How to Thaw Scallops: A Beginner’s Guide (Step-by-Step)




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Scallops have the feel of a decadent dinner that you’d only get in a restaurant. It’s time to start making scallops at home if you haven’t already. You won’t believe how easy it is to make scallops that are perfectly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

Why People Love Scallops

This high-protein seafood is a breeze to prepare compared to other shellfish. They normally come out of the shell, ready to cook, so you don’t have to deal with cleaning or peeling shells, and they cook quickly as well.

So if you are looking to have a nutritious, tasty dinner on the table in no time, this seafood is a great choice. However, what can you do when there are no fresh scallops at hand? You rely on the frozen ones of course. 

Scallops are a light and succulent shellfish that can be found in high-end restaurants but are also simple to prepare at home. Frozen scallops are a less costly choice that, when prepared properly, can taste almost as good as fresh.

After your scallops have thawed, you can sear or bake them into a delicious meal that everyone will love!

Here are some easy ways for you to thaw the frozen scallops laying in your pantry.

Method 1: Thawing Scallops Using Refrigeration

Step 1: Allowing your frozen scallops to completely thaw in the refrigerator takes much longer, but it results in some of the best tasting scallops. Since the frozen scallops thaw gradually, there is almost no risk of them being damaged or contaminated during the thawing process.

However, you should be aware that thawing scallops in the refrigerator take a full day. You should make sure to plan ahead and leave enough time for them to defrost completely before using them.

Step 2: The most crucial aspect of getting your scallops to thaw properly is the temperature of your refrigerator. Change your refrigerator’s temperature to 37 degrees Fahrenheit or 3 degrees Celsius for the best results when thawing frozen scallops.

Step 3: Place the scallops in a wide mixing bowl after removing them from their packaging. The bowl must be large enough to accommodate all of the scallops. It also needs to be large enough to accommodate any water that forms when the ice melts around the scallops.

Remove the scallops from their packaging and place them in the bowl so that it is around three-quarters full.

If you have too many scallops to fit in one dish, use another one.

Step 4: The scallops are at risk of being infected and spoiling as they thaw slowly. To prevent the scallops from coming into contact with any other food particles in your refrigerator, cover the bowl tightly in plastic wrap. If your bowl has a lid, you can cover the scallops with it.

Step 5: Clear some room in your refrigerator and put the bowl of scallops on a low shelf to prevent it from coming into contact with any other food.

Step 6: Refrigerate the scallops for 24 hours to enable them to thaw. Allow the scallops to remain untouched in the refrigerator for a whole day before inspecting them.

After 24 hours, remove the bowl and touch the middle of the scallops with your finger to see if they have defrosted. They should be chilled, but not frozen.

If you cook frozen scallops before they’ve completely thawed, they’ll have a rubbery, chewy texture.

If your scallops haven’t completely thawed after 24 hours, wrap them in plastic wrap again and place them in the refrigerator for another 6 hours.

Method 2: Thawing Scallops with Cool Water

Step 1: If you don’t have time to let your frozen scallops defrost on their own in the refrigerator, you can speed up the process by running them under cold water. Cooking the scallops with cool water also poses no danger.

The frozen scallops can defrost faster, but when fried, they might be a little tougher.

Step 2: Fill a zip lock plastic bag halfway with frozen scallops. To avoid contamination, it’s important that the scallops don’t come into close contact with the water. Remove the scallops from their packaging and put them in a zip lock plastic bag.

To save your scallops from being waterlogged, make sure the bag is tightly sealed.

Step 3: Place the frozen scallops in a big mixing bowl. The bowl must be large enough to hold the scallop bag and have enough water to fully cover it. Before you place your shellfish in the bowl, make sure it’s clean to ensure there’s no chance of contamination.

Step 4: Fill the bowl with cold tap water and place it in the sink. As the bowl is filling up with water, move the bag around a little to make sure it doesn’t stick to the side.

To thaw frozen scallops without frying them or altering their texture, the water should be about 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius. Pour enough water into the bowl to fully submerge the bag. If you overfill the bowl, put it in the sink.

Step 5: When the bowl is full, turn off the faucet and leave the bag alone. After 10 minutes, drain the water and replace it with cool water in the tub. After another 10 minutes, drain the water and touch the scallops with your finger to see if they have defrosted. They should be cool but gentle, with no pieces that are frozen.

The scallops take about 30 minutes to defrost in total, but larger frozen scallops can take longer.

After checking to see if the frozen scallops have defrosted, make sure the bag is resealed. It is essential that after the scallops have been defrosted, you do not re-freeze them.


So there you have it! Two very simple and easy ways for you to thaw the scallops in your freezer that will surely come in handy the next time to want to cook them.

You Can Also Read: Best George Foreman Grills

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