Can you freeze beef stew?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you freeze beef stew?” and discuss how to freeze beef stew?

Can you freeze beef stew?

Yes, you can freeze beef stew. For 4 to 12  months, beef stew may be frozen (1). Afterward, divide it into portions and store it in the freezer at room temperature before doing so. During storage, oxidation of lipids occurs, leading to the generation of off-flavors, characterized as warmed over flavors. Cooked meat is susceptible to lipid oxidation and phospholipids are the primary contributors to lipid oxidation and warmed over flavor development. When food is frozen, the rates of degradative reactions decrease, however, they are not seized, which limits the shelf life of frozen food (2).

Indonesia is an emerging economy, with high population growth and economic progress being the major driving forces for growing demand for animal sources of food. Red meat is a traditional animal food source in Indonesia. The cattle population in Indonesia is currently about 15.4 million, of which 43% are in Java Island, 25% are in the Eastern Islands, and the remaining 32% on other islands spread around Indonesia (6).

Beef Stew Freezing Instructions

Cooked beef may be stored for a few months in the freezer. However, there are a few things to keep in mind while freezing beef stew so that it retains its quality. Beef stew may be frozen in this manner:

Cool

The beef stew should not be kept until it has cooled to room temperature before doing so. Although you may leave it out on the counter, this can lead to bacterial development. Soak the pot for 10 to 15 minutes in cold water before serving. Until it reaches room temperature, do this.

Once the dish has been cooked it should be chilled as rapidly as possible. Long chill times will result in the additional decomposition of nutrients and may allow the germination of spore forming microorganisms as the stew passes through their optimum growth temperature range. This will lead to a reduced storage life after thawing (3).

Preparation of containers is required.

When storing, make use of sealed plastic containers. If the foil trays have tight lids and broad openings, they may also be used. Decide how big the container should be based on what you want to use it for. 

You need more storage space when you’re storing for the whole family. Using smaller containers for different meals can help prevent over-freezing stew. When choosing a container, think about how the item will be used before making a decision.

Rapid freezing techniques or immersion freezing will reduce the loss of turgor through ice crystal damage. Where possible, use containers and portions with dimensions that permit (a) rapid freezing using air and (b) cooking straight from frozen, is to be preferred (3).

Take a Bite.

Indent the containers with your stew. The stew will expand as it freezes, so be aware of this. Allow for this expansion by leaving about a centimeter between the rim of the lid and the rim of the stew.

Freeze the label and the frozen food.

Place the containers in the freezer once they have been labeled with the contents. To prevent leaks, maintain the containers at a level that is comfortable for you.

Cornstarch and flour, both thickeners, will separate when frozen. Think about freezing your stew and waiting to thicken it until just before serving. To preserve their texture, potatoes should be added to a reheated dish.

Cooking with Dumplings: How to Freeze Beef Stew

Dumplings, unlike conventional beef stew, cannot be cooked ahead of time and frozen. When reheated, dumplings lose their firmness, texture, and flavor, and tend to crumble. As a result, dumplings should be prepared and added to the stew only before eating.

When starch-containing foods are subjected to freezing and thawing, their sensory and physicochemical properties are extensively deteriorated. During freezing, water in these frozen foods turns into ice, resulting in phase separation. Upon thawing, the resultant water can be easily released from the food matrix, which is known as syneresis (4).

How to Freeze a Beef Stew in Three Easy Steps

You now know how to freeze it, so here are our top three advice for getting the greatest results when freezing beef stew:

  • Select Container Sizes based on the portion sizes you’re most likely to eat the stew in. One part at a time, you may thaw it as and when you like.
  • After Adding the Herbs, Stir in the Fresh Herbs – Once the stew has been reheated, add some fresh parsley to give it some flavor. This is a terrific technique to counterbalance the richness and mask the fact that it was previously frozen.
  • When finished, store in the refrigerator. Putting your stew in the fridge overnight will enable the flavors to meld before freezing, so do it the next day. All the flavors will develop more during this time in the fridge. What makes stew taste better the following day is the aging process.

Is Beef Stew safe to freeze?

For as long as you keep the beef stew in a sealable container, it will be safe to consume. A single dose may last for up to six months. Throughout this time, the quality will be maintained. For safety reasons, you may keep it in the fridge for a longer period of time, but the flavor will diminish with time.

What’s the best way to thaw beef stew?

To quickly thaw frozen beef stew, put it in the refrigerator overnight. It’s a lengthy procedure, but it’s also safer. It’s possible to thaw your stew in a matter of minutes if you’re in a hurry. It is possible to thaw beef stew in a microwave or a pot. If you prefer one approach over the other, you may do so. Both methods begin by running the freezer container through a cycle of hot water (5).

Do this for as long as it takes for the stew to thicken up a little.

A microwave-safe container is all that is needed after this. Clumping may develop if you don’t stop to stir often enough. This method will ensure that your stew is thoroughly defrosted and cooked.

You may do this method of defrosting by heating a pot, then putting all of the items in and letting it cook gently. Wait until the stew is completely melted before turning up the heat.

To learn more about freezing beef stew click here

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can you freeze beef stew?” and we discussed how to freeze beef stew?

Reference

  1. Foodkeeper. United States Department of Agriculture.
  2. Kulkarni, S., et al. Effect of grape seed extract on oxidative, color and sensory stability of a pre-cooked, frozen, re-heated beef sausage model system. Meat sci, 2011, 88, 139-144.
  3. Kennedy, C. J. Future trends in frozen foods. Managing frozen foods, 2000, 345-356. CRC Press.  
  4. Ye, Jiangping, et al. Improvement in freeze-thaw stability of rice starch gel by inulin and its mechanism. Food Chem, 2018, 268, 324-333.
  5. Freezing and Food Safety. United States Department of Agriculture.
  6. Smith, Stephen B., Takafumi Gotoh, and Paul L. Greenwood. Current situation and future prospects for global beef production: overview of special issue. Asian-Australas j anim sci, 2018, 31, 927.

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