The hectic work the whole day was enough to make me hungry, and I am thinking of the gumbo cooked earlier, the hunger is getting bigger. However, when I sat to enjoy my fav dish, I discovered the spoiled gumbo – enough to break my heart.
Now all I want to know is how to keep gumbo from spoiling.
Keeping gumbo from spoiling is challenging as this classic is prone to spoil. Temperature and roux are the major contributing factors here. Ensure the temperature does not exceed 90° while keeping it outside. Also, don’t burn roux while cooking Gumbo. Finally, for safe storage, freeze it on 40°F.
But, it’s not all. To save gumbo, you need to know what makes it spoil this quickly and what can you do to save it. So, to get the answers, go through this article.
How To Keep Gumbo From Spoiling?
Gumbo is a flavorful combo of meat and vegetables. The textures of okra with sassafras leaves give a paltry bittersweet and partly beetroot flavor.
However, cooking gumbo is a time-consuming process. But what makes it distressful is gumbo is prone to spoilage pretty quickly. In addition, if you don’t store it properly in the refrigerator, then it can get spoiled.
Now, after cooking for three to four hours, you won’t want this dish to go in vain even before serving. Right?
Don’t worry! You just need to be careful about these two factors – temperature and roux. You can save your gumbo successfully if you treat these two culprits correctly.
1. Temperature Trouble
Temperature plays a big role in the spoilage of gumbo. Here people often ask, how long can gumbo stay unrefrigerated? Well, if you plan a lunch outdoors where the temp could go more than 90°F, finish it within 1 hour.
After that, store the leftovers in the refrigerator within one hour.
Suppose you just cook it, what next you should do? Well, you need to wait to cool it down at room temperature. The cooling process is also super easy. You can either use a cooler or ice packs to cool it up. And then store it below 40°F in the freezer.
Despite freezing at this temperature, your gumbo may go bad. So, on a safer note, you should have it as soon as possible.
If you want your gumbo to cool down quickly, you should cook it in larger amounts first. Divide them into smaller halves and store them in small pots. You can use Pyrex Simply Store Food Storage containers that keep the flavor and taste intact.
Another important point is that you should reheat the gumbo before serving.
Heating it in the microwave makes the gumbo risk-free than heating it on a hot stove.
While heating the food on a stove, keep the flame low. Also, notice that there are no bubbles in the dish. If it happens, then throw away the dish as it alerts about spoilage.
2. Burning Roux
Perfect roux is important to enjoy rich, deep, mouthwatering gumbo. Expert chefs try to keep the texture thicker and dark-colored. During doing so, roux often gets burnt, and a burned roux imparts burn flavor to gumbo.
To prevent it, you should keep moving the roux. Also, try to be mindful about the skillet where the roux gets burnt.
If making roux is difficult, you can use roux mix to make your task easy.
With these two hacks, you can preserve gumbo from spoiling. However, it is difficult to find out whether gumbo is spoiled or not.
How To Know If Gumbo Is Spoiled?
In one sentence, color, smell, and consistency could be a good indicator of this. Like, gumbo will take a greenish color and may or may not be accompanied by white clumps.
Sometimes it may create a thin layer of mould upon the dish. Also, you may see the burnt popcorn smell is absent or may experience an unpleasant odor.
But what triggers the decomposition? Next, we will find out.
What Makes Gumbo Spoilage So Quickly?
Above, you get to know two contributing factors: temperature and roux. Now, we will discuss some other reasons that are also responsible for gumbo spoilage.
- If you don’t use ingredients like okra
- If you use an excessive amount of liquid during cooking
- Don’t cover the dish properly after cooking
How Long Can You Keep Gumbo?
It depends. If we talk about the chicken seasoning mixed, it can go for 6 months. But, it requires strict preservation. You must assemble the dish carefully and store it in an airtight jar at room temperature.
Then freeze it for 3 days. Also, you can make the dish frozen for up to six months as it doesn’t contain seafood. However, if you make gumbo with seafood, the frozen timetable should be up to 3 months.
How To Reheat Gumbo?
Reheating gumbo is also crucial to save it from spoilage. Incorrect heating may result in bubbles, bad odor, or a greenish texture.
You can reheat gumbo either using a microwave or oven. Below we have outlined both processes.
1. Using a microwave
Don’t place the dish into the microwave directly from the fridge. Keep it outside till all the ice gets melted. Because if you reheat with ice, heat will break down the integrity of the gumbo. And you will notice thin coagulated messes in the dish.
Also, you should heat it in an oven-proof bowl for two minutes. You should add water to the gumbo before heating to maintain consistency.
The timetable of microwaving may vary depending upon the type of gumbo recipes. For soupy gumbo, you should heat it for 4-6 minutes. But, if it is dry type, you should set the timer at 10-16 minutes.
2. Using Oven
Suppose you have saved the gumbo in a freezer for later use. In that case, you must defrost the gumbo completely before reheating it in the oven.
However, the temperature for how many minutes you set is very important here. For a 375° oven, you need to heat the gumbo for 15-20 minutes. But, before surviving the dish in a bowl, cool it for 5 minutes.
Another way to reheat is to place the bowl full of gumbo in a preheated oven at 600°F. After that, warm it up for only 30 sec. And that’s it. It is all ready to satisfy your tummy.
- Can you reheat seafood gumbo?
Yes, you can reheat the seafood gumbo. First off, you should defrost it before heating it. You can do this just by sealing the gumbo in a plastic bag and placing it in cold water.
Depending upon the quantity, it may take 4-8 hrs to defrost. So, you should change the water every 30 minutes. After that, you need to heat it at 165°F.
- How long can seafood gumbo be frozen?
Although gumbo is a sensitive dish, you can store it for 3 months in a freezer. For this, you should cool down the gumbo. Then, seal it in an air-tight plastic size container. Write down the date when you are putting it in the freezer. And lastly, set the temperature at 0°F.
- Why is my gumbo slimy?
The so-called slime is called mucilage, which comes from sugar residue and is great for, say, thickening gumbo but not great when you’re biting into a piece of sautéed okra and averse to that viscous texture.
It often becomes very difficult for working women or men to cook every day. Having a dish, you can store the leftover and enjoy the next day as it is – a great thing. Gumbo just fits the scenario
Gumbo is a classic dish that tastes out of the world. However, this classic dish spoils pretty quickly. So, you need to know how to keep gumbo from spoiling to enjoy it longer.
Check the temperature and ensure you don’t burn the roux while cooking it. In addition, reheat it properly, and store it correctly below 40°F in the freezer. Moreover, try to finish it as soon as possible after reheating it.