How Long Do Mussels Last In Vinegar?

Have you ever tried preserving mussels in vinegar? Pickled mussels are delicious; you can use them in various dishes or eat them as a snack. Pickling is also the perfect way to preserve some mussels if you’ve purchased or harvested a big batch. But how long do mussels last in vinegar?

Mussels preserved in vinegar can last for about three months. Keep them in an airtight jar to help them last longer. Before pickling your mussels in vinegar, you must first prepare and cook them. When preserving mussels, it’s essential to use fresh ones to last longer.

While mussels may look intimidating to work with, they are actually relatively easy to prepare, cook, and pickle. We will discuss how to prepare pickled mussels and make them last longer. We will also share other methods for preserving mussels so that you can have a variety of mussels in storage, ready for later use.

How Long Do Mussels Pickled In Vinegar Last?

Pickled mussels are a delicious snack. They are also versatile and easy to work with. Add pickled mussels to salads, seafood soup, or paella, or place them on a snack platter with cheese and biscuits. Pickling mussels is the perfect way to preserve some mussels if you have harvested or bought a big batch of mussels and cannot use them all at once.

If done right, pickled mussels can last up to three months. To ensure your pickled mussels last as long as possible, you must follow these guidelines:

  • Ensure all your equipment is sterile.
  • Use only the freshest mussels for pickling.
  • Store the mussels in an airtight container.
  • Finally, store the mussels in the refrigerator.

Before you can pickle your mussels in vinegar, you must first prepare and cook them properly. You cannot pickle raw mussels. So, how do you prepare and cook mussels for pickling?

Step 1: Choose The Freshest Mussels

To make your mussels last as long as possible, you must start with the freshest mussels. Therefore, we suggest using the mussels on the same day as purchasing or harvesting them. When choosing your mussels, look for ones with damp, shiny blue, black, or green shells. The mussels should smell fresh, and their shells should be whole.

When transporting the mussels, keep them in a breathable mesh bag and store them on ice or in a cooler box. When you arrive home, store the mussels in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.

Step 2: Soak The Mussels

Before cooking your mussels, you must first soak them in salt water. When soaked, the mussels will open their shells and dispel any sand and grit in their bellies and the shell. Next, fill a bucket with seawater or salted water and throw your mussels in.

Place the bucket in the fridge and soak them for a few hours or overnight. When they are done soaking, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water. Don’t turn the bucket into a sink, as this will cause the sand to fall on the mussels again.

Step 3: Remove the Beards

Now that the mussels are soaked, you must first check that they are alive. First, toss any mussels with open shells that don’t close if you tap them. Then, remove the mussel beards. The beards are greenish black fibers protruding from the mussel’s opening. Although the beards are edible, they taste highly unpleasant and should be removed.

To remove the beard, pinch it and pull it down toward the hinge-side of the mussel. The beard will detach without tearing the mussel’s flesh.

Step 4: Rinse The Mussels

Next, rinse the mussels with cold, running water. Use a stiff brush to scrub the mussel shells and remove any barnacles or seaweed.

Step 5: Steam The Mussels

You are now ready to steam the mussels. When cooking mussels for pickling, we recommend steaming them in salted water. This is because you will add additional flavors to the mussels when pickling them. Therefore, you can keep the flavors simple for steaming.

Add your mussels to a pot with an inch or two of preheated water. Steam the mussels for 5-8 minutes, or until they open. Remove them from the heat and drain the water. Then, allow the mussels to cool.

Step 6: Remove The Mussels From Their Shells

Once the mussels are cool enough to touch, you can open the shells and remove the mussel meat from the shells. They should detach easily, and a small muscle remains in the shell where the mussel was attached to it.

Discard any mussels that didn’t open while they were cooked. Place the mussels back in the refrigerator while you prepare the pickling liquid.

How To Pickle Mussels In Vinegar

Once your mussels are cooked, you can prepare them for pickling. One pound of raw mussels should give you about 4 ounces of cooked mussel meat. This is one portion of the main meal. Depending on what you want to do with the pickled mussels, you must consider how many mussels you want to pickle.

The recipe we share is based on one from Foodnetwork. Feel free to change or substitute the ingredients as you wish. This is a suggestion of things you can add to your pickled mussels. This recipe uses 8 ounces of cooked mussels.

This recipe calls for chiles, lemon juice, olive oil, and green pepper for seasoning. However, you can easily change these ingredients for something you prefer. For example, remove the chiles if you don’t like spicy food.

To pickle your mussels, add all the ingredients into a bowl, cover them with vinegar and oil, and toss them to coat evenly.

Then, transfer the ingredients to a sterilized jar and top the jar to the brim with more vinegar and oil. Place the lid on the jar and ensure the jar is airtight. Finally, place the pickled mussels into the refrigerator for three months.

We suggest letting the mussels pickle for at least three weeks before opening the jars. This will ensure the mussels have absorbed all the flavors and are delicious and ready to use. Discard the mussels after three months or if they show any signs of spoilage.  

Other Ways To Preserve Mussels

Pickling is an easy way to preserve mussels. However, if you don’t want to pickle all your mussels, or if you don’t want the mussels to taste like vinegar, you can also freeze them. Frozen mussels can last for up to six months in the freezer. While you can freeze raw mussels, we suggest cooking them first to ensure they are safe to eat.

To freeze your mussels, cook them, allow them to cool, and dry them with a paper towel. Then, lay them in one layer on a baking tray and place them in the freezer until solid. Transfer the frozen mussels to an airtight freezer bag and write the date on the bag.

If your mussels don’t get freezer burn, they can last for six months. When ready to use them, remove the mussels from the freezer and let them thaw slowly in the refrigerator before using them.

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Pickled mussels are versatile and delicious. You can easily pickle a big batch of mussels and keep them in an airtight jar in the fridge for three months. First, prepare and cook your mussels. Then, remove them from their shells and add them to some pickling liquid. You can also add other ingredients like garlic or chiles. Finally, place the mussels in the fridge for up to three months.