Can you freeze clam chowder? The answer to this is yes. Clam chowder can be preserved for a long time if you keep it frozen.
However, this article explores, in detail, how freezing is the best approach to keep clam chowder from rotting before it thaws.
Read on to learn how to properly free your clam chowder, preserve it, and get more information about clam chowder in general.
What Is Clam Chowder?
Clam chowder is American cuisine made with clams. Clams are saltwater invertebrates that live stuck in the sands of the seabed or riverbeds.
Clam soup requires clams, butter, potatoes, salt pork, onion, and clams to prepare. To thicken the sauce, you can use flour or crushed hardtack.
Although the meal originated in the Northeastern United States, it is now widely available at restaurants across the country.
The three most prevalent types are New England or “white” clam chowder- which has milk or cream; Manhattan or “red” clam chowder- which has tomatoes; and Rhode Island or “clear” clam chowder- which holds neither.
What Does Clam Chowder Taste Like?
Clam Chowder is thick and creamy, like a sauce, with soft bits of potatoes that almost melt in your mouth. The salinity and smokiness of the bacon and the fading bitterness supply a flavor contrast.
Can You Freeze Clam Chowder?
Yes, you can. To freeze, store your clams in sealed containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. When frozen, they stand to gain extra shelf life.
Can You Freeze Clam Chowder With Potatoes?
Yes, you can. However, potatoes often break down when frozen, and you will need to whisk them back into the chowder to restore their original consistency.
Can You Freeze Clam Chowder Made With Cream?
Absolutely. The only disadvantage is that the cream may not freeze as well as it should, resulting in the chowder deteriorating before defrosting.
Can You Freeze Homemade Clam Chowder Soup?
Yes, you can. It is good to freeze cooked clam chowder soup to extend its shelf life. Freeze in sealed bags or heavy-duty Ziplocs.
How to Make Clam Chowder
You must know how to cook clam chowder properly before thinking of freezing it.
To make this recipe, you’ll need butter, dry-cured bacon lardons, cubed pancetta, or sliced streaky bacon finely diced, a twig of thyme, bay leaf, plain flour, milk, heavy cream, two medium potatoes cut into chunks, chopped parsley, and crusty bread.
1. Clean the clams
- Empty with a well and bathe the clams in cold water several times. In a large saucepan, combine the clams and 500ml of water.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 2 minutes or until clams open. Strain the innards of the pan onto a strainer positioned over a dish to capture the clam stock.
- Remove the clams from their shells when they are cold enough to handle, saving a handful of empty vessels for presentation if desired.
- Drain the clam stock into a jug after removing any residues from the bottom of the bowl. Approximately 800ml should be available.
2. Stir ingredients in a hot pan
- Melt the butter in a pan and fry the bacon for 3-4 minutes, or until it browns.
- Add the onion, thyme, and bay to the pot and continue cooking or until the onion is yellow and soft.
- Cook for another 2 minutes after adding the flour to get a sandy mixture, then stir in the clams stock, milk, and cream slowly.
3. Add the potatoes
- Add the potatoes, bring to a simmer, and leave to steam for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
- To aid thickening, use a fork to press several of the potato pieces against the side of the pan.
- Stir in the clam’s meat and a few clams’ shells, if using, and heat for a moment to reheat.
- Season with black pepper and salt to taste, then toss the parsley in, right after ladling into plates or hollowed-out crusty buns.
Why Should You Freeze Clam Chowder?
You should freeze clam chowder to extend its lifespan. Frozen, chowder will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
How to Freeze Clam Chowder
Because of the nature of clams, freezing homemade clam chowder may be challenging if done incorrectly. You should use these three methods to freeze:
1. Wait till chowder is cool
If you want fresh chowder after thawing, freeze it on the day it was made. The ingredients are fresher this way which makes a great difference when freezing. After cooking, you should wait for the chowder to cool with no steam coming off it.
2. Pour chowder into a bag
Decant the cooled chowder with both hands into a freezer bag in a bowl and drape the top of the bag over the rim. Fill the freezer bag halfway with chowder, but ensure you leave some room for expansion at the top.
3. Seal bag and freeze
Cover the freezer bag tightly, and mark and date it.
Note: To enjoy frozen chowder, it is best to eat it within 3 months.
How Long Can You Freeze Clam Chowder?
If refrigerated properly, prepared clam chowder will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. However, a properly stored frozen soup will last for 4 to 6 months. Choosing a vacuum sealer bag that enables the clams to breathe while being frozen is critical.
How to Thaw Frozen Clam Chowder
Now that you can freeze your chowder, knowing how to thaw is necessary. To defrost, you should:
1. Leave in the fridge
When you want to take your clam soup, you can leave it in the fridge to defrost it gradually.
2. Use a microwave
You may also thaw your chowder in the microwave. Set the timer to defrost and place the freezer bag inside a microwave-safe container. It will allow it to run rapidly.
3. Heat on a stovetop
Another way is to transfer the chowder to a pot to thaw. Return the clam chowder to its normal consistency and flavor by heating over low heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally.
Pros and Cons of Freezing Clam Chowder
If you decide to freeze your clam chowder, you should be aware that it is both a good and a poor idea.
- Allows the chowder to keep its original quality.
- Extends soup lifecycle.
- Allows you to save on costs and eat anytime.
- Some of the ingredients sometimes do not freeze well, i.e., heavy creams and vegetables.
- Clam chowder may spoil when frozen due to unfrozen ingredients used in making.
- Ingredients like potatoes, milk, and butter often break and separate into patches once thawed, making soup look disorganized.
- Chowder comes out mushy most times after thawing.
- Freezing may see chowder losing its taste and texture.
Can you freeze milk-based clam chowder?
Yes, you can. The milk in the chowder, on the other hand, may not freeze well. This is a possibility, not a guarantee, so making sure the chowder is properly packed may help you avoid it.
How long is homemade clam chowder good for in the refrigerator?
In the refrigerator, keep your clam chowder in an airtight container. Clam chowder keeps for 3-5 days if stored properly. Anything after this may see you eating contaminated or rancid food.
What potatoes are best for clam chowder?
To make tasty clam chowder, russet potato is the best. Unlike waxier potatoes like red potatoes or Yukon Golds, the starch in russet potatoes helps thicken the chowder. However, if they are the potatoes you have on hand, go ahead, and use them.
Do carrots go in clam chowder dishes?
Yes, they do. After putting the celery, carrots, potatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper, continue to sauté for another 10 minutes.
Bring the clam juice to a boil, then cover and simmer for twenty minutes, just until the vegetables are tender. All these veggies and ingredients mixed in your clam chowder will give you the soup ever.
How do you get more clam flavor in clam chowder?
To get more flavor, you should save the broth. To do so, remove the cooked clam chowder from the heat and filter the cooking liquid to leave a tasty chowder base.
Remove the clams from their shells when they are cold enough to handle, then add any accumulated juices to the conserved cooking liquid.
You’ll be astonished at how much better your chowder tastes when frozen rather than refrigerated. Freezing the soup ensures that you can enjoy it whenever you want without having to worry about the costs of buying ingredients regularly.
Clam chowder can also be served with different vegetables, although it tastes best with russet potatoes.
Finally, some of the ingredients used in making chowder may not completely freeze, so make sure to consume frozen soup within three months, at the most.
Thank you for reading.
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