Clam chowder is a tasty meal that is comprised of different individual ingredients. Depending on your personal preferences, there are different things that can be combined in a bowl of clam chowder. However, the primary constituents of clam chowder are clams, milk, and broth. Other popular ingredients that are added to clam chowder include onions, potatoes, pork, and more.
You can simply eat a bowl of clam chowder without anything else and still enjoy it. Clam chowder has its own health benefits that it provides when consumed in the right proportion. Personally, I like to make extra portions of clam chowder that I can keep and eat on a later date. If you also like to do the same, you must have some method of preserving the clam chowder.
Ordinarily, clam chowder will last for about 4 days in the refrigerator. However, if you want to preserve it for much longer, you’ll need to consider another preservation method.
So, can you freeze clam chowder? Yes, you can freeze clam chowder. However, there are certain factors that can affect the chowder’s quality even when frozen. Some of the ingredients added to the clam chowder do not give good results when frozen. Such ingredients could facilitate the quick reduction of the chowder’s taste and texture.
It is best to avoid adding those ingredients to the clam chowder if you’ll be freezing it – you can always add them later on when you’re ready to thaw the frozen clam chowder.
With the proper steps and good packaging, freezing can preserve clam chowder for up to 6 whole months.
Freezing Clam Chowder
You may have cooked more clam chowder than needed. Does that mean you’d have to throw the leftovers away? No it doesn’t. Instead of wasting a good portion of sweet clam chowder, you should freeze it till a later date. If you actually have the intention of freezing the clam chowder, you should omit certain ingredients during its preparation.
If you put Spices and certain herbs in the clam chowder, they’ll probably get bitter after some time in the freezer – this will compromise the whole quality of the dish. Also, potatoes used in a serving of clam chowder can become quite soggy after being put through the processes of freezing and defrosting. Butter contains fats that may facilitate rancidity in the chowder while being frozen.
Omitting all these ingredients can only be done if you actually planned to prepare and freeze a batch of fresh clam chowder. However, in the case of leftovers and store-bought clam chowder, you won’t be able to take out any ingredients. Regardless of where you’ve gotten your clam chowder from, make sure it isn’t left open and exposed to room temperature for too long. Doing so will result in increased bacterial action and the chowder being rendered inedible.
How to Freeze Clam Chowder
These are a few simple steps to follow when freezing clam chowder:
Step 1: Allow the Clam Chowder to Cool
You’ll be working against yourself if you put chowder in the freezer while it’s still hot. The safer thing to do is to allow the freshly made clam chowder to cool down – this may take about 30 minutes. Usually, the clam chowder will start forming a skin on the surface when it’s left to sit for minutes. You can stir the chowder from time to time with a spoon to prevent a skin from forming.
Step 2: Properly Pack in Freezer-Safe Bags
If the clam chowder is packed poorly, it won’t be well preserved in the freezer. Remember to let the chowder cool totally before putting in the freezer-safe bag. Once the chowder is at room temperature, put it in the resealable freezer-safe bag. It is best to allow some room for expansion inside the bag. Feel free to use multiple freezer bags if you’ll be freezing a large amount of clam chowder.
Step 3: Safely Place it in the Freezer
After sealing the chowder in the bags, clear out some space in the freezer. Set your freezer’s temperature to 0⁰F and place the sealed chowder inside. When the chowder is frozen at that temperature, the action of bacteria is greatly inhibited and food won’t spoil quickly. However, you should know that the clam chowder won’t last forever in the freezer. For this reason, you need to start eating the frozen portions before they stay too long in the freezer.
How to Thaw Frozen Clam Chowder
You can’t eat the portions of clam chowder you froze without thawing them first. Thawing also has its own processes that should be followed for the best results; it won’t be fair to ruin perfectly preserved chowder after so many weeks of freezing.
Start by removing the packs of frozen chowder from inside the freezer and placing them in a bowl of warm water. Leave them in the water for about an hour till they’re significantly thawed. After that, transfer the clam chowder from the freezer-safe bags into a saucepan. Put the pan with the clam chowder on fire and stir till it becomes completely thawed.
If you omitted some ingredients before freezing the clam chowder, you may now add them and warm it up in the sauce pan. Also, feel free to restore the chowder’s quality by adding milk, water or broth to substitute for any liquids that were lost during heating.
Some of the popular questions people ask about freezing clam chowder are:
Does Clam Chowder Go Bad?
Depending on how long you’ve had it for and well you’ve preserved it, clam chowder will eventually go bad. Preservation processes like refrigeration and freezing will help increase the clam chowder’s shelf life. Clam chowder in a can would last for years if it remains unopened.
If the clam chowder’s can is damaged and leaking, it should be thrown away. Exposure of the clam chowder to room temperature for a prolonged period of time will result in increased bacterial action.
Can You Freeze Clam Chowder with Milk or Cream in it?
Cream or milk doesn’t usually freeze well with clam chowder. It is best to omit them in the preparation of clam chowder for freezing – you can easily add them when you’ve thawed and reheated the frozen chowder.