Can you defrost the octopus?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “can you defrost the octopus?”  and other queries related to this topic.

Can you defrost the octopus? 

Yes, you can defrost the octopus and this is an essential step before cooking it. This step is crucial to get a very tender octopus that is tasty and easy to chew. Skipping the thawing step might increase your chance of getting hard and tough meat.

Moreover, you can defrost your octopus in the refrigerator which is the best method. Remove the octopus from the freezer and keep it overnight in the refrigerator on a plate to avoid water leakage onto other cooked food. Octopus might take a long time to be completely thawed.

Furthermore, you can keep the defrosted octopus for two days in the fridge before cooking it. Hence, if you want to thaw it faster, place the octopus in a bowl and turn on the cold water. Keep it running until it is completely defrosted.

However, as long as you are cooking the octopus in the right way it does not matter if they are bought fresh from the store or frozen. Thus, when you want to buy fresh octopus keep in mind that the size will shrink during cooking and you will not always find a fresh octopus.

In case you found fresh octopus on the market, consider freezing them for several days before starting the cooking process because freezing can make the muscle fibers less resistant.

However, in the absence of fresh octopus, frozen octopus is a good-to-go option.  

Freezing might give you a better outcome and more tender meat. Thus, in the freezer, the octopus can sit for a long time. Generally, if well preserved and stored, the octopus can last for nine months in a freezer bag or a well-sealed container.

Can you freeze octopus?

Yes, you can freeze fresh octopus and freezing will give you a better outcome and more tender meat that will require less cooking time. However, you will find a frozen octopus in the supermarket. Consider storing them in the freezer directly after you get home.

Do not leave any perishable food at room temperature for more than two hours. The longer you keep your frozen food at warm temperatures, the higher your risk of getting poisoned by bacteria, due to their overgrowth and proliferation at high temperatures.

When stored in an air-tight container and well-sealed freezer bag, the octopus can be left for nine months in the freezer. It is recommended to consume the octopus within this time because after that its quality will start decreasing, especially when defrosting its texture will become softer.

To defrost your octopus, you need to well-clean and cut them before placing the octopus in the freezer. So, clean the whole octopus in clean water until it is free from any debris. Next, cut them according to how you are willing to use them after defrosting.

The smaller the chunks the less time you will need to thaw them before cooking. The whole octopus might need up to 24 hours in the refrigerator to be completely thawed, however, small pieces have higher chances to be thawed overnight.

How to cook octopus until it is tender?

Many ways can be followed to cook your octopus. One of them is by boiling or braising the octopus. First, bring a pot and place some salt in it, then bring water to a boil and dip the meat in it for a maximum of three seconds in the boiling water. Repeat this step three times.

When done, braise the octopus on low heat in a mixture of wine and water or tomato sauce. This is a slow cooking method but in the end, you will get a tender meat. The cooking process takes about four to five hours. When time is up, remove the octopus to avoid overcooking it. 

Furthermore, you can grill your octopus. But before, you need to pre-cook them by dipping the octopus in boiled water as already mentioned. Next, season your octopus by adding some salt, pepper, and oil, keep it on a covered grill for five minutes and then flip it to the other side.

When the octopus turns brown, remove it from the grill and serve it with extra sauce. In addition, one of the other methods to cook your octopus is roasting. This method does not need pre-cooking but the cooking process requires more time in order to get a well-cooked octopus.

Place the octopus in an oven-safe pan, season it and cover the pan with foil paper. Turn the oven on and place the octopus in it and leave it for up to two hours. During this time, check on it regularly by piercing a knife or a fork in the meat. Then remove it when it reaches the perfect texture.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “can you defrost the octopus?” and other queries related to this topic.


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.