Bluegill Fishing photo
Dan Saelinger

The enemy of successful, long-term freezing is air. When air meets food, dehydration occurs, leading to freezer burn. With delicate proteins like fish, freezer burn can be downright fatal, ruining both texture and flavor. If you don’t own a vacuum sealer, freeze your catch in a block of ice. this locks out any corrupting air by sealing the fish in a familiar element—water. this is best done with fillets, though whole cleaned fish can be frozen this way too. Freeze the Burn keep your fish fresh as the day you caught itwith this preservation method.

Step  1: Scale and gut the fish. If fillets are what you’ll be cooking, fillet all fish instead, and portion the fillets so that you won’t be thawing more than you’ll be eating.

Step  2: Put the fish in a large container and fill with water. Knock the sides to roust any air bubbles. Place in the freezer until the water is solid.

Step  3: Transfer the ice to a freezer bag. Label the bag, and return to the freezer. To defrost, place the block in a bowl and allow it to melt in the refrigerator.