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How Long Is Corn Chowder Good For?

From fridge to freezer, we’re dishing up the lowdown on how to keep your corn chowder fresh and ready for when you’re craving it.

Corn chowder: this velvety and delicious soup, packed with sweet corn kernels and hearty potatoes, is the ideal comfort food for cool autumn evenings, or whenever you need a cozy meal.

Its mix of corn, vegetables, and cream creates a dish that’s not just scrumptious, but also nourishing for your body.

But despite the delectable appeal of corn chowder, you might not always scrape the bottom of the pot in one go (Trust me, I’ve been there!). So you’re left wondering—how long can corn chowder stay fresh? Does it develop more depth of flavor over time, or does it start to lose its magic once it cools off?

And when it comes to saving that leftover corn chowder for another day, what’s the best way to store it? Is it best left in the fridge, or can it bear the chill of the freezer?

If you’ve got these types of questions bubbling up in your mind, this article’s got all the answers you need.

How Long Corn Chowder Lasts

How long corn chowder lasts depends on how you store it.

Generally, if you leave corn chowder out, it will only stay good for 1 to 2 hours. When refrigerated, it can last for 3 to 4 days. And if you freeze it, it will maintain its quality for about 3 to 4 months.

Left Out: 1–2 Hours

If you leave corn chowder at room temperature, it can last for about 2 hours. However, on hot days when it’s 90°F (32°C) or higher, corn chowder only stays good for about 1 hour.1United States Department of Agriculture (2023, March 24). What is the “2 Hour Rule” with leaving food out? AskUSDA. Retrieved July 19, 2023, from https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/What-is-the-2-Hour-Rule-with-leaving-food-out

Refrigerated: 3–4 Days

If you keep corn chowder in the fridge, at a temperature of 40°F (4.4°C) or below, and store it in a jar, food container, or the original bottle or carton in case you bought it from the store, it will last for about 3 to 4 days.2U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2021, September 20). Cold Food Storage Chart. FoodSafety.gov. Retrieved July 19, 2023, from https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/cold-food-storage-charts

Frozen: 3–4 Months

Technically speaking, you can keep frozen corn chowder for as long as you want because freezing pauses the growth of bacteria.3U.S. Department of Agriculture (2013, June 15). Freezing and Food Safety. Food Safety & Inspection Service. Retrieved July 19, 2023, from https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/freezing-and-food-safety With that being said, it is best to eat it within 3 to 4 months to enjoy it at its freshest and highest quality.

How to Keep Corn Chowder Fresh

Corn chowder hits the spot when it’s warm and rich with plump corn kernels.

If you’re not planning to polish off your chowder immediately, you need to understand how to store it so it stays appetizing and doesn’t go off on you.

Here’s the lowdown:

Storing Corn Chowder in the Fridge

Firstly, ladle your corn chowder into a clean, sealable container. Glass containers are perfect, but if those aren’t available, any food storage container with a secure lid will work. Then slide it into the fridge.

Aim to consume the corn chowder within 3-4 days. The chill in the fridge slows down the bacteria that cause food to spoil, but it can’t halt it completely.

Freezing Corn Chowder

If you’ve whipped up a large pot of corn chowder and can’t polish it off within a few days, or you want to keep some for a rainy day, then freezing is your go-to option. You’ll need a clean, tightly sealed container that can withstand the chill of the freezer.

Make sure to leave about an inch of space at the top of the container because the chowder will expand as it freezes. This might take a few hours. When you’re ready to dive back in, shift the frozen corn chowder to the fridge about a day beforehand.

And that’s the whole story—corn chowder is quite simple to store and it’s a delight to have some on hand for those cool evenings or when your tummy’s grumbling.

A bit of diligence in storage ensures each serving is as mouthwatering as the first one, so don’t skip these steps!

How to Tell If Your Corn Chowder Has Gone Bad

Discovered a forgotten container of corn chowder hidden in the depths of your fridge?

Or are you just uncertain if it’s still safe to eat? Like any soup, corn chowder can go off if it’s been left untouched for too long, and believe me, eating spoiled corn chowder is not a treat you want.

Here are some signs that your corn chowder might have gone bad:

  • Time: If your corn chowder’s been out in the open for more than 1-2 hours or hiding in the fridge for over 3-4 days, it’s safer to discard it, even if it seems fine. The bacteria that cause illness don’t necessarily alter how our food looks, tastes, or feels.4Jarvie, M. (2015, October 22). Food spoilage and food pathogens, what’s the difference? MSU Extension. Retrieved July 20, 2023, from https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/food_spoilage_and_food_pathogens_whats_the_difference
  • Smell: Fresh corn chowder has a sweet, appealing aroma. If you open your container and it smells funky or unpleasant, it’s time to part ways with your chowder.
  • Color: Good corn chowder usually has a creamy, appetizing hue. If it’s turned darker or looks off, better to err on the side of caution and toss it.
  • Texture: Corn chowder should be smooth and creamy with pieces of corn and veggies. If it’s slimy or overly thick, your chowder might be past its prime.
  • Taste: This should be your last test. If your corn chowder passes the other checks but tastes strange or sour, it’s time to let it go.

Remember, when in doubt, throw it out! It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Corn chowder is easy to whip up, so why take unnecessary risks?

Simply cook up a new batch and relish the sweet, comforting flavors of this classic homestyle dish.

Tying It All Together

And there you have it, home chefs!

This is your definitive guide to not just relishing this creamy, delightful chowder, but also making sure it stays as fresh as the day you whipped it up, for each and every serving.

Remember, whether you’re storing your corn chowder in the fridge or the freezer, maintaining its freshness for those cozy nights is a breeze if you adhere to the straightforward storage steps we’ve shared.

And keep in mind, if your corn chowder seems a bit questionable—be it in smell, color, texture, or taste—it’s always safer to discard it.

Know your author

Written by

Dim is a food writer, cookbook author, and the editor of Home Cook World. His first book, Cooking Methods & Techniques, was published in 2022. He is a certified food handler with Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates in Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering, and a trained cook with a Level 3 Professional Chef Diploma.