Properly thawing (or slacking) frozen calamari not only preserves the high quality of the product, it ensures that you are getting the full amount of squid that you ordered! It also cuts down on overall cook time in the kitchen.
Most restaurants and other foodservice operations place the frozen block of squid in their walk-in cooler and let the block thaw for 36-72 hours. With the fans running and natural moisture allowed to drip out of the product, the true net weight—the actual weight of product without its container or packaging—is never determined.
So, what can you do to ensure that you get what you paid for? Give your squid a bath! The most effective and efficient way for foodservice operators to thaw calamari is with an “immersion” or “water bath thaw.” Follow the instruction below to thaw frozen calamari and determine the net weight of the block.
What you will need:
- Wire mesh basket large enough to hold contents of one package and with openings small enough to retain all pieces
- S. No. 8 sieve or kitchen colander
- Place the frozen block of squid in a wire mesh basket and immerse in a gallon of water at 80°F. Be sure to keep the temperature over 75°F.
- Let the block sit in the water. Thawing should take 30-40 minutes.
- As soon as product thaws, as determined by loss of rigidity, transfer all material to the sieve or colander, tilting at a 30-degree angle for two minutes.
- Transfer the squid to a tared container on the scale and record the weight. Most scales have a tare button to subtract the weight of the container from the product. The weight is calculated by total weight minus the tared container weight.