How long can you keep beef stew in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can you keep beef stew in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of beef stew. Moreover, we are going to discuss the different ways to spot spoiled beef stew.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long can you keep beef stew in the fridge?

Cooked beef stew lasts in the fridge for 3-4 days if kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be kept in plastic zipper bags or air-tight containers on one of the refrigerator’s shelves.

On the other hand, raw beef stew meat lasts for about 1-2 days when stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in a plastic zipper bag or air-tight container.

It’s worth noting that the values given above are for beef stew’s expected shelf life.

What is the best temperature to keep beef stew at?

Beef stew should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower at all times. Bacterial development is more rapid between the temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it’s best to keep your beef stew at a lower temperature to keep it fresh for longer.

How long does beef stew last at room temperature?

When kept at room temperature, beef stew lasts for around 2 hours.

Because bacterial growth occurs at a quicker rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, beef stew left out for more than 2 hours should be discarded.

Furthermore, if the surrounding temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the rotting process is accelerated, and beef stew left out in the open for more than an hour at such temperature should be discarded.

How long does beef stew last in the freezer?

Cooked beef stew lasts for 4-6 months in the freezer while raw beef stew meat lasts for about 3-4 months if stored in an airtight plastic freezer bag, although it is best consumed within 1-2 months for the best quality and taste.

As a result, freezing the beef stew extends its shelf life significantly due to the freezer’s low temperature, which inhibits bacterial growth on the beef stew.

How to defrost frozen beef stew?

You can quickly defrost frozen beef stew by placing it in the refrigerator overnight, and thawed beef stew can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days before reheating and consuming it.

If you’re defrosting frozen beef stew in a bowl of cold water, the microwave, or on the counter, you should utilize it right away after reheating it till its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to vacuum seal beef stew? 

You may even vacuum seal your beef stew at home to extend its shelf life. It involves placing the beef stew in a plastic zipper bag, eliminating the air, then nearly sealing the bag with a small amount of space remaining while lowering it into water.

After that, start pressing out the bubbles starting from the bag’s bottom and work your way up to the sealed end, closing the bag’s seal. 

A vacuum sealer pump can also be used to easily vacuum seal beef stew at home.

Is it possible to refrigerate the reheated beef stew?

Once the previously cooked refrigerated/frozen beef stew has been reheated, it should never be refrigerated again. Because the temperature of the beef stew goes above 40 degrees Fahrenheit when reheated and we know that bacteria develops rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

As a result, bacteria will make their way into your beef stew and reheated beef stew should never be refrigerated, rather it is better to consume it completely or otherwise discard the reheated leftovers properly.

What are different ways to spot spoiled beef stew?

There are a few clear indicators that indicate if your beef stew has gone bad. To determine if beef stew has gone bad, look at its appearance, texture, and smell.

Appearance

If you see mold or other organic growth on your beef stew or if it has discoloration, it’s time to throw it out.

It’s worth noting that you should avoid smelling moldy beef stew since molds can produce mycotoxins, which can disturb your gut microflora and damage your immune system if they enter your body by inhalation.

Texture

If you touch the beef stew and it feels sticky, slimy, or gooey, it’s time to throw it out.

Smell

If you smell something sour or ammonia-like while sniffing your beef stew, it’s time to throw it out.

Lastly, I do not recommend tasting beef stew with a foul odor, but if you are brave (and silly) enough, you will notice a significant change in the texture and mouthfeel of the spoiled beef stew. It will have an off-flavor.

Thus, if the microbes have somehow gotten into your beef stew and spoiled it, the best thing you can do is throw it out.

How to properly store beef stew?

  1. Because microscopic organisms grow quickly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F, it is best to refrigerate the beef stew within 2 hours it is cooked in airtight containers to extend its shelf life while keeping its quality.
  1. If you wish to extend the shelf life of prepared beef stew, keep it in an airtight container in the freezer. Cooked beef stew that has been frozen at 0°C is safe to use for extremely long periods.
  1. Beef stew should be stored in shallow compact containers to allow it to cool quickly.

You can read how to make beef stew here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can you keep beef stew in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of beef stew. Moreover, we discussed the different ways to spot spoiled beef stew.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16499#:~:text=Properly%20stored%2C%20cooked%20beef%20stew,or%20heavy%2Dduty%20freezer%20bags.
https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16510

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