Chef Resources & Tools

Buy from a Seafood Partner you can trust!
FACILITY & CAPABILITIES
Home
Chef Resources & Tools
Welcome to our chef resource and tool section.
Use the links below to access helpful information.
Seasonal Calendar
When you buy seafood, you expect it to meet certain high standards. If the quality falls short of your expectation, chances are you’ll refuse to make a purchase. Your customers are the same way. They expect the very best from you, and if they don’t get it, they’ll go to someone else. Or, worse yet, they’ll simply give up on seafood altogether. Don’t let that happen. Make sure you buy and sell nothing but the best. Use the quality guide below to help you recognize top-grade seafood and keep substandard product from ever reaching your customers.
S
= Sustainably Caught Option!
= Month Available
S
Albacore
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Amberjack
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Baramundi
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Black Bass, Massachusetts
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Black Bass, Rhode Island
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Black Bass, Virginia
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Black Cod (Sable)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Black Drum
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Blue Marlin
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Catfish
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Cobia, Carolina
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Cod, East Coast
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Cod, Norwegian
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Cod, West Coast
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Corvina (Golden)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Corvina (Silver)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Crab, Dungeness
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Crab, Maryland & Virginia
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Crab, Venezuela
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Crawfish, Louisiana
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Escolar (Butterfish)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Fluke, Carolina
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Fluke, Massachusetts
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Fluke, New Jersey
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Fluke, Rhode Island
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Fluke, Virginia
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Grouper, East Cosat Atlantic
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Grouper, Gulf of Mexico
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Haddock
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Hake (Silver Hake)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Halibut, East Coast
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Halibut, West Coast
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Hamachi (Yellow Tail)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
John Dory, Domestic
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
John Dory, New Zealand
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Lobsters, Canadian
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Lobsters, Domestic
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Loupe de Mer (Wolf Fish)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Mahi (H&G), South America
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Mahi (Head On), Domestic
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Mako Shark
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Monk
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Opah (Moon Fish)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Oysters, Canadian
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Oysters, Chesapeake
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Oysters, New England
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Pollock
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Pompano
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Ray Wings, Chesapeake
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Razor Clams
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Redfish (Red Drum)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Salmon (Chum/Keta), Canada
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Salmon (Chum/Keta), West Coast
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Salmon (Coho)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Salmon (H&G Net Kings)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Salmon (Sockeye)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Salmon (Troll Kings)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Scallops (Diver), Sea, Mano de Leon
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Scallops, Nantucket Bays
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Scallops, Sea, Chem Free Day Boat
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Sea Bass, Chilean
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Sea Urchin (Live)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Shad
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Shad (Boned)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Shad (Roe)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Shrimp, Carolina
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Shrimp, Domestic Gulf
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Shrimp, Key West 'Pinks'
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Shrimp, Mexican Gulf
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Skate Wings
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Snapper (American Red & Caribbean)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Snapper (Lane)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Snapper (Yellow Tail)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Squid, Domestic
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Steelhead
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Stone Bass (Wreckfish)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Stone Crab Claws
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Striped Bass (Rockfish)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Sword
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Sword, Canadian (Harpoon)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Sword, Domestic (Hand Line)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Tautog (Black Fish)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Tilapia
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Tile (Golden)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Tile (Grey)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Trigger
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Tuna (Bluefin), Canadian
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Tuna (Yellowfin)
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Turbot, Canadian
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Wahoo
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
Walleye
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
White Bass
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
S
White Fish
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Safety - Quality Guide
When you buy seafood, you expect it to meet certain high standards. If the quality falls short of your expectation, chances are you’ll refuse to make a purchase. Your customers are the same way. They expect the very best from you, and if they don’t get it, they’ll go to someone else. Or, worse yet, they’ll simply give up on seafood altogether. Don’t let that happen. Make sure you buy and sell nothing but the best. Use the quality guide below to help you recognize top-grade seafood and keep substandard product from ever reaching your customers.
Fresh, Whole or Dressed Fish
Good Quality
Poor Quality
Eyes
Clear, bright, bulging; black pupil
Dull, sunken, cloudy; gray pupil 
Gills
Bright-red, free of slime, clear mucus
Brown to gray, thick yellow mucus
Flesh
Firm, elastic to touch, tight to bone
Soft and flabby, separating from bone
Scales
Tightly adhered to skin, bright color, few missing
Dull, large number missing
Belly cavity
Thoroughly eviscerated and washed, no blood
Incomplete evisceration, traces of blood, cuts
Odor
Ocean fresh, slight seaweed smell
Strong "fishy", putrid or ammonia smell
Fresh Fillets/Steaks
Good Quality
Poor Quality
Color
Varies with species, but should be bright, uniform
Bruises, red spots, yellowing or browning at edges
Flesh
Cleanly cut, free of skin (if skinless), no bones, firm, moist
Ragged edges, traces of bones and skin (if skinless), soft and mushy, gaping, dried out
Odor
Ocean fresh, slight seaweed smell
Strong “fishy,” putrid or ammonia smell
Shellfish
Good Quality
Poor Quality
Live crabs and lobsters
Legs move when touched; lobster tail curls under when lobster is lifted; solid weight, hard shell 
No movement; lobster tail hangs limp; light weight for size; excessively soft shell (except for softshell blue crab)
Live clams, mussels, oysters, scallops
Shells tightly closed or close when tapped; shells clean, unbroken and moist; beards still on mussels; fresh scent. Neck of a softshell clam should retract when touched
Gaping shells, don't dose when tapped; broken, dirty or dried-out shells; strong fishy odor 
Shucked clams, mussels, oysters, scallops
Plump meats; clear liquor, no shell particles or grit; liquid less than 10 percent of volume; clean oceany smell; scallops hold their shape
Meats dried out, shriveled or discolored; excessive or cloudy liquid; shell particles and grit; sour odor
Fresh Shrimp
Firm meat and no vein if P&D: translucent, moist shell; firm to touch; mild odor
Black spots (melanosis) on shell; dull, dry shells; soft flesh and traces of vein (if P&D); strong iodine odor
Surimi seafood
Snow-white or off-white meat; texture appropriate to species being imitated; firm; free of high proportion of natural fish ingredient; fresh scent
Red coloring bleeding into white meat; mushy or overly firm texture; Impurities in meat; excessive liquid in package; off-color product; excessive starches and binders; sour or fermented odor
Frozen Seafood
Good Quality
Poor Quality
Frozen Seafood
Flesh is solidly frozen and glossy. When thawed, should meet same criteria as fresh
Partially thawed; white or dark spots on flesh; ice crystals or freezer burn on flesh; dry, papery edges; discoloration; tough when cooked 
Critical Temperature Phases
Cleaning Water
Above 180ºF
Point-of-contact water temperature for cleaning equipment, floors, walls, etc.
Danger Zone
40º to 140ºF
Bacteria grow rapidly. Foods should pass through the Danger Zone as rapidly as possible.
Critical Zone
40º to 100ºF
The growth range of most food-poisoning bacteria.
Thawing
32º to 35ºF
Ideal for slow thawing to minimize drip loss and protect flavor, aroma and texture. Allow 24 to 36 hours, and let product drain.
Fresh Storage
30º to 40ºF
Food-spoilage-rate is minimized. (Note: for every 10°F rise in storage tempera ture, shelf life is halved.)
Freezing
27º to 30ºF
Most of the water content of seafood is converted into ice.
Frozen Storage
0º to –20ºF
Quality of frozen seafoods is maintained. Storage life doubles for every 10°F decrease in temperature.
Quick Frozen
Below –20ºF
Rapid freezing rate.
Chef Conversion Calculator
Convert Weight
Convert Temperature
Convert Volume

J.J.MCDONNELL & CO.

Quick Links

WHAT'S DUE IN?
SEAFOOD SPOTLIGHT
OYSTER AVAILABILITY
LOCAL SELECTIONS
CAVIAR AVAILABILITY
Stay up to date!
J.J. McDonnell will keep you up to date on product specials and availability
Sign up for product specials, market reports and text message alerts.
Get nutritional information, flavor, texture
and cooking tips.
Bass, Striped