How To Thaw Tuna Steak

There are few dishes that are more refreshing, tasty and satisfying in the world of seafood than tuna steak. Poke bowls, tuna salad, and fresh sashimi sushi are just a few ways this healthy and delicious fish can be enjoyed out at a restaurant or within your home. 

Many avid fishermen may be lucky enough to reel in tuna during their fishing trips, and when they do, there is so much meat it must be kept frozen. This is a great time to keep those tuna steaks on hand for future use. 

Whether you caught your tuna steak fresh from the ocean, bought it at the store, or were given some from a friend who plucked it from the ocean themselves, frozen tuna steak is a great thing to have in your freezer, no matter how you came across it. 

Thawing frozen tuna steak is a simple, easy task that can be done many ways. Tuna steak can be defrosted in the refrigerator, under cold water, or with the microwave. 

When choosing which method to use to thaw your tuna steak, be sure to keep in mind how long you have to do so and how many you plan to thaw. Some methods are faster than others, and some are better for larger portions than others. 

How To Thaw Tuna Steak

Tuna steak can be thawed in a variety of ways based on your preferences. Choose one that sounds ideal for you, or give them all a try to find the thawing method that you like best.

Thawing Tuna Steak In The Microwave

Sometimes we need things thawed as quickly as possible in order to make a meal in a rush or time crunch. When you find that is the case with preparing frozen tuna steak, consider thawing in the microwave.

This method isn’t the best for thawing a large portion of tuna steaks given the small space in a typical microwave. Be sure to consider the portion you will be thawing when choosing a method to use.

While this is not the preferred method, given it may impact the quality of the fish when you cook it, it is a perfectly safe and fast way to get the job done. Be sure to thaw properly when using the microwave to get the best results from this process.

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When choosing to thaw tuna steak in the microwave, remove it from the freezer and take off any packaging it may have had on. Be sure all steaks are evenly layered so that they thaw evenly.

Place the tuna steak on a microwave safe dish, and set your microwave to the fifty percent power level. This will help prevent the tuna from drying out while defrosting.

Cook for a thirty second interval. Flip the tuna over, allowing it to defrost evenly, and cook for another thirty seconds.

Your tuna should be ready to cook after just a minute in the microwave. Do not refreeze tuna that has been thawed in the microwave, though you can store it in the refrigerator for up to two days if needed.

Thawing Tuna Steak In The Refrigerator

Defrosting tuna steak in the refrigerator is a quick and easy task that after the first few steps, you can forget about doing while you go about your day. It does take longer, so be sure to begin thawing about eight to ten hours before you plan to cook and serve your fish.

When defrosting tuna steak in the refrigerator, it is best to remove it from the vacuum sealed packaging first. This eliminates any chance of bacteria growth within the plastic wrapping that may grow during the thawing process. 

Place the tuna into plastic wrap and rewrap it tightly. Find a dish that is good to catch any condensation that may occur during defrosting, and place the wrapped tuna into this. A plastic container or bowl that fits the tuna is typically best to use.

Leave your tuna steak in the refrigerator for eight to ten hours before cooking or serving. If you do not use it within two days, it may be refrozen for later use.

Do not refreeze fish after thawing with any other method. Refrigerator thawing is the only method that allows you to safely refreeze unconsumed or uncooked tuna steak.

One great thing about using your refrigerator to thaw tuna steaks is that you can do many at once. If you are looking to thaw multiple tuna steaks, this is one of the best methods to do so. 

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Thawing Tuna Steak With Cold Water

If you don’t have time to wait eight to ten hours, or simply don’t want to, thawing tuna steak with cold water may be the method for you. This method is quicker, easy, and still preserves the quality of your fish for when you cook it later.

Another great thing about thawing tuna steak with cold water is that you can do more than one at once. When looking to thaw a large amount of tuna steaks in a short amount of time, using cold water is the best method to use for this task.

To do so, fill a large bowl or other basin with cold water. Make sure the water level is high enough to fully submerge the amount of fish you plan to defrost.

Place the tuna in a resealable plastic bag and remove any excess air from inside. Be sure not to defrost tuna in the original packaging if it is vacuum sealed as this can cause bacteria growth.

Place the bag or bags of tuna into the water, submerging completely. Allow the tuna to sit for thirty minutes before changing the water to fresh cold water.

Defrost for two hours, changing the water every thirty minutes. This ensures the water remains as cold as possible and does not allow temperatures for bacteria growth.

Once defrosted, cook or serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to two days. Do not refreeze tuna steak that has been defrosted with cold water.

Storing Tuna Steak Properly

Properly storing tuna steak is essential to making sure that it’s safe to consume. Tuna steak that has been improperly stored is at risk for picking up unwanted bacterias, which can cause food borne illnesses such as food poisoning, e-coli and other nasty viruses.

Do not leave tuna steak at room temperature for two hours or more. After this time period, your tuna is at risk for this unwanted bacteria growth and is unsafe to eat. To avoid this, be sure to properly store tuna within two hours of being at room temperature. 

Storing Tuna Steak In The Freezer

Tuna steak can be stored for quite a while to be enjoyed later. When freezing tuna steak, cooked fish will last for up to three months, while raw frozen fish will be good for three to eight months.  

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Tuna steak must be frozen at zero degrees fahrenheit or less for best quality. Raw fish can actually be stored indefinitely at this temperature, but the flavor of the fish will be impacted the longer it is stored.

When freezing tuna steak be sure it is in a resealable, airtight plastic bag. Try and remove all extra air, and if possible, vacuum sealing is best. This will help eliminate freezer burn and maintain quality.

Storing Tuna Steak In The Refrigerator

Refrigerated tuna steak does not last nearly as long as frozen tuna steak. If you are looking to only store your tuna for one to two days before consuming, the refrigerator is the way to go. This will eliminate the need to thaw.

If you are looking to store tuna steak after thawing it and before cooking it, it must be stored in the refrigerator. Here it will also be good for one to two days before cooking.

In Conclusion

Tuna steak is a great item to keep frozen on hand for whenever you are craving it. Tuna steak is delicious when pan seared, baked, or even raw if the quality of fish allows for it. 

No matter how you choose to cook your tuna steak, it is best to defrost it before doing so. Fish cooks very quickly, so defrosting it beforehand will help ensure the quality remains.

It’s essential to properly store your tuna steaks before you plan to use them. This can easily be done in the freezer or refrigerator. 

When it comes time to cook your tuna steak, choose the method that best fits your needs. The microwave, refrigerator, and cold water are all foolproof and easy methods that will get the job done.