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Can You Freeze Irish Stew?

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By Ross Young

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Irish stew is the perfect meal for hearty dinners in colder weather. Packed full of lamb and veggies it’s a meal that’s filling and good for you.

Irish stew is best made in large amounts which can lead to a dilemma that is why you are wondering, can you freeze Irish stew?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze Irish stew. Irish stew can be frozen for around 3 months. It’s easy to freeze and it freezes well. Just divide it into portions and pop it into the freezer for an easy meal to eat whenever you need it.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

How to Freeze Irish Stew

You can freeze Irish stew in the same way you would freeze any stew. It’s easy, relatively quick and shouldn’t lose too much of its taste.

  1. Cool
    Once your Irish stew is cooked, allow it to cool completely. If you have cooked up a huge batch, it could take a couple of hours to cool completely, so you may need to be patient.
  2. Portion Out
    Divide the Irish stew up into portions. You can choose single portions or larger family size portions. Just be careful because you will need to eat it all within a day or two when you thaw out a portion because you can’t refreeze it.
  3. Bag Up
    Spoon each portion into a freezer-safe container or quality freezer bag. You need to be sure that the stew won’t spill into the freezer before it freezes, so make sure the type of bag or container you use is suitable.
  4. Seal
    Seal the bags or containers tightly. If you need to, then you can add a second bag to ensure you don’t end up with spills in the freezer.
  5. Freeze
    Label with the date and contents and pop the portions of Irish stew into the freezer.

3 Tips for Freezing Irish Stew

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

  • Seal Tight
    Make sure you seal the containers tight before freezing Irish stew. That freezer burn taste that nobody likes? Well, it comes from food being exposed to the air inside the freezer.
  • Ensure Ingredients are Even
    Make sure you get a good variety of ingredients into each portion before freezing. You can do this by giving the stew a good stir before ladling a portion into the freezer container. This helps to ensure you don’t end up with a portion full of one ingredient instead of a mix of all of the lovely stew.
  • Allow Flavours to Develop Overnight
    Usually, we recommend that you freeze any food as soon as possible after it has been cooked, but stew develops its flavour over time. So, leave it in the fridge for a day to develop a full flavour before freezing.

How Long Can You Freeze Irish Stew?

You can keep your Irish stew in the freezer for up to three months. This is to ensure that none of the lamb or veggies deteriorates. This would then affect the stew’s taste, and you want to keep the flavour as high quality as you can.

You can avoid this problem by making sure you add the date to the stew before freezing, so you don’t forget when to use it.

You Can Freeze Irish Stew for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Irish Stew?

When it comes to defrosting, you have a few options to consider. The safest and best method is to thaw the stew out slowly. You can do this by popping the container into a bowl and putting this in the fridge for several hours until it has completely thawed.

However, there are times when you need your food a little quicker, and you are in luck because you can thaw out the stew quickly if you need it.

There are two methods to do this, and with both, you need to ensure that you plan to eat the stew immediately because these two methods will heat the stew a little as it thaws.

The first method is to pop the stew into the microwave in a microwave bowl. Turn the settings to defrost and then microwave for a couple of minutes. Stir the stew and repeat until the stew has completely thawed out.

You need to then heat the stew and eat it immediately.

The second method is to put the stew into a saucepan and pop it on a low heat on the hob. You need to use a very low heat and stir continuously to ensure the Irish stew thaws out evenly.

As always, ensure the food is piping hot before eating.

Can You Refreeze Irish Stew?

No, you can’t refreeze Irish stew once it has been thawed out. The food degrades and can even start to spoil. The biggest problem is the bacteria that can grow while being thawed, reheated, and then frozen.

This bacteria can then make you sick if you are unlucky.

Does Irish Stew Freeze Well?

Like other types of stews, Irish stew is one of those wonderful types of meal that freeze brilliantly. You shouldn’t notice much difference at all between frozen and freshly cooked stew, making it perfect for a handy meal to keep in the freezer.

Related FAQs

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

Can You Freeze Stew and Dumpling?

Although you can freeze stew and dumplings, it might not be the best idea. The stew element will freeze fine, much like Irish stew. You’ll have some textural issues with the dumplings, however, which can become increasingly soggy. 

Instead, try making dumplings fresh on the day you plan to serve them with stew

Freeze Stew Dumplings

Can You Freeze Stew in Bags?

Provided that you buy good-quality, thick, freezer-safe bags, then you certainly you. You need two things from bags when freezing stew.

You need them to be thick so that they don’t leak. You also need them to be airtight to avoid freezer burn and oxidation. 

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