Can you cook frozen kippers?

In this article, we’ll address the query: can you cook frozen kippers? Also, we’ll discuss how frozen kippers can be cooked, what kippers are, how they are preserved, how they can be stored once made, and the benefits of eating kippers. 

Can you cook frozen Kippers?

Yes, you can, and in fact, you must cook frozen Kippers. These can come in one of three presentations; frozen, fresh, or canned. As canned kippers are heated once they’ve been packaged, they don’t require more cooking, whereas fresh and frozen kippers do. 

As frozen kippers require cooking, they can be boiled within their vacuum-sealed packaging (this preserves their distinct flavor), grilled, sauteéd, and poached. 

How can I cook frozen kippers?

Both frozen and fresh kippers can be cooked by grilling (if you have an open space or a well-ventilated kitchen), poaching, boiling or sautéeing, and even baking. To be clear, cooking frozen kippers will take a little longer than cooking them fresh, as it will take a little longer for the meat to thaw and be properly cooked.   

It should be noted that out of all the available options for cooking kippers, grilling concentrates the most flavor and enhances the fish’s smell, which may not necessarily appeal to all readers.  

There are many recipes available for frozen kippers, and selecting one over another is a matter of personal taste.   

Alternatively, if stocked with canned kippers, one can dispense with the cooking altogether and accompany them with bread, crackers, salads and other snacks.

What are kippers?

Kippers are preserved fish. Specifically, they are made from herrings that have been fished in season, cut in half down the middle from head to tail, cleaned of all offal, then either salted or pickled, and finally, cold-smoked. This process for preserving herrings is called -kippering- which gave rise to the product’s distinct name. 

Traditionally, kippers have a history of being a staple food of Victorian and Edwardian households, as the process of kippering was popularized in the mid-nineteenth century. However, in the 1970s, their popularity was superseded by other industrialized and more readily available foods. 

Kippering as a process reduces the amount of water in the meat and cures the fish, giving it a characteristically smokey flavor while avoiding exposure to heat, which will make the meat turn rancid. 

Kippers that are traditionally prepared have a distinct gold-tinted color, whereas industrially kippered herrings are sometimes subjected to artificial flavoring and coloring, which commonly occurs when the herrings used are on the lean side, and were most likely fished out of season.  

How are kippers made and preserved? 

Kippers are made by first acquiring fresh, meaty, quality herrings. These fish must be on the more plump side, as kippering reduces their weight, by removing the water content in the meat. 

These fresh herrings must be backcut, which means that they have to be cut in half, down the length of their body and opened flate. The fish, still in one piece, must then be cleaned of any viscera (guts) and gently rinsed with water. 

Once the fish have been cut open, one can proceed with the brining, which consists in submerging the fish in brine (saltwater). The brine is prepared at a proportion of 1:6 with 250 grams of tablesalt for every 1.5 liters of water. 

The amount of time for which the herrings are brined may vary according to a the fish’s size and weight, but the longer the herring remain in submerged, the more savory they’ll be when finished. 

Once the herrings have soaked up as much brine as needed, they’ll be mounted, pierced through and held wide open, then cold smoked for an overnight period. 

After the fish (now kippers), have been properly smoked and carefully dismounted, they can be packaged in tin cans, frozen or even sold as-is. Frozen kippers have the longest shelf-life so long as they’re stored in subzero temperatures, fresh kippers are ideally refrigerated and best eaten within a week, whereas canned kippers have their peak freshness printed on the can’s expiration date. 

Are frozen kippers good for you? 

Kippers are healthy to eat, as these fish are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for promoting general health. Also, they are a good source of protein, and have very few calories per serving. In addition, kippers are a quality source of Vitamin D, B-12 and riboflavin.

Below, we’re listing the nutritional content of grilled kippers.  

Nutritional content – Per 100g of grilled kippers

  • Energy- 245kcal
  • Fat 17.6g (of which saturated fat 3.74g)
  • Protein- 21.7g

In short, kippers are versatile, healthy, and savory fish that can be cooked in many ways and cater to many tastes.


In this article, we’ve addressed the query: “can you cook frozen kippers?” Also, we’ve discussed how frozen kippers can be cooked, what kippers are, how they are preserved, how they can be stored once made, and the benefits of eating kippers.


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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.