The Proper Way To Store Canned Anchovies After You've Opened Them

Anchovies may be small, but their flavor is far from it. And with their potent salty finish, most people either love them or despise them. Much like spinach and broccoli, anchovies got coined as a kid's culinary nightmare and were often mocked in late '90s cartoons like Futurama and SpongeBob (via IMDb and YouTube). 

Even debates on whether they should be on pizza may have rivaled the pineapple pizza controversy, per Pizza Bien. However, the anchovy aversion has seemed to dial down, and the small fish can be appreciated for its unique versatility.

While pizza and a traditional Caesar salad are the more common dishes to make with anchovies, dozens of recipes utilize the cured fish for savor and texture. Anchovies can add a rush of flavor to anything from pasta to a frittata, but one or two can go a long way. This often leads to excess anchovies with no plan in mind, and no one wants to see another can go forgotten in the fridge. To ensure anchovies stay fresh for the next recipe, they must be stored properly.

Ditch the can, put the anchovies in a container, and cover them in oil

One of the biggest mistakes one can make when storing opened canned anchovies is to toss them right in the fridge as is. And while you may think it's because you're putting your health at risk regarding the toxic effects of metal on your food, this is not a significant threat due to low levels of BPA, states the FDA. Storing an open tin in the fridge for a few days isn't likely to cause any harmful effects — but it will impact the taste (via the USDA). Even if the tin is carefully resealed with plastic wrap or a food hugger, it's nearly impossible to prevent that metallic taste from seeping into the fillets.

To avoid this metal mishap, the anchovies can be transferred to a container or dish and then completely submerged in oil. The oil will keep the anchovies from drying out and spoiling just as long as the fillets are entirely covered. They can then be stored airtight in the fridge and enjoyed even months later. 

For salt-packed anchovies, BBC Good Food advises adding more salt before refrigerating. Not only will the salty oil keep the anchovies tasting fresh, but oil with a brine-like essence is a bonus.