for ppl to take home...wrapped a freezer block in newspaper.. or they bring a chilly bin
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MightyBoosh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 8:49am
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For those that are interested:


In short, bacteria need "free" water to grow.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Steps Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 9:51am
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Thats cool.
So basically reading between the lines, rinse off any scales etc salt water fish in sea water is far preferable to fresh water (putting aside the effect of fresh water on salt water fish meat)
 And pat dry and/or let drain....

I came across similar info while back when finding out about chiller temps for aging meat..which also created very low humidies.. next to zero deg 2 to 3 deg.

 Mentioned in a post above was temps and the ave household fridge temp tended to be a little high...it is worth while getting the fridge down to 3 deg.. but need to keep things more covered to stop drying out. Something we have now we make out own bacon etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote kitno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 10:00am
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Picked these up from payless plastics. I tip any juices out every 24hrs and usually get 5 to 6 days out of them.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 10:50am
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Nice tip, Kitno.

Is that a tank for your livies on the kitchen bench??
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 10:57am
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Originally posted by Telecaster Telecaster wrote:

I find if you ice the fish whole (guts in) overnight before filleting, you get a lot less water coming out of the fillets in the fridge. Using this method I get up to 7 days with no spoilage (if they last that long before getting eaten which is unusual). I fillet without breaching the gut cavity and I wipe each fish down with a paper towel as I remove from the ice to keep moisture levels on the board to a minimum. I also have a wadded up paper towel pinned under the corner of the board to regularly wipe the knife on.

Some of my boat-fishing mates prefer to fillet on the night while some of the crew are washing the boat etc. When we do this, I always find I get less shelf life from the fillets, they seem to go stiff and not as smooth to the touch and a lot more water comes out of them.

I reckon that's just about the perfect method. I'll incorporate wiping down the fish out of the bin into my routine.
I completely agree re leaving the fish to 'set' before filleting provides many benefits - not least being so much easier in terms of knife work.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kitno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 11:30am
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No ttk, but good idea

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote Rozboon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 12:30pm
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Originally posted by Steps Steps wrote:

Thats cool.
So basically reading between the lines, rinse off any scales etc salt water fish in sea water is far preferable to fresh water (putting aside the effect of fresh water on salt water fish meat)
 And pat dry and/or let drain....

Matt Watson had laboratory testing done, salt water is better than fresh water but no rinse at all was significantly better in terms of bacterial growth.

Key things are wiping the slime off your fish, not getting gut contents on your fillets/board (either by gutting at sea or careful filleting), and regular wiping down of the knife and filleting surface. Particularly wiping the blade between making the cuts through the skin, where the slime and bacteria are, and cutting through the fillet (thereby not introducing that external contamination into the fillet).

I fillet mine on a large plastic chopping board; fillets come off the fish, wipe off any blood/scales on the fillets with a paper towel and set aside, then once all fish have fillets removed, flip the board to the clean side before more involved processing (skinning, removing pin bones).
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 12:58pm
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Yes, as a result of Matt watson, I don't wash my fillets. Makes a big difference. wash them just before use if you want to.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote bazza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 1:00pm
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Has anyone tried freezing whole fish immersed in a container of sea water then thawing/filleting it when wanting to cook.
Have always wondered how this would work so the next time out intend experimenting by using a 20 ltr pail then placing some freshly caught fish to see what happens ... works fine with oysters in the shell ... I know that much. 
Remember, if you lose a sock in the dryer, it comes back as a Tupperware lid that doesn't fit any of your containers.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2019 at 2:41pm
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Originally posted by Rozboon Rozboon wrote:


Key things are wiping the slime off your fish, not getting gut contents on your fillets/board (either by gutting at sea or careful filleting), and regular wiping down of the knife and filleting surface. Particularly wiping the blade between making the cuts through the skin, where the slime and bacteria are, and cutting through the fillet (thereby not introducing that external contamination into the fillet).

I fillet mine on a large plastic chopping board; fillets come off the fish, wipe off any blood/scales on the fillets with a paper towel and set aside, then once all fish have fillets removed, flip the board to the clean side before more involved processing (skinning, removing pin bones).

A great summary. that M Watson vid is on YouTube for those who want to watch it. A real eye opener that after watching it years ago set me on my current processing path, versus my Dad's method crunching down through the ribcage before running the flat knife along the backbone. That leaves guts everywhere. Confused

But little extras like you've added are excellent advice. I use a different knife for skinning, which probably inadvertently helps with lack of bacteria transfer.
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