Sometimes when I get frozen fish, it comes with several pieces frozen together (specifically, Trader Joe's does this with all of their frozen fish).

Is there any good way of separating them without fully thawing?

This could also apply to other frozen things, but I'm mainly interested in fish.

  • 2
    I'd bitch, and loudly. That's a brainless, rookie maneuver.
    – Jolenealaska
    Dec 11, 2013 at 1:05
  • 1
    Probably not if you want the pieces whole. I guess you could saw off a chunk, if you intend on cutting the fish into pieces.
    – citizen
    Dec 11, 2013 at 9:57
  • I usually submerge them in cold water for about 5 - 10 minutes. This way you thaw enough the fish just to separate them.
    – ILikeTacos
    Dec 11, 2013 at 17:29

3 Answers 3


If the pieces are only frozen together in a few places, you might want to try heating a butter knife up under hot water and then using that to pry them apart. This is similar to heating up an ice cream scoop. It won't work if they are really packed in together tightly though.


Pretty much no matter what you do, you will be damaging the product (either physically or otherwise) to some degree. The balance is, how much are you willing to damage the product vs. how much time and effort do you want to expend?

(Non)Individually Quick Frozen foods are a pain if you only intend to use one of the fillets at a time.

Quick and sloppy:

Pry the frozen fillets apart using a case knife or use a wedge of some sort to separate them physically without thawing.

Middle ground compromise:

A hack saw can be used to good effect. It's especially easy to make two "half fillets" by cutting across the fillets together instead of trying to separate them.

Easy does it:

Try thawing for a couple of moments in shallow cold water. Keep the fish you intend to "throw back" out of the water as much as you can to avoid thawing-refreezing-thawing damage for next time.


through them hard down on a concrete surface and they should shatter apart. Select the ones you want and put theh other back re-wrapped into the freezer. Aussie solutions are best.

  • 1
    Not sure why this was downvoted. It works fine.
    – Sneftel
    Feb 15 at 19:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.