As the winter months set in and we’re surrounded by hearty, warming food such as casseroles and stew, you might have a lot of leftovers on your hand. Freezing leftover stew is a great way to get another quick meal out of it on a busy day. But, do you know how to reheat frozen stew?
There are a few tips and tricks you can use to reheat frozen stew that will make it taste just as good (if not better) than the day it was originally made!
First of all, whether you’re reheating a stew or something else, avoid adding too much liquid. Keep in mind that the food will be absorbing some of it when heated, so there should only be enough to prevent burning and scorching.
The best way to reheat frozen stew is to simmer it at a lower temperature before slowly climbing to higher heat. This will ensure that your food is heated all the way through without it being too watery and without scorching it.
There is more than one method to reheat frozen stew. We’ve covered a few of those methods below to give you the tastiest results possible.
How To Reheat Frozen Stew in the Oven
One of the easiest ways to reheat frozen stew is using the oven. This method is ideal for meat-based stews. All you need is an ovenproof dish and lid/foil. Once you have your stew in the right vessel, use the following tips to heat it properly:
- Preheat the oven to around 250-300 degrees.
- Put foil or an oven-safe lid over the dish.
- Place in the center of the oven about for 20-30 minutes.
- Stir every 8-10 minutes for even heat distribution.
Make sure you use an oven mitt to handle the dish as it will be hot. Serve with some fresh bread. If you have oven-safe bowls, you can preheat those for a few minutes before transferring the food.
How To Reheat Frozen Stew in the Microwave
The quickest way to reheat stew is using a microwave. Reheating in a microwave can be done at medium-high heat, depending on wattage. But, it’s best to heat on low so that the food doesn’t boil or scorch and you don’t destroy too much flavor.
After covering a microwave-safe dish to avoid splattering, follow these steps:
- Heat on low-to-medium-high for 2-5 minutes, depending on the amount of food you’re heating.
- Stir halfway through.
- Once the timer goes off, check the stew to see if it’s your desired temperature.
- Heat for another minute if needed and stir again – repeating as necessary
While heating in the microwave is quick and convenient, it’s also an easy way for your stew to lose flavor and nutrients. It works well in a pinch as long as you don’t overheat things. So, keep an eye on your dish and check it every few minutes before pulling it out.
How To Reheat Frozen Stew on the Stove
Stovetop reheating is perfect for larger servings of stew since you can easily use a big pot and get everything done at once. This method takes a bit longer, so factor in extra time when you plan on reheating a large quantity of food.
A stovetop is also best used when you’re adding ingredients to stew, such as potatoes or noodles. Use these steps to simplify the process:
- Put an appropriate pot on the stove over a medium flame.
- Stir your stew every few minutes to ensure even heat distribution.
- Turn the heat down if it starts to boil or scorch at the bottom.
- Serve at your desired temperature.
Reheating your stew on the stove is a great way to make it feel like a brand new dish, especially if you add more ingredients. It takes a bit more time but keeps the stew’s homemade quality and flavor.
How To Reheat Frozen Stew in a Crockpot
Need to reheat your stew but you can’t babysit the stove or oven all day? Let your slow cooker do the work with the following steps:
- Place your stew into a slow cooker and pour around two or three tablespoons of water over the top.
- Set it to medium and place a lid on the cooker.
- Allow the stew to heat for 1-3 hours before turning the cooker down to a low setting.
- Stir occasionally to heat evenly. The stew will stay warm until you’re ready to serve.
Crockpot cooking and heating times may vary based on model and size. It’s best to check on your stew as it heats to make sure it’s coming up to the right temperature. If not, you can adjust the heat settings on your cooker to move things along faster.
Pros and Cons
Need a quick breakdown of these methods? We’ve got you covered with this easy-to-read table, so you can decide which reheating option is right for you.
|Best for large quantities.
Easy to add new ingredients.
|Best for flavor.||The quickest method.||Can step away for a while.|
scorch/burn if you don’t stir.
|Having to handle very hot pots and lids.||Kills nutrients and can overflow easily.||May take a while to keep to safe cooking temp.|
Related Questions About Reheating Frozen Stew
If you’re ready to reheat your cozy comfort food but still have a few additional questions, that’s okay! It’s important to do things the right way, and educate yourself on how useful, time-saving, and economical reheating food can be.
How Often Can I Reheat Frozen Stew?
If you have microwaved or oven reheated your frozen stew, then it is safe to eat for another day. If you heat stew on the stove, after 2-3 hours, it should be good enough to eat again. Make sure you are not heating it each time in a microwave or oven as it can cause the stew to dry out and lose nutrients.
How Long Can Frozen Stew Be Reheated?
Frozen stew can be reheated up to 3 times depending on the method you use for reheating. If you’re using the stovetop, then it should be good for around 10 minutes, and in the oven or Crockpot, it can be reheated for several hours, covered, and with a very low-temperature setting.
Is It Safe To Reheat Frozen Stew in a Microwave?
Reheating frozen stew in the microwave is safe as long as you do not use high heat. If high heat is used, boiling water may seep into the food and render it unsafe to eat.
Does Reheated Frozen Stew Taste Different?
Reheating any type of food can change its flavor, whether it is reheated in an oven, on a stovetop, or in the microwave. Always check for hot spots when microwaving and stir before serving. Some flavors can also change if you’re using broth instead of water to keep the food moist.
Can I Put Frozen Stew Back into the Freezer After Being Microwaved?
Any food that has been microwaved should not be re-frozen again. It is safe to eat for a few days after heating in the microwave, but do not try to freeze it again after doing this. Freezing already microwaved food can lead to health risks, including bacterial growth.
Final Thoughts on Reheating Frozen Stew
It’s always a good idea to reheat your food with caution. If you want to make sure it has been heated enough, the best way is to stir and check the temperature of the stew before serving. Try to make sure you don’t have to keep reheating your food by doing it in smaller portions and on lower, even heat settings.