Can You Freeze Stew?

If you are wondering, can you freeze stew, then you have come to the right place. In this article that’s exactly what we are going to talk about!

It is no wonder this is a commonly asked question. Stew is one of those meals that tastes fab and it uses up all those leftover ingredients in one tasty dish. Warming and comforting during autumn and winter there is no better meal than a good hearty stew.

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze stew. Stew can be frozen for around 6 months. Once cooled, portion into thick freezer bags or Tupperware containers before sealing and then placing into the freezer. 

How To Freeze Stew

Stew is fairly easy to freeze and it takes almost no effort at all to do successfully. The main issue you have is keeping it airtight and of course avoiding spills in the freezer while it is still liquidy.

Let’s find out how you freeze stew:

  1. Prepare Containers
    You need to find a suitable container for the freezer. You can use any container that is freezer safe and comes with a lid. Alternatively, you can get some liquid safe freezer bags and use those instead.
  2. Cool Stew
    Allow the stew to cool completely before freezing.
  3. Portion Out
    Once it has cooled, transfer the stew into the container. Leave a gap at the top of the container or bag to allow the liquid in the stew to expand during the freezing process.
  4. Seal
    Seal the container well. It is worth adding a secondary bag around the container to ensure you don’t get any spills in the freezer.
  5. Label and Freeze
    Add a label with the date and contents and pop it into the freezer and freeze.

This method will work fine for any stew whether that’s a classic beef bourguignon, a coq au vin or a spicy pork stew.

How to Freeze Irish Stew?

Irish stew is traditionally made with lamb or mutton and a selection of seasonal root veggies. A hearty meal that is as tasty now as ever and the great news is that you can freeze it too.

To freeze Irish stew all you need to do is follow the same method mentioned in this article. This is a meal that freezes well, keeps for a long time and is delicious even after it has been frozen.

3 Tips for Freezing Stew

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing stew to have the best results:

  • Leave in the Fridge for 24hrs – If you leave a stew in the fridge overnight before freezing it, you’ll find that the flavour develops further giving your stew an extra layer of richness. 
  • Freeze In Portions – By freezing in portions, you ensure you never waste any stew. Once defrosted, you need to eat it. 
  • Add Fresh Herbs Afterwards – Once defrosted and reheated, add a sprinkling of fresh herbs to add some freshness to the stew. It’s a great way to hide the fact it was once frozen. 

How Long Can You Freeze Stew?

Any stew should be fine in the freezer for up to 6 months. The key to freezing stew well and for an extended period of time is to ensure you store it airtight. This will slow down any degradation that can occur in the freezer over time.

You Can Freeze Stew for Around 6 Months

How Do You Defrost Stew?

When it comes to defrosting your stew the best way to do it is slowly to ensure that everything thaws out evenly. To do this then just pop the frozen stew into a bowl and then put it in the fridge.

It will take a few hours to defrost so it’s best to get the stew out of the freezer the night before you plan to eat it and let it defrost overnight.

If you need to defrost the stew a little quicker than you do have a couple of options. You can pop it into the microwave and thaw it out on a defrost setting.

The best way to do this is to check the stew every minute or so and give it a stir to make sure it defrosts evenly.

Finally, you might find yourself asking can you cook stew from frozen?

Well, another option for defrosting it quickly is by popping it into a saucepan and heating it up very slowly on the hob. This method may not be the best but it does work if you are in a pinch.

Can You Refreeze Stew?

Stew contains a good mix of ingredients and none of them are recommended for refreezing. The veg, in particular, can become mushy or change texture during the freezing process and it may not survive if you try and freeze it for a second time.

Does Stew Freeze Well?

Stew does freeze well but it is worth keeping in mind that it’s rare for any food to really ever quite as good frozen as it is fresh. Stew is no different. It will still taste great but it may be slightly different.

How well your stew freezes will also depend on the ingredients in it. Some vegetables can change texture considerably during the freezing process and might become soft.

This shouldn’t be a problem in your stew but it is something to bear in mind when freezing the stew.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing stew or stew in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Chicken Stew?

As mentioned above, the method in this article will work well for any type of stew. You just need to ensure there is plenty of liquid to keep it moist when reheating and you need to ensure you store it airtight to prevent any rapid degradation of the flavour and texture of your stew.

Can You Freeze Vegetable Stew?

Vegetable stew, like most meat stews, will also freeze well. Bear in mind that stewed vegetables can become a little mushier when frozen and thawed so you might notice a change in the usual texture. Having said that, it’s perfectly safe to freeze it.

Can You Freeze Dumplings in Stew?

This is not something we would advise. If you want to freeze dumplings then we would suggest keeping them out of the stew. This will prevent their texture from changing significantly.

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