Most folks think the grocery store is the only place to buy fresh halibut. If you’re in that camp, you may be surprised to know that you can get halibut, fresh from the ocean, delivered straight to your door in a matter of days. We’ve answered some basic questions you might have initially about ordering halibut online. You may be hosting a dinner party and want to ensure you find high quality halibut. By contrast, you might simply enjoy eating nice seafood yourself. No matter your preference, below is a guide to get you started on sourcing your halibut.
Alaskan Halibut Fillets and Portions
Is Frozen Halibut Still Fresh?
It may seem like a contradiction that fresh halibut is often shipped frozen. However, knowing how the halibut gets from the water to your plate might clarify some things. There are great online services that have streamlined the shipping process to ensure maximum freshness for the customer. We all know that the freshness of a fish decreases the longer it is out of water. So, the fish is cut into any of the options available (like fillets and steaks) within hours of the fishermen catching the fish. Most fishers also blast-freeze halibut aboard the fishing vessel. Freezing locks in the freshness of the fish and preserves it for its journey potentially across the country to the customer.
If you’re looking for reputable places to buy halibut, we can help you out. Check out our halibut comparison grids to see who’s offering the best price for what you need.
Comparing Prices: Shipped Fresh or Grocery Store
With halibut, you get what you pay for. This is important to consider if you’re deciding between visiting the grocery store and ordering online. On average, the price per pound for halibut bought in a grocery store ranges from $17-$20. Places like Walmart, Whole Foods, and Meijer carry halibut, and you can usually get a decent price. The packs are typically between 10 and 12 ounces.
Buying fresh from online suppliers does tend to be more expensive, but you end up paying more for a high-quality fish. For example, Sea to Table sells packs of fresh halibut for $28.50 per 10z pack. We’re not alone when we say the added cost is worth it. The extra dollars per pound nearly pay for themselves – you’ll get a higher quality fish, you’ll know more about where that fish came from, and it will ship to your doorstep directly from the source.
What Constitutes Fresh Halibut?
Most online retailers that sell freshly caught halibut process the fish almost as soon as its caught. This time frame ensures the fish does not have time to lose its characteristically subtle flavor. Instead, it’s frozen the peak of freshness.
When you buy halibut online, the fish should be frozen when it arrives at your door. If the halibut arrives and it has thawed and is no longer cold, your halibut is no longer fresh. There are also some physical indicators that your halibut may no longer be fresh. When looking at the fillet or steak, it should look plump and not dry. Additionally, halibut should be crispy white, not brown or off colored. If you notice any of those signs, contact your provider. You should not consume halibut that has gone bad, as it can pose a serious health risk. If you take photos of the thawed fish and contact your supplier quickly, you should be eligible for a refund.
If you’re considering buying halibut online, you’ll want to arm yourself with as much information as possible. Knowing what to expect can save you time and money, but it can make the process easier down the line. If you’re looking for more information on buying halibut, consider any of our following resources.