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Icing Techniques

Fish that have been properly slush iced can stay fresh for ten or more days.

Fish that have been properly slush iced can stay fresh for ten or more days.

Ice preserves fish quality and ensures a safe product for your consumers. A few simple steps can ensure your fresh, high quality salmon stays that way for over a week. The primary steps are to properly ice your fish and use insulated totes and containers that will keep the ice from melting quickly. Using easy-to-clean containers with smooth surfaces and no sharp edges will help prevent damaging your fish.

Use at least one pound of ice for each pound of fish—more is better. Crush or flake ice is better than cubed, as it does not leave dimple marks. If cubed ice is all that’s available, use it—it’s always better than no ice. Always thoroughly clean your totes between uses. The following are some options that you may choose to get ice (price and availability may change):

  • Arctic Glacier Inc, 955 N Columbia Blvd, Portland, OR 97217. (503) 285-2800. arcticglacierinc.com. They are open 7 days per week. They are open until 2:30 p.m. from Monday through Friday and until about noon on Saturday and Sunday. They will fill totes for $44 (approximately 5½¢/lb), but the totes must be completely clean or they cannot bring them into their plant to fill.
  • Gem Ice, 3003 E 2nd St, The Dalles, OR 97058. (541) 296-5386. Hours: 6:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
  • At this time Tribal FishCo is not open for ice sales.

Making Slush Ice

The temperature of fresh water and ice is 32ºf. By adding salt, the temperature drops to about 28ºf yet stays liquid. Salt, a natural preservative, also slows the rate of bacterial growth. This mixture of water, ice, and salt is called “slush ice.”

To make slush ice: Fill a clean, non-leaking tote ¼ full with fresh water. Add 3-5 lbs. salt and stir until completely dissolved. Stirring continuously, add about a third of tote ice (preferably flake) until the mixture is the consistency of a Slurpee.

Adding fish to slush ice: Grasp fish by the tail and gently force into the slush solution head first until completely submerged. When the tote is nearly full, add a layer of ice on top of the slush to ensure that all of the fish are properly chilled.

Slush solution should be discarded after each use and the tote cleaned before making the next batch of slush ice using fresh ingredients.

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