Transporting fish is not an easy matter: in the jungle there is a fish transport box , fish cool box and freezer boxes not easy to see through. That’s why there are tips and recommendations here.
Everyone who likes fishing or fishing knows the problem of how to bring the fresh catch home without it spoiling. I would like to present you several solutions with which your catch can also be brought home safely. The individual solutions are based on the foreseeable journey time in the car . If you want to drive home from Norway and transport 20 kg of fish, that’s different than from the lake around the corner.
As a spearfisher and angler, I have faced this problem many times, I have spoken to many other fishermen and I would like to share my experiences with you here.
- 1 Cool box
- 2 Electric cool box
- 3 Styrofoam box – transporting fish
- 4 Freezer, freezer box, freezer for the car
- 5 Vacuum Sealer | Vacuum sealer
- 6 How long can fish keep in the freezer?
- 7 Thaw fish quickly? The best method
One differentiates the normal cool box from an electric cool box. The normal cool box works passively and is able to keep the cold for a long time thanks to its thick insulation. The prerequisite for this is that the goods to be kept cool, in this case fish or seafood , must already be cool. For the sake of simplicity, the cool box can be filled with ice from the gas station or with ice packs that have been frozen through beforehand. If you now put the fish in the box, you should make sure that it has no contact with the wall of the box. It is best to have a layer of ice cream first, then the fish and then another layer of ice cream. With this combination you should be able to safely transport the fish for at least 8-10 hours. However, the more often you open the lid to look, the faster the ice melts due to the warm air entering. Therefore, it is better to look less than that the fish goes bad.
A normal cool box is often available from discounters in summer. Out of season, they are also available on Amazon. The American brand Colemann is one of the Porsches among the cool boxes. Best insulation for maximum cooler retention.
Ice packs can be frozen in a normal freezer. They then continuously release the cold into their surroundings in the cool box. This ensures that the frozen food is kept cold. When transporting fish, it is best to line the bottom of the cool box with ice packs and place the fish on top. Then put a second layer of ice packs on top of the fish.
You can get the cold packs cheaply on Amazon:
Electric cool box
There are different types of electric cool boxes. The cheaper ones work with a so-called Peltier element. This component in the electric cool box is able to lower the inside of the cool box between 15-20 ° C below the ambient temperature. However, this does not mean that it is able to freeze, i.e. to cool below 0 ° C. Therefore, these boxes are just right for transporting fish over long distances, but I do not recommend the cool box for several days as it draws a lot of power from the car battery.
In addition, an electric cool box is able to warm up, even up to 50 ° C, if you want to transport a chicken from A to B (höhö). When transporting fish with the box, there are two options. The first is to simply pack the fish well and then put it in the box and go home. Option B is like the normal cool box: ice in from the gas station, fish in and ice over. You can travel 10-20 hours with this without any problems.
There is an electric cool box on Amazon, with a cigarette lighter and plug for the socket and a huge capacity (see pictures).
Styrofoam box – transporting fish
A Styrofoam cool box or also called Thermobox , known from all pizza delivery services, not only works to keep warm but also to keep cool. The prerequisite here is that the fish has been frozen through beforehand. If you are on vacation by car and want to bring fish with you from the holiday home, then you freeze it through beforehand. Then you pack it in plastic bags and wrap them well with newspaper. In addition, you lay out the box well with crumpled newspaper. Add two well-frozen ice packs and put everything together in the box. The box is closed with the styrofoam lid and the box joint lid is wrapped with adhesive tape. If everything is done correctly, the fish should stay frozen for up to 3 days. This takes you from Lofoten down to Munich.
The boxes are available in every imaginable shape and volume at Amazon:
Freezer, freezer box, freezer for the car
We come to the better cool boxes, they are able to freeze. This means that you can throw your catch directly from the sea into the chest and the box then freezes the fish through and thus makes it durable for a very long time. The technology that makes this possible is exactly the same as in a kitchen refrigerator. The mobile car fridge has a built-in compressor that manages to cool below the magical zero degrees. The boxes can be operated with gas or electric (and or both).
Gas-powered cooler (freezes)
My personal favorite is the electric or gas-powered cool box. The freezer box is able to freeze with the help of a power connection or a gas cartridge. A small, commercially available gas cartridge lasts about 1-1.5 days. If the car is at a standstill (campsite or ferry), gas operation is activated. If you drive, you operate the cool box via the cigarette lighter. With a capacity of 40 liters, the cool box is sufficient for a huge amount of fish. The cool box is not cheap, but you get a lot for your money. The box is worthwhile for longer holidays, in which you fish again and again and move from place to place in a camper or VW bus and don’t want to stop at a campsite every night.
Matching gas cartridges are also available cheaply at Amazon:
Electric cool box , Compressor cool box (Freezes)
We come to the Ferrari under the freezer boxes. This compressor cooler by Engel is the ideal companion for a camper or VW bus with a separate battery and a solar cell on the roof. The box freezes the fish or other food incredibly quickly.
I had the opportunity to test the box through a friend and was blown away. In your camper with a solar cell, it was possible to operate the box for 10 days in a row when the sky was partly overcast without us having to drive to an external power source. Of course, the box is also worthwhile in the car if you are driving and can thus operate the box via the cigarette lighter. The insulation of the box is so good that it is only sufficient to operate it for 6-8 hours a day if you don’t open the lid in the meantime. The price may seem high, but you are buying a real branded product that will last for decades if treated well.
The cool box ferrari can also be found on Amazon:
Vacuum Sealer | Vacuum sealer
If you catch large quantities of fish like in Norway, one thing should definitely not be missing. A good vacuum sealer saves an incredible amount of space when transporting fish. During our last harpoon vacation we filleted our fish and welded them. I didn’t have a vacuum sealer myself and my bags of fish immediately took up twice as much space. In addition, there is no nasty thawing water around if you gently thaw the fish in the refrigerator for preparation.
How long can fish keep in the freezer?
A wide variety of opinions and absurd theories exist on the Internet. These sometimes range from 1 week to infinity. I would like to give you my personal experience as an angler and long-time harpoon fisherman.
The shelf life of the fish in the freezer depends on 4 factors.
First, how fresh was the fish when it was frozen? The fresher the better and the longer the fish can be kept.
Second, how quickly was the fish frozen? The faster the fish is frozen through, the longer the fish can be kept.
Third: the fat content of the fish? Depending on the type of fish, a fish contains different levels of fat. The more fat a fish contains, the faster the fish will go bad. The fat in the fish simply becomes rancid (tan) and thus the fish loses its taste and is ultimately inedible. Examples of fatty fish are: eel, mackerel and catfish. The whiter the fish, the lower the fat content. Sea fish such as cod, flounder or pollack are very lean and therefore last a very long time.
Fourth: The packaging. The worse the fish is packaged, the more liquid it loses. Even when frozen, water is able to evaporate (sublime). This ensures the classic freezer burn . One can counteract this simply by packing the fish as airtight as possible. If the fish is vacuumed, it will last the longest (see chapter vacuum sealer).
In the following table you will find a few orientation values for different freshwater and saltwater fish. With comparable meat, the shelf life can be transferred between different types. < / tr> < / tr> < / tr>
|Fish type||Stays fresh in the freezer|
|Cod freezer||1 year|
|Sea trout||6 months|
|Flounder and plaice||1 year|
|Leng und Tumb||1 year|
|Catfish freezer||4 months|
|Eel freezer||4 months|
|Pikeperch freezer||1 year|
Thaw fish quickly? The best method
The easiest and fastest way to thaw a fish is very simple. In contrast to other methods, the fish does not lose any taste. You simply pack the fish in a freezer bag or, if necessary, in a garbage bag and seal it airtight. Then you fill your sink with lukewarm water (around 20 degrees). Make sure that you do not use hot water, as the fish starts to cook at 40 ° C. Simply put the fish and the bag in the water. After just one hour, I used this method to completely thaw a whole 2kg pikeperch. Awesome.