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Can You Freeze Crawfish? Freezing Tails & Whole Crawfish

Norah Clark
Crawfish on a plate

Crawfish can be frozen and stored for up to 5 months! To freeze uncooked crawfish, first, remove any dead ones and separate the tails. Rinse the tails underwater, then wrap them in freezer paper. Next, place the wrapped tails in freezer bags.

Crawfish are highly sought-after freshwater crustaceans in the seafood world. They go by various names, such as crayfish, freshwater lobsters, yabbies, and many more.

Regardless of what you choose to call them, their delicious flavor and rich nutritional content remain unchanged!

It is essential to store them properly and safely. Freezing is a common and effective method for preserving fresh-caught seafood like crawfish.

Can You Freeze Crawfish and Is It Safe?

Yes, you can safely freeze crawfish, as their unique texture allows them to be stored for 3 to 5 months without losing quality. You can freeze either the entire crawfish or just the tail, depending on your preference.

Crawfish are often cooked in large quantities, which means it’s common to have leftovers after a meal. To preserve their freshness and flavor, it’s recommended to freeze them as soon as possible after eating. This ensures they’ll be in the best condition when you decide to enjoy them again.

How to Freeze Crawfish

When freezing crawfish, it’s crucial to start with the best quality crawfish available. If you find any dead crawfish (identified by a straight tail), discard them, as they likely died before cooking, and their meat may not be safe to consume.

Below are the steps for freezing uncooked and cooked crawfish.

How To Freeze Uncooked Crawfish

  1. Fill a large bowl with water and place the crawfish in it. Let them soak for an hour.
  2. Remove any dead crawfish you find.
  3. Separate the clean tails from the bodies, place them in a colander, and rinse for about 20 minutes.
  4. Briefly dip the tails in a mixture of lemon juice and water to help preserve their color.
  5. Wrap each tail in freezer paper, and then place them in a heavy-duty freezer bag, leaving an inch of space at the top.
  6. Label the bag and place it in the freezer.

How To Freeze Cooked Crawfish

  1. Inspect cooked crawfish for any with straight tails, indicating spoiled meat, and discard them.
  2. Focus on the fresh, properly cooked crawfish.
  3. Place the crawfish in a strainer and let them dry for 10 to 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer the crawfish to a freezer bag and place it in the freezer for long-term storage.

How to Freeze Crawfish Tails

You can freeze crawfish tails, but remember to remove the skin before freezing. Many people prefer eating crawfish tail meat over other parts, but sometimes it’s necessary to freeze the tail meat for later use.

  1. After cooking the crawfish, the tail meat becomes easier to freeze.
  2. Before freezing the tail meat, remove the skin and yellow fats, as they can become rotten quickly and spoil the entire meat.
  3. Place the crawfish tail meat in an airtight freezer bag and store it in the freezer.

Freezing Whole Crawfish

Did you know cooked whole crawfish spoil quickly? To preserve whole crawfish, don’t leave them at room temperature. Storing them in the fridge is the best way to keep them fresh for an extended period.

  • If you plan to consume whole crawfish within 1-2 days, storing them in the refrigerator is recommended.
  • If you don’t intend to use the crawfish within the next few days, freezing them is the best option.

How Long You Can Keep Crawfish In The Freezer?

How long you can keep crawfish frozen depends on whether they are cooked or raw.

Cooked crawfish remains fresh for up to 3 months when properly stored in the freezer. After this period, they are still safe to consume, but the quality may decline, and they may become bland in taste.

Ideally, you should cook and consume frozen crawfish within three months of storage.

If you use vacuum-sealed containers, their freshness can be maintained for approximately 4-5 months in the freezer, ensuring optimal taste and quality when you decide to enjoy them later.

How Long Does Crawfish Tail Meat Last After Freezing

When you follow the proper method for freezing crawfish tail meat, it can last for up to three months while maintaining its quality and taste. Proper storage is key to preserving the meat’s freshness.

How Long Does Live Crawfish Last After Freezing

When you freeze live crawfish, they can last for up to two weeks in the freezer. However, it is crucial to ensure the crawfish are stored correctly to avoid spoilage or a decline in quality.

How Long Does Cooked Crawfish Last After Freezing

If you freeze cooked crawfish properly, it can last for up to three months in the freezer. Proper storage techniques help maintain the crawfish’s texture, flavor, and overall quality during this time.


What causes crawfish to change color?

Crawfish are known to change color as they get older. A crawfish that has aged (is still delicious) has a dark shell, which is harder to peel and more difficult to remove.

How long will crawfish keep in the refrigerator?

Crawfish is available for approximately 4 days based on how you’ve kept it. The most efficient method of storing Crawfish in the refrigerator is to place them in airtight containers to keep their flavor and color.

Can you microwave crawfish?

Yes! Crawfish can be cooked in the microwave. To microwave, you need to make sure you cover it completely with a towel and microwave for about 4 minutes.

Profile Image Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

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